In my personal collection of watches, I’ve been after the ‘right’ field watch for quite awhile. I currently am satisfying that itch with the Seiko SNZG15. Enter the MAS Arcticus which came in from Australia for review. There seems to be a theme with the MAS watch lineup, that being, they are smaller than I prefer but after owning or wearing them, I fall in love with them.
Matthew and Son Watches or MAS is an Australian Microbrand founded in 2019 by Matthew Francis. Matthew’s desire is to produce unique and attainable pieces which I believe he achieved with the Arcticus.
The case of the Arcticus measures in at 40mm diameter, it has a lug to lug of 47mm, is 11mm total height or thickness and has a 20mm lug width for strap sizing. The horizontally brushed case looks fantastic on the wrist and under a macro lens. You’ll also notice that the case has drilled lugs. According to the website, however, the drilled lugs have been removed from the production models. I did not have time to inquire about the specifics of why this choice was made, however, I did observe and receive a reply about the issues they had with the drilled lugs on the prototypes.
The brushed case gives way to a fixed bezel that is also brushed. The overall brushed aesthetic is really well done, great quality here throughout.
The 3 o’clock crown is 6mm, signed and screw down. The texture of the crown makes it super easy to operate. The crown is really solid, no wobble, screws back in nicely, pops out when unscrewed, everything operates as you’d expect. The one oddity here is that it’s polished when the rest of the watch is brushed. Not a big deal but something I noticed.
On the case back is a stamped ‘Death Adder’ design for the central image. Around the outer ring are the design details of the watch. This watch has a 150m water resist rating. The Acanthophis antarcticus is the species scientific name and no doubt where the Arcticus moniker comes from, though I did not confirm this with Matthew. It’s one of the most venomous land snakes in Australia and globally. Fun stuff eh?
The coal black dial is a sandwich dial with a white backing. The printing on the dial is crisp, though when magnified leaves a little bit to be desired. Below the 12 o’clock index we find the MAS logo and above the 6 o’clock index is the watch name in Orange with the water resist rating in white. The indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12 are all numerals with the other indices being large ticks. The outer chapter ring of the watch has minute ticks and orange numerals every 5 minutes. Now anyone that is familiar with my personal tastes will immediately notice the lack of a date window and know that it’s an issue for me. When wearing this watch, I found that it was actually a joy to wear, it disappeared on the wrist and I frequently found myself turning to my mobile or computer for the date. This is a watch I’d buy, despite it’s lack of the date window. Also from a design standpoint I don’t think a date would have fit well with the design of this dial.
The hands feel a bit like an afterthought on this watch. I’m not a big fan of them though I do like the continuation of the orange with the seconds hand. The hour and minute hand don’t fit together in my opinion, though they are the same finish they often look different as in the image above. The hour hand I feel is adequately sized but the minute hand feels a little short, I would have liked to see it reach out a little closer to the minute ticks on the chapter ring.
Once again as with the Irukandji the Arcticus has blue lume. I like this color choice a lot, if not simply for the fact that it is different than many other watches out there. The large hands, large indices and numerals are all generously filled with lume. I found that the watch glowed well into the night and readability was never an issue for me.
This watch features the Miyota 9039 high-beat automatic movement. This is a hacking and hand-winding movement and is a great movement for the price point of this watch.
Features as Reviewed:
Case: 40mm, 47mm lug to lug, 11mm thickness – Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Lugs: 20mm, drilled (production will not include drilled lugs)
Bezel: Fixed, brushed
Crystal: Flat sapphire, internal anti-reflective coating
Crown: 6mm, signed, polished
Dial: Coal Black, Logo @ 12, Name @ 6 (Also available in Burnt Orange, Blizzard White and Glacier Blue)
Indices: Sandwich dial, lume
Case Back: Stamped Death Adder artwork
Movement: Miyota 9039 High-Beat
Water Resistance: 150m
Price: AU$500 / AU$600 is RRP
On the Wrist
For a long time I have avoided anything in the < 42mm size range. Over the past couple years though I have expanded my interest to include smaller watches. I am glad I have had the opportunity to wear this watch for a little over a week. It’s given me further food for thought in regard to wearing smaller watches than I’m used to. This watch would be on my ‘to buy’ list if I didn’t already own the Irukandji. It has a great wrist presence despite being 40mm (for me). It’s small enough and light enough that it really disappeared at times when I wasn’t thinking about it. Here I have it paired with our 20mm Bellevue strap for a classic black on black look.
Would I buy this watch for my own personal collection? Yes. Would I recommend this watch to a friend? Yes. I’d recommend this watch to people of all wrist sizes, even those with larger ones like myself. It really was a joy to wear and test. At roughly $370 USD, before the price increases, I’d say it’s a steal. Once the price goes back up to it’s regular price approximately $440 USD is still a great price for what you get. Also, one thing you might notice I’ve not reviewed is the bracelet. Since I don’t wear bracelets on my own watches I didn’t want to venture into that area. I also didn’t feel like resizing the bracelet even though there were plenty of links for this purpose. My hunch is that it would have been on par with other offerings at this price point. One thing I did note is there are 6 micro adjustments on the signed buckle which I thought was generous. What do you think of this review? Do you own this watch? Let me know in the comments below.
Check out MAS watches to purchase the Arcticus Field Watch. It’s available now for delivery in November.