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Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

It was back in 2013 when Arnold & Son briefly held the title of producing the world's thinnest tourbillon watch - the UTTE, "Ultra Thin Tourbillon Escapement." It was maybe a year later that that title was passed to another brand which was able to produce a tourbillon-based wrist watch with a bit more size shaved off the top (as though it matters in timepieces this thin). As far as I know, the current title holder of the "world's thinnest tourbillon watch" goes to Bulgari with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon (hands-on here).

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

With that said, buying a tourbillon watch shouldn't be about it setting records, but rather about beauty and wearing enjoyment. Being the thinnest or merely "very thin" is good enough for the Arnold & Son UTTE, which is a thoroughly handsome and enjoyable watch to wear (as I mentioned in my aBlogtoWatch watch review here). With a movement that is just 2.97mm thick and a case that is just 8.34mm thick, the UTTE wearing experience is very impressive.

For 2015, Arnold & Son has released two new limited edition versions of the UTTE known as the Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche I and the UTTE Guilloche II. Each of these timepieces has a guilloche engraved dial that compliments the models well. It is actually rather common for Arnold & Son to offer new versions of existing models at the higher-end of their product spectrum that add guilloche machine engraving for additional decorative value.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

One of the reasons that I continue to appreciate the UTTE watch collection is because of how well it captures some of the elements discerning watch lovers are interested in apart from the brand name on the dial. It is simply too easy to get a high-end watch by a "big name" brand and call it a day. Arnold & Son is a smaller watch maker but one with a lot of heart. I like the idea that when people get their watches it is for the design and the craftsmanship versus just the name on the dial. In other words, anyone can go out and get a Patek Philippe (for example), but it takes a real degree of connoisseurship to get involved with something like an Arnold & Son.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Proportionally and symmetrically, the UTTE is a very handsome timepiece. The two new Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche models come in 18k red gold cases which are 42mm wide. That means a broad, flatter fit on the wrist. The dial consists of an upper subdial for the hours and minutes and a lower window for the large 14mm-wide diameter tourbillon (which doubles as a seconds hand). The two subsidiary dials together sort of form a figure eight which is interesting and also offers a symmetrical look to the face. On all versions thus far, the extra space on the face is used for decorative purposes, a concept which has been enhanced a bit for the Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche I and Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche II watches.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Even the watch faces are in solid 18k gold, but are first machine guilloche engraved and then toned "silvery-white." Unlike the arguably "subtle" decoration on the face of the original UTTE, the face decoration on the Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche watches is much more apparent and part of the overall presentation. More so, the guilloche decoration does not take away from the ability for the wearer to read the dial for the time or view the spinning tourbillon.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Arnold & Son UTTE watches are in-house made (by La Joux-Perret, where Arnold & Son watches are produced) caliber A&S8200 manually-wound mechanical movements. The A&S8200 operates at 3Hz with about 90 hours of power reserve. A power reserve indicator on the rear of the movement seen through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window would have been a nice touch. I tend to be very hard on high-end manually wound movements that do not include power reserve indicators these days. I am starting to believe that these are must-haves for many luxury mechanical manually wound movements. However, even if the power runs out in the Arnold & Son UTTE, the watch only indicates the time, so resetting it shouldn't be a big deal at all.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

The flying tourbillon is attractive to look at, and the movement does exhibit a lot of nice textures and finishes. There is hand-finishing, but one area that I think Arnold & Son could improve on in the future is to increase the amount and quality of hand finishing in the movements it creates. A close eye sees some of the finishing as a bit more "industrial" than picky connoisseurs might expect. Nothing about the A&S8200 movement is a disappointment, but I like the brand enough to want a maximum "wow" effect when skilled enthusiasts take a close look at their products and movements.

As each Arnold & Son UTTE watch is a limited edition, the new versions of the watches aren't so much about appealing to the same consumer as they are about giving new collectors a reason to get an Arnold & Son UTTE if they haven't already done so. There is nothing revolutionary about the design, but the Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche might be "the" UTTE you've been waiting for.

Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche Tourbillon Watches Hands-On Hands-On

The brand is producing the Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche in two version as the reference 1UTAR.S08A.C120A Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche I and the reference 1UTAR.S09A.C120A Arnold & Son UTTE Guilloche II. Each version is limited to 28 pieces with a price of $76,250 (a slight premium over the existing models). arnoldandson.com

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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  • BIG CHRONO

    No question of craftsmanship, style, quality, tradition. But, who truly requires such a creation other than for bowling over other spoiled upper crusts @ public functions?

