The Ultima Thule comes with a 120 click uni-directional rotating bezel with orange aluminum insert. The bezel is extremely firm with absolutely no play in either direction. If orange is not to your liking a couple of other color options are available. There is no lume on the bezel and some of the numerals seem to have an ever so slight tilt to them so the printing process on the bezel might need to be examined a bit from a quality control standpoint. The watch is fitted with a large domed sapphire crystal measuring a robust 33mm in overall diameter. I have seen so many sub-style watches with much smaller crystal openings which just makes the watch seem smaller, but in this instance, the large opening provides the opposite effect. As you will see in the photos and the video, the domed crystal, even though it seems to have a high quality anti-reflective (AR) coating applied, glare and distortion can be an issue from certain angles, which should be expected.
Beneath the sapphire crystal is a clean and uncluttered black dial with minimal company branding above and below center dial. The dial is surrounded by a large chapter ring which gives the watch a deep dish type overall appearance. The dial design has the somewhat classic 3-6-9 layout but a unique triangular iceberg marker at the 12 o’clock position. All of the markers are applied, which at least, personally makes the dial seem more expensive and detailed. The hands consist of a rather popular combination, arrow-shaped hour, minute and seconds hands. The applied markers and hands are all lumed. Due to the white color of lume areas on the markers and hands, I believe C1 Superluminova is the compound utilized. The lume is better than average overall, but still without a functional lume pip the lume when fully charged would only be appropriate for shallow well-lit dives, snorkeling, swimming and other sporting activities. The C1 Superluminova fades rather quickly which is typical and the afterglow lasts for a few hours at best.
Next, let’s take a look at the case back which might be the most striking feature of the model. The case back is screwed down to the upper case and is highly etched. The typical specification and model information is etched around the perimeter of the case back while at the center is the etched Iceland land mass. I know only the wearer in most instances is ever going to know about the cool case back but maybe that is the point. Beneath the case back is a durable Swiss Ronda 763 Quartz movement. The movement has been highly accurate since delivery, as one would expect from a Swiss quartz movement. One of the very nice aspects of this quartz movement is that the second hand seems to land on the second markers precisely which can sometimes be hit and miss with many quartz movements. At the $550 USD price point or less, many companies are now producing watches with quality Miyota automatic movements, such as the highly regarded 9015, which present certain obstacles unless consumers just prefer quartz to automatic movements. Of course, maintenance costs are going to be quite a bit less based on the current specifications, but I would really appreciate seeing this model with an aforementioned Miyota 9015 movement.
Finally let’s take a look at the strap included with this version of the Ultima Thule. A 20/20mm calf leather Nato strap is included which is of good quality. As with most calf leather I have encountered, the strap is extremely pliable, as well as, soft and comfortable on the wrist. Initially, I was a bit concerned that the watch weight might make the watch feel a bit top heavy, due to the thin Nato construction, but once strapped it was no longer a concern. The strap comes with brushed hardware including a signed heavy-duty thumbnail buckle. I enjoy being pleasantly surprised when watch companies put some thought into this area of the watch. So many times in the past I have encountered lower quality straps or straps that are just way too short. Overall, I am pleased with the strap and want to note that a rubber strap option is also available if a Nato is not the preferred choice.
If you are looking for a stylish sports watch with quality specifications that is practical for everyday use, then definitely check out what ARC-TIC Iceland has to offer. The Ultima Thule will not disappoint with the ever-popular sub-style case design, sapphire crystal, screw down crown, water resistance and Swiss Quartz movement. The watch will be perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities such as snorkeling, swimming, hiking and with the right strap combination would be more than appropriate for a night out on the town. I would like to thank ARC-TIC Iceland for working with WatchReport.com on arranging the review. I would also like to thank each of you for reading and look forward to your thoughts and comments.
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