When I think of the Arctic Circle, I think of a very remote, desolate place with very little industry and business, let alone watch companies. While the area overall may be a bit remote and desolate, a rather obscure watch brand calls Iceland home. ARC-TIC Iceland is a watch brand that produces timepieces made for extreme sporting and outdoor activities. The company is linked to the JS Watch Co. Reykjavik luxury brand, as the same teams work with both brands. The main goals of the company, according to their website include: “waterproof, durable, reliable, comfortable, versatile and stylish and we only offer watches in the highest possible quality.” You can read more about the ARC-TIC brand HERE. The ARC-TIC Ultima Thule is one of the sports watch models produced and retails for right around $550 USD. The basic specifications of the Ultima Thule model include:
Solid 316L Stainless Steel Case 42mm Case Diameter
Brushed Aluminum Rotating Bezel
Screw Down Case Back
Swiss Made Quartz Movement
200 Meters Water Resistant
Packaging, packaging, packaging is of course the first area I look at with any review. Companies either get packaging right or they don’t, as there is really no in between. I was extremely pleased to see the functional packaging provided by ARC-TIC. The watch is securely packed in a nylon, soft-shell style zipper case with the ARC-TIC branding stitched into the top. Inside the case is a plethora of foam material that will protect the watch well during shipping. The case, while only designed for one watch, will be perfect for tossing in your luggage for short business trips when a couple of watches will suffice.
Now on to the main event, the watch itself. The watch case is constructed of 316L stainless steel with a fairly simple sub-style case design. The case finishing is perfect throughout with both high polished and brushed surfaces. Due to the high polished case sides, definitely keep a polishing cloth on hand to buff out surface scratches, which are almost a guarantee to pop up. The watch case measures 42mm and a substantial 47mm when factoring in the crown. The model is nearing 15mm in overall thickness, with a lug tip to lug tip measurement at a rather modest 53mm. The watch weighs a meager 98 grams, however, taking into account all of the specifications noted above, this model will still provide a substantial wrist presence without feeling overly cumbersome on the wrist.
The crown measures right around 7mm in diameter, and at around 3mm in width it doesn’t dig into the wrist at all. The crown has a nice design pattern and a small logo etched into the face, adding a touch of flair, which I prefer over plain unmarked crowns. The screw down crown is quite firm with no play or wiggle when engaged to set the time. The watch is a no-date design so when the crown is engaged the only function is setting the time. Again, the overall case finishing is quite superb. I am also extremely pleased that ARC-TIC did not over-brand the model by etching or engraving the non-crown side of the case. The only upgrade I would like to see would be drilled lugs for easier strap changes to keep under lug scratches to a minimum.
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