The Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton comes at a 42mm 5N red gold case, and it is as beautifully crafted as the motion. It’s stepped, tapering from top to bottom. The dial part, that’s the widest section, additionally offers an extra-large sapphire glass to showcase the grade A&S8220 in all of its glory. The bottom of the case is made narrower to fit closely on the wrist.The Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch is going to be restricted to just 50 pieces, and each watch will include a hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather strap with a fitting 5N reddish gold buckle with the Arnold & Son emblem. Arnold & Son creates some beautiful moon phase watches, also there’s a new piece from the collection with a new twist. With a second three-dimensional moon, the Arnold & Son HM Dual Hemisphere Perpetual Moon watch preserves the visual appeal of earlier models but affords the wearer a view of the moon from both the southern and northern hemispheres. The tasteful gold constellations along with the stunning blue guilloché dial make certain this bit fits in just perfectly with the rest of the line along with the brand for a whole.Measuring in at 42mm, the Arnold & Son HM Dual Hemisphere Perpetual Moon instance is supplied at 18 karat red gold, even though perhaps in the future a stainless steel variant is going to be offered. Whatever the case, the golden with the deep blue guilloché dial is just simply amazing. The three dimensional moons themselves are 11.2mm, and are linked with the golden stars resulting in a totally mesmerizing look. Regal is the term to describe this dial, and Arnold & Son have produced a piece that can make fans completely salivate.
In 2013, Arnold & Son managed the incredible feat of creating a super thin tourbillon watch called the Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Escapement, or simply, the UTTE watch. The watch was just 8.34mm thick, while the movement itself was a scant 2.97mm thick. Though it has lost the title of the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch to the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, that hasn’t stopped Arnold & Son from improving its UTTE watch. Earlier this year, they debuted the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch, which claims the title of world’s thinnest skeleton tourbillon watch.
Do you prefer to allow me to remind you what the biggest problem is really on watches with completely skeletonized dials and movements? It’s you can often see right through to your own arm and skin hair. Yes, these sexy-looking timepieces with skeletonized moves and dials can appear amazing in theory (and pictured independently), but put them onto your wrist at a real-world scenario and only those people with the most exquisite of wrists will not have a reason to complain in any way. This is really a common “thing” which watch lovers can and do whine about.So, to remedy this situation and react to this issue, Arnold & Son has done a little experimentation with this new version of their Time Pyramid watch in steel in the version reference 1TPAS. S01A.C124S “Translucent Back” version. This model will even outright replace the original version of this Arnold & Son Time Pyramid in steel with the traditionally transparent front and back crystal.Arnold & Son did an wonderful job with this watch but gave it no distinctive name – which has been rather lazy. “Time Pyramid Translucent Back” is the name that I’m giving it closest entity Arnold & Son gets to a unique name (aside from the reference amount) is “Time Pyramid Translucent-Grey Coated Sapphire Case Back” Ugh… Anyways, even without a proper title, the watch remains precisely what you want because the caseback is really just one-way mirror substance.
Creating an ultra-thin watch is no easy feat. First of all (and obviously), there’s the difficulty of manufacturing components to be as thin as they can possibly be. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there’s the need to ensure that while the watch is as thin as it can be, reliability and practicality are not adversely affected. As the watch and its components become thinner, they can also become less sturdy and resistant to outside forces. In other words, they might be more susceptible to being flexed and damaged.
Meaning that by the front of the watch taking a look at the caseback that you find a dark reflection and no view of your sickly arm hair. From the back of the watch, you can see right through the other side. So compare this metal “Translucent Back” version of this Arnold & Son Time Pyramid using the first version that has the totally clear sapphire crystal caseback that I went hands-on with here. And yes, this “updated” version costs a bit more, of course. Approximately $2,000. It will seem a bit steep following the original version in steel was released less than a year before.The Arnold & Son Time Pyramid watch initially came out in 2013, also in 2014 I analyzed the 18k rose gold edition of the Time Pyramid on aBlogtoWatch here. This remains one of my favorite watches produced by Arnold & Son nowadays due to its distinctive design, superbly symmetrical movement, and fantastic wrist existence. The circumstance is 44.6mm wide (water resistant to just 30 meters) and made with a crown o’clock thanks to the design of the movement. That also gives the event a more streamlined look as a result of the symmetry you receive together with the crown position.
Skeletonizing an already super-thin movement is therefore doubly hard – mainly because removing any more material is bound to affect structural rigidity. As a result, the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch’s A&S8220 calibre is actually slightly thicker than the A&S8200 calibre in the original UTTE watch. The new A&S8220 calibre measures 3.3mm thick, which is roughly 0.3mm thicker. Arnold & Son says the extra thickness is necessary to ensure that the movement doesn’t flex while on the wrist.
Nevertheless, let’s not kid ourselves, a thickness of 3.3mm is still seriously impressive for a skeletonized tourbillon movement with two barrels and a power reserve of 90 hours, or nearly 4 days. While the movement is thicker, Arnold & Son has managed to keep the overall thickness of the watch case the same. That means the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch is just 8.34mm thick, the same as the first UTTE watch.
