Swiss luxury watch maker Arnold & Son announces the HMS Beagle Set, a trio of timepieces marking Charles Darwin’s voyage of discovery.
HMS Beagle undertook three survey voyages in all, but it was the second one, with naturalist Charles Darwin on board, that guaranteed its place in history. With this set of three watches, each featuring an exquisite hand-painted miniature of HMS Beagle, Arnold & Son pays tribute to one of the most celebrated ships in the history of exploration.
The Beagle’s second voyage is best known for a five-week stopover in the Galapagos Island, which gave Charles Darwin the foundations for his theory of evolution. The voyage’s express purpose, among other things, was to establish a chain of linked reference points with known longitudes that could be used by future navigators to set their chronometers precisely. For this purpose the ship carried an unprecedented 22 marine chronometers, five of which were by Arnold and associates. The large number of timepieces was necessary because of inevitable malfunctions and imprecisions, when a collection of chronometers guaranteed better average values.
The set comprises three timepieces each with a different Arnold & Son in-house movement: the HM, with the ultra-thin A&S1001 movement with over 90 hours of power reserve; the TB, with the self-winding A&S6103 movement with integrated true beat seconds system; and the UTTE, featuring the ultra-thin tourbillon calibre A&S8200 with a one-minute flying tourbillon and over 90 hours of power reserve. The movements are housed in 18-carat white gold, 18-carat rose gold and 18-carat red gold cases, respectively, with black alligator straps.
A feature common to each of the watches is a finely detailed, hand-painted miniature showing HMS Beagle at some stage of its second voyage. Set against silvery-white and silvery opaline dials, the paintings are based on illustrations of the ship taken from documentation of the voyage. The art of painting miniatures by hand calls for infinite patience and consummate skill. The tiny brushstrokes and texturing gradually build up entire images with an astonishing richness of detail and underscore Arnold & Son’s mastery of the decorative arts.
The magnificent HMS Beagle timepieces are available in a limited edition of just eight sets of three watches each.
Calibre A&S1001: Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 21 jewels, diameter 30 mm, thickness 2.7 mm, power reserve over 90 h, 21,600 vibrations/h
Functions: hours, minutes
Calibre A&S6103: Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, ceramic ball bearing, 30 jewels, diameter 30.4 mm, thickness 7.79 mm, power reserve over 50 h, 28,800 vibrations/h
Functions: hours, minutes, true beat seconds
Calibre A&S8200: Exclusive Arnold & Son ultra-thin tourbillon movement, one-minute flying tourbillon, hand-wound, 29 jewels, diameter 32 mm, thickness 2.97 mm, tourbillon cage diameter 14 mm, power reserve over 90 h, 21,600 vibrations/h
Functions: hours, minutes, tourbillon
Hand-painted miniature, silvery-white and silvery opaline
18-carat white gold / 18-carat rose gold / 18-carat red gold, diameter 40 mm /
44 mm / 42 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant to 30 m
Hand-stitched black alligator leather
Limited edition: 8 sets of 3 timepieces
1LCAW.S08A.C111W, 18-carat white gold
1ARAP.W08A.C120A, 18-carat rose gold
1UTAR.S07A.C120A, 18-carat red gold