Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases

It's always nice to see brands celebrating their heritage appropriately. The new Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch does just that. Few brands around these days have the luxury of being able to claim their founder played a role in the creation of a complication, much less one as famous and ubiquitous as the tourbillon. Despite the fact that Arnold & Son have not been in continuous operation since the foundation of the company in 1764, the renaissance of the brand owes much to the longevity of John Arnold's professional legacy, embellished through time by his personal friendship with Abraham Louis-Breguet.

John Arnold was one of the finest watchmakers of his time. A chronometer specialist by trade, his influence on his contemporary, and ultimate legend, Abraham-Louis Breguet is debatable, but the respect the two shared is not. Both men sent their sons to study under the other. And it is through Breguet's most famous invention – the tourbillon – that the two become indelibly linked for all of time. You see, it was in Arnold's watch – the No. 11 movement – that Breguet's famed complication made its first appearance. And now, almost 250 years later, the reborn Arnold & Son honors that collaboration with the release of a twin-tourbillon model that is packed full of brand DNA and practical features.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases

The Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch case shape is quintessentially Arnold & Son and measures 43.5mm wide in 18k white gold. It is a very elegant design, with smooth, flowing lugs that affix to either a brown or black hand-stitched alligator strap – the choice is yours. The Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch is styled to match both colors well, which is a thoughtful touch that could well tip the scales for a potential purchaser. What this case does well is make its presence known without overbearing the main event. It is effectively a highly polished frame and it plays this role very well. It retains its own character thanks to the twin crowns (one at two and one at eight o'clock). Not only is their placement unusual (and totally functional), they are really beautifully fashioned things, featuring the proud logo of this historic brand. I'm a sucker for a good crown, and this one is up there as one of the best, in my opinion. Having two of them only makes it better and, for me, changes this case from boring to quietly cool.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases

So what do those two crowns do? Although we have covered the Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch before, for those who are seeing it for the first time, we will elaborate on that. As the name of the watch – which can be shortened to the Arnold & Son DTE – suggests, this watch features more than the two dial-mounted tourbillons, as those are matched to two time zones as well! Now, this isn't your run of the mill world timer, with a proxy hand to indicate a second time zone, oh no – this is a dual time watch in the literal sense of the word. Those two silvery opaline dials on the face of the watch can be independently set by those two crowns so that any time can appear on either. In fact, these dials are so independent of each other, they even have their own train, escapement, and thus, tourbillon. They do, however, share a pair of barrels that are wound by the 2 o'clock crown and generate an impressive power reserve of 90 hours.

The first practical advantage of being able to set two dials independently is that not all time zones are separated by one hour increments. There are some that need to be set to half past the hour and a couple that require a quarter-hour differential. The second cool feature – and one that is arguably much more useful – is that you can set one of the dials to 12:00 and use it as a 12-hour chronograph (with to-the-minute accuracy, as there is no seconds hand).

The time is displayed by blued hour and minute hands, which, along with the dial backgrounds, are identical despite the fact that one dial (at 6 o'clock) features Arabic numerals and the other (at 12) Roman numerals. It was wise of Arnold & Son not to add seconds hands to these two independent dials: they are governed by separate escapements, which means their timekeeping would be unavoidably different – although for the ultimate watch nerd experience, it sure would be cool to see by how much the two are off from one another. One would hope that a properly functioning tourbillon would eliminate the majority of positional error, but even so, we could expect infinitesimal fluctuations.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases

You can't ignore the depth of this dial – for me, and I am sure I am not alone with this, a multi-levelled dial can really make a watch stand out. A common criticism of dials of this nature is that they are too modern. Traditional techniques result in a much more 2D effect, but with the Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch we see an example of how both camps can be satisfied. Sure, it's not going to be to everyone's taste, but it is a good attempt at establishing a common ground.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases
This is a nice shot of the AS8513 calibre out of the watch from Height of Horology.

The Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time contains the A&S8513 calibre, which is a nickel silver movement with an NAC gray coating. The bridges and wheels are hand chamfered with polished edges, and the screws are bevelled to further enhance the play of light across the many surface finishes. There is a see through sapphire case back and the watch is water resistant to 30 meters. The movement is 37.3mm wide (making the most of the 43.5mm case), 8.35mm thick, and operates at 21,600vph.

Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch For 2015 Watch Releases

Stylistically speaking, this is one of my favorite watches to hit the market this year – it's a shame that there are only going to be 28 of them! I love the symmetry of the dial, the luxuriousness of the 18k gold tourbillon bridges, the synchronized dance of the twin-tourbillons, and the NAC gray-coated face, finished with Geneva stripes. Aesthetically, this watch brings to mind one of my all time favorites, the MB&F Legacy Machine 1 (hands-on here), which, incidentally, also has two independent time indications, albeit governed by one single escapement. The Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time does add two tourbillons, transforming itself it into more of an horological heavyweight (not that the LM1 would be anything but a marvel of modern horology). It's no longer a new thing to display a tourbillon on the dial, but it does seem to be a sensible place to put it if your watch contains one. They are so interesting to look at. Even if you forget what it's there for, it still looks really, really cool. And two is always better than one, right?

Unfortunately, multiple tourbillons come at a price. This is a limited run, and there will only be 28 of this Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time model available, each one with a price tag of $218,865. In my opinion, the Arnold & Son DTE Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time is a beautiful watch and one I would love to have on my wrist. It handles its size with grace, and that vertical symmetry is a treat! Alas, such class does not come cheap, but if you do have the money (or a very rich, generous friend) it's not a bad thing to spend it on. arnoldandson.com

What do you think?
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  • Dezianjo

    I am awestruck. Absolutely stunning.

  • I_G

    I prefer this to the other Arnold and son’s watches.

  • TourbyOn

    The MB&F Legacy Machine N°2 has always been a “grail” watch for me. This one reminds of it aesthetically and is starting to challenge the way I see Arnold and Son. Kudos to both the engineering and design departments on this one. My only critical remark is that I wish the movements setting and winding could have been achieved by only a single crown. From a horologists perspective, I understand the difficulty in this, and in no way do the dual crowns detract from the beauty of the piece.

  • Ultra Group Inc

    AWESOME
    Left and right handed watch U0001f609
    Move the 8 o’clock crown to 5 and if I win the lotto I’d buy one just because you took my advice U0001f601

  • iamcalledryan

    TourbyOn Bearing in mind that they share double barrels I would have thought that you actually could wind them with one  crown to power both trains, and thus it would only be for setting that the second, and least preferred, crown would be put to use.

  • TourbyOn I like the dual crowns. Makes for the setting of each display so easy and adds a certain symmetry to the watch – and its intuitive which display is being set. Having seen A&S pieces at BaselWorld, I can only offer than most everything they produce is on my grail list. They just make great watches (that I sadly can’t afford).

  • iamcalledryan

    Even though it is very similar to an MB&F LM I still like it. And I have come to love independent trains/seconds/balances etc on watches.

    so long as the tourbillons are well constructed I would not expect more than a second or two deviation per day between them. Any more and you could find yourself visually witnessing it on the dial after a week or two of solid use which would not be nice.

  • Fraser Petrick

    Would I like an Arnold&Son? Are you kidding? But, when the time-telling part of the unit is about the width of the wearer’s baby finger, then something’s not quite right. At this juncture, the tool vs jewelry question rears its hoary head.

  • thornwood36

    $6,128,220 ……………….. i’ll take’em all

  • Dick Move

    Instead of a tourbillion, how about an extra bunch of balance wheels to spin back and forth at harmonically unrelated frequencies.  That would be cool to look at, cheaper and also have the same benefit on regulation accuracy (none).
    Tell the plutocrats and scions that buy these things it’ll align their Chi or something.

  • iamcalledryan

    Dick Move despite the fact that we no longer live in the 19th Century the effects of gravity on a watch are still capable of exerting a very small influence on a movement – Tourbillons are capable of reducing the impact of such an effect, by as much as a second a day on an ordinary chronometer with regular spring and pallet fork escapement. People get very excited to profess that Tourbillons are obsolete, but they are no more obsolete than the other components of a mechanical movement. Yes it is superfluous to add another few dozen parts to a movement to benefit the performance at a vertical position – but they don’t half look cool.

  • Robert 21

    That’s actually how it works. One crown winds the “whole” watch, the second crown (at 8 o’clock) is only used to set the second timezone.

