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Sunday, May 19, 2024

The New Arinis Collection, the Lake Diving Watch from Elka

Microbrands are reshaping today’s watchmaking landscape in remarkable ways. These small-scale ventures craft enticing timepieces, leveraging modern technology, marketing strategies, and the combined expertise, passion, vision, and business acumen. What’s particularly striking, at least for some of them, is their ability to deliver well-designed, high-quality watches at compelling prices, often packed with features typically associated with much higher price points from established brands. Among these microbrands, there’s Elka Watches. Recently, I had the opportunity to discover and develop a genuine fondness for Elka offerings, and I found myself considering purchasing one of Elka’s newly released models, the Elka Arinis divers’ watch. This desire took root almost instantly after experiencing firsthand the appealing vintage-inspired design and quality of available variants. 

I recommend visiting the brand’s website for insights into the significance of the series name “Arinis” and why I’ve dubbed it a “lake-divers’ watch” in the headline. Instead, I’ll focus on describing the stylish appearance of the model without veering off course.

The Elka Arinis comes in a 41mm stainless steel case, measuring a proportionate 11.85mm thick, complete with a chevé box sapphire crystal that adds to its allure. The unidirectional bezel, featuring a reliable 120-click mechanism, offers a firm grip and showcases a ceramic insert available in either blue or black. The bezel sports white C1 or beige Old Radium Super-LumiNova markings, complemented by a distinctive design.

Graduated in 5-minute intervals, the bezel ring combines double-digit numerals and stick indices, accentuated by a triangle at the top position. The initial 15 minutes are highlighted with a subtle orange line, adding a lovely designer’s touch. Contributing to its functionality, the fluted screw-down crown and screwed caseback, adorned with an engraved Elka logo and three-fishes pattern, ensure water resistance of up to 200m. With a lug-to-lug measurement of 46.5mm, it strikes a harmonious balance on the wrist, and with its short lugs and versatile strap options, the Arinis delivers comfort and style, providing a secure fit for any occasion.

The Elka Arinis introduces two dial options, with or without a date indication: blue and black, each with distinctive characteristics. The blue dial exhibits a gradient effect and has large white Super-Luminova dots for the indices, with shorter horizontal sticks at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and a prominent triangle at 12 o’clock. For the date variant, a discreet aperture at 3 o’clock is accompanied by a small triangular index. On the black Arinis, the indices are filled with Old Radium Super-LumiNova, accented by a white outline. The sloping inner bezel adds visual depth to the dial and serves as a minutes/seconds ring. The brushed, nickel-coloured hands for hours, minutes, and seconds feature playful shapes and are generously filled with Super-LumiNova, harmonising with the hues of the indices.

To keep time, the Elka Arinis F relies on the automatic La Joux-Perret calibre G100, which beats at 28,800 vibrations/hour and boasts a commendable 68-hour power reserve. This robust movement was introduced by LJP in 2022 as an excellent alternative to the ETA 2824 and its derivatives. Since its inception, the G100 has found its way into timepieces from various brands, including Elka (the inaugural X-Series and D-Series already featured this movement).

As previously mentioned, the Elka Arinis Dive Watch offers a variety of strap and bracelet options, including the seven-link grain of rice or Milanese mesh stainless steel bracelets, blue or black tropic rubber, beige nylon NATO, or “even a leather strap for the urban diver.” With the choice between two dial colours, date or no date variants, and an array of straps, there are 20 references to consider. 

Having had the opportunity to handle these watches, I can attest to a very satisfying experience. Suppose you appreciate the design and the quality of details that the Arinis series offers at an accessible price. In that case, it’s worth considering as a stylish accessory for lakeshore or seaside adventures. 

The Elka Arinis series is currently available as pre-sale until June 19, with prices starting at CHF 1,695 for NATO strap models, CHF 1,755 for leather and rubber options, and CHF 1,795 for models with steel bracelets (tax included). June 20 prices will go up; for more information, visit elkawatch.ch.


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