For those of you familiar with the Archimede watch brand, you very well may think immediately of their beautiful line of traditional pilot watches, for which they are best known. But today we’re bringing you a review of an Archimede that breaks that mold. The Outdoor Automatic Sport is a nimble, sporty offering that maintains simple yet attractive styling and transitions well from the outdoors to the office. And while the Outdoor isn’t new to the Archimde lineup, it proves that the Archimede brand is committed to releasing quality pieces at very competitive prices.
While the Archimede brand may be young, having been founded in 2003, the watch manufacturer behind it – Ickler – has been producing quality timepieces since 1924 in Pforzheim, Germany. As stated, the brand is best known for their pilot watches, which come in both three hand and chrono versions, ranging in size 36 to 45 mm and feature quality Swiss movements. Most importantly, the price point on these pieces is relatively low, from roughly $600 to $1,600 for a chrono on a very nice five-link bracelet. Archimede also offers several marine and dive watches, all featuring Swiss movements and similarly fair prices.
Today we are very excited to be reviewing the Outdoor, which is designed to be the perfect companion to someone with an active lifestyle. The piece features simple, clean design in a rugged 38.7mm body. High legibility in all environments and a consistent, no frills experience are the name of the game when it comes to the Outdoor. That said, we think the Outdoor offers a bit more than meets the eye when it comes to styling. Not to mention, it completely delivers on all of its promises as a trustworthy, workhorse automatic sport watch. At $750, who can argue with that?
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Sellita SW 200 Automatic
Lume: Luminous indices and numerals
Strap: Steel bracelet
Water Res.: 200m
Dimensions: 38.7mm x 43.5mm
Lug Width: 20mm
Crown: screw down
Weight: 120g with steel bracelet
Warranty: 24 months
The case of the Outdoor is nimble, measuring just 38.7mm in diameter, and 43.5mm lug to lug. This squat size is aided by the case’s lugless design. The piece also measures just 10.5 mm tall, making it rather short for an automatic watch. Housed inside this petite case is a Swiss-made Sellita SW 200 automatic movement, bringing a high level of reliability and accuracy to the piece.
While the case of the Outdoor works to be simple and, frankly, out of the way, it also offers thoughtful styling that makes for a pleasant as well as effortless wear. The case is reminiscent of the sporty Rolex Explorer, with some definite stylistic differences. Like the Explorer the Outdoor’s shape features a smooth curvature along each side of the watch that runs its entire lug to lug width. Further, like the Explorer, it features ad raised bezel along the dial. The outdoor sticks out however with its lugless design. At each of the lugs there us a slight radiant vertically downward away from the crystal that helps break up the geometry of the watch, while accentuating its smooth lines.
There is also a ruggedly styled crown guard surrounding the very beefy crown. When adjusted, the screw-down crown of the Outdoor gives you the reassurance that it is well built and feels almost as though it belongs on a watch of more masculine stature.
The dial of the Outdoor is sterile and very legible. This was a mission critical goal of the Outdoor, to achieve a highly visible dial in all environments, and Archimede definitely did an outstanding job of doing so. The dial is a matte black and features bright while numerical indices and hands. At each hour is a numerical indicator, as well as a fat has mark that draws your eye directly to the hour with little effort. Further, along the raised internal bezel of the dial you will find numerical second/minute indicators at intervals of five. Again, these are painted in a bright white and, despite their small size, are quite legible.
A somewhat hidden feature of the dial is the hash second/minute markers along the wall of the raised internal bezel. Clearly seen when viewing the watch at an angle, these markers are nearly invisible when viewing the watch straight on. Its a great detail that adds to the tool aesthetic, but its just a bit tough to see at first.
The hands of the Outdoor are pretty straight forward (pun intended). The hour and minute hands are a slightly tapered rectangular shape, and the second hand is a simple needle design.
The dial also features the Archimede logo, the words “outdoor” and “automatik” as well as depth rating at the 6 o’clock position. You will also find a date window at 3 o’clock, featuring black lettering on white background. Typically, we’d prefer to see a color scheme that matches the dial, bit in this case the white background of the date window really helps the date to pop. Finally, pleasantly bright lume can be found throughout the dial on both numerical and hash hour markers and all hands.
Strap and Wearability
The Outdoor we tested features a metal bracelet, which really helps to connect the dots to the Rolex Explorer aesthetic. With this bracelet, the Outdoor weighs just 120g, making it a rather light watch. In fact, when worn with the optional leather band, the total weight of the Outdoor drops to just 70g. The metal bracelet is quite comfortable to wear at just 20mm wide and features a sturdy deployment clasp.
Most importantly, the Outdoor is a really fun watch to wear. Its size makes it easy to wear all day and forget that you’re wearing a watch on a metal bracelet. I also found that the clean, utilitarian styling transitioned very well from the office when paired with slacks and a button down to the weekend when it was more commonly worn with jeans or shorts. Knowing that inside this no frills watch is a high quality Swiss movement makes you feel like you really do have the right tool for the job with you at all times. In addition to being the right watch for someone who takes part in sporty activities on a regular basis, we also think the Outdoor may make the perfect watch for someone just looking for a versatile, low profile watch with a quality automatic. The Outdoor could easily be an everyday wear, even if it never sees the water.
Wearing the Archimede Outdoor for a few weeks was a great experience. In the world of large watches that we live in today, the Outdoor is a welcome break. The Outdoor achieves all of its goals for being a go to timepiece for an active individual and does so with a fair but not overwhelming amount of style. At $750, we think the Outdoor is a good deal. For that you’re getting a high quality Swiss movement, outstanding build quality, rugged good looks and a trusty timepiece that’s sure to last.
by Blake Malin