There are literally dozens of new micro-brands launching every week. Thanks to crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, anyone with a strong interest or even a passion for watches can now fulfill his dream and create his own timepiece. We, at MONOCHROME, have been keeping an eye on this trend, as it might represent the future and we are aware that not all our readers can afford 5-digit luxury watches. The latest project we have discovered: Arcturus Watches and its timepiece, the LC-1. Opulent, art deco-inspired, original… Let’s have a look.
Arcturus Watches was founded by Alexander Ian Loh, a Singapore-based mechanics enthusiast. His passion, which started when he was a weapons specialist, dealing with the servicing and maintenance of weapons on a daily basis, later developed into a passion for mechanical movements. Loh then started sketching and designing a watch that reflected his passion and sense of style. The first piece born in his mind, the LC-1, an abbreviation for “Lion City 1”, pays homage to his hometown – Singapore. His watch somehow reflects the mix of historical and modern elements found in this city, as well as its opulent ambiance.
The first thing that catches the attention of the Arcturus LC-1 is the case. It’s cushion-shape case recalls pieces from the 1920s. This feeling is reinforced by the work done on the sides of this case, with textures and grooves. Most of the surfaces are polished, yet the grooves on the case bands as well as dynamic recessed areas on the bezel are sand-blasted. This offers contrast, animates the case and brings less shine to the watch. It is crafted in 316L stainless steel. A bronze collection (whose colour is obtained by PVD-coating on steel) of the LC-1 is also available. An octagonal crown, signed with the logo of the brand, complements the graphic lines of the case. It has a diameter of 42mm while the lug-to-lug length is 49mm. A modern-sized timepiece with enough presence on the wrist.
The dial of the Arcturus LC-1 is the main point of interest in this watch. Complex and based on several layers, it is clearly opulent and far from minimalist. Twelve individual components are used to create an effect of depth and an interesting contrast. The hour ring features cut-out Roman numerals, the minute track with concentric lines as well as the central part, is available in a choice of a textured (grained) central area or a mother-of-pearl plate. Each decoration is unique, with different patterns and reflections.
The dial may be complex, but it respects a strict sense of symmetry. Besides the indication of the time, with central hour, minute and seconds hands, a power reserve and a date can be found at 12 o’clock, as well as a 24-hour indication at 6 o’clock – which can take two different styles: a classical sub-dial with 24h track or a blue disc with sun/moon indications. We had the latter for our hands-on time with this watch. This simple night/day complication is relevant to the Art Deco context of the Arcturus watch.
The Alpha minute and hour hands are coated with SuperLumiNova, as well as the area underneath the Roman numerals. To avoid the date window to be hidden, the power reserve hand is made of transparent polycarbonate – attention to details… The dial is covered by a double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside of the glass.
Powering the watch is the well-known Miyota base, here in its 9132 variant. This Japanese automatic movement has been widely used by micro-brands and is known to be reliable and relatively precise on a daily basis. It has a modern 4Hz frequency and a decent 40h power reserve. The movement has a hacking seconds hand and is capable of manual winding. The movement is partially visible through the sapphire case back, which features crisscrossing patterns – inspired by the Helix Bridge.
8 different variants of the Arcturus LC-1 are available:
- Silver collection with dark dial, comprising 3 models: grained dial with 24h indication – mother-of-pearl dial with 24h indication – mother-of-pearl dial with sun/moon indication
- Silver collection with silver dial, comprising 2 models: mother-of-pearl dial with 24h indication – mother-of-pearl dial with sun/moon indication
- Bronze collection with dark dial, comprising 3 models: grained dial with 24h indication – mother-of-pearl dial with 24h indication – mother-of-pearl dial with sun/moon indication
Prices for the Arcturus LC-1 go from USD 399 (grained dial with 24h indication) to USD 499 (mother-of-pearl dial with 24h indication) and USD 599 (mother-of-pearl dial with sun/moon indication) during the Kickstarter campaign. You can back this project and find all the details on the following page.