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Arnold & Son release the Hornet History Collection ‘James Cook’ limited edition watches

by Michael Weare
17 December, 2010
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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These magnificent new limited edition watches hark back to a time when Britain had more to offer the world than Tesco’s and binge drinking. Arnold & Son is one of the oldest English watch making firms. In the 1760’s John Arnold helped create many timepieces for the ships of King George III. He also invented many horological breakthroughs including the spring detent escapement, the bimetallic spring, and the helical balance spring. He studied for a time under the master watchmaker A.L. Breguet.

In 1787, his son joined him in his profession and so Arnold & Son was founded. They continued to produce fascinating timepieces for ships and they were used by many great British explorers during their famous expeditions.

Since 1998 the company has been represented by Swiss based firm The British Masters SA who spent many years working to rejuvenate the brand.

Many of the famous British explorers relied on the Arnold and Son maritime clocks in their greatest expeditions. Their collections focus on the company’s rich heritage in the world of navigation and travel. The latest of these is the Hornet History Collection: ‘James Cook’.

The watches

‘The Landing at Botany Bay in Australia

1st voyage 1768-1771 HMS Endeavour : Eastern Coastline of Australia

Transit of Venus across the sun – mapping of coastline of complete New Zealand, first recorded encountering of eastern coastline of Australia by a European – first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians – collecting of local plants and specimens activities.

‘The Discovery of Antartica’

2nd voyage, 1772-1775 HMS Resolution and HMS Adventure

Use of two Arnold’s Marine Chronometers – Proving ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ to be a myth – Exploration of coastline of Antartica, New Zealand, Australia – Cook invited a young Tahitian Omai as an additional member on his boat .

‘The Death in Hawaii’

3rd voyage, 1776-1779 HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery

First recorded encountering of Hawaii by a European – Investigation of the existence of the ‘Northwest Passage’ – Sailing along the coast of Alaska – End of voyage has determined on 14 February 1779 while James Cook was killed by a riot.

The watches feature exclusive automatic movements and a series of functions. In addition to the time, the dials have a GMT hand (shaped like the sun), a large date indicator, and a rotating bezel that is used for a third time zone indicator. Each of the 25 sets of three watches will retail for around US$156,000, which was probably a king’s ransom in the time that Captain Cook was discovering all these new bits of territory for Britain.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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