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Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A thin, elegant watch with nearly four days of power reserve, two separately adjustable time indications, and two tourbillons exposed on the dial: for most watch manufactures, this would likely be their top novelty piece, but for Arnold & Son, it seems to blend in with the other, highly technical pieces that the brand offers. With its sleek profile and two dials, the Arnold & Son DTE (Double Tourbillon Escapement) is a truly impressive blend of the Swiss manufacture’s UTTE ultra-thin tourbillon and its DBG double-balance wheel pieces, bringing together the best of both worlds.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The main inspiration for this technological “tour de force” is that in 2014, Arnold & Son celebrates the 250th anniversary of its watchmaking heritage. As the story goes, it was in 1764 that the company’s namesake, John Arnold was granted the permission to present to King George III a unique and small watch movement that he made. Interestingly, it was two years before, in 1762 that Arnold had established his very own workshop in London – an accomplishment most watch brands would usually consider to be a more relevant date to adhere to. Anyhow, the name and heritage that the once-British, presently Swiss made watch manufacturer carries is vast, and they certainly have been trying to live up to that.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As we have previously discussed, Arnold & Son today is the “in-house brand” of high-end Swiss movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret, which in turn is presently owned by Japanese industry giant Citizen. Nevertheless, the vast know-how and immense research and development capacities of La Joux-Perret do shine through, as the Arnold & Son DTE has a lot of impressive features crammed into its 8.35 millimeters thick and 37 millimeter wide movement: its two barrels supply 90 hours worth of power reserve, with the power being delivered through two separate going trains to the two tourbillons. Despite the relatively clean and restrained appearance of the dial, there is a lot going on underneath: the movement can be wound through the crown located at the 2 o’clock position of the case, while the other crown, located diagonally across the case, is used to separately set the second time display

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The two tourbillons each operate at 3 Hertz (21,600 vibrations per hour) and make a full rotation under one minute. A very characteristic design element is the large, skeletonized, red gold bridge that secures the two escapements from above, with the hand-chamfered and polished edges of the bridge and the tourbillon cage being a nod towards essential traditional watchmaking requirements. Needless to say, each tourbillon is responsible for keeping the time of its respective subdial.


Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Beyond mere technicalities, another interesting feat is how Arnold & Son – this brand with excessive British watchmaking heritage, modern Swiss manufacturing know-how, and Japanese ownership – manages to consistently turn out complicated, yet tasteful and distinctive-looking watches. Despite the dual-timezone layout and the two large tourbillons all finding their way onto the dial, the face of the watch looks well balanced – something that cannot be said for all other, similarly complex watches. Since there is no one large dial to cover up the movement from the front, what makes these four large circles stand out even more is the traditional Côtes de Genève striping that has been applied to the large, dial-side plate of the movement.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The two, white lacquered subdials with their painted black indices and blued and skeletonized arrow hands make for relatively small, albeit legible displays for the hours and minutes, while a seconds-hand is entirely redundant as the tourbillons make for a more interesting substitute. A little detail that may not be obvious upon first sight is that the subdial at the 12 o’clock position sports Roman numerals, while the subdial in the lower segment of the dial has Arabic numerals – although I do wonder what the face of the Arnold & Son DTE would have looked like with two absolutely identical subdials.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When we went hands-on with the Arnold & Son DTE at Baselworld 2014, the brand also had a tiny, vintage pocket watch to show with their 2014 novelty. Sebastien Chaulmontet (Arnold & Son’s head of movement development, who we interviewed for our Grail Watch article series here) said that this tiny watch with its white enamel dial, blued hands, red gold case, and exposed mechanism inspired him with the design of the Arnold & Son DTE. The similarities are quite obvious, although it is fascinating to see the differences in size and, of course, intended purpose: one was designed and made decades or perhaps centuries ago and painstakingly crafted to invisibly hide in ones pocket, while the other is relatively large (even by today’s standards, at 43.5 millimeters wide) and is worn on the wrist, where it is – for the most part – exposed for everyone to see.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Watch Hands-On Hands-On

In conclusion, the Arnold & Son DTE delivers, in many ways, what we have come to expect from the brand: it marks the 250th anniversary of its namesake’s achievements in a way that is relevant today and – although we can only wonder – would likely amaze John Arnold. Price for one of the 28 limited pieces of the Arnold & Son DTE in red gold is $210,000.

