Introducing The Longitude Titanium, Three New Sports Watches From Arnold & Son

Arnold & Son comes out swinging ahead of Watches & Wonders Geneva with three sporty titanium watches.


In a surprising pre-Watches & Wonders Geneva move, Arnold & Son have just announced the arrival of a brand new model dubbed the Longitude Titanium. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this new piece is that it’s a sports watch, which is very off-piste for Arnold & Son. However, it should be seen as a reflection of where the watch industry is headed, albeit a late one.

To be fair to Arnold & Son, they are not a high-capacity watchmaker with oodles of tech and seemingly endless resources to make their designs come to life. John Arnold (1736 – 1799) is perhaps one of the most respected British watchmakers to have ever lived (for a time, British & French watchmaking reigned supreme and Swiss watchmaking was seen as cheap and disposable). Arnold’s work included recreating the extremely precise and intricate workings of John Harrison’s (1693 – 1776) marine chronometers for contemporary admiralty, as well as making his own highly accurate chronometers such as pocket watch no.1/36. Arnold’s highly accurate cylindrical hairspring is still in use in some very exclusive watches thanks to the difficulty in producing it. 

Perhaps Arnold’s most influential idea is the concept of placing a balance wheel in a rotating cage to counteract the effects of gravity on the escapement assembly. Sound familiar? Arnold never got to see his invention come to life, but his close watchmaking friend, Abraham-Louis Breguet, designed it and put his very first tourbillon in a pocket watch made by Arnold. Breguet presented the watch to Arnold’s son, John Roger Arnold, in 1808. That watch is currently held in the British Museum, by the way.

The ties between John Arnold and Arnold & Son watches today are pretty minimal, in fact, I think the name and the interest in highly accurate mechanical watches are the only ties between them. With that said, the current watches made by the brand are no less because of this, and the new Longitude Titanium pieces are very intriguing. 

An intricate 42.5mm x 12.25mm case forms the base of these watches, it comes with an integrated titanium bracelet which is interchangeable with a green or blue rubber strap thanks to a quick change system. These watches look ergonomic and comfortable, from some angles they remind me of Czapek’s Antarctique watch, but we’ll be seeing them live soon in Geneva so we can report back then.

Buyers are currently greeted with a choice of three dials, all of which have a classy brushed finished with concentric circles engraved into the seconds subdial, also note that there’s no date window anywhere here. The exclusive first edition watches have a sandy gold-coloured dial which Arnold & Son have called Kingsand, with silver and blue details I think this one is particularly attractive and would suit people looking for a watch with a salmon-coloured dial quite well. There’s also a subdued blue model with rhodium-plated hands and markers and a fern green dial with golden hands and markers. All watches have been treated with SuperLumiNova for easy nighttime reading.

Behind the dial and on display through a sapphire crystal caseback is the brand new in-house-made A&S6302 calibre. Arnold & Son say that the gold rotor on the new movement is designed to look like an 18th-century English frigate cleaving through water, okay, but there is plenty of chamfering and polishing going on here with lots of contrasting blue details too. The finishing style of the movement is called Rayons de la Gloire and is apparently a speciality of the brand, I haven’t ever been able to put my finger on why Arnold & Son’s calibres look particularly unique, but this might well be it. If you’re interested, this movement has a single large barrel providing a 60-hour power reserve and a 4Hz beat rate, it’s also been certified as a chronometer by COSC.

All in all, these look like great watches. Sure, one could point the finger at Arnold & Son by saying they’re hopping on a bandwagon, but these watches seem unique enough to be able to stand up to that. Besides, if it works for Arnold & Son then it works, and despite not seemingly having any connections to the historical figure, they tell his story, and that’s important. 

The pricing for these watches is CHF21,500 incl. VAT for the blue and green models and CHF22,600 incl. VAT for the 88-piece limited edition Kingsand model.