Arken Launches their First Limited Edition for British Watchmakers’ Day

As an avid lover of tool watches, there aren’t many brands that have caught my attention in the last few years quite like Arken. Part of the explosion of small independent watch brands coming out of the UK, Arken has been on my mind since the release of their first watch, the Instrumentum, in 2021. The Instrumentum was followed up by the Alterum last year and now Arken is releasing their first-ever limited edition; a new variant of the Alterum inspired by the Year of the Dragon — a popular source of inspiration over the last few months with everyone from Hublot to JLC getting in on the action.


In technical terms, the Alterum Year of the Dragon is the same watch we were introduced to last year, and which is now starting to pop up on people’s wrists as delivery gets underway. The Year of the Dragon comes in the same 200m water-resistant 40mm grade 2 titanium case and is equipped with the same modified Miyota 9015 movement as the standard production variant (all of which you can read more about in Thomas Calara’s post introducing the watch back in June).

The dial of the Year of the Dragon is where the differences between this limited edition and the standard model start to show themselves. The Year of the Dragon opts to replace the frosted black and anthracite dials of the standard release with a more exciting deep red, three-dimensional, textured, “blasted dragon scale” motif. I’ve never seen a dial quite like this before, and while the name alone would be enough to catch my attention, the execution certainly matches any expectations the concept might set.

The dial is rounded out with a contrasting lollipop dual-time hand finished in orange, and the watch comes fitted to a quick-change, integrated-style nylon strap in a complementary deep red. The limited edition is tied together by a caseback engraving in Chinese that reads, “In time, your luck will turn.”

Only sixty examples of the Alterum Year of the Dragon will be produced, a nod to Arken founder Kenneth Lam’s mother, who was born in the Year of the Dragon and turns 60 this year. For those interested in this very limited edition, the Alterum Year of the Dragon will first be made available to attendees of the inaugural British Watchmaker’s Day in London today and is priced at £630. Arken

Images from this post:
Related Posts
A native New Englander now based in Philadelphia, Griffin has been a passionate watch enthusiast since the age of 13, when he was given a 1947 Hamilton Norman as a birthday gift by his godfather. Well over a decade later, Griffin continues to marvel and obsess about all things watches, while also cultivating lifelong love affairs with music, film, photography, cooking, and making.