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Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Would you like for me to remind you what the biggest issue is on watches with fully skeletonized dials and movements? It is that you can often see right through to your own skin and arm hair. Yes, those sexy-looking timepieces with skeletonized movements and dials can seem amazing in theory (and pictured alone), but place them on your wrist in a real world scenario and only those people with the most beautiful of wrists will have no reason to complain at all. This is actually a common “thing” which watch lovers can and do complain about.

So, to remedy this situation and respond to this concern, Arnold & Son has done a little experiment with this new version of their Time Pyramid watch in steel in the model reference 1TPAS.S01A.C124S “Translucent Back” version. This model will also outright replace the original version of the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid in steel with the traditionally transparent front and rear sapphire crystal.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son did an amazing job with this watch but gave it no special name – that was rather lazy. “Time Pyramid Translucent Back” is the name that I am giving it whereas the closest thing Arnold & Son gets to a unique name (aside from the reference number) is “Time Pyramid Translucent-Grey Coated Sapphire Case Back.” Ugh… Anyways, even without a proper title, the watch is still exactly what you want since the caseback is really just one-way mirror material.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

That means that from the front of the watch looking at the caseback you see a dark reflection and no view of your sickly arm hair. From the back of the watch, you can see right through to the other side. So compare this steel “Translucent Back” version of the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid with the first version that has the totally clear sapphire crystal caseback that I went hands-on with here. And yes, this “updated” version costs a bit more, of course. How much will this specially tinted sapphire crystal caseback cost you? About $2,000. It does seem a bit steep after the original version in steel was released less than a year before.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Arnold & Son Time Pyramid watch originally came out in 2013, and in 2014 I reviewed the 18k rose gold version of the Time Pyramid on aBlogtoWatch here. This is still one of my favorite watches produced by Arnold & Son today because of its unique design, attractively symmetrical movement, and fantastic wrist presence. The case is 44.6mm wide (water resistant to just 30 meters) and produced with a crown at 6 o’clock thanks to the design of the movement. That also gives the case a more streamlined look thanks to the symmetry you get with the crown position.


Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This article is literally the 5th or 6th time that I’ve written about the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid, so for regular readers, my apologies for repeating myself. With these sexy images of the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Steel Translucent Back I couldn’t help but dive into the watch again. In addition to the benefit of the specially colored sapphire crystal caseback on this model, I think that the same approach can (and should) be used on other skeletonized dial and movement watches. It actually becomes a real issue to inhibit the beauty of a fully skeletonized design with the reality that when people wear these watches they don’t really want to stare at their own skin through the dial.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid is the brand’s in-house-made caliber A&S1615 manually wound mechanical movement that I continue to love. It isn’t just that the movement is designed to look cool – though it is – but rather that the movement has some interesting mechanical features to boot. For instance, the double power reserve indicators are part of a system that uses two mainspring barrels for a quasi-constant force mechanism. The idea is that a primary mainspring barrel is used until it mostly winds down. At that point, the power coming from it is too unreliable to power the gear train for accurate timekeeping. So, then the secondary mainspring barrel kicks in to ensure the most constant power in order that the A&S1615 movement is more accurate across its 90 hours of power reserve.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement is just 4.4mm thick and operates at 3Hz (21,600bph) and indicates the time in a subdial with the seconds in a lower, smaller subsidiary dial. For the steel version of the Time Pyramid, Arnold & Son coats much of the movement bridges in “NAC Gray” for the darker look which contrasts nicely with the blue tones of the hands and screws as well as the lighter silver-colored gears and wheels. Don’t miss all the hand-decoration such as the chamfered and polished bridges. The overall look is very nice, and with the new style of sapphire crystal caseback the entire presentation of the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid steel is better than ever.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back Watch Hands-On Hands-On

With the hand-stitched black alligator strap, this Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Translucent Back watch looks fantastic on the wrist, especially because of how much of your own wrist you can’t see. The added element of treating the sapphire crystal caseback is minor but really effective, and I can’t really see people wanting to go back to totally clear sapphire crystals on fully skeletonized dial watches (unless they are working on very interesting wrist tans). Price for this reference 1TPAS.S01A.C124S Arnold & Son Time Pyramid watch is $31,900.



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  • I like this much better than the solid back version they came out with around 2015. While I would likely opt for the totally clear version this is a very good solution to the problem Ariel (and others) noted about all skeleton watches with exhibition backs. And yes, I’ll mention once again – the Time Pyramid is high up on my grail list.

    At BaselWorld 2014, I remember chatting with Sebastien Chaulmontet (movement designer at A&S) about having polarized lenses or coating above and below the movement with their polarization set at 90 degrees to each other to make each one “black” on the far side of the movement. He told me that there was no good way to do this as polarized lenses are plastic and there was no polarized coating for sapphire crystals (that he knew of). So there went my brilliant idea (sigh). But 2 years later, he came up with this one way mirror. So it’s good that he kept thinking about this issue.

    • Polarization is also a problem in that there’s no way to avoid it significantly darkening the view.

    • gadgety

      Like your idea. I should I have read before I posted. They could keep a separate polarizing layer, I guess. There has been a watch with a turnable polarizing layer before. I forgot the name, though. They set up a company in the US, which I understood was done because patent laws seem to differ in the US and Europe, with the US legislation enabling more things to get patents.

