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Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

While it isn’t glitzed up with new technology or a fancy story, the new Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy is most certainly a sleeper hit of Baselworld 2016 with an attractive dial, good-looking and useful movement, and all-around decent price in three new steel-case models.

Arnold & Son isn’t shy about saying that the Eight-Day Royal Navy is their own personal entrant into the “marine chronometer-inspired” wrist watch arena. This segment isn’t super crowded, but other brands like Ulysse Nardin tend to have more years of experience in producing watches like this. With that said, if you look at the minor details, then you’ll notice that Arnold & Son is indeed bringing its own unique marine chronometer-style watch to the table with the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy.

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the most impressive things from an exclusivity standpoint is that Arnold & Son still produces under 1000 watches per year (about 800, last I heard) – and yet they are able to continually come out with new and interesting movements. This is, of course, due in part to their ownership by movement maker La Joux-Perret (which in turn is owned by Citizen). This gives Arnold & Son a unique access to people and machinery to do all kinds of crazy stuff like make a huge variety of movements, each in relatively small numbers – something most other brands of this size cannot enjoy.

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At 43mm wide (water resistant to 30 meters) in a deceptively complicated (yet refined) steel case, the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy is also just 10.7mm thick with an expansive sapphire crystal caseback window showing off the new in-house-made manually wound movement (more on that in a moment). The dial layout is typical “marine chronometer” with the main dial for the time and a symmetrical layout for the power reserve indicator under 12 o’clock, and a subsidiary seconds dial over 6 o’clock.

What makes the dials really special is machine guilloche engraving which is then lacquered for color. The “squiggly line” style pattern (I’m certain that is how the French-speaking horologers of old would refer to them – “le squiggelle!”) are lovely and the dials of the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy watches are offered in either blue, black, or silver… along with good-looking matching calf leather straps.


Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Legibility and sexiness is high on the dials which have, in my opinion, the right mixture of class and sophistication, as well as a tendency to grab attention. Strong yet traditional-looking hands add a sense of masculine purpose, and Arnold & Son was even able to insert a date indicator window into the mix (in the subsidiary seconds dial).

Powering the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy watches is the newly developed Arnold & Son caliber A&S1016 manually wound movement. At just 4.7mm thick, the movement offers a full eight days (192 hours) of power reserve (between two barrels) operating at 3Hz (21,600bph).

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son is good about offering a lot of visual appeal to their movements, combining polished decoration as well as color through liberal use of blued-steel screws, gold chatons, and large synthetic ruby jewels. For the most part, the bridges are also “palladium-treated.” For the money, there is a lot of value here in terms of both visual design and functionality (not to mention that element of exclusivity I discussed previously).

Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As a dressier or business watch, the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy says a lot of good things about the wearer and given the versatility of the dial designs and strap colors, I think that Arnold & Son will do very well with these watches. There isn’t a lot of hidden details, meaning that what also is good about the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy collection is that consumers need only a few minutes to understand what they are getting. Arnold & Son matched the reference 1EDAS.U01A.D136A watch with the blue dial to a blue strap, and the reference 1EDAS.B01A.D134A gets a really cool matching gradient gray strap. The reference 1EDAS.S01A.D135A comes on a cool gradient (ahem, “hand-aged”) brown strap. Price for each of the Arnold & Son Eight-Day Royal Navy watches is $12,950 USD.

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  • Coert Welman

    A bit large for my taste, but very pretty. One thing I like do like a lot is the matching colour date wheels on all the options. Well done indeed.

  • MEddie90

    Gorgeous finishing and a technically impressive watch, I love 8 day reserve watches and at just over 10mm this thing is avoiding the overly thick territory. The gold chatons and ray pattern suit the watch well but I cant help think that it’d look better in a non skeletonised variant (as well as likely knocking a few thousand off the price tag).

    The styling is a little bold and inelegant for my tastes but overall the watch seems well executed for the price point.

  • IanE

    Arnold & Son really are on a roll: yet another elegant but business-like watch! I’d love to see this in white gold – shame they included the date though!

  • John

    Beautiful watch.

  • Very nice looking from the front, and as usual for A&S, totally gorgeous from the back. Love the detailing of the side of the lugs with their brushed insets against the polished horizontal surfaces. Just a lovely watch and at a price that, while is not cheap, seems appropriate for what you are getting.

  • DebugOutput

    Very lovely looking watch, really like the symmetry and overall presentation of this watch, with a spectacular movement showing at the back. It’s a shame I could never pull off a 43mm dress watch like this (it looks like it wears large) on my small wrists, or stump up this amount of cash for that matter. My only small niggle is that I would prefer the dial text to be the other way round. Naturally people ‘read’ a dial from left to right and so I would prefer the brand name to be first.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    A stuningly beautiful time piece.

  • DanW94

    Being a marine chronometer styled watch, I would have preferred Arabic or Roman numerals instead of the baton style indices. Otherwise a nicely designed watch with a lovely dial pattern. I also like when brands put something unique on the dial, in this case the word “wind” on the power reserve. Not that you need to be told to wind your watch, but a nice touch in my opinion.

  • iamcalledryan

    A&S rarely make a misstep. I am very pleased that there exist some examples of historic names reinvented in global conglomerates that define themselves clearly and put out serious quality at a (almost) rational price point.

  • SuperStrapper

    Thank goodness for the blue variant, as it has twice more personality than the other 2 put together. All are lovely, but that unique dial only sings in blue.

  • A D

    **(I’m certain that is how the French-speaking horologers of old would refer to them – “le squiggelle!”)**

    I think in Old French it is feminine so “la squiggelle” is more appropos c’est oui?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Terrific looking watch. Thanks for the reminder to wind it up.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Again a beauty from A&S. Probably the only thing that could make it even better is the omission of the date window, but you know what? On this watch I could just live with it.

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a fine looking piece. I’ll take one in white and one in blue. Love the starburst on the dials finish. I’ll bet it glows in the daylight.

  • funNactive

    I love the wave dial – very interesting to look at.

  • Timestandsstill

    Love A&S and love this watch. Blue for sure. Just really well done overall, very balanced and well thought out.

  • Kuroji

    More watches should have no lume.

  • Vince

    This is a realy nice watch, love the hands, the bue dial and the crown

  • mattron

    The handset is fantastic. I agree with the others that the blue dial is the best of the bunch. Really gives the wave pattern more punch and fits with the marine theme.

  • thecouchguy

    Yes please. What a beauty.

  • Sevenmack

    Beautiful! Just beautiful!

  • Rupert Muller

    I agree that it is a nice looking watch.
    However, for a watch with the name “royal navy” and engraved anchors on the crown, buckle and baseplate I find a water resistance of 3 ATM just ridiculous.

  • Eric

    Very nice, although I would have preferred if the numbers on the power reserve indicator would not have been upside down

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    She’s a beaut.

  • This might be next level nitpicking but wouldn’t it be nice if the bottom of the date wheel cutout followed the curvature of the sub dial? I mean everything else is just perfect.

  • egznyc

    Wow – while not cheap, these are gorgeous both front and back. Great balance on the dial; beautiful skeletonization and decoration of the movement.

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