Regular readers are likely familiar with (or perhaps deeply bored by) my personal affection for Arcanaut, the Copenhagen based brand that is responsible for what is certainly my own personal favorite watch acquisition of the year. I wrote about how the Arc II Fordite kind of broke my brain and changed my perception of what’s possible when it comes to accessible creativity mixed with real craft back in July, and I’m happy to say that watch is still a regular part of the rotation and continues to be deeply rewarding to own. So I was excited to see a press release find its way to my inbox recently for the latest release from Arcanaut, the Arc II D’Arc Matter Colours Collection. If your reaction to an Arcanaut like mine, with a sterile but psychedelic dial made of reclaimed car paint, is that the case looks great but you just need something to clearly delineate the actual time, these new watches might be worth taking a look at. Even though they clearly have a very different presentation than the Arc II Fordite, they still convey all the charm that makes the brand so interesting.
The Colours Collection returns to a motif that Arcanaut first shared in 2021, with a clean slate dial that couldn’t be more different than the wild and unpredictable Fordite dials they’ve been dabbling with over the last year. The dials have a subtle texture, and are finished in Sweden by James “Black Badger” Thompson, whose title at Arcanaut is Chief of Materials Research. A fitting title, given the manufacturing process for the dials, which involves feeding the slate material through an industrial coffee grinder and mixing the material that comes out with a UV-resistant binding agent. Not a traditional process, but fitting for the Mad Scientist vibe of the Arcanaut operation.
If you know Thompson’s work, you know that what he’s really known for in the industry is the meticulous and impressive use of luminescent material found in watches that he has a hand in designing, and that’s certainly the case here. The Colours Collection is so named because around the slate dial are prominent lumed accents that have been incorporated into the dial’s perimeter, with gaps at five minute intervals to assist in checking the time at a glance. There are four variants at launch: Badger Blue, Pongo Orange, Hornet Yellow, and Gamma Green. The custom colored Super-LumiNova compounds were developed specifically for Arcanaut by the Swiss firm RC Tritec.
Other aspects of the watch are carry-overs from previous Arcanaut releases, including the distinctive skeletonized handset, and the ergonomic, contemporary case design, which is milled and assembled in Copenhagen. The watches run on the Soprod A10 automatic movement, which has 42 hours of power reserve.
Each model is limited to 25 pieces for 2023, and like all Arcanaut watches these will be produced in small batches. A pre-sale for Arcanaut newsletter subscribers begins on September 23, with a general pre-sale beginning a week later. Watches are expected to begin delivering in early 2024. The retail price for each watch is $3,950. For more information, check out the Arcanaut website here.