During the latter part of the 18th century, John Arnold was a leading figure in the world of horology. The British watchmaker picked up the mantle of developing marine chronometers after John Harrison’s passing. Indeed, John Arnold is said to have reinvented the marine chronometer, basing his design on some of Harrison’s principles, but simplifying it. This led to the production of marine chronometers which proffered accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, they were capable of being serially produced, an aspect which significantly reduced their cost.
Arnold formed a close friendship with Abraham-Louis Breguet and the two men frequently collaborated with each other. Moreover, both watchmakers entrusted their sons to each other, allowing each student to complete their apprenticeships while subject to an alternative influence. John Arnold’s son, John Roger Arnold, also went on to become a prominent figure in the world of watchmaking.
Arnold & Son upholds the reputation of the Englishman, making precise watches within its own Manufacture in Switzerland. Each model is endowed with an in-house movement, executed to a high standard. Traditional techniques are respected and widely employed. Calibres often feature circular grained baseplates, thermally blued screws, hand-chamfered bridges and, in some instances, gold chatons and mirror-polished surfaces.
Many of the recent Arnold & Son watches have been inspired by clocks and watches made by John Arnold and his son. For example, the brand’s famous Time Pyramid watch draws on the mechanics and styling of an antique British clock. The Time Pyramid showcases the balance wheel below noon and positions the gear train along a north-south axis. Two barrels, each with their own power-reserve indication, sit in the lower portion of the dial.
Unlike most watch brands which design the dial around an existing movement, Arnold & Son embrace a different philosophy. The high-end firm, first designs the dial and thereafter, creates the movement. This approach ensures the dial has optimal proportions, with each indication ideally placed, conferring excellent legibility. It is only because Arnold & Son make its own movements that it is able to adopt this peerless level of creativity.