Singapore, a diversified city with a population of an estimated 7 million people in an island country of South East Asia, home to a few famous microbrand watches such as Zelos, Vilhelm, Boldr, Reverie and many more. So it’s no surprise if a new brand from Singapore would join the ranking of the earlier mentioned brands. Introducing the first model by Arcturus Watches, LC-1; a brand born in Singapore, designed by a Singaporean and proudly named after Singapura (derived from the Malay words “Singa” for Lion and “Pura” for city). Hence, the birth of Arcturus first model is named after it, Lion City 1 (LC-1).

Arcturus means a giant star in the constellation Boötes. It is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere and the fourth brightest star in the sky. Hence it’s the reason why Alexander Ian Loh, founder of the brand decided to use Arcturus as the branding because he hopes one day, his creation would be a shining star to the world and bring honour to his home country, Singapore ! Lucky for me, living in the same country with so many awesome existing and upcoming brands, Alexander approached me with a prototype for my thoughts and this is what this review is all about… Let’s begin !

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF LC-1 :  

  • Case Options:
    • 316L Stainless Steel
    • 316L Stainless Steel with Bronze plated
  • Case Diameter: 42mm excluding crown
  • Case Height: 14mm
  • Band: Genuine black calf leather with croc print
  • Band Width: 22x20mm
  • Dial Options:
    • Sandblasted dial with 24 hour hand
    • Mother of pearl dial with 24 hour hand
    • Mother of Pearl dial with Sun & Moon (This is what I’m reviewing)
  • Case Back: Sapphire Crystal exhibition with finishing combination of 316L stainless steel and black enamel
  • Water Resistance: 100M
  • Luminescent: C1 Superluminova on Hands and Indexes
  • Crystal: Double-domed 4mm sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Movement: Miyota 9132 with power reserve indicator, 24 hour sub-dial, hand-winding and hacking seconds

MY FIRST IMPRESSION ABOUT THE LC-1

  • What I like about it :
    • It’s definitely different from the norm ! Yes, a brand with its’ own identity.
    • 42mm is the perfect size for both male & female these days.
    • So many features, but it doesn’t look too busy on the dial. Yup, you got power reserve, date function, sun moon feature, 3 hands and a pair of somewhat semi circular arc indexes on both sides with a railway track around the dial. But Alexander have designed it in the way that each feature complements each other very well onto the dial.
    • It’s a Miyota movement… a reliable Japanese movement which have been in the market for quite some time (a good alternative to swiss movement) and making the price range for this watch definitely affordable !
    • The exhibition case back is not just any random lines design, but it actually a homage to an iconic bridge in Singapore, which is the Helix Bridge.
    • The dial is definitely the shining star of the watch !
  • What could have been better ? This is just my opinion…
    • The strap that came with it fits my 6.5″ wrist nicely… but I foresee any wrist bigger than 7″ may have an issue with the strap because of the length as I’m already on the 3rd last hole of it. Alexander is made aware of this and he will look into getting this fixed…
    • On the side of the case, the lines could do some see through effect between the lines to showcase the beauty of the movement from the side. This is just me…
    • A screw down crown would have been perfect ! Alexander is made aware of this and he will look into getting this fixed.

MY DETAILED REVIEW OF THE LC-1 :

Dial : Let’s start off with the star of the watch ! The dial gave me a “Wow what a beauty” first impression of it. Being a watch brand owner myself, I can’t hide my feelings whenever I see a watch that could inspire me to design a better watch and Alexander just showed that to me with his LC-1. I’m really impressed with the design of the dial eventhough it’s pre-pack with so many features ! Seriously… kudos to Alexander to take such a bold risk in designing it the way it is… The mother of pearl is definitely an awesome finishing move to complete the overall design. I love the C1 lumes on the indexes which when it’s light up, it reminded me of a scene from Aliens vs Predator or Indiana Jones where a foreign unknown language appeared. The sun moon is definitely a nice touch to the overall dial. I don’t need it to tell me if it’s morning or night, but it’s definitely a nice to have feature.

Case : With a lug-to-lug of 49mm, case diameter of 42mm excluding crown and lug width of 22mm, this to me is the perfect size for both male and female. The workmanship of the prototype was excellent and the only improvement I see would be the need for a screw down crown feature. The overall design of the case and dial appears somewhat to my opinion between a modern dress and contemporary watch concept.

Case Back : Usually I will combine both the case and case back under the same section, but for this review I have to separate it out because the case back has its’ own identity and worthy of a section by its’ own. I like how the black enamel finishing touch on the side of the exhibition case back which features the embossed of serial number, Singapore, model and the brand. At the center of the exhibition sapphire crystal case back, is a homage design to the iconic Helix Bridge. However, it’s not only for aesthetic look, but it’s actually interesting to know that it was design with a purpose and that is to hold the automatic movement. In short, it’s actually a movement holder cage. How cool is that…

Movement : It’s an interesting choice of movement because there are many brands that have used and produced cool dials with it, such as Junkers, Zeppelin, Huckleberry & Co, 1701, etc. However, I felt that Arcturus delivered a better execution of the same movement from the perspective of overall concept and design.

Conclusion : I can’t find a reason not to add this to my collection. The watch is BOLD but CLASSY, wearing it feels MANLY yet SOPHISTICATED and looking at it seems BUSY but WELL-BALANCED overall. If you are looking for a watch to wear to work, to have a social drink, weekend party or even travelling… look no further because Arcturus LC-1 have all those checked ! If you are interested in getting it… Arcturus will be launching on 8th February via  Kickstarter and I was told that there is gonna be a special 20 super early bird price which you do not want to miss out. Thank you Alexander for the opportunity to get my hands dirty on it and I wish you the very best in your upcoming kickstarter campaign !

Kickstarter Schedule : 8th February 2018, Thursday @ 11:00pm (GMT 8) / 10:00am (EST) / 3:00pm (GMT)