The John Arnold Chronometer No. 1/36 or "Arnold 36" as it is
more commonly called was not only the first pocket watch by John
Arnold to use a larger movement with his "T" balance, but also the
first to be referred to as a "chronometer" for its superior
timekeeping capabilities. In this respect, the Tourbillon
Chronometer No.36 is faithful, contemporary horological homage.
"John Arnold (1736-99) successfully found the way to simplify
Harrison's timekeeper design. This watch, No 1/36, made in 1778,
went so well on trial at Greenwich that Arnold decided to give it a
new name. In the pamphlet he published in 1780 advertising his
achievement, he called the timekeeper a 'chronometer' and was thus
the person who invented the term in its modern sense. The watch is
in fact a pocket chronometer housed in a 22-carat gold case."
The new sober gunmetal coating of the case further highlight the
mechanical complexity and haute horlogerie finishing of these
magnificent timepieces. The gunmetal coating also pays tribute to
the old English fine gunsmith tradition, which is closely related
to traditional watchmaking and share many common techniques.
Following the classical codes of traditional English chronometer
movements, the main pivoting elements such as the wheels, barrels,
the tourbillon, and others are each mounted on their own bridge.
The triangular, multilevel bridges (no less than thirteen) are
mostly skeletonized, providing a more contemporary sense of
three-dimensional depth to the entire timepiece.
The tourbillon, a central element of this timepiece, is
highlighted in a most magnificent manner. Held by a skeletonized
and mirror-polished top bridge, the one-minute tourbillon features
a typically Arnold & Son three-spoke design. Weighing mere
fractions of a gram, the tourbillon cage consists of no less than
58 components. Prominently positioned on the dial side, the
tourbillon can also be viewed from the back, thanks to an opening
in the main plate. The same kind of opening is made below the small
seconds display, adding to the symmetry of the Tourbillon
The apparent technical virtuosity of the Tourbillon Chronometer
No.36 is not only a treat for the eyes, as the watch is a COSC
certified chronometer; something of a rare achievement for a
The decorative haute horlogerie arts are also lavishly
demonstrated in the Tourbillon Chronometer No.36. The entirely
in-house conceived and manufactured A&S8600 calibre features a
smooth sand-blasted main plate and bridges with chamfered and
polished edges. The main plate and bridges are treated with a
golden coating, echoing the aesthetics of the historical pocket
watches made by John Arnold. The main plate also is set with
several mirror-polished 18k gold chatons, while the wheels in the
gear train are embellished with circular satin finishing with
chamfered and polished edges. Even the screws are beveled and
feature with mirror-polished heads.
The heart of the watch, the tourbillon, features a traditional
construction with a top bridge, while the mirror-polished cage has
the signature Arnold & Son three-spoke design, making a
complete turn in 60 seconds.
The double barrels, embellished with laser-engraving decoration,
provide a considerable power reserve of 90 hours when fully
The Tourbillon Chronometer No.36 Gunmetal is limited to 28