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In 2021, Danish independent watchmaker Arcanaut released a 50-piece limited edition watch boasting a dial made from crushed Swedish slate. The release, the brand’s second, firmly established Arcanaut as a leader in the materials development space. For more than one and a half years since, the brand has been beavering away behind closed doors at its facilities in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Gothenburg, Sweden, working on a suitable follow-up. And now, as 2023 starts to wind down, the brand is ready to present its first novelty collection of the year.

If the vivid lume colours that decorate each one of the D’Arc Matter Colours Collection dials look familiar, that’s because you might have seen them before. One thing is for sure, however: you’ve never seen them in the watch industry. That’s because these colours (dubbed Badger Blue, Gamma Green, Hornet Yellow, and Pongo Orange) are the result of a long developmental process courtesy of James Thompson (AKA Black Badger) and Albert Zeller of RC Tritec (the purveyors of fine Swiss Super-LumiNova.

Thompson is known in the industry as something of a “lume godfather” and has made his name collaborating with brands such as MB&F, Hautlence, Schofield, Linde Werdelin, MW&Co., De Bethune, and others. 

Due to his work on the D’Arc Matter material, Thompson joined the brand as a co-owner and now oversees the “Alchemy Division” from his workshop in Gothenburg. His primary task? To make something magnificent from the mundane.

Says the Badger himself, “I’ve always been a ‘shop’ guy. I like to spend a lot of time working on the materials directly. You might not believe it, but I barely draw. It’s not my thing. I sketch in the material in real-time and see what happens. It’s an approach you don’t find so often in watchmaking. Because everything needs to be extremely precise, people forget to experiment. They forget to have fun. They obsess over the details and never actually do anything new. At Arcanaut, we shove weird stuff through industrial coffee grinders and hope it doesn’t explode. Most of the time it doesn’t and every so often, we discover a material as beguiling and beautiful as the D’Arc Matter Composite.”

Since 2022, the task of developing the brand of Arcanaut on the international stage has been in the hands of Rob Nudds, who previously held positions in watchmaking, retail management, and journalism. His main task has been building out a core collection for the brand that will sustain it into the future.

When the opportunity to join Arcanaut in this capacity arose, I jumped at it,” says Nudds. “It was exactly the kind of brand I wanted to work with. I was a customer before I came on board and truly believed in the potential of the brand to become the leading light in Danish watchmaking and an ambassador for Scandinavian design in horology around the world. 

There was already an established audience in place. My job was figuring out which models we needed to release and when. I couldn’t imagine being more enthusiastic about this first major release in 18 months and I am really excited for what the rest of 2023 has in store. I believe by the time 2024 rolls around, Arcanaut’s intentions for the future will be very clear and I can’t wait to see the reaction.”

There will only be 25 of each colour in 2023. Fifteen of each colour will be made available in the pre-sale (so existing sign-ups will be able to access 60% of the whole collection ahead of the general release). It is likely that these models will return in the future in one form or another, but quantities may vary from year to year as the brand looks to build out the catalog and diversify its product offering. 

The pre-sale goes live on September 23rd, 2023, at 7 PM (19:00) CEST. The pre-sale will remain open until either all available models have been sold or until the pieces go on General Release, exactly one week later at 19:00 CEST on September 30th.

Sign-ups will be sent a secret link via which they will be able to put down a 50% deposit for their favourite model. The remaining balance will be due as soon as the watches are ready to be delivered. Delivery is expected to commence in January 2024.

Everyone participating in the pre-sale will receive an exclusive Arcanaut care package. The care package includes an Arcanaut Cap, an Arcanaut T-shirt, a Black Badger UV Torch, and a spare strap of the customer’s choice (value USD 150).

The first ten confirmed pre-sales (across all platforms including the brand’s US-based retailer Collective Horology) will also receive a custom-made, lume-filled “Clocktopus” signet ring in .925 Sterling Silver. 

Everyone involved in the pre-sale, including the first customers, will be entered into a raffle to win a solid 18-karat gold version of the Clocktopus ring — a truly collectible item only made to celebrate new brand releases.

If you have any questions in advance of the pre-sale, please feel free to get in touch directly by emailing [email protected].


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