July 24, 2014
by James Stacey
Arnold & Son produces a wide range of watches that vary in their level of romanticism, complication, and technical attributes. From their highly technical UTTE tourbillon, to the very romantic Time Pyramid, or even the complicated and impressive CTB Chronograph, Arnold & Son has an undeniable ability to turn heads with beautiful and detailed designs that instill a distinctively artistic feel to their watch making. This year at Baselworld Arnold & Son had quite a few pieces to show, including the new Arnold & Son DSTB. Like many of the watches in their Instrument collection, the Arnold & Son DSTB packs an interesting and seldom seen complication and is named as an acronym, shorthand for Dial Side True Beat.
True beat is a complication that allows the seconds hand to tick rather than sweep. The feature, which is also sometimes called “dead seconds,” is more of a technical and aesthetic accomplishment than a practical feature with tool applications. On the Arnold & Son DSTB, the entire true beat mechanism is executed in full view atop the dial, along with a focused separate display for the seconds hand. While the hours and the minutes are relegated to a subsidiary dial at four o’clock, the seconds display floats above the beautifully finished metallic dial with a three-dimensional raised sapphire scale and a blued steel hand.
Executed in a 43.5 mm 18k red gold case, the effect is wonderfully detailed, and not only is each individual element beautifully finished, but the beat seconds lever is adorned with an anchor, a nautical icon that connects throughout Arnold & Son’s designs and branding. The dial view offers a multi-layered scene that is rooted in a deep grey dial with radial finishing. The main time dial is a white lacquer with roman numerals and blued steel hands. The fine detailing continues on the flip side where a sapphire display case back allows for a view of the automatic Arnold & Son 6003 movement.
The 6003 is composed of 229 components, including 32 jewels and the dead beat mechanism visible on the dial. With a power reserve of 50 hours, this movement runs at 28,800 vph and is host to a high level of finishing.
The Arnold & Son DSTB wears a bit smaller than expected for watch with such a complex and open dial view. The red gold is matched with a lovely brown leather strap and the entire piece feels usable (thanks to the legibility of the hours and minutes display) and very special. The domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal does an excellent job of managing reflections and ensures a clear and distortion free view of the dial and its three dimensional presentation.
Sporting a price tag of $46,500, the DSTB will be limited to just 50 units and I would wager that such a beautiful execution of a rather esoteric complication will make the DSTB quite popular with collectors and Arnold & Son fans alike. arnoldandson.com