Introducing the Archimede Doctor’s Watch

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I’ve always felt that there’s something charming and almost exotic about a watch with a pulsometer scale. Probably because of my age, and the watches I was exposed to growing up and continue to be now, I’m just far more accustomed to seeing a tachymeter scale on watch dials, particularly on chronographs, where they’re almost ubiquitous and even defining characteristics of certain models. The pulsometer scale is less common, but speaks to the “watch as a tool” ethos as much as a diver or field watch, in my estimation. The functionality and utility here is undeniable – think about how many times per day a doctor or nurse takes someone’s pulse. To be able to visualize that calculation instead of having to do math in your head surely saves significant time for anyone whose job involves taking the pulse of a patient. 

Of course, just as divers don’t need a mechanical dive watch, a doctor is perfectly capable of doing some quick arithmetic and looking at a wall clock. But there’s a romance that I think is associated with the idea of something made for such a specific purpose that’s appealing. In our modern society, new technologies are developed to attract the broadest consumer base possible – a doctor’s watch would have been produced just for doctors. Why would you need a watch with a pulsation scale otherwise? 

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And that brings us to Archimede’s newest release, the aptly named Doctor’s Watch. This timepiece is dominated by a prominent pulsation scale around its outer perimeter that allows the wearer to easily calculate a patient’s pulse. It’s quite simple: after finding the pulse, likely on the inside of a patient’s wrist, wait for the second hand to pass one of three “Start” fields on the dial. From here, simply count the first fifteen heartbeats and then stop, look at the dial, and note where the second hand has fallen on the pulsation scale. The number indicated at the seconds hand is the patient’s heart rate in beats per minute, and you’ve just taken a pulse without having to do any multiplication. Your elementary school math teachers are disappointed, but you’re a doctor now, so it’s probably fine. 

This is an attractive, time-only watch with a layout that is reminiscent, in some ways, of a sector dial, but without as many clearly defined sectors in the interior of the dial. The actual pulsometer scale and the large inner circular section are rendered in a cream color that recalls a watch that accrued a fair bit of patina over the years, and I think it’s a nice look, if a bit on the yellow side of cream. Red accents (including a Rod of Asclepius near 12:00) provide just enough pop and the black hands and Arabic numerals at each hour are easily legible. 

The Doctor’s Watch is 42mm in diameter and 9.8mm thick, and as with all Archimede watches features a case made by Ickler, the storied German casemaking firm, of which Archimede is a subsidiary. The finish has a tasteful mix of brushed and polished surfaces, and while I haven’t had a chance to handle this particular watch, if it’s machined to the level that Ickler is known for, it’s fair to say that it surely is of a very high quality. The Doctor’s Watch is powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, and has 5 ATM of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a 51mm lug to lug measurement. It’s available on a leather strap or mesh bracelet, and starts at approximately $736 after currency conversion. 

So, even if you don’t need a watch like this as a frequent taker of pulses, it has a certain aesthetic appeal and old-school charm that might interest fans of vintage watches, or the more curious, customized realm of niche watches. It’s also a great example of a less common “non-mechanical complication” that rarely gets its due, and if prior experience with Ickler cased watches is any indication, it should be built to last and capable of standing up your everyday grind, whether that’s in the medical field, or elsewhere. Archimede

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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