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By and large, watch brands tend to be a rather conventional lot. Design choices are often made with broad commercial appeal in mind, and as such, the result is a surfeit of timepieces that somehow all vaguely resemble each other. Now, there’s nothing wrong with opting for a more traditional approach to watchmaking, but for certain companies like Danish independent watch brand Arcanaut, being unconventional is the name of the game. With its newest release, the Arc II — D’Arc Matter Colours Collection, Arcanaut channels its idiosyncratic spirit with an unorthodox composite dial construction and a set of proprietary luminescent colorways. 

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Every Arcanaut watch begins with a shared framework of a cushion-shaped Arc case, integrated rubber strap, and rectangular Pentablock crown. These are all the unique inventions of Arcanaut’s chief designer Anders Brandt, who prior to co-founding the brand worked as a consultant with companies like Lego where he helped develop and launch products. From there, the head of Arcanaut’s materials research, James Thompson (better known in the watch industry as Black Badger), adds his visual flair to each watch with the use of both uncommon and, sometimes, completely novel elements. In the case of the Arc II — D’Arc Matter Colours Collection, the original components are two-fold. The first is the dial, which is constructed of Scandinavian slate fragments that Thompson reclaimed from an old fountain just outside his home in Sweden. These pieces are run through an industrial coffee grinder multiple times in order to produce an extremely fine slate powder, which is then mixed with an ultra-clear resin in order to create the final composite used for the dial. It’s an unusual but inventive process, and the result is a handsome dark gray material that serves as a perfect complement to the next step in the process. 

After the slate composite has been milled to the proper dial dimensions, the Danish-made, laser-cut stainless steel hands are affixed into place, the ends tipped with a custom shade of Super-LumiNova specially developed by Thompson in partnership with RC Tritec. These four hues were created for Thompson’s exclusive use in his jewelry and Arcanaut’s watches, meaning you won’t see these specific colors of Super-LumiNova utilized anywhere else in the industry. Currently, the D’Arc Matter Colours Collection is the only Arcanaut collection to use any of these colors, each with a name befitting the playful nature of the brand: Badger Blue, Gamma Green, Hornet Yellow, and Pongo Orange. Overall legibility is exceptionally high, and a series of 12 matching luminous markers are set into the slim surrounding chapter ring to complete the colorful and low-light-ready look.

The stainless steel cases of the Arcanaut Arc II — D’Arc Matter Colors Collection are proudly made in Denmark, where all quality control and assembly is done as well. Each case is micro-blasted and hand-polished with a brushed bezel, and measures just a hair under 41mm wide. Inside is a Soprod A10 movement that beats away at 4Hz and offers 42 hours of power reserve, and the watch sports an engraved caseback and a respectable water resistance of 100 meters.

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The entire collection will be available for general purchase beginning at 7 PM CEST on September 30th, 2023, though there will be a presale release opening one week earlier at 7 PM CEST on September 23rd for those who signed up for either the D’Arc Matter waiting list or any of the reference-specific mailing lists. Each of the colors will be limited to 25 pieces at launch, with 15 being made available during the pre-sale, and the remainder during the general release. Ordering can be done either via the brand’s website, or via their US retail outlet, Collective Horology. 

The Arcanaut Arc II — D’Arc Matter Colors Collection offers a fresh take on the classic time-only format with its clean Scandinavian style, unique dial material, and proprietary Super-LumiNova hues. It’s an excellent option for the watch enthusiast looking for something outside of typical mainstream watch design, and for those looking to be colorfully unconventional. 

Pricing for the Arcanaut Arc II — D’Arc Matter Colors Collection is $3,950 USD, excluding VAT. For more information, visit the Arcanaut website

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