Watches: Arnold & Son Dial Side True Beat

By Thierry Ané on March 22, 2014

I am absolutely in awe of Arnold & Son’s creativity. There is not a single model that has been introduced over that last three years that I would not love to include in my collection.

Aesthetically, their watches are a blend of British elegance, unexpected modernity and a certain “je ne sais quoi” that places them outstandingly above the rest of the Swiss production (the way I see it, only Breguet and Jaquet Droz sometimes use similar design codes in the high-end segment but without the same success).

With such a sharpened design sense, the brand could have settled for producing stunning time-only watches. But what makes Arnold & Son so special is that they put the same amount of care in creating breathtakingly intricate movements as they do in presenting innovative designs that are yet faithful to their maritime heritage.

Two weeks before Baselworld, the brand delights us again with a new sensation model for the Instrument Collection, the so-called Dial Side True Beat. This extraordinary piece of horology is part of the brand’s 250th anniversary celebration and will be limited to just 50 timepieces.

Like many other models in this collection, the self-winding A&S6003 calibre pays homage to the deadbeat seconds’ mechanism (or “true beat” in Arnold & Son’s terminology) that was so pivotal to the exceptional precision of the marine chronometers created by John Arnold to help solving the problem of determining longitude at sea. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it means that the seconds hand moves only every second, rather than with each vibration of the movement.

The originality of this high-end calibre entirely developed in-house, is that the brand’s master watchmakers managed to put the entire mechanism on display on the dial side! The lever, the wheels and also three red-gold treated true beat seconds bridges usually hidden on the back now sit proudly in plain sight on the dial together with the blued true beat seconds hand. To enhance even more the aesthetic appeal of this architectural and technical achievement, the master watchmakers shaped the true beat seconds lever like an anchor, in reference to the brand’s maritime history.

The true beat “ensemble” takes up a leading place on the top left portion of the dial where the seconds are indicated on a splendid sapphire dial. This large disc nicely overlaps with the dome white lacquered hours and minutes sub-dial located at 4 o’clock. All these elements seem to float on the NAC grey treated dial plate with a large circular finishing. What an amazing sense of depth!

This one-of-a-kind model is housed in Arnold & Son’s beautiful round red gold case with its characteristic crown. For the Dial Side True Beat, it measures 43.5 mm with a thickness of 7.39 mm and is water resistant to 3 ATM. It is mounted on a black alligator strap secured by a red gold pin buckle.

The sapphire exhibition case back will let the lucky owners admire the Haute Horology finishing that such a remarkable timepiece deserves and that the brand has become known for. A great attention has been paid to each of the watch’s 229 components and fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes have been applied to all bridges that also feature hand-chamfered and polished edges.

Since the beginning of the year, Arnold & Son already offered a much-welcomed stainless steel version of their amazing Time Pyramid, two artistic HM models with miniature horse painting in black lacquer or white lacquer for the Year of the Horse, a technically challenging Royal TEC1 Tourbillon Chronograph, a special version of the TB victory for the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and a marvel of symmetry with the Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time. The magnificent Dial Side True Beat now extends the list of horological marvels unveiled by the brand this year and let me wonder how on earth these incredible watchmakers will have enough imagination left to surprise us at Baselworld? … Come to think of it, I am not worried: I am sure I will be blown away by every other watch released and I will definitely come back to you with a huge photo report. Stay tuned!

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: