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 true-beat 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.
Discover Arnold & Son timepieces here.