Arnold & Son Watches

With roots dating back to England in 1764, Arnold & Son pays tribute to English watchmaker John Arnold (1736-1799) who was instrumental in the development of ship’s chronometers to help solve the problem of longitude at sea. He created many “firsts” in watchmaking, and today, the brand that bears his name is dedicated to the same pioneering spirit, regularly unveiling highly complicated calibers that stir hearts around the world. At the luxury spectrum, its bestsellers include the Time Pyramid, Nebula, Globe Trotter, and a host of grand complications.

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History of Arnold & Son

After completing his watchmaking apprenticeship in 1755, John Arnold left England for Holland to sharpen his watchmaking skills. Upon his return two years later, he spoke fluent German, which would serve him well in the future. By his mid-twenties, he had established his reputation as a watchmaker in London.

By 1764, John Arnold earned an audience with King George III by presenting him with a ring featuring a half-quarter repeater. The King loved the piece and presented Arnold with 500 guineas. It is said that the Emporer of Russia offered him 1000 guineas to duplicate it, but he refused.

In 1771 Arnold presented a marine chronometer to the Board of Longitude that he could produce for only 60 guineas. They swiftly awarded him £200, the first of several grants he received over the years. Arnold’s first chronometer traveled to Madagascar with Admiral Sir Robert Harland of the Royal Navy. A John Arnold Marine Chronometer No. 3 accompanied James Cook on his second voyage of discovery to the Pacific in 1772.

The Chronometer

Arnold produced the most famous of his timepieces in 1779. His pocket watch No. 1/36 was acclaimed for its precision. Arnold published his results titled “An Account kept during Thirteen Months in the Royal Observatory at Greenwich of the Going of a Pocket Chronometer, made on a new Construction.”  The term “chronometer” consequently became general currency and is still used today to indicate mechanical timepieces tested and certified to meet specific precision standards.

Second Generation

John Arnold retired in 1796, leaving his son John Roger Arnold in charge of the company. An accomplished watchmaker in his own right, having studied with the renowned French watchmaker Abraham Louis Breguet.

After John Roger Arnold’s death in 1843, Arnold & Son is continued by Charles Frodsham, a renowned English watchmaker, until mid of the 19th century. Arnold & Son went dormant after that until its relaunch in 1995.

Who owns Arnold & Son?

Arnold & Son is owned by Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., a Japanese watchmaking company that produces a wide range of watches under various brands. Citizen acquired Arnold & Son in 2000 with the aim of expanding their portfolio of luxury watch brands. Despite being owned by a Japanese company, Arnold & Son continues to produce their watches in Switzerland and maintains their commitment to high-quality craftsmanship and innovative design.

Fun Fact

Arnold & Son’s marine chronometers played a significant role in the exploration of Africa by Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone. In the mid-19th century, Livingstone embarked on a series of expeditions to Africa to explore and map the continent and to promote the abolition of the slave trade. On one of his journeys, Livingstone carried an Arnold & Son No 4585 marine chronometer to help him accurately determine his position and navigate through uncharted territory. This chronometer played a vital role in Livingstone’s exploration, allowing him to accurately record his observations and map the African continent more accurately than ever before. The success of Livingstone’s expeditions helped to increase the popularity of Arnold & Son’s marine chronometers, which became highly sought-after by other explorers, navigators, and maritime professionals around the world.

Arnold & Son Collections

Grandes Complications

The Grandes Complications Collection features some of the most complex and impressive watches made by Arnold & Son, including timepieces with perpetual calendars, minute repeaters, and tourbillons.

Métiers d’Arts

The Métiers d’Arts Collection features watches with stunning handcrafted dials, including enamel, guilloché, and hand-painted designs.

Ultrathin Tourbillon

The Ultrathin Tourbillon Collection features watches with a slim profile and a tourbillon complication, showcasing Arnold & Son’s technical expertise and attention to detail.

Luna Magna

The Luna Magna Collection features watches with moon phase complications, with a unique design that includes a large moon phase display and small seconds sub-dial.

Perpetual Moon

The Perpetual Moon Collection features watches with a perpetual calendar and moon phase complication, providing a highly accurate display of the lunar cycle.


The Nebula Collection features watches with a unique and captivating design that showcases the intricate movements of the watch, with a skeletonized dial and sapphire crystal case back.


The Globetrotter Collection features watches designed for world travelers, with dual time zone displays and a rotating city ring.

Tourbillon Chrono 36

The Tourbillon Chrono 36 Collection features watches with a tourbillon and chronograph complication, with a classic and elegant design.

Time Pyramid

The Time Pyramid Collection features watches with a distinctive pyramid-shaped movement, which is both aesthetically pleasing and technically impressive.


The DSTB (Dial Side True Beat) Collection features watches with a unique true beat complication, which displays time with a constant and precise motion.


The Eight-Day Collection features watches with a power reserve of eight days, showcasing Arnold & Son’s technical expertise in creating high-precision movements.