back to top

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Based on the design of an antique clock, the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid is easily one of my favorite high-end watches of 2013. For 2014, Arnold & Son added a steel version of the Time Pyramid to the collection, offering a more affordable and still very cool model to compliment this 18k red gold ref. 1TPAR.S01A.C125A version of the Time Pyramid. Now, I bring you a more long-term review of the Time Pyramid, after getting to live with this beauty on my wrist for a while.

OK, first the bad news. Well it isn’t really bad, but I was upset to not get compliments and comments from everyone I met while wearing the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid. How do you not comment on a watch like this? Are people too shy? Yes, it is true that I didn’t go to watch gatherings or industry events with the watch – but still. This is the type of attractive mechanical watch that I know gets people excited. So why are people relatively quite about it?

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I think the answer has to do with the perceived complexity of the design. Looking at the face of the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid without knowing about timepieces is probably a bit intimidating. You might not know what to say. In fact, one of the things I hear from people a lot is that they want to comment on posts here on aBlogtoWatch, but don’t because they don’t feel like they have enough expertise to intelligently comment. I appreciate apprehension, but feedback is always a good thing and if presented in the right way, then people with more information are always apt to educate those with less.

Perhaps that is what I wanted from people – for them to inquire about the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid on my wrist so that I could educate them about horology and show them how this movement works. Even though the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid isn’t a totally basic movement, one can see the basic workings of a mechanical watch quite easily in the artistically designed skeletonized movement that sits between a sapphire sandwich.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I am also a big fan of watch movements that are designed to look more or less symmetrical. Call it a weakness, but I have always been fond of such designs that make it clear the machine is meant to be appreciated visually. That is exactly what Arnold & Son did with the in-house made caliber A&S1615 manually wound movement. Of course, it needed to be nice, as there isn’t much of a dial to be found.

Advertisement

Having said that, reading the time is much more pleasurable than one might expect. The dial for the time begins with a ring of minute indicators and an inner ring of Roman numeral hour markers placed on a sapphire crystal. The blued steel hands are relatively easy to read and for what it is (mixing aesthetic elements with minimalism) the dial works pretty well. Just above it and one layer down on the dial is a subsidiary seconds dial. This element is slightly hard to read, but it is looked at less.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

From all angles, the caliber A&S1615 is a delight to behold as it mixes silver, brass, and blued steel tones. It is also quite thin at just 4.4mm thick. Operating at 21,600 bph, the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid has a power reserve of 90 hours. As most of you know, my issue with many manually wound watches is the lack of power reserve. That isn’t an issue here, and as many already know, the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid has two of them as indicated by serpentine hands on the sides of the face.

One power reserve is for the main mainspring and the second is for the auxiliary mainspring. The concept behind the system is simple, but it requires some understanding about how mainsprings create a torque curve as they wind down over time. The idea is that when a spring is fully wound, it releases the most energy. The energy evens out to a sort of plateau during the middle of winding down, and toward the end of winding down, it has the least amount of power. This creates a difference of torque in the mainspring, which in turn has an effect on how accurate a watch is over time.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 3991192646

  • Stunning watch. Loved it in photos and then in person at BaselWorld. Without a doubt in my 10 top grail watch list.
    I checked my wallet and the $40K I was looking for seems to have vanished. But even though I can’t afford this beauty, I think this is a watch that looks like a $40,000 watch – so it may not be overpriced except to say that at around $28K the steel version is a better deal. But I love the rose gold case and silver and blue elements working together. Drool, drool, drool.

  • joshgraves

    I want to like watch designs like these, but I am taken back by the painted sapphire faces on many modern watches.  Looks cheap to me because painting the inside of the sapphires somehow makes the sapphire look like its plastic.  I don’t know if it is possible to affix gold or platinum leaf instead of paint, but I do believe that would do nothing but enhance the overall look.

  • View of the wrist through the watch absolutely and completely destroys any desire I might have to wear what would otherwise be such a stunning design. The rear crystal should be heavily smoked, or even opaque – you get a perfectly fine view of the movement through the front, and having a background like that would probably make the movement structure even more prominent and attractive.

  • OngWeisheng

    SuperStrapper smoked crystal back sounds a really great idea, like frosted glass. There’s always apprehension on skeletal dials due to the wrist hair being seen through it like a microscope’s glass slide.

  • dextermk

    You are welcomed to see some watch reviews at http://mywatchchoice.com

  • socabaptist

    Ok this is spectacular, this is worth the money because of the design/skeletonization of the movement.. I think the suggestions of other posters that a smoked rear crystal would highlight the spectacular movement is something I would agree with. Otherwise, I would suggest shaving a 2 inch strip on your wrist where the watch sits. That said, I’ll have to go for the steel version for 28k….in 2040. Great design, but being a watch lover is drooling over pieces that you will never own. *sigh*

  • BIGCHRONO

    Forgetting about harnessing cash, what is the relevance & need to manufacture/own this piece? How does this help us, the average & economically challenged bottom feeders (dwellers)? For the privileged, if bought, is it worn regularly, dumped on a watch winder, or stuffed away in solitary confinement? HACTT (Horology Against Cruelty to Timepieces) will be on the warpath, & display tribal uprisings against the watch houses & their snooty clientele.

  • Feller87

    Its really amazing how they continue to put out such beautiful watches.

    My only suggestion would be to avoid wrist hair magnification as many other commenters mentioned but I wouldnt use smoked crystal.

    I would simply take the mesmerizingly carved movement plate from the TE8 Métiers d’Art and fill in the empy spaces, this way you wouldnt compromise any view of this spectacular movement even if the back is less compelling then the front, its still worth looking at.

