Setting out to create a watch brand from scratch is no easy feat, especially in the last few years when pandemics and supply issues have affected giants like Rolex. Imagine then the hardships faced by Artel Rotec, a brand founded in 2018 in Los Angeles with aspirations to work alongside Swiss experts to produce exciting timepieces. The result of Artel Rotec’s perseverance is the V Series, their debut collection of street style watches.
The aesthetic inspirations behind the Artel Rotec V Series are clear to see in the lines of its 41mm x 51mm tonneau case. Specifically, it riffs on urban, street watches from established watchmakers like the RM 65-01 from Richard Mille and the Franck Muller Vanguard Carbone. In fact, just like the RM and Muller, V Series is also produced from cutting edge forged carbon composite, making it lightweight and durable.
Maintaining the technical appearance of the watch, the dial is partially skeletonised. The periphery of the dial features an hour and minute track while the inner circle of the dial showcases some of the watch’s inner workings. At 12 o’clock is a date complication that’s visually counterbalanced at 6 by a power reserve indicator. In the middle are the central hour and minute hands, plus a small seconds subdial offset towards 9 o’clock.
There are three colourways available, known as V1, V2 and V3. All of them have the same black base with visible metal components, but then the accents like the bars of the power reserve indicator, peripheral minute scale and Artel Rotec logo are in three different colours. V1 is red, V2 is blue and V3 is a pale gold. Each version is limited to 100 pieces.
Price wise V Series doesn’t quite follow the typical trend for microbrand watches to be hyper accessible as they’re $2,700 (approx. £2,200). However, if you compare it to the six digit prices of their established competition, this is about as accessible as it’s possible to be. Plus, there’s the fact this isn’t a typical debut watch. Between the high tech carbon case, proprietary movement and street, sports watch design the value increases dramatically.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Artel Rotec V1, V2 & V3
- Ref: V1 (Red)
- Case/dial: 41mm width x 51mm height x 14mm thickness, matte forged carbon case with swiss Super-luminova® on all indexes and hands, curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on interior
- Water resistance: 50m (3 bar)
- Movement: Calibre ART052, in-house, automatic, 33 jewels
- Power reserve: 50h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, panoramic date window
- Strap: Black FKM rubber with an extra colour matched nylon pressed calf leather strap included
- Price/availability: $2,700 USD (Approx. £2,200), limited to 100 pieces (per reference)