In the hallowed halls of horology, few names command the same respect as Arnold & Son. This year, the venerated watchmaker has chosen to revitalize one of its most personal collections—DSTB 42 (Dial-Side True Beat)—in a magnificent ballet of precision and spectacle. Crafted with platinum and red gold, these limited-edition pieces are a modern symphony of marine chronometry, blending contemporary flair with storied history.
The DSTB 42 is an exhibition—of art, craftsmanship, and a particular kind of technological marvel known as the ‘True Beat’ seconds. This function, a throwback to the marine instruments that founder John Arnold once supplied to the Royal Navy, manifests itself in a second hand that moves in deliberate, one-second intervals. Unlike conventional timepieces, where the second hand sweeps around the dial, here it leaps, thanks to a uniquely developed escapement mechanism.
What sets the DSTB 42 apart is its unabashed celebration of this intricate mechanism. It’s not hidden away but showcased on the dial side under openwork, finely chamfered gold bridges. Three-dimensional and exquisitely crafted, these bridges provide a visual balance to the off-center hours dial crafted in ethereal white opal.
The DSTB 42 presents a level of aesthetic grandeur that pays homage to Arnold & Son’s marine chronometry roots. Witness the anchor-shaped counterpoise, which commands attention as it goes up and down, regulating the large seconds hand. It’s a visual marvel, a slice of animated history gracing your wrist, evoking both the open sea and the craftsmanship of yore.
This high drama comes replete with new design details that elevate the DSTB 42 to a class of its own. The 5N red gold variant offers a sumptuous blend of warm tones, complemented by a calming, blue PVD-treated dial. The platinum version opts for striking contrasts, pairing 950 platinum with a sunray-brushed dial, the hue of which is reminiscent of rose gold—or ‘salmon’ as it is often called in watchmaking parlance.
Beyond the eye-catching aesthetics, the DSTB 42 introduces several upgrades that enhance its mechanical prowess. Its exclusive Manufacture calibre A&S6203, developed entirely in-house, has been slimmed down to 5.54 mm while still offering 55 hours of power reserve—a notable increase from the original DSTB’s 45-hour reserve. The case itself has been resized to a more wearable 42 mm diameter with a total thickness of just 12.95 mm.
All this technology is self-wound, thanks to an oscillating weight in 22-carat gold. With a regulating organ oscillating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the DSTB 42 is the epitome of precision. They echo the grand maritime adventures of the past while signaling the craftsmanship of the future—a future where Arnold & Son continues to set the standard for what a luxury timepiece can and should be.