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  • SantiagoT

    Beautiful. I like it a lot I must say. I am not a fan of Roman numerals and the font used for the Arabics is perfect for the watch, so I would have preferred it both dials with Arabics, although perhaps it would have been a bit to symmetric.

    Reminds me of MB & F’s Legacy Machine 1, only not pretencious and luckily without that power reserve cranck which someone found appealing because of reasons.

  • If I had the $200K+ to spend on a watch, this would be on my very short list. Another lust worthy piece from A&S. They keep knocking it out of the park in my book. Too bad it’s so expensive but that’s my problem, not theirs. The perfect travel watch for the wealthy collector.

  • JVWatchmakers

    XupesCom aBlogtoWatch Wow absolutely stunning

  • XupesCom

    JVWatchmakers aBlogtoWatch Thank you! 🙂

  • 5803822

    Slendid elegance  –   comes at a sensational price these days.

  • Lovely. Would look even better in white metal.
    Serious shade of a MB&F Legacy Machine, which is excellent. Or, the other way around if that offends you and feel like getting stroppy.

  • Jimxxx

    A true class act and a bargain at $105k / tourbillion.

  • Fraser Petrick

    My birthday is coming up on January 11; and since I hang out with Saudi princes, Russian oligarchs, 1%ers and NBA players, I think it would be a genius marketing move for Arnold & Son to give me one of these watch. I would sing its praises and orders would pour in from all over the world, such is my influence, though I adopt the look of a retired teacher in Eastern – yes, Eastern – Ontario…for security reasons, of course.

  • captaina16

    As I look at these unreachable (for mere humans who work for a living) watches I find some design issues. First let me say the initial impression of this watch is “wow” what a beautiful piece. Then as I study the watch I see an ugly simply rectified issue. The two screws supporting the balance wheels are not aligned. A simple oversight that person or persons responsible for this watch could easily rectify. I have great respect for the people responsible for this creation but surely they would see this as an glaring eye sore on such a beautiful watch. On a personal preference level I think the crowns should not protrude so far from the watch body. On the back of the watch I really appreciate the use of chantons but why only two? I realize I have no right to be so critical but if I should ever be in a position (not likely) to purchase such an expensive piece I would expect perfection.

  • Jakob Mathiszig

    250 years of history? What a joke and there is 0 English heritage in this movement.

  • shinytoys

    That is a gorgeous time machine !

  • manolocarcamo

    aBlogtoWatch is the Other Planet !!!! awesome !!!!

  • manolocarcamo

    aBlogtoWatch Incredible Watch !!!! AWESOME !!!

  • manolocarcamo

    aBlogtoWatch ncredible Watch !!!! AWESOME !!!

  • Time2Go

    captaina16  “On the back of the watch I really appreciate the use of chantons but why only two?”

    I’ll admit it: I don’t know what that means.  Can you elaborate?

  • Ulysses31

    I like the pocket watch more.  Yes this is yet another lovely watch from A&S but it’s just too perfect, too gleaming.  I’m not a fan of large empty spaces on a dial (Geneva strips are a bit boring), and so I still prefer their other models to this one.

  • Time2Go captaina16 Look at the jewels on the back at the 5 and 11 o’clock postions. Notice that they have gold rings (which look like valve seats on a car’s engine). These bushings are chatons. The question was why do only these 2 jewels have chatons while the others you can see do not. Cheers.

  • Time2Go

    MarkCarson captaina16 Ah, got it.  I learned a new word today — thanks!  I assume from the context that these chatons are purely ornamental…correct?

  • Time2Go MarkCarson captaina16 How neccessary they are (or are not) is a question for Sebastian (the movement designer at A&S). I’m not qualified to say.

  • Seth Lim

    what a joke?slap on some bling and its a jacob&co wannabe

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