  • Dick Move

    iamcalledryan Dick Move No, what they do is make the timing error in certain positions impossible to quantify using 19th century techniques.  The do not improve regulation  in any way.  That is marketing BS.

  • spiceballs

    Look spectacular in these pix and must be even better “in the hand”.  Sadly, well beyond the reach of mere mortals such as I.

  • iamcalledryan

    Dick Move that makes no sense at all. It is perfectly possible to quantify – do you know how a tourbillon operates? Why wouldn’t you be able to measure accuracy?

    Let me give you a very easy illustration. Patek have their own form of quality and efficiency seal – as an alternative and more performance-based mark of quality to the Geneva Seal.

    For caliber with a diameter of more than 20mm, the precision must range from -3 to 2 seconds per day. For a Tourbillon, the requirement is that the precision must range from -2 to 1 seconds per day. In simple terms this clearly demonstrates that a Patek tourbillon is, and must, be more accurate than it’s counterpart movement with a regular balance spring. Yes this is marketing but it is also an objective test of accuracy that was not made obsolete in the 21st century. 

    Just because quartz was invented, and watch companies love to market novelty and whimsical design, does not mean that all measures of reliability from the last 200 years has no meaning.

  • iamcalledryan Dick Move What a tourbillon does is average out positional errors in one axis (only). If a watch is adjusted in a single position and kept there (yeah, I know not a real world situation), then it will keep no better time than a non-tourbillon of similar quality. 
    As a tourbillon watch is rotated along the axis of its balance staff (vertical positions: 12 up, 3 up, 6 up, 9 up) the gravitational effect of the escapement orientation change is averaged out as these parts are rotating. Assuming a 60 second tourbillon, you will have often timing error during the minute, but they will average out by the end of the minute in these vertical positions. In a horizontal position (face up) the rotation, right, left, etc., makes no difference of course. 
    However the difference between a vertical and horizontal position (where you typically do get larger timing error) are not addressed at all in single axis tourbillon. A dual axis tourbillon can take care of this problem. 
    Triple axis is not needed as dual axis cages will handle all positions (think of a 6 sided die – you only need to rotate in 2 axises to have all 6 side be face up). 
    For the most part, a single axis tourbillon won’t be that much more accurate than a non-tourbillon as a lot of wrist watch position changes have a horizontal component to them. Tourbillon are mostly for their appeal (i.e. marketing) not improved time keeping.
    Sorry about the long comment. Cheers all.

  • iamcalledryan

    Yes quite. Whack a gimbal on a multi-axis in there and you have a serious piece of kit. But as you can see with Patek there is in fact a measurable difference between a single axis tourbillon and a single axis balance wheel escapement. Granted it will be at the vertical, but it is still there. You are right that the value is not just about precision though. Rather than define it as marketing BS I would describe it as a very solid demonstration of technical ability. Not just anyone can make a tourbillon that stays working for more than a month..,

  • iamcalledryan

    Thanks Mark. It may only be in the vertical that it has the ability to be more precise through averaging out, and it may be far more about demonstrating technological prowess than delivering precision, but to call it marketing is like calling every other part of a watch marketing – after all we have smartphones now.

  • iamcalledryan When I said “Marketing” I meant the implication that all tourbillons will be more accurate than all non-tourbillons. And yes, it is a technical prowess issue for sure. But that translates to higher prices and “marketing appeal”. Cheers.

  • Fraser Petrick Maybe they need to affix an large domed sapphire crystal (like on an MB&F LM1 but without the concave inner doming) to magnify the entire face. Think of a Rolex cyclops on steroids.

  • Going against the grain, Arnold and his son are demonstrating to the world that there can be too much of a good thing.

  • egznyc

    Really impressive and great symmetry. Not clear why the bottom dial should be treated as the second dial. They didn’t need both crowns to wind the mainspring, I suppose, so it’s not as if the Arabic numbered dial is second class in any way.
    What would’ve been wrong with putting the crowns at 3:00 and 9:00? That would’ve been even better symmetry.

  • egznyc With the 2 and 8 crown placements its easy to figure out which one sets which set of hands I guess.

  • egznyc

    Good point. So how about putting them at … gasp … 12:00 and 6:00? A little unusual and it’d require a different kind of strap connection, but doable.

  • egznyc At least at 12 and 6 there would be no crowns poking you in the back of your wrist I guess.