MAS Arcticus

MAS Arcticus

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Manufacturer: MAS Watches | Price: from $350 USD (£255 GBP)

I’ve been good friends with the owner of MAS Watches (Matthew Francis), since well before he released his first watch, the Irukandji, back during the summer of 2019. An excellent debut that did very well in terms of sales etc. It was subsequently followed by their JCB dress watch, which even although I’ve not had the time to review it, I do actually have one here. Both of these first two watches from Matthew & Son were great timepieces, but I always felt they were missing something, that I just can’t quite put my finger on. Although great in their own way, they just didn’t have that desireability factor for me personally. Well, has it changed with their new release, the Arcticus field watch? Let’s find out shall we…

Specification

  • Dimensions: Case – 39.9mm, Thickness – 10.8mm, Lug to Lug – 46.4mm, Lug Width – 20mm
  • Movement: Miyota 9039, 28,800vph, 4Hz, Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
  • Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
  • Dial: Sandwich Construction, Index Style Handset
  • Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9
  • Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid Links, Screw Pins, Milled Clasp
  • Crystal: Flat Sapphire, Anti-Reflective Coatings (Underside)
  • Water Resistance: 150m / 15 ATM / 490ft      
  • Caseback: 316L Stainless Steel, Screw Down, Ice Fragment Artwork
  • Crown: 6mm, Screw Down, Signed
  • Weight: 150g (Sized up for my 6¾″ wrist)
  • Where to Buy: Matthew & Son Watches (Kickstarter Launch: May 2021)
  • Warranty: 2 Years International

Matthew & Son (MAS) Watches

"Matthew and Son (MAS) Watches was started in 2019 by Matthew Francis, a watch enthusiast and father who shares his love of watches with his young son, Tate. With a passion for the aesthetics and engineering of wrist-watches, MAS seek to design and produce unique, attainable pieces in a style that appeals to novices and watch enthusiasts alike. MAS successfully funded the 'Irukandji' diver and 'Tiny Time Tool' accessory on Kickstarter in 2019, and the 'JCB' dress watch in 2020. They are now developing several new concepts, including their 'Arcticus' field watch, while producing their next batch of JCB and Irukandji models. Be sure to join the MAS mailing list to stay updated on all the latest, and gain access to special offers!"

Case & Crown

The case of this MAS Arcticus has an overall diameter of 39.9mm. The lug to lug is rather compact at 46.4mm and the overall thickness including the sapphire crystal, I measured in at a very thin 10.8mm. The case, caseback, fixed bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is entirely brushed, with the exception of the crown. Overall, it does look fantastic and I can only describe the level of brushed finishing as very high.

The Arcticus has a total water resistance rating of 150m, thanks to the inclusion of a screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion are absolute perfection, due to the overall dimensions and the way it wears on wrist. The Arcticus wears so well on wrist infact, I usually forget that I’m even wearing the damn thing. The signed crown looks good and is very easy to operate. There is absolutely no wobble at all when the crown is in use and you can also feel a nice wee pop as you unscrew it. I do feel however, the polished crown is a little odd, considering the rest of the watch is brushed. The caseback artwork is somewhat unusual too, with an Iceberg formation, but the execution is great!

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Strap / Bracelet

The bracelet that comes fitted to the Arcticus is nothing short of outstanding! The solid female end-links are fitted to the watch perfectly and the tolerances are just superb. The bracelet itself is 20mm at the lugs, that tapers down to 16mm then back up to 18mm at the clasp. There are solid links throughout and there’s absolutely no rough or sharp edges to be found anywhere. Resizing is simple enough to do, due to the decision of utilising push pins to securely hold things together, but don’t panic, that’s only for this prototype. The production models however, will come with screw pins.

The bracelet on the Arcticus is entirely brushed and there’s also a lovely chamfered edge on each side of the clasp. Talking of the clasp, it is milled and signed of course, which is always preferred. If I had to give any form of criticism though, I’d have liked to have seen a hardening treatment applied, just for extra durability and to save the watch from scratching.

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Movement / Accuracy

The chosen movement for the MAS Arcticus is the smooth sweep, high beat, Miyota 9039. The 9039 is a very slim Japanese made 28,800vph, 24 jewel movement, often compared to that of the Swiss made ETA 2824. Power reserve is also very healthy at 42 hours. Checking the accuracy on my timegrapher after running the Arcticus for just over 2 weeks, mainly on wrist and occasionally in my winder, I was very happy with the results, with the MAS Arcticus coming in at +5spd.

miyota logo

Dial & Hands

The Arcticus has a fixed bezel with a very well executed brushed finishing. The only printed text on the dial itself, is the 150m WR and the model name ARCTICUS, finished in sky blue, which doesn’t really work I’m sad to say, as it doesn’t have a particularly good contrast against the brilliant white finish of the dial. The MAS logo is printed in black though and placed at the usual spot of just under the arabic at 12 o’clock. I understand that this is just an early prototype, but with this blizzard white version, I really feel a better contrast is paramount for better legibility, especially on a field watch.

As you can see in the images, the hour and minute hands are nicely done, with their index style aesthetic. The seconds hand is the same as what I mentioned earlier though, this sky blue colour doesn’t give enough contrast against the white dial. There’s nothing wrong with the rest of the dial though, as I’m always a fan of sandwich dials and MAS Watches have given the arabics and hour markers plenty of contrast with a matte black outline, which does work great on a white dial.

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Lume

The lume on the MAS Arcticus is actually rather nicely executed, even on this early prototype. Matthew & Son have stated however, that this will be greatly improved on the actual production models. No complaints from me then, as the more lume the better!  The actual formula that’s been applied to the Arcticus is Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9.

Conclusion

I have given the MAS Arcticus a little bit of a hard time, but I’d definitely put my trust in Matthew that these little design tweaks will be sorted out for production. It’s nothing major, especially on these lighter dials, the legibility just needs to be tweaked. That’s what field watches are all about at the end of the day. Given the choice, I’d still pick this blizzard white version over the rest of them, as I can’t get enough of watches with white dials these days.

Other than the small changes that I’ve mentioned on the dials legibility, I still, without hesitation, wholeheartedly recommend the MAS Arcticus, as the build quality, fit & finish is absolutely outstanding! That bracelet too really is fantastic. There is nothing else that I’d like to see done, as it’s spot on otherwise. The case, the bracelet, choice of movement etc… perfect! oh yeah, the price… what an absolute fuckin’ bargain! Easily, your best watch yet Matthew!

A massive thanks to Matthew at MAS Watches, for sending out the Arcticus prototype for review. Very much appreciated. To view the Matthew & Son website, or to join their mailing list, to be informed of new models etc, visit maswatch.com.
 
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MAS Arcticus 2

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