Arnold & Son unveils a collection of three watches to commemorate the exploits of 19th century maritime explorer Sir John Franklin. These three watches are the latest additions to the Instrument Collection and feature a true-beat seconds and off-centre hour and minute hands, each depict an episode in the life of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, vessels that eventually perished in the course of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to discover the North-West Passage in the mid-19th century.
The mother-of-pearl dials of the three models in the Sir John Franklin Set each feature an exquisite, hand-finished miniature reproduction of an original oil painting owned by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. The first, “Friendly Encounter”, shows HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in New Zealand in about 1840, when the crew had a series of peaceful meetings with the local Maori population. In the second, “Antarctic Adventure”, we see the two vessels navigating storm-tossed seas in the inhospitable environment at the southern tip of the world. The third, “North-West Passage”, depicts HMS Erebus surrounded by icebergs but still in open water.
We know now that both ships were subsequently trapped by the ice and abandoned by their crews, who perished. A later expedition established that Sir John Franklin died on 11 June 1847.
Each of the three timepieces has an 18-carat 44mm rose gold case housing the A&S6103 automatic movement developed, designed and manufactured in-house at Arnold & Son, housed in diameter.
The A&S6103 movement is rhodium treated with classic Haute Horlogerie finishing that includes hand-chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular-graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, a brushed and skeletonised rotor and blued screws.
Only 28 sets of the watches are being produced.