In a bit of ironic timing, the Michelsen Arctic Explorer ($$1,960) arrived on our doorstep on one of the hottest days of summer. Fresh off the plane from Iceland, the watch still seemed to bear the chill of its origins, lending a cooling effect to the dog days of August. Regrettably, we weren’t able to put the watch to the test of an Arctic (a.k.a. Minnesotan) winter. But we still put it through at least some of its paces.
Frozen in time
Where better to design a wristwatch for the extremes of polar exploration than Iceland? After all, the northern tip of this island nation is above the Arctic Circle, and its people are notoriously hearty. Michelsen Watchmakers of Reykjavik dates back to 1909, and to celebrate their centenary a few years back, they began to release their own branded watches. The Arctic Explorer (~$2,900) is the first watch designed entirely by the company.