Arnold & Son unveils a new rendition of its unique DBG dual-time (GMT) timepiece, the DBG Skeleton. An acronym for “double balance” and “GMT”. The DBG Skeleton, part of the Instrument Collection, references the precise chronometers built by John Arnold and his son. Fitted with the newly developed manufacture A&S 1309 calibre which has been designed and manufactured entirely in-house.
Skeleton clocks and watches has been popular for centuries. The painstaking process of skeletonization involves reducing the framework to a minimum. This is done by removing metal that is not a functional or structural requirement. Resulting in an unimpeded view of the watch’s inner workings and its many parts. In the case of DBG Skeleton, it reveals exquisite artistic detail. From the blued screws to the Côtes de Genève stripes and satin finish running across the bridges and edges of the dial.
Masterpiece of perfect symmetry
The DBG Skeleton features two separate time displays. Each driven by its own barrel and gear train with its own escapement and balance. Both of which are entirely visible thanks to its openworked execution. This highly unusual technical specification permits the two displays to be set independently of each other. Although it is a standard feature of watches displaying two or more time zones for the hour hands to be set to different times. Being able to set the minute hand as well opens up other possibilities.
It means, for instance, that the display can be set to show the precise time in zones that differ from Greenwich Mean Time by a fraction of an hour, such as a quarter or a half. In addition, a subdial at 12 o’clock shows the equation of the two time zones on a 24-hour basis. This enables the wearer to see the time difference between the two zones and also to ascertain whether it is day or night in the second zone. Both time zones share a common permanent seconds in the shape of the long slender hand emanating from the centre of the dial.
Watches with a double barrel and escapement have a tradition going back many years in horology but are rarely found today. Historically referred to as a “captain’s watch”, the principle is ideally suited to the Arnold & Son’s instrument line because a separate barrel/gear train and balance/escapement enable the watch to house different complications without having one influencing the accuracy of the other by draining its energy. It is therefore perfectly adapted to be used for a second time zone, as in the DBG Skeleton.
No less impressive than the watch’s technical features is its aesthetic appeal, and in particular its symmetry, which is largely determined by the positioning of the elements in the dual movement, visible from both sides of the watch. The entire movement was designed so as to enhance its visual appeal when skeletonized.
From the other side
The view from the back reveals a pleasingly balanced arrangement of open bridges, barrels and gear trains. From the front, and highlighted against a backdrop of Côtes de Genève stripes, are two triple-armed balances secured in position by the two balance cocks. They face one another and fuse together to create a circle. The open dials featuring Arabic numerals for one time zone and Roman numerals for the other, are made of “smoked” metal-treated sapphire crystals. Allowing both transparency as well as legibility.
Completing the overall sense of balance are the two crowns of which one is in the conventional position at 3 o’clock. Where the other is on the opposite side at 9. The two mainsprings are both wound using the crown on the right however the time in each of the two selected time zones is set using its own crown. This ensures that neither of the zones is moved or changed inadvertently. The time zone on the left is set using the crown at 9 o’clock and the time zone on the right by the crown at 3 o’clock.
Manufacture Arnold & Son calibre. Skeletonized and symmetrical, hand-wound, 42 jewels, diameter 35 mm, thickness 3.90 mm, power reserve 40 h, 3 Hz / 21,600 vph
Local hours, minutes and seconds, GMT hours and minutes, Local time, 24 h indicator, GMT 24 h indicator
Silvery-white and silvery opaline, metallized sapphire
Rose gold (4N), 44 mm diameter, 9.89 mm height. Cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. Sapphire crystal display case back, water resistant 30 m /100 ft
Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather
Recommended Retail Price:
CHF 35’300 (VAT excl.)