A Collector’s Delight — Arnold & Son Time Pyramid

01 Nov, 2022 Chat 0
A Collector’s Delight — Arnold & Son Time Pyramid

Arnold & Son is one of watch world’s big thinkers. From its nonconformist horological approach come outrageous, groundbreaking, and future-defining timepieces that live outside the ordinary. Collections, such as Nebula, Globetrotter, Tourbillon Chrono 36 and more are bold expressions of haute horlogerie and manifestation of pure wonderment. And wonderment is what one is struck with when introduced to the Time Pyramid, another mesmerising timepiece by the house released in 2013. Inspired by the movement layout of the 19-century pyramid clocks, it’s a highly sought-after watch by the house for a few significant reasons. Its perfectly symmetrical movement construction makes it truly distinctive, and the incredible open-work dial that puts that movement on display adds a solid charm. Arnold & Son is a master of complex watchmaking, and because of this, Time Pyramid’s subsequent update incorporated horology’s one of the most difficult-to-produce complications — the tourbillon. Combine all of this with the fact that the watch comes in both precious metal and steel, and it’s no surprise that many collectors consider the Time Pyramid a watch with no equal.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch
Inspired by the movement layout of the 19-century pyramid clocks, Time Pyramid is a highly sought-after watch by Arnold & Son

The idea behind the design of the Time Pyramid was to be able to appreciate its in-house movement every time the wearer glances at the watch. And why not; such an illustration of fine watchmaking and craftsmanship should be on display for all to see. Hence, it is completely open-worked — front and back — exposing the calibre in its entirety, from the technical elements to the finish and decoration. Furthermore, Arnold & Son must be applauded for how it has achieved such refined skeletonisation without forgoing the primary aspect of watchmaking — legibility and the ability to read time effortlessly. 

When released in 2013, Time Pyramid was a time-only watch with functions such as power reserve indicators, running seconds, hours, and minutes. In 2014 and again in 2015, it underwent a few aesthetic changes. But, it saw a notable evolution in 2019, when Arnold & Son launched the Time Pyramid Tourbillon at the Baselworld. To many, it seemed like an organic development of the watch, something one would expect from a brand like Arnold & Son.

Time Pyramid in rose gold and Time Pyramid Tourbillon in steel
Time Pyramid in rose gold and Time Pyramid Tourbillon in steel

Manifesting The Power Of Perfection — The Pyramid-Shaped Movement

Creating skeleton watches is a complex art per se. Yet, Arnold & Son pushed the envelope by not just producing an open-worked timepiece that lets it all hang out but rendering the movement components into a unique pyramid shape. Hence, the name. Both calibres that powered the 2013 and 2019 versions carry the same structure with a few modifications. Two mainspring barrels sit at the bottom of the case, working as the base of the pyramid. Attached to them via multiple gears are two power reserve indicators coinciding at three and nine o’clock positions. The reason behind the addition of two indicators is that both barrels work in succession. They have been ingeniously integrated to work not together but in turn. Therefore, when the power in one barrel is down, the other activates and keeps the watch’s functions running smoothly. Across from the barrels at 12 o’clock is conspicuously placed the balance wheel, and in case of the 2019 version, the tourbillon. Then, flanked between the barrels and the balance wheel or tourbillon is the gear train constructed vertically, completing the triangular pyramid shape. Each component of the movement from the bridges to the wheels is finished to the highest standards, manifesting haute horlogerie magnetism. The contrast of blue screws and pink rubies, the subtlety of the Côtes de Genève pattern, and the hand-chamfered edges reveal an appreciation for craftsmanship. Overall, from the symmetrical architecture to the excellent finishing, the movements powering the Time Pyramid watches embody the power of perfection. 

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid

From the symmetrical architecture to the excellent finishing, the movement powering the Time Pyramid watches embodies the power of perfection

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Arnold & Son Time Pyramid – Design And Aesthetics

Concurrently encapsulating a function-driven design aesthetic as well as a flattering luxurious appeal, the Time Pyramid exhibits a style that complements various sensibilities. It’s a substantial 44.6mm timepiece delivering a tremendous amount of elegant practicality. Therefore, in addition to discerning patrons who fancy the watch for its haute horlogerie character, countless enthusiasts are intrigued solely by its charming semblance. Each model comes in either 18k rose gold or stainless steel, featuring a round case with the crown ingeniously positioned at six o’clock. The crown’s placement plays a more functional role than an aesthetical one, as all the time-setting and winding mechanisms are deployed at the base of the pyramid movement. Further, the watch evokes opulence with a high polished finish throughout, and its petite sloping lugs hug the wrist most effortlessly. It is presented on an alligator leather strap in a black or brown hue, depending on the case material. 

Time Pyramid
Concurrently encapsulating a function-driven design aesthetic as well as a flattering luxurious appeal, the Time Pyramid exhibits a style that complements various sensibilities

The Dial

Time Pyramid is an open-worked watch where the movement is nestled between two sapphire crystal glass and is visible comprehensively to the naked eye. Hence in pursuit of the same, time indications are arranged quite creatively on the dial. A sapphire crystal disc is offset at six o’clock, detailed with painted Roman numeral hour markers and contoured by a rhodium-plated ring carrying dotted minute markers. Beneath the hour disc lies the seconds sub-dial in the original version of the Time Pyramid. In the tourbillon model, the seconds come integrated with the tourbillon escapement at noon, marked by black dots on the dial’s outer rim. In both versions, the power reserve indicators are at three and nine o’clock. But, while the original model includes blue serpentine-shaped hands to indicate the reserve, the tourbillon version comes with simple, arrow-headed ones, though also in blue. The hour and minute hands are in the shade of blue as well. 

Calibre A&S1615 And A&S8615

The 2013 Time Pyramid comes powered by the hand-wound movement A&S1615. It’s a time-only calibre with a beat rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It is 37.60mm in diameter and only 4.40mm in height. The power reserve offered by this calibre is a staggering 90 hours. On the other hand, Time Pyramid Tourbillon is driven by calibre A&S8615. Although both the movements share similarities, case in point — the diameter and frequency, A&S8615 is not a reproduction of the former but an original through and through. As aforementioned, it has the seconds conjoined with the tourbillon at 12. Consequently, the design of the mainplate or bridge is different in this calibre. Further, A&S8615 is slightly thicker, with 5.70mm in height. It is composed of 31 jewels and also promises a running autonomy of 90 hours. 

Summing Up

With respect to skeleton watches, there don’t seem to be too many ways one can go. Yet, in execution, design, and most importantly innovation, Arnold & Son Time Pyramid is anything but predictable. It’s a far cry from the usual, complex skeleton timepieces and presents the entire mechanism in an extremely effortless form. Moreover, it’s a statement piece by nature with umpteen elements and details to admire. Over the years, the house has improved the watch with every update, overcoming the challenges one usually faces with skeleton watches. So, in conclusion, it won’t be wrong to say that Arnold & Son Time Pyramid is a piece of art to be worn on the wrist and a testament to the house’s skill and John Arnold’s impressive legacy.


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