Hands-on with the Arcanaut Arc II Fordite

Hands-on with the Arcanaut Arc II Fordite

A Fusion of Scandinavian Design and Material Innovation

Today, we take a look at the Arcanaut Arc II Fordite, a watch that seamlessly combines Scandinavian design aesthetics with groundbreaking material innovation.

Arcanaut is the brainchild of designer Anders Brandt and materials artist James Thompson, known in the horological world as Black Badger. This unique collaboration spans Denmark and Sweden, with Anders and the brand’s head office based in Denmark, while James operates out of his workshop, the Badger Den, in Sweden. Arcanaut watches are meticulously assembled in Copenhagen, with parts sourced from various locations across Europe. The distinctive dials and luminous components are crafted in James' workshop, highlighting the brand's commitment to artisanal craftsmanship.

Specifications and Features

Let’s delve into the technical specifications of the Arc II Fordite:

  • Case: Micro-blasted 316L stainless steel with brushed and hand-polished highlights
  • Dimensions: 40.5mm diameter, 49mm lug-to-lug, and 13mm height (including the crystal)
  • Movement: Soprod A10 Swiss automatic movement
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Dial: Genuine hand-finished Fordite
  • Hands: Laser-cut stainless steel
  • Functions: Time-only
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Operating Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Strap: Rubber strap available in various colors
  • Production: Limited to 25 pieces per year, with pre-orders available

Distinctive Design and Material

Two aspects stand out when you first encounter the Arc II Fordite: its unique case geometry and the strikingly unconventional dial.

The case, designed by Anders Brandt, embodies the quintessential Scandinavian approach to watch design. It is instantly recognizable, even from across a room, thanks to its distinctive geometry and refined finishing. The combination of micro-blasted and polished surfaces creates a visually appealing contrast, enhancing the watch's modern yet timeless aesthetic.

Wild Fordite Dials

The dials, crafted by James Thompson, are made from Fordite—an extraordinary material that tells a story of industrial artistry. Fordite is essentially petrified car paint, salvaged from Detroit auto factories. In the 1970s and 80s, excess paint would accumulate and harden into stone-like layers on the surfaces of factory paint bays. This material was often collected by autoworkers and sold to artists and jewelers.

James Thompson has perfected the art of transforming Fordite into watch dials. This process involves meticulous handwork, including sawing and sanding each dial to precise tolerances. The result is a series of unique dials, each one a miniature work of art with its own array of colors and finishes ranging from glossy to metallic. The diversity of effects created by Fordite ensures that no two dials are identical, making each watch truly one-of-a-kind.

Independent Watchmaking at Its Best

The Arc II Fordite epitomizes the essence of independent watchmaking—where creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation converge. Priced at $3,950, this watch offers access to a level of artisanal workmanship and design typically reserved for much higher price points. It is a testament to the artistry and daring spirit of independent watchmakers like Arcanaut.

These one-of-a-kind watches are available at collectivehorology.comAs always, feel free to get in touch with your thoughts and questions. And thank you for supporting independent watchmaking.

Back to blog