Stone of the sky, stone of the earth
As green as a virgin forest, malachite places Double Tourbillon White Gold firmly on the earth. As sparkling as a starry sky, the aventurine raises it to the heavens. Harnessing the beauty of stone and glass, these two Arnold & Son pieces, each a one-off, reveal the duality of its double tourbillon. Their spirit is entirely in keeping with the brand’s historic heritage. John Arnold’s marine chronometers sought to tell the local time by observing the stars and the time in a distant location as a universal reference point. Thus, Double Tourbillon White Gold’s sophisticated calibre can follow two distinct time zones to the minute.
In watchmaking language, the tourbillon is a rare construction, and this is even more true of the double tourbillon. Its creation, the choice of its materials, and above all its structural approach meet objectives that are at once aesthetic, historical, and horological. Double Tourbillon White Gold sits at the crossroads of a number of major paths that Arnold & Son follows consistently and coherently.
In terms of aesthetics, Double Tourbillon White Gold draws on each mineral’s sumptuous appearance. Vibrant green and the broad black brushstrokes painted by nature give malachite a powerfully evocative terrestrial and botanical air. Aventurine glass in the blackest of blues strewn with stars sparkles with life and subtle glints. The off-centre hour dials are crafted in white opal, offering a contrasting softness. Heaven and earth: the symbolism of these materials contribute to the narrative density of Double Tourbillon White Gold.
In historical terms, Double Tourbillon White Gold is based on the two fundamental principles of John Arnold’s work – chronometry and world time. His aim in producing marine chronometers was to simplify and reproduce a perfectly reliable means of time measurement. The goal was to retain the knowledge of the time at a journey’s starting point. By comparing this to the time in the place of measurement, taken by observing true solar noon, ocean navigators were able to measure their position on the east-west axis, i.e. their longitude.
Double Tourbillon White Gold keeps this duality alive with a local time display positioned on the dial at 12 o’clock and presented in Roman numerals. It is complemented by a remote time, positioned at 6 o’clock and presented in Arabic numerals. The hours and minutes displays of these two dials are entirely independent.
Finally, Double Tourbillon White Gold draws on the design, manufacture, finishing, and setting capacities of the Arnold & Son manufacture. Its sapphire crystal is domed to accommodate the contours of its twin tourbillons. They are each attached to a three-dimensional bridge, boast a cantilevered skeleton configuration, and are crafted in white gold. They are also the end of a double-gear train. The A&S8513 calibre thus features two barrels and two crowns for two time zones.
They can display the same time or two different times, and one can even display the time while the other measures the duration of a long event. Unlike the vast majority of so-called travel watches, Double Tourbillon White Gold can therefore display the time in zones offset by 15, 30, or 45 minutes.
The structure of this movement is highlighted by extremely accomplished finishes. Radiating Côtes de Genève stripes on the bridges, a pearlised main plate, circular graining on the wheels, polished gold chatons: everything about the A&S8513 calibre exudes distinction, craftsmanship, and excellence.
The ample and elegant click spring that prevents the barrels from unwinding uncontrollably is not the least of these refinements. The hand-chamfering, satin-finishing, and mirror-polishing of the white gold tourbillon bridges is the highlight of an exceptionally elegant spectacle in relief. Double Tourbillon White Gold offers a mechanical pendant with a symbolic aesthetic that prevails on the dials of these one-off pieces.