It’s not very often you consider a watch brand to be a part of local history, yet this week Smales Jewellers Perth launched its newest brand to the Subiaco showroom with more history under its belt than any school history lesson. The Subiaco jeweller whom are renowned for brands such as Hearts on Fire diamonds recently launched its newest brand Arnold & Son. The watchmaker John Arnold back in 1764 was the first to design a watch that was both practical and accurate, and also brought the term “Chronometer” into use with its modern understanding of precision of time in watches.
John Arnold had been creating and servicing watch repairs since 1762, yet it was until he was able to present King George III a small half quarter repeating watch mounted in a ring, did his clientele expand to new heights. With his renowned accuracy and craftsmanship, history makers including Napoleon and even Sir Captain James Cook all owned and relied upon on one of his timepieces.
Today with stocklists all over the world, there are only two locations you can experience an Arnold & Son watch. Bondi in NSW, & Subiaco WA. Smales Jewellers Perth in Subiaco currently holds it’s a selection of core pieces including luxury ladies and mens watches. The key standout is the TB88, cryptic in description but meaningful when explained. TB” stands for True Beat, where time is measured in one-second increments (basically a “dead” seconds”) thanks to the use of a single-pallet design instead of a regular pallet fork; although historically speaking the significance of the true beat is that John Arnold incorporated it into some of his marine chronometers and pocket watches to allow navigators to accurately determine the longitude, allowing explorers like Caption James Cook navigate across the seas. The “88” is a tribute to John Arnold’s first-ever pocket watch which bears the case number 88.
If the brand name doesn’t convince you then the up close and personal inspection will. The detail including polished edges, mirror polished screws, and even the faceted hands which are polished on one side and satin brushed on the other draws attention like no other watch on the planet. Arnold & Son take luxury to another level with a bourgeois elegance and a touch of English history in its style. These watches leave lasting impressions even if the prices may not be for everyone. The TB88 starts around 72 thousand dollars. These watches are to be kept sacred like heirloom stones and gems. A masterpiece in itself, every watch is as detailed as a Michelangelo painting yet in a modern world.