    • A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
      I could sit around the house in my undies and admire this watch all by myself.

      • BIG CHRONO

        From relative vantage points. Others may find them pasty, over valued chunks of cheese. A bit too much data on admiring them in your undies. I need an exorcism to cleanse my troubled spirits.

        • I said I COULD sit in my undies. See, it could be much better or much worse than that, ha ha.

          • BIG CHRONO

            If they’re anything like those LOUD Hawaiian shirts, there could be world turmoil.

          • The really loud aloha shirts are only purchased and worn by tourists. Everyone wears aloha shirts but locals wear the more subdued ones which are (relatively) much classier. Doctors, bankers, everyone (except my stockbroker former neighbor) wears aloha shirts to work. But I agree that some of the are butt ugly. Don’t buy them at Hilo Hatties (tourists only). Even Wal-Mart has them but theirs are not very nice. I got a nice (I think) Tori Richard shirt for my anniversary the other day.
            And no, “Aloha Undies” have not been invented yet – but if they ever are, you can say it was your idea!

          • BIG CHRONO

            Unless I get a major cut of the royalties, it’s worthless. You could have a custom/bespoke one made with watch dials all over. If done well, it would not be gaudy, but tastefully rendered. Major kudos on your anniversary, be it wedding, as a horologist, or undies designer.

          • Whore-oh-logical undies? They would bring new meaning to “Balance Cock” (no hand engraving if you please).

          • BIG CHRONO

            Just ensure your “crown” does not get jammed in any “high end backhoes”.

          • egznyc

            Aloha undies – that’s an idea. But how about horological undies, anyone? 😉

          • DanW94

            Meistersinger would be the obvious choice to design them, with their “single handed” theme….

          • egznyc

            Naughty! (though some may prefer “two-handed” approaches)
            Just as with some watch releases, there could also be a hers and his approach to these undies. (Some of the ladies might like a blinged-out approach with rhinestones, etc.)

      • DanW94

        Mark,
        Thanks for planting that rather disturbing image in the minds of the ABTW faithful : )

        • Just another service we offer.

        • And for those without your imagination…
          See the A&S tourby looks good on anyone.

          • Steve Bowden

            Good, but still deeply disturbing.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Terrific movement, terrific guilloche work ( even if machine done ) , terrific styling, terrific pricing……….terrific all round really.

    • A rose engine (for the guilloche) is a machine, but it is hand operated so I think that counts.

  • iamcalledryan

    Super duper handsome

  • So lovely in all renditions. But Yeah these guilloche versions are even more attractive than the original. But the hour hand is too long – the hands look confusingly similar at a glance.

    • resonator resonator

      Huh. You are correct. Still, aside from that and the tourby looking a little bland, it’s still a great looking work of art!

  • WINKS

    Nice Citizen.

  • DanW94

    Beautifully crafted watch. But that guilloche pattern makes me think of a golf ball (especially the wrist photos). Maybe they collaborated with Titleist on the design…..

  • SuperStrapper

    Very nice: the II I believe is the one with the bold fluting/sunburst type of guilloche, and I love it. Very dramatic and explosive.

  • resonator resonator

    I like a lot, but that tourbillon could be finished far better to suite the overall style of the watch. In these pieces it looks unfinished and out of place almost.

  • Howie Boyd

    I want to like this brand, but I just can’t. Wonderful craftsmanship but the designs look contrived somehow. Plus writing “Since 1764” on the dial is BS. Oh and wile I’m trashing the wonderfully Guilloche dials, adding the text “Hand Guilloche” is just stupid. Would Breguet do that,ever? How about Frederique Constant?

    • iamcalledryan

      I agree that it is a bit silly, but FC do not use a rose engine like Breguet. There are harder more traditional ways to giulloche that A&S are trying to tell you they employ.

  • Steve Bowden

    ‘Hand Guilloche’…it sounds so dirty! I love it.

  • I_G

    I like these ‘Since 17XX’ titles on faux brands that have nothing to do with watchmakers centuries before. The Swiss know how to part the fool and his money.

  • Ulysses31

    The dials look like blown vinyl wallpaper – anyone remember that? A little tame compared to their other creations but still attractive.

  • Raymond de Mystère, fils

    I can get a similar-looking tourbillon from Sea-Gull for $2000. That’s less than the cost to service one of these over-priced watches.