One of the most important problems in regards to precision is moderating the source of electricity to the regulating organ of the timepiece (in this scenario, the tourbillon featured at the lower right quadrant of the dial). The mainspring, for example any component of the size, is susceptible to certain molecular inconsistencies acquired during the production process. Any internal or external inconsistency could lead to a fluctuation of power delivered to the gear train. And that’s before one even considers the extreme drop-off in torque once the mainspring sufficiently uncoils. As the mainspring winds down, the amount of power delivered into the escapement dips. This can possibly play havoc with all the timekeeping, so Arnold & Son have tried to remove this error by installing a “constant-force” mechanism. The modern incarnation of the company that lay dormant for more than a century is doing what it can to reconnect with the origin of its inspiration.Practically talking, this element takes the location of a fuseé, which is an old-fashioned constant force complication we have observed on aBlogtoWatch very recently in the new Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Anniversary piece (read the review here), for instance. To compensate for the inevitable drop-off in electricity generated with a single barrel at a normal setup, Arnold & Son have started out with two symmetrical barrels in string. The first barrel powers the gear train, while the next barrel tops the torque up of the first if it drops below an optimal amount. But their innovation does not end there.
On the wrist, the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch is as you would expect, that is to say it wears extremely thin and is very light. It sits comfortably on the wrist too, partly because of the well-made hand-stitched brown alligator strap, and partly because the case tapers toward the case back. The taper also accentuates the thinness of the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch. Despite these little features, with its 42mm-wide 5N red gold case, the UTTE Skeleon watch still has an impressive wrist presence. Partly, this is also because of its rather large tourbillon cage.
One of the revisions made to the new A&S8220 calibre is that the tourbillon cage has been reworked as well to show off more of the mechanism while retaining the three-dimensional design that has become a signature of the earlier Arnold & Son UTTE watch. Furthermore, the tourbillon cage measures 14mm across, while the movement is just 32mm. This makes the tourbillon the single most visually commanding component of the skeletonized dial. And as if it needed any help to stand out even more, the entire tourbillon cage is hand-polished and chamfered, which means it shines like a star when shown off in the right light.
At 12 o’clock is a day/night index for the GMT time and home time, using matching skeletonized and filled hands to tell them apart. The bottom half of this indicator is darkened, which assists the visual representation of the “nighttime” part of this disk. I do want the Arnold & Son emblem was located elsewhere however, as its place interrupting the seconds track at 12 o’clock could make exact time-setting difficult. Another niggling issue I found was that the next hand counterweight closely emulates the appearance of the house time palms, which can occasionally cause a moment of confusion once you glance down and see three hands pointing at the dial. In an ideal world, I’d have loved to observe that the moment hands on each dial stretched just a bit further to correctly get to the minute track, and the hour palms shortened a tad to not overlap the hour markers, but that is a little aesthetic qualm which doesn’t affect utility.On the opposite side of this Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton, the bottom plate of the manufacture bore A&S1309 is shown. The motion is made of nickel silver (also called German silver or Maillechort, an alloy of aluminum, nickel and zinc) that has been rhodium-plated and embellished with C?tes de Genève. The wheels are satin-finished and provide a contrasting three dimensional texture into the base plate, and between the chamfered edges of these bridges, the gold gear train can be viewed. The movement is hand wound obviously, which contributes to its thinness in a mere 3.9mm. It features 42 stones and provides a 40 hour power reserve whereas the double accounts oscillate at 21,600vph, or 3Hz. This is undoubtedly a highly elegant movement, but compared to the thickness of detail given by this skeletonized dial, the opposite side of the movement almost feels like a letdown.
And you would expect, the rest of the movement has been finished to an extremely high standard as well. The main plate and bridges are made of German Silver and decorated with finely executed Côtes de Genève. The edges of the main plates and bridges have also been finely chamfered and polished by hand. The screw are polished and the screws and jewels all sit snugly in polished countersinks. It’s a real visual treat for any mechanical watch enthusiast, and the fact that the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch is skeletonized means its lucky owners won’t have to turn it around to be able to admire all the excellent handiwork that has gone into the watch.
On the flip side, legibility has been slightly affected since now there is no real dial to speak of. The hands on the first UTTE watch were already small, but now that there is no dial to provide contrast, the hands of the Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton watch, which are gold and have white lacquered tips, are harder to see over the sapphire disc with printed hour numerals. Still, that’s a small price to pay to be able to see the Arnold & Son’s A&S8220 calibre in all of its mechanical glory. The Arnold & Son UTTE Skeleton is limited to just 50 pieces, and the price is $76,750. arnoldandson.com
Although the modern Arnold & Son is currently owned by the Citizen Group and has been revived in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the heritage of precision timekeeping, progress in escapement engineering, and Breguet’s influence can nevertheless be felt with this timepiece. The Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton essentially combines two movements, each with their own barrel, equipment train, escapement, and equilibrium, united with a single winding system and one centralized second hand. The two dials for house time and GMT are powered by their own dedicated motions, permitting each to be set independently via a dual crown at 3 and 9 o’clock. Coolness factor apart, this also includes a practical benefit in being able to place GMT time into the moment, which is very beneficial when dealing with time zones offset by half an hour as portions of India, Australia, and Canada.In contrast to the non-skeletonized version of this Arnold & Son DBG we analyzed previously, this incarnation supposes some legibility in order to better show that beautifully symmetrical motion. A ring of smoked sapphire crystal glass is employed for each dial to help attract the numerals more into focus against the hectic backdrop without completely obscuring it, which is a smart move. GMT time may also be differentiated through the dial’s use of skeletonized hands and Roman numerals, versus the Arabic numerals and solid palms featured on the house time dial. Unlike the previous edition, the hands on the Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton are gilded instead of blued, which is visually a wonderful complement to the vulnerable equilibrium wheels but also makes them hard to view at a glance.