In the late 18th century, during the second half of his watchmaking career, John Arnold—founder of Arnold and Son—devoted himself to creating the world’s most precise and rugged marine chronometers, for use by the British Navy. Arnold and Son’s modern-day Instrument Collection pays tribute to these timepieces with watches that are visually informed by the historical pieces and continue their pursuit of ultimate precision. One of the latest entries in this collection is the limited-edition Arnold and Son DSTB, which debuted this year at Baselworld.
The name DSTB stands for “dial-side true beat” and refers to the watch’s primary complication, a true-beat seconds hand with a completely visible mechanism. Also known as a dead-seconds complication, the true-beat function makes the watch’s seconds hand jump ahead at each second rather than tracing a smooth arc, much like the familiar ticking motion of a quartz timepiece’s hand. Normally, the process driving this complication is hidden from view by the watch’s dial, but on the $48,550 DSTB the mechanism is placed over the dial for all to see. Located on the upper left side of the watch’s face and supported by three gold-plated bridges, the true beat’s wheels and lever can be seen working in tandem to tick away the seconds. In a nod to the complication’s maritime history—sailors required a marine chronograph that could easily convey the precise second to accurately navigate the open seas—the mechanism’s lever is shaped like an anchor. (www.arnoldandson.com)