  • Ulysses31

    The only Arnold & Son that I can’t like.  The floating layers, the gears that look like they broke off and fell to the bottom of the dial leaving a huge hairy empty space near the top, the silly wiggly hands.  Sorry, I know how much others love it but I have to calls it like I sees it.

  • smzenner

    Stunning. Out of my league but stunning none the less.

  • BillyRay

    Nice…

  • Quite an interesting piece and not unattractive EXCEPT…(please don’t stone me!) was it necessary to make it that huge? 
    It just seems this is a more delicate, “classy” watch and at 44.6mm it becomes…garish (though it seems, by the pics, that the movement pretty much takes up most of that room). 
    So what’s the story behind the movement? Is it a redone pocket watch movement or totally ground-up by A&S?
    Thanks!

  • Chaz_Hen Being thin, the case width is not as big of an issue as it does not look massive on the wrist.
    New movement from the ground up. Pretty sure this is another winner from A&S movement designer Sebastien Chaulmontet.

  • Ulysses31 So, sort of like looking at the loose stuff in the bottom of a kaleidoscope (at the non-viewing end)? Just a bunch of “shake”, ha ha? I wish maker of these double crystal see-through watches would use some polarizing filters set at 90 degrees to each other (top and bottom) so that you can could see into the watch from each side, but not be able to see completely  through it.

  • BIGCHRONO Winders for manual watches are  few and far between.Buben & Zorweg makes one. http://ablogtowatch.com/buben-zorweg-time-mover-handwound-automatic-watch-winder-handwound-watches/
    I would ask what is the relevence and need for any watch that costs over $300? A G-Shock or Seiko Monster will take care of any real world watch needs people might have. The rest is just desire, not need. But I’m OK with that. Cheers.

  • gadgety

    I’ve already stated I find this one of the best designs from Arnold & Son, and their designers seem to be on a roll. I really like transparent dials (to show off my pumped veins… and for other reasons), and the symmetrical construction and sparse movement. One improvement would be to make the numerals to be more visible – make them a different color, because as it sits now, I find them really difficult to see. Another is, I’d like to know how much that second barrel actually improves the time keeping, even if it’s just a percentage of an unknown base.

  • BIGCHRONO

    MarkCarson BIGCHRONO 
    Thank you for clarifying the winders for manual watches. The desire to own exclusive things is human nature, but these ongoing high end tmepieces are over saturating the markets. Some here could pool resources & share the watch(es) on a “rotating” basis. See how quickly that devolves into horological anarchy. Ciao/Mein

  • spiceballs

    Initially I wasn’t that enamored but then a closer look at the symmetry and the way that it all comes together – nice.  Nevertheless, for me its too large and far too expensive, regardless.

  • BIGCHRONO Sign me up. I want to be the last to  chip in and the first to wear it. Then the rest of you can enjoy any scratches I put on it. And don’t be surprised if I lose track of time and hold onto it for a wee bit too long. So first decade of wearing is mine, are you next? Cheers

  • bnabod

    1st I am not into see through and that applies to watches. 
    2nd if I can’t read the time then I move on. 
    3rd if I don’t have the cheese then I for sure pass. 

    This one hits all marks so no go for launch.

  • joshgraves

    Ulysses31 Polarizing!  That is a great idea which would allow a full view of the movement, but would limit viewing ones wrist hair.

  • Fraser Petrick

    Exquisite, no doubt. But it’s like being given a Faberge Egg in the morning when what you really could use at that moment is a three minute egg and some salt and pepper.

  • Fraser Petrick But does your egg timer has dual power reserve indicators?

  • Fraser Petrick

    MarkCarson Fraser Petrick  I used to have one of those little hour-glass egg timers. Now I just count 180 Mississippi’s. I use coffee as my power reserve indicator – or mimosa (light on the juice).

  • kunokephalos

    SuperStrapper My thoughts exactly.  The symmetry is stunning but effect is ruined by the acres of wrist hair. What about a mirrored back?

  • A 2-way mirror would be great, view the movement through the back and reflection from the top.

  • Ulysses31 These are the characteristics that appeal to me.  Not in general, but in this watch the elements fit so well together.

    I do wonder if with the right coating on the inside of the back crystal the movement would be reflected back a little and not so much hairy skin would show through.  Perhaps there might be enough semi-transparency for a nice view from the back too.

  • MarkCarson I’m starting to think of switching my priorities from cars to watches.  Every tick on the scale of automotive refinement costs a fine watch.  Instead, I could stick to a nice, but mainstream, car and enjoy fine watches.

  • Waikato7

    I think it is a stunner. Not a single negative, including size. Love the design.

  • Ulysses31

    emenezes Ulysses31 It’s a general thing for me when it comes to transparent watches.  The master craftsmen are essentially giving up a part of their canvas (the watch dial) to the environment.  If an architect gave up one of the walls of his building to graffiti artists, it may end up having some great art on it, but more than likely will look like crap.  This watch will be worn, and so will most likely offer a view of human skin through half the dial.  I don’t find my hairy wrist to be a work of art unless maybe I was covered in tattoos.  I’d much prefer a constant, unchangeably awesome work of art to carry around on my wrist and not something subject to the whims of what might be behind it.  Not sure if it makes sense but that’s how I see it.

  • That’s a good way of putting it, the dial is a canvas for creativity lost in a skeleton watch for the sake of a post modern look.
    However, I think that such see through watches wear well in the wrist of a black man. Not only don’t the hair stand out then, but the contrast between the bright parts of the movement and the dark skin should be quite nice to behold.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.