Famous watchmakers

John Arnold

1736 - 1799

John Arnold

English clockmaker and chronometer maker.

Member of the Clockmaker Company (CC.).

Free CC.1783.

Livery CC.1796.

Key dates


One of his first productions was an extremely small quarter repetition watch, placed in a ring, which earned him the recognition of George III. It had a cylinder escapement using a ruby cylinder, the first in this material.

1770 to 1779

Development of chronometry:

  • Made improvements to the bi-metallic compensating balance wheel (patents filed in 1775 and 1782).

  • Invented the cylindrical spiral with terminal curves (patents filed in 1782).

  • Invention of a spring escapement (patented in 1782). Concomitant invention but probably obtained independently from Thomas Earnshaw and Ferdinand Berthoud.



Rencontre avec A.L. Breguet à qui il donne carte blanche pour se servir de ses inventions.