Introducing: The Unusual And Intriguing Arcanaut Arc II Havender And Klint
Solid slices of Fordite, composite dials made from slate… What’s next in Arcanaut’s arsenal of unexpected dial materials? Scandinavian mussel shells. Yes, you read that correctly. When I first read that, I was equally surprised and intrigued. We are treated to two more unusual dials for the brand’s latest Arc II models. One is a crispy white dial made from a composite material using powdered titanium dioxide. The other is a light purple dial created from a composite of Scandinavian mussel shells. It’s time to learn more about these two new Arcanaut Arc II releases.
I love how Arcanaut is continuing to push dial-making boundaries by searching for new materials. This specific focus is possible thanks to a small dedicated group of Arcanaut fans and collectors since the experimentation and uniqueness of the materials do not allow for large production numbers. As a result, Arcanaut will only produce 25 pieces of the new Arc II Klint per year and just 33 pieces of the Havender as a one-time production. So, if you want one of these special pieces, you’ll join a select group of Arcanaut owners who can share in the joy of them.
The Arcanaut Arc II
Let’s start with the basics. We have covered the Arcanaut Arc II multiple times here on Fratello, but let’s remind ourselves of the brand and the watch. Danish designer Anders Brandt, one of the two main guys behind Arcanaut, is responsible for the design. The second guy is James Thompson, who some of you will also know as Black Badger. He is famous within the watch world for his spectacular lume executions and is also responsible for the materials and execution of Arcanaut’s different dials.
The Arc II has a CNC-machined 40.52mm stainless steel case with a distinct shape. It comes equipped with an integrated rubber strap and has no traditional lugs. Additionally, there is no traditional crown but what the brand calls a “Pentablock” crown. The case features a matte micro-bead-blasted finish with hand-polished highlights for a nice visual contrast. Inside the case, Arcanaut uses the Soprod A10 caliber. This automatic movement operates at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. All these elements make the Arc II the perfect canvas for interesting dials.
The new Arcanaut Arc II Havender
The dial design of the recent D’Arc Matter models and these new Havender and Klint versions are minimalistic in their approach. The true magic is in the materials and the detailed execution. That’s where the clean design turns into something organic and distinct. If you check out the production process on the brand’s website, besides being interesting and fun to watch, it also gives the Arc II a more relatable soul than just looking at it might.
Let’s start with the remarkable Arc II Havender. Yes, it is the model with the dial made of mussel shells. It all started with the quest to create unique blue dials as the follow-up to the D’Arc Matter and call it the Blue Matter. Initial experimentation with regular seashells did not result in the desired blue powder to use as the base material for the dials. That’s why James Thompson contacted a local Swedish mussel farm to help. The farm supplied Arcanaut with 10 kilograms of mussel shells with which to experiment.
How blue turned into light purple
After Thompson found a way to get the desired fine powder from these blue mussel shells, it turned out not to be blue. While the shells look blue at first sight, the most exciting pigment is not blue once processed. Instead, the fine powder turns out to be a light lavender color. While it might not have been the desired blue color, it was worth going forward and researching whether the powder would be suited to create dials. After rigorous testing, the powder was mixed well with UV-resistant resin. A new dial material was born and named Havender. The name combines hav, the Swedish word for sea, and lavender, the famous purple plant.
With this material, Arcanaut creates minimalist dials with an outer ring of 12 luminous hour markers. Hovering above the light purple backdrop are Arcanaut’s characteristic laser-cut and micro-welded “Grand Paw” hands. They feature white luminous tips to match the lume on the dial’s periphery. Completing the look is an integrated black rubber strap. I have to say the light purple tone suits the Arc II very well.
Additionally, the story of the Havender material is unique. It’s a dial that I would look at multiple times a day to remind myself of that and to check out the beautiful color and texture. But for those hoping for a blue-dial Arc II, that remains a work in progress.
The Arcanaut Arc II Klint
The second model is the Arcanaut Arc II Klint. While the story of the dial material might not sound as adventurous as that of the Havender, it is quite a striking dial. The Klint is the result of a quest to create an Arc II with a uniquely crisp white dial. After experimenting with several materials, Thompson ended up with powdered titanium oxide as the right one for the job. Above all, the material is commonly used in decorative arts but not for watch dials.
For the Arc II Klint, the powdered titanium dioxide is mixed with UV-resistant resin. This results in millable white plates that can be machined to create dials. At first glance, the execution might seem simple. But don’t be fooled because the crisp white dial is matched with 12 tone-on-tone white unicast hour markers. At first glance, you might think it’s a straightforward white dial with gray minute markers only. But the outer ring of 12 markers encircling the minute track is there.
Additionally, for the Klint, the brand uses a new blackened handset called the “Chevron set.” In comparison to Havender’s hands, these are slightly updated. The lume is integrated into the hollow parts rather than on the tips of the hands. It’s a nice change that I quite like. Additionally, it ensures you can easily read the time during all parts of the day, whether in the daylight or the dark.
A no-nonsense color scheme that just works
The Arc II Klint also comes on a black integrated rubber strap. As a result, you get an Arc II that looks super clean in white, gray, and black. In my opinion, this suits the minimalist Scandinavian design perfectly. It results in an ultra-stylish watch that seems rather adaptable to various situations. This crisp white-dial version of the Arc II might completely win me over.
Both of these watches come with a story about their dials. I love that Brandt and Thompson have created a canvas inspired by Scandinavian design to experiment with new materials. It makes the story of every Arc II worth checking out. In particular, the story of the Havender’s mussel-shell dial is super interesting. That’s why I urge you to watch the video on the brand’s website about the production process of the dials.
Final thoughts on the Arcanaut Arc II Havender and Klint
I like both of these models for different reasons. The new Arc II Klint is the most conventional and strikingly surprising version to date. The Arc II Havender is all about the story of the unique material and how that turned into a beautiful light purple dial. Arcanaut will produce 25 pieces of the Klint per year and 33 pieces of the Havender in total. Both watches are priced at €3,595 (excluding taxes). I do not doubt that these will sell out quickly because both are great additions to the striking Arcanaut lineup.
The watches are available for pre-order now and will start shipping in March 2024. For more information, visit the official Arcanaut website. In the comments section, let us know which of these two models you prefer.