Arcadia, a brand that started making watches in the year 18something – the website only mentions “19th century”, I assume they KNOW the exact year – tries again in 2010. As so many other brands, Arcadia went bankrupt during the 1970s quartz crisis in watch land. According to their website, Arcadia was even the symbol of Swiss watchmaking excellence in the 19th century. A quick query on Chrono24 and eBay did not give a result on Arcadia (watches) at all.

Now, I love watches and give kudos to anyone starting a new watch brand driven on innovation, [complicated] mechanical techniques and design but starting a brand driven on the fact that they bought an old brand name, using a crappy website with no background on their company other than a few pictures of watches and a few lousy one-liners is becoming quite annoying.

Let me quote about half of the website’s text here:

“Now, after falling victim to the ‘quartz revolution,’ ARCADIA, and its incredibly avant-garde models, are being reborn under Bunter President Claude Sanz – a passionate devotee of watchmaking history.”

That’s what I call an introduction to a new brand. We’ve seen a couple of these brands before and most of them disappear as quickly as they were launched anyway.

I could be wrong of course, and perhaps their website is still in beta phase or that I misread the specifications of this watch (I just read all the features of the 3rd party Dubois Depraz movement and the case dimensions) or that this watch is just $995, but I expect that it is not.

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According to Europastar, only 275 pieces will be made of their AC01 model (as pictured above). This means that Mr Claude Sanz isn’t probably in it for the money, so what is his drive? I noticed that Arcadia will be attending the GTE (Geneva Time Exhibition) 2011 in January, an exhibition for independent watchmakers. Let’s hope that Arcadia will still be around by then and will have some more information available that will proof that I am being too sceptic.

For the techies:


  • Shape : cushion
  • Material: TITANIUM/STEEL 316L
  • Dimensions: 42.00 x 40.00 x 14.60 mm
  • Opening: 29.40 x 29.40 mm
  • Between lugs: 22.00 mm
  • Bezel & case-back: sapphire crystal
  • Dial: split-level, carbon fiber
  • Mobile lugs
  • Strap: technological fibre
  • Clasp: folding, with security


  • Dubois Dépraz module (base ETA2892-A2)
  • Functions:
    • Time Display: center hours & minutes hands, small seconds hand at 3 o’clock
    • Chronograph: center seconds hand, 30-minutes counter at 9 o’clock, 12-hours counter at 6 o’clock
    • Date at 4 o’clock
    • Time zone: 24-hours index at 12 o’clock
  • Winding: automatic, two-way
  • 18 k rose gold rotor
  • Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
  • Power-Reserve: 40-44 hours
  • Case Diameter: 26.20 mm
  • Thickness: 6.80 mm
  • Crown – 3 positions:
    • 1 – manual winding
    • 2 – quick date setting
    • 3 – time setting
  • 1 pusher: GMT time-zone setting
  • 55 jewels (21+34)
Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • Laforetvivante

    I’ve seen and tried one and I think it’s great ! I don’t know why you lean on the design of the website or the text, the look of the watch is extraordinary as well as the quality! I will buy me one, but I want to have the pink/gold version, yes, this is my watch!

    • Hansverschaeren

      How expensive is this watch, laforetvivante?

  • sunil

    where is the price

  • Tempvs1

    I’ve just seen there latest watch, the vintage 22. What a watch, hand made in geneve. They certainly do not seem to do it for the money. I thought the brand and the people who run it were real watch people and fans of watch making, I’m sure there here for a very long time to come.

  • Anonymous

    Have you seen the new Arcadia Watches web site?

    It makes some of your article obsolete.

    • I hope so for them (two years after the article…)

      • Watchtrader

        What’s the new watch on there web page like called vintage 23? Look really good.