Automne/Hiver 2013 ©ARNOLD & SON H/W 2013
Arnold & Son: a brief history
In a direct response to the British Government’s search for an answer to the problem of calculating longitude reliably at sea, John Arnold founded a watchmaking company in London in 1764. He soon established a reputation as a specialist in marine timepieces, inventing both the detent escapement and the bimetallic balance, before emerging as one of four winners who shared the Longitude Prize in 1770.
His son, John Roger, joined the firm in 1796, and Arnold & Son rapidly became the leading supplier of chronometers to the Royal Navy. John Roger worked closely with the French watchmaking genius Abraham-Louis Breguet, who paid tribute to John senior by integrating his first working tourbillon in an Arnold marine chronometer, which he presented to his son. The instrument, which must rank as one of the most extraordinary pieces in watchmaking history, can be seen to this day at the British Museum.
Inspired by John Arnold’s relentless quest for precision and innovative technology, the modern-day Arnold & Son company keeps this fine English watchmaking tradition alive at its headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the cradle of modern Swiss watchmaking.