  • MEddie90

    Still one of the most stunning and interesting movements to come out in the past decade. Beautifully crafted, architectural and innovative its a rare breed of skeletalised movement I would actually want to see every time I look at my watch (as opposed to the “bag ‘o’ parts approach used by many other brands).

    The one-way mirrored back is just the icing on the cake, it makes the movement look even deeper and by bouncing light back up illuminates and showcases it beautifully while maintaining a view into the rear of the movement. Works as a much better backdrop than a matted bunch of arm-hair.

  • Another observation about Time Pyramids, outside of the main spring barrels which flank the going train, the layout is rather similar to a Corum Golden Bridge with its linear arrangement. Sure comes off differently, but in many ways similar (escapement at the top, gears in a line, crown at 6). But no contest, of the two, this is the one that kicks my wheels.

    • iamcalledryan

      The Corum is the time tower! The thing that makes the pyramid more compelling is the two barrels and how the movement draws power from them concurrently. 😀

      • Yeah, it has so much going for it. 2 power reserve indicators. A nod to the historic clock it is based upon, etc.

        • iamcalledryan

          I love how they interact with each other, with one barrel winding the other as it unwinds! So despite the PR pictures you tend to get them displaying different reserve levels.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I agree with you. As I said in the review of the Corum Golden Bridge, on ABTW or ‘Dinkee a week or two ago, if you want a watch of this stlye this is the one to go for.

  • laup nomis

    I like A&S watches. They’ve developed a really distinctive style, very attractive. But skeletons, are pure marmite.
    Its fascinating to see all the widgets, wing-nuts, and gizmos whirling away. However, I just find the overall look dark and illegible. But, in this case, I’m quite prepared to believe that in real life, its actually far more legible.

    • This watch is not about legibility. It’s about coolness. Cheers.

      • egznyc

        Well said. I always had a soft spot for high end skeleton dials. I may never own one, but what a delight! For legibility and just doing the right thing, though, my mood gripe is that the hour hand is a little too long. And a second hand would be nice – or maybe it’s just too illegible 😉

        • Well now that you mention it, that is my one consistent gripe with A&S, they often use this style of hands and the hour hand is too similar in length to the minute hand on many of their watches which use sub-dials.

  • wallydog2

    The watch as an expensive display-case curio collectible, not as a tool.

    • SuperStrapper


      • wallydog2

        A man of few words.
        Fewer would be better.

        • SuperStrapper


  • SuperStrapper

    I’ve been suggesting this for years now (well documented here) and now the unscrupulous Arnold & Son have ruthlessly stolen it from me. I will accept this watch as reparation.

    • Do I get one too for prodding (well…maybe…) Sebastien into coming up with a solution to the arm hair on parade issue?

      • SuperStrapper


  • Pierre Savard

    Beautiful watch. The “No Arm Hair” (NAH) technology is clearly (no pun intended) a major breakthrough in horology. Congrats A&S. What they need to add now is some text on the dial to convey that important information e.g. Superlative NAH Technology, Officially Certified.

  • Michael Kinney


  • iamcalledryan

    This iteration of the TP is Grail-worthy.

  • gadgety

    Time Pyramid is one of my favourite watch designs, although I like the see through version better. How about a version with a polarizing filter so that one can choose whether, and to what degree it’s transparent?

  • OmniWrench

    Wonderful idea and wonderful execution! As someone who is occasionally compared to a gorilla this will definitely be going on my grail list.

    • speedy

      They should name this specially tainted transparent back “gorilla glass”.

      Oh wait…

  • Alex

    So beautiful! Well done.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Gawd ! …….I am sooo fed up with skeletonised pieces that you can’t read. Ooooh look how intricate we can be with our machine cut parts and computer generated movements. Yes ok mechanically is quite an achievement and would be cool to wear as your Monday watch. Given the money for my only piece this wouldn’t be in my top 50.

    • As a counterpoint, if I could have 10 watches (instead of just one) and price were no concern, a Time Pyramid would be in my dream collection. Hey, at least it’s not a chronograph Raymond, ha ha.

  • funNactive

    I like the design but the specially tinted sapphire crystal caseback does have quite a premium.

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    Well that’s fixed it, this is now officially a very desirable watch.

    Now, why have they got a picture of Yogi Bear on the crown?

  • cluedog12

    Have to say, the mirror is a very clever solution to the wrist hair problem.

    A quick search of Chrono24 reveals that there are a few older stainless steel models floating around in the UAE. Offered at reasonable prices too.

    If this new version is offered at a similar market price to the transparent back, it is a lot of watch for the money.

  • HectorAsuipe

    Arnold & Son has been on a tear with gorgeous design and execution of really unique watches. It is on my grail list, alongside Parmigiani and Credor. You get no flack from me, Ariel, for continuing to feature the Time Pyramid; I never see enough of it. This little tweak to the design shows how in touch Arnold & Son is with the world, while still making out-of-this-world watches.

    [snark] I wonder if they will next develop a sweat free strap? [/snark]

  • Bill W

    Well now I shouldn’t have to trim my arm hair ((wink)).

  • GalaxyGuy

    Nice to see that A&S has the kind of forward thinking it takes to copy Maurice Lacroix and their solution to the skeletonized watch. I like A&S as a brand, but there is nothing new to see here.

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