Disclaimer: this article/video was not sponsored by Arcturus or any other entity.

Delugs CTS Rubber Strap (Navy) – https://delugs.com/collections/rubber-straps/products/blue-rubber-cts-strap



Arcturus is a Singapore-based microbrand, which isn’t much of a surprise anymore given how Singapore represents a significant part of the vibrant microbrand watch industry. Arcturus, like most microbrands, manufacture their watches in China. Their initial offering, the Lion City 1 (LC1), an art-deco inspired timepiece, was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2018. This review focuses on their subsequent release, the LC2 Vanda Tourbillon, which has also achieved and exceeded its funding goal on Kickstarter, currently raising $150k against an initial target of $60k.

The context of this release is particularly interesting given the recent trend of more affordable ‘Swiss Made’ tourbillon watches. However, the LC2 Vanda Tourbillon stands out with its competitive pricing averaging at around $1250, made feasible through the incorporation of the Peacock SL-5200 Flying Tourbillon movement. This pricing strategy, along with some interesting (and familiar) design elements, makes the LC2 an interesting proposition for those looking to experience a flying tourbillon watch without having to sell an organ or remortgage the house. I will be looking at the Aventure dial variant of the LC2 Vanda Tourbillon which has a Kickstarter price of just under $1500. The ‘guilloche’ dial variant is significantly cheaper at just under $1050.


The case commands attention with its substantial dimensions, featuring a 44mm diameter and 50mm lug-to-lug width, complemented by a moderate height of 12.2mm. Made of 316L stainless steel, it showcases a blend of high polished and multiple brushed finishes, lending the case a slightly more interesting appearance than is typically seen on a traditional cushion case. What sets this case apart is the intricately designed bezel section, which employs a variety of brushing techniques, and an asymmetric lip reminiscent of the iconic De Bethune DB28, suggesting a nod to high horology inspirations.

The case is fitted with a flat sapphire crystal, treated with an ample anti-reflective coating to ensure optimal legibility under different lighting conditions. The lug width is 22mm, facilitating a wide range of strap options for personalization. In design, the case silhouette takes a cue from the traditional cushion style, echoing the classic Panerai Radiomir, which may appeal to enthusiasts of vintage and contemporary designs. Additionally, it features a partially open caseback, and is rated for 50m water resistance, which is quite reasonable for a flying tourbillon watch without a screw-down crown.


This aventurine dial variant captures the essence of why this material has surged in popularity among microbrand watches. The dial itself is multilayered, offering depth and a dynamic visual experience. A raised chapter ring with minute markings encircles the dial. While the prototype’s printing quality is not beyond satisfactory, it is reasonable to expect that the final production units will see enhancements in this area.

One of the dial’s notable features is its convex hour marker layer, from which Roman numerals are elegantly subtracted, revealing the shimmering aventurine base layer beneath. This design choice is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves as another homage to the distinctive design language of De Bethune. Additionally, an applied metal logo positioned just below the 12 o’clock marker bears the brand’s logo, though its visibility could benefit from refinement.

The inclusion of an Akrivia Tourbillon-style cage, complete with the brand’s name inscribed below it, underscores the watch’s aspirational connection to the realms of high horology. The hands opt for a more traditional route, with an observatory-style hour hand reminiscent of the craftsmanship seen in works by Kari Voutilainen, Urban Jurgensen, Breguet, and even Rolex models, paired with a skeletonized minute hand. A touch more mass and perhaps dual-finishing on the hands could enhance their legibility against the dark aventurine backdrop.

Despite the array of influences and design elements at play, the dial manages to coalesce into a cohesive and visually engaging whole. The interplay of traditional and modern design cues, coupled with the mesmerizing depth of the aventurine, makes this watch dial a memorable and interesting experience. You won’t be getting bored of this one very quickly.


The LC2 is powered by the Peacock 5200 Flying Tourbillon movement, a choice that stands out for its complexity and ambitious design within its price category, and a satisfactory accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per day. From my cursory dive into this, it appears Liaoning Peacock Watch Co., the manufacturer behind this movement, has been in operation since 2012, with its parent company possessing a longer history in the watchmaking industry. While I lack firsthand experience to comment on the long-term reliability and performance of this specific movement, Arcturus seems to anticipate potential concerns from customers who might be skeptical about this movement. In response, they have implemented a reassuring two-year international guarantee and have committed to covering 50% of maintenance and repair costs over the next decade. At the very least, this demonstrates confidence in their product and a commitment to their choice of movement. The finishing of the movement is adequate, though the presence of particles and debris noted in the movement on this prototype suggests a need for more rigorous quality control in the final production units.

On The Wrist

Despite its seemingly unwieldy dimensions of 44mm x 50mm, this watch defies expectations by offering a surprisingly comfortable wear on the wrist. It manages to sit right on the edge of what I consider comfortable for my wrist size, which is around 6.75″. I would say that the watch is likely best suited for individuals with a wrist size of 6.5 inches or larger. The watch comes equipped with an alligator leather strap and deployant clasp, which are adequate but not particularly noteworthy. I replaced the original strap with my Navy Delugs CTS Rubber Strap as soon as it arrived, and I find that a well fitting strap makes a watch’s larger dimensions feel more compact and comfortable on the wrist.

Wrapping Up

There’s a special kind of excitement that comes with experiencing a mechanical marvel like a tourbillon up close. It’s encouraging to see more affordable options becoming available, opening up the opportunity for a wider audience to enjoy these machines. The design of this one draws inspiration from a variety of sources, particularly high horology. I appreciate the brand’s approach to not creating a direct “homage” to any specific model, opting instead for a more subtle interpretation of their mixed inspirations. However, I’m hopeful that the brand might venture into more original territories with their future design language.

Regarding the watch’s prototype status, while the finishing and quality control leave room for improvement, it is reasonable to believe that the final production versions will address this. My primary critique centers on the legibility issues presented by the hands, perhaps limited to the aventurine dial variant. This could be remedied by increasing the visual presence of the hands through a mix of brushed and polished finishes to improve contrast and readability.

In summary, this watch is a joy to engage with, showcasing considerable promise. Its few shortcomings are outweighed by its potential and the fun of having such a dynamic complication on the wrist at a more accessible price point. I look forward to seeing how Arcturus might expand on this line of flying tourbillons, hopefully introducing a wider array of options in the future.