Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's in a Name? Arnold & Son's DBS

Before I say anything else, I want to say that I am THRILLED that Arnold & Son are back in action - particularly here in the US!  They have chosen particularly well with their distribution partner - and I suspect we will see and hear great things from them in the coming months!
Courtesy of Arnold & Son
But on to the matter at hand - this is the DBS from Arnold & Son.

As someone who used to have to help come up with naming conventions, and who writes about watches every day, it is refreshing to see a watch with a name that literally references its two main functions:

                                Double Balance and Sidereal Time = DBS

This is part of the Instrument Collection from Arnold & Son.  This new timekeeper is powered by the newly developed A&S1311 calibre - from the design to the manufacture, completely done in-house.

The inspiration for the DBS can be found in two of John Roger Arnold's creations - Nos. 1 and 2, which displayed mean solar and sidereal time on two separate sub dials.  As you can well imagine, these were not simple mere modifications.  This was not a time where Arnold could grab an ETA 2892 - 2 and slap on a module!  These watches were born in 1796 and 1799 utilizing their thermo-compensated Z balance, expansion escapement and gold helical spring.  It is safe to say that in many ways, Mr. Arnold was the Ludwig Oechslin of his time.
Courtesy of Arnold & Son

So a quick definition -

Sidereal time
Sidereal time is the timekeeping system used by astronomers to track the direction needed to point a telescope at a particular star in the night sky. A mean sidereal day is measured by the rotation of the earth relative to the stars rather than the sun and lasts 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.091 seconds. It is approximately four minutes shorter than a mean solar day because, owing to the movement of the earth round the sun, the time that elapses before a distant star appears at the same point is slightly less than the time it takes for the sun to be directly over the same point. 

And for those of you who want to "know it all" - here are the specs:


Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 42 jewels, diameter 35 mm, thickness 3.9 mm, power reserve 40 h, 21’600 vibrations/h

local hours, minutes, and seconds, sidereal hours and minutes, local time 24 h indicator, sidereal time 24 h indicator

Movement decoration: nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: manually chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève, blued screws 

Dial colour: 
silvery-white and silvery opaline

18-carat rose gold, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant to 30 m

Hand-stitched brown alligator leather

1DSAP.W01A.C120P 18-carat rose gold case   

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