Off the Cuff: Tool Watch Co. Arctic

Have you heard of the Tool Watch Co.? I did a couple of years ago when a YouTuber covered their Ama diver. It was a unique-looking timepiece and my interest was sparked. I did some digging and came across an even more interesting watch: the Årctic Field which we’re taking a look at today. By all measures, The Årctic is a solid exploration watch and, as its name indicates, was designed to withstand some serious environmental conditions–the type that the most tenacious explorers would encounter. This will become even more apparent when we take a look at the specifications, but you’re gonna have to wait a tiny little bit before that happens. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch

Perhaps my favorite part about the brand is its name: Tool Watch Co. There is no way anyone would be confused as to what the brand is all about–making tool watches. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the brand provides you with all you need to go on an adventure. From the watches to extra straps, strap changing tools, and even a 10-slot hard case to transport your entire collection to the icy and harsh environment of the coldest place on earth. Pretty neat, ain’t it? With that said, let’s get into the specifications. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Subtle meteor dial

Over the past three years I’ve come to understand that good (read: proper) field watches must be endowed with certain specifications and characteristics. First and foremost, they must be comfortable to wear in all adventures. The Årctic comes with the dimensions that fit the bill: 38mm in diameter, 46.35mm lug-to-lug, 11.35mm in height, and a 20mm lug width. These dimensions are great for anyone with a wrist that is not that of either a bee or a Yeti.  It’s right in the middle and will fit most. Coupled to these great dimensions is the material the case and bracelet is made of: titanium. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Customized “cleat” seconds hand

Although the grade of titanium used is not specified—and honestly, who cares?—having the watch and bracelet made of a resistant and light material is just perfect for this type of timepiece. For everyday adventures and those that are more demanding, a watch needs to be light and comfortable. To accentuate the toolish aspect of the Årctic, the brand opted for a mostly brushed finish with the exception of the bottom section of the fixed bezel that is polished. And, further adding to the purposefulness of the watch, the case is made of minimal angles and its design is more geometric than anything else. 

I feel I’m looking at a futuristic tool and something that is mostly purposeful and less of an everyday adornment. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
BGW9 Super-LumiNova

Inside the lightweight case beats the Sellita SW200 which comes with 38 hours of power reserve and beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz.) The brand opted to not have a date on this model to guarantee maximum legibility and practicality. And I for one agree with the date-less design (I’m usually the most annoying advocate for date apertures on all watches). The movement can be wound and set using the small, albeit super grippy, crown that looks like a propeller. It is, in all honesty, one of the easiest and smoothest crown operations I’ve experienced in my humble profession as a watch journalist. The grip is so good that I would find endless enjoyment turning the crown again and again and again. 



CaseTitanium Case
38mm Diameter
46.35mm Lug to Lug
11.35mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
Screw back and Crown
200m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalBox Sapphire
Meteorite Dial
Applied & Painted Indices
BGW9 Super-LumiNova
MovementSellita SW200
26 Jewels
28 800bph
38-Hour Power Reserve
StrapTitanium Bracelet
/w Butterfly Clasp
Saffiano Leather Strap

Tool Watch Co. Arctic


Of Interest

There are two elements of the Årctic that I find particularly interesting. First, the dial layout and the unique design of the seconds hand. The Tool Watch Co. actually transferred over the hand design from the Ama diver and changed the seconds hand from what looks like the tip of a harpoon on the diver to what resembles cleats on the Årctic. Yes, it does make sense. The diver relates to the sea and fishing and the Årctic to exploration and mountain climbing. I’ve never seen anything like it before and I love this little detail. As a side note, the Ama diver was designed after Japan’s 2,000-years old tradition of free diving and pearl fishing.

The second element I would like to highlight is the dial texture. It is made of meteorite and I quote: “ that represents the Greenlands Hiawatha Glacier also known as the first meteorite impact crater ever discovered under Earth’s ice sheets.” The choice of this texture makes sense given the model’s name and intended use. I’m not the first and most fervent fan of meteorite dials; however I’ve got to admit I like its execution on the Årctic. The dial texture is present but does not take too much visual real estate, preserving the watch’s deeply-rooted utilitarian nature. 

Lastly, the lume and its application deserve to be highlighted here. Although brands tend to pride themselves for being very good at applying lume, more often than not I find this to be untrue. So coming across the Årctic and its superb lume application makes me want to give it a shout out.  Not only is it evenly applied but it is also well applied. The brand opted for BGW9 Super-LumiNova and its application on the hands, and in particular on the seconds hand, is quite impressive. And seeing the dial texture and lume in darker conditions is quite easy thanks to the boxed sapphire crystal and its layers of anti-reflective coating. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Lightweight titanium “disappears” while on wrist


You know me, I don’t like to quibble but quibbling I must. My only quibble would be turned to the clasp of the bracelet (by the way, the watch is also delivered with a luxurious Saffiano leather strap). I do like butterfly clasps and while the one on the Årctic is well-executed, it is not my preferred choice for a tool watch. And yes, the bracelet comes with screws to adjust its length, but why not use a clasp with a security latch and micro-adjustment holes to make sizing the bracelet easier and to add a little bit of peace while exploring the dangerous corners of the Earth? 

I’m referring to the fact that having a fold-over clasp with a security latch would guarantee a more secure operation of the watch in any condition. The primary caveat of this type of clasp on a sports watch is the fact that finding the perfect fit is not a precise operation. I do like to adjust the clasp by way of the micro-adjustment holes throughout the week as my wrist swells and contracts. This cannot be done with a butterfly clasp, alas. 

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Built for exploration

Final Thoughts 

My personal interests in watches have changed over the past two years. I went from being a hardcore dive-watch enthusiast to now preferring simple, robust, and legible exploration/field type watches. Generally speaking, I find the latter to be more versatile as they tend to come with a unique personality that oozes adventure and exploration whilst remaining subtle. I do like subtle things and although the Årctic might not look like it at first glance, it does disappear one the wrist given the titanium case and bracelet. And as I mentioned earlier, the meteorite texture doesn’t claim too much visual real estate and adds a little something special to the watch. 

The Årctic comes in three colors: blue that retails for $800, black for $1,000, and an ultra-limited white dial version that retails for $1,200. You can learn more about the brand and the Årctic collection by visiting the website.

Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch Review
Tool Watch Co. Arctic Field Watch

Vincent Deschamps is a museum professional, originally from France, with more than 10 years experience as a researcher, producing visitor experiences for national and international organizations. He is also the founder of You can follow Vincent on Instagram.

Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

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