Britain’s National Museum of the Royal Navy comprises five museums that document the part played by the Royal Navy in the shaping of the nation and of the modern world. One of those Museums is HMS Victory, the world's most famous warship, which had her finest hour as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. With this special, one-piece edition of the TB Victory, Arnold & Son pays a special tribute to one of the nation’s most valued institutions.
Some 250 years ago, John Arnold and his son, John Roger, played a central role in developing the chronometers that enabled 18th-century navigators to determine longitude at sea and helped establish the Royal Navy as the dominant force on the world’s oceans. Today, the company looks back with pride on that contribution. As Philippe Boven of Arnold & Son explains: “We are keenly aware of the close links between our company and the Royal Navy, and are presenting this special edition of the TB Victory to the National Museum as an expression of our respect and admiration for the Museum which keeps that unique heritage alive.” His sentiments are mirrored by those of Dr Dominic Tweddle, Director-General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy: “I am delighted and honoured to accept this unique timepiece from Arnold & Son on behalf of the Museum. It is an acknowledgement, exquisitely executed, of the significant role that HMS Victory has played in a long and glorious history.”
The TB Victory timepiece has a distinctive off-centre subdial for the time of day, one of the unmistakable design cues of the Instrument Collection. Central to the cream-coloured dial is the timepiece’s complication: a central true beat (TB) seconds. A rarely found complication these days, the true beat seconds (or dead beat seconds) stands for superlative accuracy and was an invaluable instrument for marine navigators. The combination of a central true beat seconds with an automatic winding system calls for enormous technical expertise. This is made possible by an internationally patented system and calls for parts accurate to a micron, or one-thousandth of a millimetre. The key components are produced using state-of-the-art LIGA (lithography, electroplating and moulding) manufacturing technology.
The TB Victory is powered by the A&S6103 calibre, the first automatic movement with an integrated true beat system to be developed, designed and manufactured entirely at Arnold & Son’s workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The exquisite Haute Horlogerie finishing includes manually chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, a brushed and skeletonised rotor, and blued screws.
This unique edition of the TB Victory will be restricted to the single timepiece presented to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Special edition: Limited No. 1/1
- Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, ceramic ball bearing, 30 jewels, diameter 30.4 mm, thickness 7.79 mm, power reserve 50 h, 28,800 vibrations/h, stop seconds
Functions: hours, minutes, true beat seconds
- rhodium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, brushed and skeletonised rotor, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads
Dial: cream, 22-carat solid gold appliqué
- 18-carat rose gold, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire with the National Museum logo executed in metallic palladium, water-resistant to 30 m
Strap: Hand-stitched brown alligator leather