The East India Company was the most powerful and famous of the commercial empires that profited from trade expansion between Europe, the Americas, India and China. Underpinning its supremacy were the heavily armed trading ships that were also regularly used by the Royal Navy. Now, with the East India Company Set, Arnold & Son unveils a trio of true beat timepieces. Gracing the dial of each model is an exquisitely hand-finished miniature painting replicating one of three paintings from the National Maritime Museum in London. The art of painting miniatures by hand calls for
infinite patience and consummate skill. The tiny brushstrokes and texturing gradually build up entire images with an astonishing richness of detail that is given even greater emphasis by the reflection of light in the depth of the mother-of-pearl dials, and underscore Arnold & Son’s mastery of the decorative arts.
The timepieces in the East India Company Set have a distinctive off-centre subdial for the time of day, one of the unmistakable design cues of the Instrument Collection. Our watchmakers and designers took their inspiration from the distinctive instrument-like chronometers produced by John Arnold and his son, John Roger Arnold. The central feature on the dial is the timepiece’s complication: a central true beat (TB) seconds. A rarely found complication these days, the true beat seconds (or dead beat seconds) stands for superlative accuracy and was an invaluable instrument for marine navigators. The combination of a central true beat seconds with an automatic winding system calls for enormous technical expertise. This is made possible by an internationally patented system and calls for parts accurate to a micron, or one-thousandth of a millimetre. The key components are produced using state-of-the-art LIGA (lithography, electroplating and moulding) manufacturing technology.
The timepieces in the East India Company Set are powered by the rhodium treated A&S6103 calibre, the first automatic movement with an integrated true beat system to be developed, designed and manufactured entirely at Arnold & Son’s workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The exquisite haute horlogerie finishing includes manually chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, a brushed and skeletonised rotor, and blued screws. The movement is housed in an 18-carat rose gold case with a brown alligator strap.
The East India Company Set will be available in an exclusive limited edition of just 28 sets of 3 timepieces.