True to its English watchmaking and handcraft heritage, Arnold
& Son unveils the TE8 Métiers d'Art II, limited to only eight
exclusive timepieces. Inspired by the pocket watches made during
the earlier part of John Arnold's life for King George III and the
royal court, the latest addition to the Arnold & Son Royal
Collection is an eloquent expression of elegance and sophistication
in the inimitable English style and demonstrates the brand's
traditional prowess in the classical decorative arts.
The tourbillon, one of the most elegant complications in the
world of horology, has played a crucial role in Arnold & Son's
history. An exceptional watchmaker, John Arnold was an active
participant in one of the most extraordinary partnerships in the
world of innovative horology. Indeed, both he and A.-L. Breguet
worked closely, sharing both their knowledge and passion. Evidence
of their partnership is A.-L. Breguet's first ever tourbillon
mounted in John Arnold's No. 11 movement, a watch that can be found
today in London's British Museum.
What sets Arnold & Son's Tourbillon TE8 esthetically and
technically apart is its unique "English" design: the barrel bridge
has a ¾ wave-shape, the tourbillon and motion-work bridges are
triangular, and even the wheels are shaped with a distinctive
three-spoke design. This same design cue can also be found on the
tourbillon cage and the barrel bridge as well.
When compared to more conventional tourbillons found today, the
TE8 model is said to be "inverted", that is to say most technical
elements and visually interesting features are shown on the dial
side, when those would normally be hidden on the reverse of the
dial. Other typically English technical idiosyncrasies will seduce
even the most demanding watch connoisseurs. Take, for instance, the
symmetrical layout of the movement; to achieve such a feat requires
overcoming a number of technical challenges. Thus the barrel spring
and the tourbillon cage are centered along the watch's longitudinal
axis. When examining the winding system and the gear train, one
notes the traditional construction, which uses wheels with long and
narrow spokes known as wolf's teeth, used to improve the smoothness
of the overall movement.
Each single TE8 Métiers d'Art II is hand-engraved by Arnold
& Son's own master engraver, who went as far as to create a new
engraving pattern solely for this special edition. This new pattern
is composed of complex geometrical elements arising from the center
of the movement. The engraving of this masterpiece is particularly
painstaking as the motif is conceived as a bas-relief in order to
increase the three-dimensional effect. The engraver must pay great
attention not to slip off and constantly sharpen his tools, as
their wear and tear is very high.
Hand-engraving is a traditional art form that involves the use
of hardened steel tools called burins in combination with other
special tools. These create cuts, lines and texturing that build up
entire images or, as in the case of the TE8 Métiers d'Art II, a
beautiful hand-engraved pattern on the barrel bridge and on the
back of the main plate, bringing a breathtaking richness of detail
to an already exceptional tourbillon timepiece.
It goes without saying that every finishing touch on this
striking piece has been done by hand by Arnold & Son's master
watchmakers, thus fulfilling the highest standards of
superlativeHaute Horlogeriefinish and bringing more brilliance and
depth to each element of the movement.
This unique timepiece measures 44 mm in diameter in its
classically elegant 18-carat red gold case. It will be
produced in a limited edition of only 8 timepieces, with each case
individually hand-numbered by our master engraver.