Arnold & Son watches take center stage as Tim Mosso and Samir Shah discuss the haute horlogerie independent watch brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds. Between Arnold and its sub-brand, Angelus, an outstanding array of finely finished and complicated watches grace our WatchBox studio stage. Watch collectors who are burned out from Rolex and Patek, priced out of the F.P. Journe market, and bored with group brand watches are guaranteed to relish this special showcase of Arnold & Son and Angelus watches.
Samir Shah is the North American Director and President of Arnold & Son and Angelus watches. The brand grew out of movement manufacture Jaquet SA and its client, The British Masters, a holding company for the Graham, Tompion, and Arnold & Son brands. Jaquet became La Joux Perret, and the Arnold & Son brand was acquired for further development. Citizen Watch of Japan acquired both La Joux Perret and its Arnold brand in 2012; the resulting capital infusion allowed for nearly of innovation in design, watchmaking, and engineering.
Although nominally revived by The British Masters in 1996, Arnold & Son was re-launched in its current form in 2010. Since that period, the rising independent watch brand has held annual production to 700 pieces or fewer, but the number of watch models and styles has been vast. Arnold & Son models have included the CTB true beat chronograph, the UTTE ultra thin flying tourbillon, the DTE Dual Tourbillon Escapement, the TES tourbillon with sapphire bridges, the open and gossamer Time Pyramid, the romantic Perpetual Moon, the open dial Nebula, and the 2021 Luna Magna, a spectacular moonphase complication with a spherical moon display.
Arnold & Son watches are traditionally finished in high horology fashion. Cotes de Geneve in extravagant style is blazon on most movement bridges, and Arnold adds a signature “cotes de soleil” sunburst pattern to many models. Mirrored “anglage” or chamfering of bridges and plates requires extraordinary amounts of time, patience, and skill. All screw heads are black polished on their tops and chamfered in their slots and around their circumference. Additional attention is paid to satin finishing wheels, keyless works, and chronograph components.
In pursuit of the ultimate bespoke luxury watch experience, Arnold & Son offers customization options to clients. Engraving, unique dial colors, different case materials, gem setting, and miniature painting are available to make Arnold’s already rare watches true pieces unique. Unlike many independent watch brands, Arnold & Son both embraces custom watches and commits to delivering them in timely fashion.
Tourbillon regulators are a major feature of Arnold & Son watches, but sister brand Angelus manufactures tourbillons exclusively. As each Angelus watch features a tourbillon, this brand represents the ultimate in exclusivity and innovation within the La Joux Perret family of watchmakers.
Watch models like the titanium and carbon fiber U20 dazzle with sapphire bridges and flying tourbillon regulators. The Angelus U41 combines a tourbillon with motorsports inspired imagery and limited edition exclusivity. For divers, the Angelus U50 dive watch offers more aquatic adventure options than Arnold & Son’s catalog of dress watches.
Exclusivity is assured with Angelus watches; only 60-70 pieces are produced each year. If Arnold & Son is comparable to Jaguar, then Angelus parallels the rarity and exotic allure of Aston Martin. And that comparison is apt, because Arnold & Son goes to great lengths to emphasize its British roots under watchmaking titan, John Arnold. Samir Shah emphasizes that Arnold & Son wishes to be regarded as the British Breguet, and indeed, both Arnold and his progeny were friends and colleagues of Abraham Louis Breguet.
When shopping for your next independent brand watch, consider Arnold & Son and Angelus. Govberg Watches is an authorized dealer of both model lines, and WatchBox maintains a rich selection of preowned watches from both maisons.