Archimede Black Pilot M and Chronograph PVD watches pays homage to Luftwaffe? German

The German watch maker Ickler GmbH (which is better known for its more expensive Limes brand) has introduced a pair of new members to its Archimede Black Pilot series. Offering the same deliberately anonymous design as dozens of other affordable wristwatches out there that are styled after the iconic B-Uhr timekeepers immortalized by the German Luftwaffe (compare them, for example, to Steinhart Nav B-Uhr collection and it would be hard to tell the difference,) this watch attempts to win your attention combining three main factors: great Swiss Made self-winding caliber, unrivaled customization ability, and, of course, the matte-black coating that makes the watch as stealthy as a night bomber and as durable as a gun.

Still looking like timepieces that the Luftwaffe pilots were wearing in the time of WWII, the timekeeper’s 39 mm case is nevertheless 10mm to 13mm less in diameter and features a jet-black PVD coating made with PVD process, a technology that wasn’t available 70 years ago.

Many pilot’s watches of 1930s-1940s were powered with huge mechanical movements and therefore were not particularly compact. However, since they were designed to be worn on top of heavy-lined leather jackets, the size was of the least concern both for the pilot and the navigator. They were more concerned with the timekeeper’s accuracy, since the watch was the main navigational instrument at the time.

Archimede Black Pilot M PVD-coated

Now, when a pilot’s watch is more an expensive accessory than a tool, the size again does matter and watchmakers tend to use more compact movements to animate their timekeepers.

The less expensive of the two is the Archimede Black Pilot M watch, which is essentially the same Pilot watch with the Swiss made ETA 2824 movement we’ve already seen in the shops but 3 millimeters less in diameter.

The Archimede Black Pilot Chronograph, which is now the flagship of the series, comes equipped with the ETA Valjoux 7750 movement, just like the one installed in the much more expensive Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL Chrono Speed Black chronometer.

Archimede Black Pilot M and Chronograph PVD

Although not particularly original, this industry work-horse successfully combines affordable pricing, impressive reliability and high serviceability when compared to other automatic movements that were initially designed to power normal three-handers, but turned into chronographs using third-party piggy-back add-on modules.

Like it’s always the case with pilot watches, the new time keepers from Archimede feature highly legible interface with bold luminous numerals and ample luminous hands.

See also: IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN released

WWR Verdict

Originality 3.5/5
Build Quality: 5/5
Usability: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Photos: Archimede Watches

Archimede Black Pilot M specification:

Price range: €375 (MSRP)
Movement: ETA 2824, Swiss Made
Complications: Date
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: PVD coated steel
Diameter: 39.00 mm
Dial: Black
Strap: Black or Brown leather strap or steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire

Archimede Black Pilot Chronograph Specification:

Price range: €925 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, automatic, Swiss Made
Complications: Chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: PVD coated steel
Diameter: 42.00 mm
Dial: Black
Strap: Black or Brown leather strap or steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective

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