Baselworld 2014 is just around the corner, and Arnold & Son has prepared another exquisite creation for this event, a world premiere actually! It’s the first time that the dead beat seconds and chronograph have been brought together – sounds complex, but it really isn’t. At least not visually speaking. The new Instrument CTB watch looks quite elegant and refined, and it maintains a distinctive Arnold & Son design typical of the Instrument collection, offering excellent legibility. Interestingly, this is only the company’s second chronograph.
Underneath all this pretty aesthetics, there’s something innovative. Arnold & Son put both the true beat seconds and the chronograph seconds hand on the same axis, an invention that’s protected by two patents. However, these two hands have different jumping intervals – the true beat hand moves incrementally, while the chronograph hand moves continually, which altogether look quite interesting when they’re operating both at the same time.
The hands themselves are blue, which looks very stylish against the light grey and silvery opaline. The latter is found on the two sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock. Those are the sub-dials for hours and minutes and the 60-minute chronograph counter, respectively. The upper one features Roman numerals, which looks very nice. Also, both of these sub-dials have blued hands, which complement the two central hands. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that this is a multi-level structured dial, featuring several different finishes, which all works nicely together. Protecting all this, we have cambered sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides for optimal visibility.
All this is housed in a 44 mm case made of stainless steel. On its right side, we can see the matching crown surrounded by two push-pieces. Looking at the back side, we can see the movement, thanks to the transparent sapphire crystal. And as for the water resistance, the timepiece can withstand depths of up to 30 meters, which sounds pretty reasonable.
Inside the CTB is Arnold & Son’s exclusive mechanical movement, the caliber A&S7103 with 31 jewels. This is a self-winding movement, equipped with column-wheel operated chronograph. The mechanism beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and it has a power reserve of more than 50 hours. One interesting thing about the movement is that it uses bi-directional winding, which it achieves with the help of ceramic ball bearings. When it comes to the aesthetics, the movement is NAC grey treated and it was completed in stylish Haute Horlogerie finishing. This includes the hand-chamfered bridges which have polished edges, as well as a brushed and skeletonised rotor. Finally, the movement has been visually enhanced with some neat Côtes de Genève rayonnantes and fine circular graining.
As for the strap, we have two options here. These are both hand-stitched alligator leather straps, but the color is different. The Instrument CTB can be completed with either a brown or a black leather strap, the latter of which creates a nice contrast with the stainless steel of the dial, as well as with the dial itself.