For Baselworld 2017, Arnold & Son unveiled another masterfully skeletonized watch that carries the brand’s conceptual DNA forward. The Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton is the most recent addition to the DBG (Double-Balance GMT) set that we analyzed the original, non-skeletonized version of in greater detail back in 2013. For all those unfamiliar with this piece, it has basically two motions which share a winding platform, housed in 1 watch. Skeletonized, this watch looks incredible and is the best illustration of Arnold & Son’s persistent progress.First, a little bit more about Arnold & Son’s DBG system. Each time screen is powered by its barrel, with its own gear train, escapement, and balance, while sharing one winding system. While this isn’t necessarily unprecedented, because of the offsets of these shared components compared to the individual parts, it’s not always pretty, and seldom skeletonized. But with all the DBG Skeleton, we see almost perfect symmetry about the dial and caseback.The unusual nature of the in-house A&S1309 movement permits for a few added mechanical and practical advantages. For example, due to the separate barrel, gear train, and escapement/balance, the GMT function includes a “moments” hand rather than the standard 24-hour counter only. Each time zone screen from the Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton could be put to incremental quarters of this hour. So for some Indian, Australian, and Canadian time zones that are off by half-hours, for example, the watch may account for this. Moreover, the Equation of Time screen at 12 o’clock decides the difference between each screen, as well as whether it’s night or day in the second time zone. The A&S1309 beats at 21,600bph and features a 40-hour power book.
|Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave|
Several Swiss papers including L’Agefi just published the news that Citizen Watch of Japan has acquired La Chaux-de-Fonds based Prothor Holding SA, owner of movement specialist La Joux-Perret (formerly Jaquet SA), component maker Prototec as well as the brand Arnold & Son. The deal value was CHF64 million and expected to complete in April, according to The Deal Pipeline. Citizen is buying the company from 20 current owners who are private investors, including management. The article goes on to say surrent management led by CEO Frederic Wenger will remain. Intuitively the CHF64 million price tag seems like a good deal; but I do not know the details of La Joux-Perret’s finances. La Joux-Perret’s clients include many of the Swiss industry’s big names like Hublot, Panerai, Graham, Baume & Mercier, Corum and TAG Heuer. One of the movements La Joux-Perret is known for is the modified Valjoux 7750, to include flyback, rattrapante or tourbillon. Citizen excels at high-end electronic watches like the $4000 Satellite Wave Eco-Drive but is lacking in high-end mechanical (though it is a big maker of low-end mechanical movements under the Miyota label). Citizen’s last major purchase was Bulova in 2008, but that is a decidedly low to mid market brand.
The brand has already made progress in making higher end mechanical watches with its The Citizen automatics, but this will certainly take it to another level. Interesting to see what the future holds.
Update: An insightful analysis of Citizen’s LJP takeover by eminent Japanese watch journalist Masayuki Hirota. – SJX
Updated 10:54 am GMT +8 on March 6, 2012