Is this the king of composites? It seems many of you certainly think so, judging by the reactions to our upcoming Arc II “Havender” model.
Building on our experience with the D’Arc Matter, we wanted to take the composites range in a more...experimental direction. Normally when we get together and discuss ideas for new pieces we focus on the “why” first, then the “what”, and finally, the dreaded “how?”
There has to be a reason — a good one — for everything we do. We’re not interested in ticking commercial boxes. We don’t care about trends or fashion (that much). There isn’t a shadowy figure pulling strings behind the scenes. No, we make the decisions we make because we think they’re the right decisions for Arcanaut and, most importantly, our tribe.
We knew that the next model had to be even more ambitious than the model before, but how could we top D’Arc Matter? We loved the original composite so much, we weren’t sure how we could improve it. Perhaps, then, the best way was to focus on how it could be different rather than simply “better” (because, as we know, “better” in watchmaking isn’t always better — that depends on your perspective).
“Let’s not use stone this time,” said James.
“Fine,” I replied. “But what, then? Plants? Hummingbirds? Dreams?”
“I like the colours of those things,” smiled Anders. “But I’m not sure we want to crush anyone’s dreams. And I think the Hummingbird Society might protest…”
“Maybe it shouldn’t be alive…” James mused out loud.
“What on Earth’s the ‘Hummingbird Society’?” I railed.
“Or maybe it could be kind of alive…”
“Man, there’re societies for everything. There’s gotta be one for Hummingbirds!”
“What is kind of alive and kind of a stone…”
“Look, I get that, but until I see a pin badge or a membership card or something, I’m not buying it.”
“Guys!” James leapt out of his chair. His aging knees wailed in protest. He winced but steadied himself. “What about shells!”
“Have you asked the Shell Society?” I said, sulking.
“I love it!” beamed Anders. “But the shells of what?”
As you may have already guessed, we did not use Hummingbird shells (maybe next time). Instead, James headed up the Swedish coast to procure thousands of Scandinavian mussels. After weeks of very dusty and incredibly purple research and development, James figured out how to create a composite like no other.
A particular layer of the mussel’s shell contains this rich purple pigment, which we have mixed with an ultra-clear UV-resistant binding agent to create millable plates of the Havender composite. Additionally, our best lume yet will adorn the hour markers and the hands making this Arc II limited edition, the current crowning glory of our collection.
So if it’s so good, why’s it limited?
Well, we didn’t have much choice. We’d originally hoped to make the Havender an annual model, returning every year in small batches, but that isn’t (at this time) something to which we can commit.
Although the creation process of the Havender composite is truly inspired, it is far from efficient (or reliable). Every particle of shell dust we collect has to make the grade. Inclusions can completely ruin a dial. Too many of them could completely ruin a block, and, once those blocks are cast, there’s no way to recast them. We have to be sure that the mixture is as pure as possible. And, understandably, that takes an incredible investment of time. As willing as James is to put in the hours, he is just one small badger, and he has a family and his own personal hygiene to (occasionally) take care of.
That means that the Arc II Havender will be strictly limited to 33 pieces in total. The model will go on sale in November so stay tuned to Arcanaut for specific dates and times.
To keep things simple, there will be no pre-sale. There will simply be one date, one time, and one batch of watches available. When they’re gone they’re gone.