We’re nearing the end of the year, and being the type of person who is already keenly interested in list making as a form of assessment, I’ve naturally started to think about the watches, brands, and new releases that have left the biggest mark in 2023. For me personally, there probably isn’t a more important release or addition to my own collection than the Arcanaut Arc II Fordite, a watch I’ve made no secret of my admiration for many times over. Arcanaut looms large for me as an independent brand that is accessible, contemporary in their aesthetic, and willing to experiment, all things I put a high value on when it comes to new watches. Their latest releases are something of an extension of the D’Arc Matter Colors Collection we told you about a few months ago, and lean heavily into the brand’s commitment to experimenting with materials in new and interesting ways.
First up is the Havender, which takes the Arc II platform and gives it a dial in a gorgeous shade of light purple. But this isn’t simply a coat of paint on a base dial – according to Arcanaut, the Havender represents the brand’s most ambitious composite dial to date. The source of the dial and its unique color comes from a surprising place: Scandinavian mussel shells. Part of the ethos of the Arcanaut brand is to source components locally whenever possible, and brand co-owner James Thompson saw an interesting opportunity via a mussel farm located close to Aracanaut’s headquarters.
Once an allotment of mussel shells had been procured, experimentation ensued. Cleaning the shells revealed their bright blue exterior, and through the course of further refining the material, Thompson discovered that he could extract a lavender colored powder from the shells that would bind successfully with a resin composite into a millable material suitable for watch dials. This process, we’re told, is completely unique in watchmaking. We certainly can’t think of another brand who ever claimed to use mussel shells in their watch production.
Next up: the Klint. To develop this white dial, Arcanaut mixes powdered titanium dioxide with a clear binding agent. This material is formed into millable plates that Arcanaut then machines into watch dials. The idea behind the Klint was to make a minimal, “quiet” dial that holds true to the brand’s focus on material experimentation and Danish design principles. Titanium dioxide is commonly used in the decorative arts, but is less common in watchmaking scenarios, and according to the brand using this particular material gave them exactly the sheen they were after where chalks, clays, and sands had failed.
Specs on the Havender and Klint follow previous Arc II releases. Both come in stainless steel cases measuring 40.5mm in diameter and are mounted to integrated rubber straps. They run on Soprod A10 automatic movements, and use a specially designed crown that lines up perfectly with the lines of the case.
The retail price for the Klint and Havender watches is $3,950. The Havender is a limited run of 33 pieces, and the Klint is limited to 25 pieces in 2023 (Arcanaut says it will return eventually, but in even more limited quantities). They’ll both be available via Arcanuat at 7:00 PM CET (1:00 PM on the east coast of the United States) today. Arcanaut