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 wealthy clientele.


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 receive.


Admiral Harland uses the first Arnold chronometer on his voyage to Madagascar.


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 accurate timepiece.


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 China Sea.


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 Navy.


John Arnold dies.


Napoléon Bonaparte offers an Arnold astronomical clock to Milan Observatory.


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 system.


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 balance.


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 Charles Frodsham.


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.

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