The German brand has recently updated its collection of dressy three-handers with a nice Archimede 1950’s automatic wristwatch that pays homage to timekeepers that were produced by the local watchmakers after the end of the Great War. Although the Japanese movement that powers the device doesn’t look nearly as impressive as NOS hand-wound Junghans calibers that they, for example, used for their Pilot OR2 limited edition watch, it is robust and reliable, and looks like an adequate choice for the price.
For this particular timekeeper, Archimede decided to use Citizen’s Miyota caliber 9015 automatic movement. Offering the same functionality and reliability as its ETA 2824 rival, the Japanese mechanism is quite often used by smaller brands that either don’t have access to Swiss made movements or just can’t afford them at prices set for relatively small numbers (for example, Deep Blue uses it quite extensively installing the Japanese engines in their heavy-duty Master Diver 1000 and Depthmaster 3000 models).
As you can see, the movement features a rather unusual decor with its oscillating weight featuring sunburst finish which is accented by a sand-blasted outer segment, while the bridges sport a local version of well-known Geneva Stripes pattern. Usually, Archimede offers an optional personalized oscillating weight, but for some reason this caliber is only available as is. You can’t even hide behind a solid case back cover, which is really a pity: as high-quality as it is, the Cal. 9015 is not the most entertaining thing to look at.
The watch itself is a very nice homage to European timekeepers that were manufactured during the first decade after World War II.
Trying to stay as historically correct as possible, Archimede equipped with 1950’s with a very thin (at least, for a modern wristwatch) body that measures less than 10 millimeters from top to bottom. However, using the same visual trick as their predecessors sixty years ago, the brand’s designers managed to look it even thinner than it actually is. To achieve this, they equipped the watch with a domed Plexiglas crystal that offers just enough space for the three hands.
Although the domed crystal is easier to shutter because it is not guarded from shocks by a bezel, the result is very impressive: the timepiece that measures just 39 millimeters in diameter indeed looks very slim.
Looking at this device from the right side, I can’t help but notice that the setting crown is a bit too large for this model: its diameter is clearly larger than height of the stainless steel body and something tells me that Archimede decided to use the crown not in order to make setting the time a bit easier, but to save some money using a standard part from their other timekeepers. I can’t say that the choice of the crown is a deal breaker for me, but it certainly does sting the eye a bit.
On the other hand, for a timekeeper, which is currently available starting a just €495 and topping at €575 for a model on a steel mesh bracelet (optional parts not included), the watch looks surprisingly well-done. It would be quite difficult to find something as elegant within this price range.
See also: Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor Automatic
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Archimede 1950’s Automatic watch specification
Price: €495.00 — €575.00
Movement: Automatic, Citizen’s Miyota caliber 9015, Made in Japan
Number of jewels: 24
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Vertical “Cotes de Geneve”-style pattern on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 9.8 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Dial: Silver / Black
Hour markers: Stick-shaped
Hands: Leaf-shaped, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with buckle or optional deployment clasp
Case back: Mineral