For new watch enthusiasts, one of the great discoveries of the hobby is the incredible value available in German made watches. The idea of a “finely made Swiss watch” is beaten into our brains well before we even strap that first timepiece to our wrists, so it’s easy to come to the hobby with an assumption that Swiss and expensive watches represent some aspirational high point that all collectors are striving for. Once you understand that Germany has its own slice of watchmaking history, and that they excel in certain things that the Swiss don’t emphasize as strongly, and that often (for a whole host of reasons) German watches are far less expensive than their Swiss equivalents, a bunch of new possibilities open up. Sinn, Nomos, and Damasko are often starting points when it comes to an education in German watches, but Archimede should not be ignored. They’ve just released a new watch, the Klassik 200, which appears to be a great summation of all the quality and value that German watches have to offer.
For the uninitiated, a bit of background on Archimede, as understanding the brand is important to understanding the value of their watches and some of their unique characteristics. Archimede’s parent company, Ickler, has been around since the 1920s, and is well known throughout the watch industry for their case making abilities. Over the years they’ve supplied many top brands with watch cases, and have developed a reputation for quality. Archimede can be thought of as an Ickler house brand, and is primarily known for their excellent pilot’s watches (I reviewed one here).
The Klassik 200 takes a step outside the pilot’s watch genre and is much more of an everyday watch, but Archimede promises the same robust quality and durability that they’re known for when it comes to their pure tool watches. As the name implies, the watch has a water resistance rating of 200 meters, and features a hardened steel case to protect against scratches and further enhance longterm durability. And you get this in a package measuring 39mm in diameter and just 10.8mm tall. That’s simply a great size, and with a lug to lug of 45mm we expect this watch to wear quite comfortably and flatter almost any wrist.
The watch is available with your choice of a white or blue dial, with simple applied hour markers that are filled with luminescent material. The hands have a matching silvered finish and are also lumed, and a date window is cut at the 3:00 position. On the white dial, the date wheel is color matched, which gives it an edge over the blue in our opinion. In both colors, this is a relentlessly simple and classically designed watch, the type that goes with everything and can be used anywhere. With tool watch specifications, this could be a great addition to the small collection of a new enthusiast, or fill a dress watch gap for those of us who stick to sportier pieces and always want that extra assurance of a high water resistance rating.
The Klasik 200 is available to order right now on Archimede’s website. After currency conversion, it sells for about $871, which is a competitive price given the quality of Ickler cases, the watch’s specs, and the Sellita SW200 caliber inside. More information can be found here.