Originally known as “trench watches” during WWI, by the 1980s, outdoorsy brands like L.L. Bean and Orvis were selling simple, rugged, time-only “field watches” to the weekend warrior. These tough, little mil-spec tools were perfect companions for hunting, hiking, camping, and fishing. The name Outdoor 41 AntiMag blatantly tells us that this highly anti-magnetic, hardened, 41-millimeter tool watch is an unabashed civilian offering a la the 1980s.
Yet, given its impressive 80,000 A/m (1000 Gauss) anti-magnetic rating, the Outdoor 41 AntiMag is arguably part of a third-wave of the increasingly domestic utility of the field watch: a tool that’ll avoid inaccuracies introduced by the electronic devices we cling to day and night. To achieve its anti-mag performance, the Outdoor 41 houses a soft iron cage around the movement.
Often a wrap-around iron Faraday cage like the one in the Outdoor 41 AntiMag will force a watch to be quite big, but the Outdoor 41 manages to be only 11 millimeters thick (and at 46.5 millimeters lug-to-lug, it should fit a wide range of wrists). This small size and excellent anti-magnetic performance is a result of lining the dial itself, the movement holder, and the watch’s case with iron that successfully redirects electromagnetism away from the movement. The SW200-1’s beefed-up cogs in the gear-train (an improvement over the base SW200) and its a-magnetic Nivaflex components also help maintain accuracy.
ICKLER is an older German manufacturer that has owned Archimede since its inception, and the parent company is famous for making exceptionally hard steel. The ICKLER steel here is hardened to 1200 HV (or Vickers).
The brushed stainless steel case is a unique, 1970s-inspired quasi-cushion that tapers down to a set of hidden lugs. The signed screw-down crown sits inside handsome, multi-faceted guards, and the anti-reflective sapphire crystal and 200 meters of water resistance mean the Outdoor 41 AntiMag is begging for abuse.
The dial will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Archimede Outdoor 39, 2012’s smaller sibling to the Outdoor 41. Markers and hands are rectangular white units filled with lume. The seconds hand is in heat-blued steel with a bright luminous tip, a compelling mixture of old and new. Numerals are not entirely without style (check out the ‘7’ and the all-important ‘4’), but are suitably plain enough that—along with the 24-hour track on the dual-faceted rehaut—the dial achieves a familiar field-watch aesthetic.
The date window suffers what I have called “the IWC MK XVIII problem,” meaning that it sits a bit too close to the center of the dial. One might also lodge a gripe over the date wheel’s font, which doesn’t match the handsome one used on the dial. Nonetheless, the Outdoor 41’s date window is well-proportioned, so it doesn’t disrupt the dial nearly as much as my complaints would suggest. The IWC MK XVIII, for example, is a far worse offender.
The custom-fit black leather strap sports a robust texture, while the white stitching picks up the colorway perfectly. The folded flap that’s stitched around the spring-bars is a boon because (a) it is not superfluous and (b) it is fittingly rugged and overbuilt.
With its readiness for any scenario, the Archimede Outdoor 41 AntiMag captures the spirit of all three eras of the field watch—from the World Wars to the outdoor obsessions of the 1980s and 90s to today’s digital lifestyle—and it does it for $1,225 (€980.00). Archimede
At age 7 Allen fell in love with a Timex boy's dive watch his parents gave him, and he's taken comfort in wearing a watch ever since. Allen is especially curious about digital technology having inspired a revival of analog technology, long-lasting handmade goods, and classic fashion. He lives in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hudson Valley with his partner and two orange cats.