Arnold & Son reinterprets one of its most personal collections.
DSTB 42, which stands for ‘Dial-Side True Beat’, reveals its true beat seconds mechanism on the dial side. Under its openwork and finely chamfered gold bridges, its characteristic anchor powers a seconds hand at a broad rhythm. The case and movement of this essential timepiece have been entirely revised, refined and
improved. With two inaugural limited series – one in red gold, the other in platinum – Arnold & Son reaffirms its historic attachment to marine chronometers.
The true-beat seconds function is characteristic of the instruments
that John Arnold supplied to the Royal Navy. Their escapement used
to beat at one oscillation per second, naturally indicated by a sweep seconds hand. This explicit function inspired Arnold & Son to create one of its most iconic complications: ‘True Beat’, also known as deadbeat seconds. The distinctive feature of the DSTB collection is that it displays this mechanism in full on the dial, hence the ‘Dial-Side True Beat’ name, delivering watchmaking, design and spectacle all in one.
Watchmaking, because all true-beat seconds require a dedicated
mechanism. No escapement in a compact watch, especially one worn
on the wrist, functions at a native frequency of one oscillation per
second. Here, the sweep-seconds hand on the DSTB 42 jumps from
second to second, powered by a mechanism similar to an escapement,
developed by Arnold & Son’s watchmakers.
Design, because this true-beat seconds needed to be displayed in a
way that reflects its historic importance for Arnold & Son. The choice to
place it on the dial side creates an additional level in the calibre. This, in
turn, required three dedicated bridges, fashioned in line with the Arnold
& Son aesthetic, whose graphic design and finishes give the dial its
truly unique appearance. They are openworked, three-dimensional and
carefully crafted from red or white gold, depending on the DSTB 42
version. This true-beat seconds mechanism fills the space with its
presence, balanced out by the off-centred hours dial in white opal.
Spectacle, because the even, slow and aesthetic functioning of the truebeat seconds mechanism catches the eye. It symbolises both Arnold & Son’s watchmaking expertise and its roots, down to the anchor-shaped counterpoise reminiscent of marine chronometers. It goes up and down as the underlying calibre does its work, controlling the large seconds hand.
The DSTB collection was one of the founding pieces in the Arnold &
Son catalogue. Its first version measured 44 mm in diameter. It featured
a calibre that was 7.40 mm thick, allowing a 45-hour power reserve. The
DSTB 42 improves on each of these points. The exclusive Manufacture
calibre A&S6203 is 5.54 mm thick and offers 55 hours of autonomy.
The case drops to 42 mm in diameter and settles for a total thickness
of 12.95 mm.
The DSTB 42 Red Gold comes in a 5N gold case, whose copper content
gives it the name red gold. This warm colour is paired with a blue
PVD-treated dial for a soothing overall effect. The DSTB 42 Platinum
offers the opposite contrast, with its combination of 950 platinum and
a dial featuring a rose-gold PVD treatment known as ‘salmon’. In both
versions, the dial is sunray-brushed before being tinted, the starting
point of the finish coinciding with the centre of the true-beat seconds.
The DSTB 42 Red Gold and the DSTB 42 Platinum are powered by
the calibre A&S6203, which has been entirely developed, machined,
assembled and adjusted in the Arnold & Son Manufacture. Designed to
work in harmony with the true-beat seconds mechanism, this calibre is
self-winding thanks to an oscillating weight in 22-carat gold. It features
a 55-hour power reserve and a regulating organ oscillating at 28,800
vibrations per hour.
DSTB 42 PLATINUM & DSTB 42 RED GOLD
Functions: hours, minutes, true-beat seconds
Movement: Calibre A&S6203, self-winding mechanical, Jewels 32
Diameter: 33 mm
Thickness: 5.54 mm (8.33 mm on the bridges of the true-beat seconds)
Power reserve: 55 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph
- mainplate: palladium finish, côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the centre
- bridges: polished and chamfered
- wheels: circular satin-finished
- screws: blued and chamfered, polished heads
- oscillating weight: 22-carat gold
- true-beat seconds mechanism: 18-carat gold bridges, polished and chamfered
Dial: sunray-brushed, with blue or salmon PVD treatment
Hours dial white opal
- Material:18-carat (5N) red gold or platinum (Pt 950)
- Diameter 42 mm
- Thickness 12.95 mm
- Crystal domed sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Case back sapphire with an anti-reflective coating
- Water resistance 3 bar (30 metres/100 feet)
- Material blue alligator leather, hand-stitched
- Clasp pin buckle, 18-carat (5N) red gold or platinum (Pt 950)
- red gold: 1ATCR.U01A.C200A
- platinum: 1ATCX.P01A.C200X
- red gold: 88 timepieces
- platinum: 38 timepieces
Swiss retail price
- red gold: CHF 42,600 incl. tax (subject to change)
- platinum: CHF 54,400 incl. tax (subject to change)
Text & Images by Arnold & Son