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Arnold & Sons Watches

From 1764 the Arnold family have been creating intricate nautical pieces and now branch out to more modern timepieces such as the Grand Complications, Mid Complications and the Navigators Watches. With their high level of engineering know-how, Arnold & Sons have been able to develop an amazing range of watches that include the Grand Complications, Mid Complications and the Navigators Watches. These masterpieces from Arnold & Sons offer the best in technical knowledge, precision performance and superb style, as can be seen with the Grand Complications, Mid Complications and the Navigators Watches.

John Arnold was born in 1736 in Bodmin, Cornwall, and was one of the worlds leading horologists and watchmakers who developed and patented escampement and balance spring designs. For a large portion of his life John Arnold lived in Well Hall House in Eltham (a parish of Kent), and here he produced what was then the smallest repeating watch which was set in a ring and given to King George III as a gift. John Arnold then chose to turn his attention to the production of precision chronometers, focusing on their timekeeping qualities. One of these was used by James Cook during his second voyage to the Pacific Ocean in 1772 and by all accounts survived the trip intact and in perfect working order. John Arnold was also the first watchmaker to produce chronometers in significant quantities that could be marketed properly; until then watches were the reserve of the rich and famous and took many months to complete. In 1776 John Arnold obtained a patent for the helical balance spring that was far more effective for precise timekeeping than traditional, non helical balance springs.

John Arnold set up a factory in Chigwell in Essex in 1788 with the intention of producing a large scale run of chronometers. The first watches to leave the factory impressed Nevil Maskelyne (the Astronomer Royal) and was what John Arnold described as "the first watch worthy of the description chronometer". John Arnolds son Roger was born in 1769 and served an apprenticeship with his water and then with prestigious French watchmaker and horologist Abraham Louis Brequet. He was promoted to Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1817. In 1787 he went into buisness with his partner founding the company Arnold & Son which he continued after his fathers death in 1799. The company was purchased by Charles Frodsham in 1843 after Roger Arnold died, and the name Arnold & Son is now used by a Swiss watch Company, and although it has no direct connection to the firm founded by John Arnold it maintains strong links to the previous companies owners lineage.