Arnold & Son: a timeline
John Arnold is born in Cornwall. At the age of 19, after
completing an apprenticeship as a watchmaker with his father, he
leaves for the Netherlands, where he learns German.
John Arnold opens his first workshop, in London's Strand, and
gains immediate recognition when he repairs a repeating watch owned
by William McGuire, a renowned watch connoisseur.
John Arnold makes a ring containing a half-quarter repeater,
which he presents to King George III, and instantly creates a
John Arnold presents his first marine chronometer to the Board
of Longitude. Impressed by the watch's quality, the Board promptly
awards him a grant of £ 200, the first of many he is to
Admiral Harland uses the first Arnold chronometer on his voyage
Arnold's No. 3 chronometer is aboard when Captain Cook sets out
on his second voyage to the Pacific.
Following the invention of a detent escapement and other
significant design improvements, John Arnold builds his first
pocket chronometer (No. 8).
Captain Phipps chooses an Arnold chronometer for his voyage
towards the North Pole.
John Arnold is awarded patents for the helical spring and an
improvement to the bimetallic balance.
John Arnold creates a minor storm in precision timekeeping with
the Arnold No. 36. The timepiece reviewed at Greenwich is applauded
for its precision. Following this success, Arnold advertises his
achievement with a document in which he calls the timekeeper a
"chronometer", a term used to this day to denote a supremely
An Arnold astronomical pendulum clock is installed at the
Observatory of Mannheim, Germany.
The Board of Longitude presents Arnold's chronometer No. 2,
declaring it superior to all those produced previously.
John Arnold is granted patents for helical spring terminal
curves, a spring detent and epicycloidal teeth.
An Arnold chronometer is used by George Robertson to chart the
His son, John Roger Arnold, studies in Paris for two years under
his father's friend, Abraham-Louis Breguet.
Arnold's No. 4 chronometer is the instrument of choice for
Captain George Vancouver's voyage to America's west coast.
Arnold's No. 64 chronometer accompanies Captain Thomas Butler on
his voyage to China.
John Roger Arnold joins his father's firm. Arnold & Son
quickly becomes the leading supplier of timepieces to the Royal
John Arnold dies.
Napoléon Bonaparte offers an Arnold astronomical clock to Milan
Baron Von Krusenstern takes two Arnold chronometers (Nos. 128
and 1856) with him for his circumnavigation of the world.
In reverent memory of John Arnold, Abraham-Louis Breguet
presents his son, John Roger, with his first tourbillon escapement,
mounted in one of Arnold's first pocket chronometers. Today, this
exceptional watch is a highlight of the British Museum's collection
in London, and bears a personal inscription.
Two Arnold chronometers (Nos. 25 and 369) accompany Captain John
Ross on his voyage to Baffin Bay.
John Roger Arnold is awarded a patent for his keyless winding
Arnold's No. 2109 chronometer goes with Captain Edward Perry on
his voyage toward the North Pole.
John Roger Arnold receives a patent for the "U"-type
John Roger Arnold and Edward John Dent (another London
clockmaker) finalize a 10-year partnership contract.
John Roger Arnold dies and 'Arnold & Son' is repurchased by
Sir John Franklin sets out with a crew of 130 to chart the
infamous Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. On board is an
Arnold chronometer (No. 294). The expedition is a disaster and no
one survives. Rediscovered over 150 years later, the chronometer is
found to be so extensively modified that it is virtually
unrecognizable. How it found its way back to the UK remains one of
the greatest mysteries of watchmaking.
Arnold & Dent's No. 4575 chronometer accompanies Dr David
Livingstone on his expedition to South Africa.
Relaunch of the brand in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Arnold & Son becomes a fully integrated manu-facture,
developing and producing in-house all of its movements.
Arnold & Son celebrates its 250th anniversary by presenting
five new manufacture movements.
John Arnold's 23/78 Chronometer sets a world record at Sotheby's
Auction with a price of £557,000 GBP ($722,318 USD), more than
multiple times its original estimate.