The British watchmakers Arnold & Son have just released a new interesting timepiece that sports a complication you will rarely see in timekeepers from major watch manufacturers. As one can gather from its name, the sporty hand-wound Arnold & Son True Beat 88 (Ref. 1TBAP.B01A.C113A) features a “dead beat” small seconds hand that makes precisely 60 jumps per minute.
I have already briefly explained the principles of “dead beat” seconds indicator early last year while briefly reviewing this unique Gronefeld One Hertz with Dead Seconds automatic watch.
In two words, the seconds hand indicator makes only one jump per second, while the same hand on a normal timekeeper (if it was, too, powered by a movement with the cadence of balance set for 18,000 vph) would make 5 jumps in the same space of time.
Although the complication doesn’t look as spectacular as it was in times before the Quartz Crisis, nor it is as useful in maritime navigation as it was before the invention of GPS and GLONASS it will definitely make your watch stand out from the rest of crowd that features plain and simple sweep seconds indicators.
The “true beat” complication comes courtesy of the new A&S5003 hand-wound movement. Developed exclusively for the British brand, the movement was probably assembled by their long-standing partner and outstanding complications specialist Manufacture La Joux-Perret, which is based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
According to official specs, the movement is almost 38 millimeters in diameter and is less than 6 millimeters thick.
As you can see on the pictures, the caliber sports trendy “inside-out” design where elements of the movement that are usually hidden behind the main plate (including the spring barrels and the balance wheel) are transferred to the timekeeper’s front are easily visible through the skeletonized dial.
The dial features a symmetrical design where the dead beat display at 7 o’clock is mirrored with a power reserve indicator. The pair of gears in the upper half of the dial is the spring barrels that, working together, provide the watch with an impressive power reserve of at least 100 hours.
Although the movement is not terribly huge, the London-based watchmakers decided to put it into an oversized case that, while not thick, is whole 46 millimeters in diameter. Well, for a time-measuring device, which is supposed to spend most of its life inside a heavily guarded case, this is not too large.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son True Beat 88 (Ref. 1TBAP.B01A.C113A) specification
Price: $53,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber A&S5003, 37.8 mm x 5.9 mm, double-barrel, Breguet spring, exclusive, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 32
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, dead beat seconds, power reserve
Power reserve: 100 hours
Case: Rose gold (there is also a version in stainless steel)
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Black, skeletonized
Hands: Rose gold, sword-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather, hand-stitched with rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, cambered, multiple layers of antireflective coating