March 15, 2015
Arnold & Son’s TEC1 wristwatch, part of the brand’s Royal Collection, is defined by its tourbillon and column wheel chronograph in an automatic caliber. A few references of the TEC1 already exist, but this new edition with palladium case and black guilloché dial is perhaps its most aesthetically power combination yet. Arnold & Son makes some darn interesting and uniquely attractive watches, and I would say the TEC1 fits near the upper end of its range in terms of complication and intrigue.
As you can see, the tourbillon escapement occupies the entire top portion of the dial — A&S in general does a nice job of presenting their tourbillons, as you see here with the nice oversized aperture for lots of viewing angles. The lower portion of the dial features the chronograph function, with the 60 minutes counter at 6 o’clock. The seconds counter is via the center-set seconds hand. A black lacquer finish with wave guilloché completes the look.
The A&S8305 calibre is an exclusive mechanical self-winding movement that offers hours, minutes, tourbillon and chronograph, ticking at 4Hz/28,800vph. In typical Arnold & Son tradition, the 255-part caliber is meticulously finished, with hand chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes (that is, radiating) which is something you don’t often see. The chronograph levers are satin-finished with hand-chamfered, polished edges and screws are blued with bevelled and mirror polished heads. But perhaps the highlight of the caliber is the 22-carat red gold skeletonized and hand-engraved rotor.
No doubt its an attractive watch with a lot to look at, but at 45mm diameter I wonder if A&S aren’t pushing away collectors who prefer something a bit smaller.
This new reference of the TEC1 is a limited edition of 125 timepieces. No word yet on price, but last year’s version of this watch — in red gold — listed at $99,000.