If you have a body (or at least wrists) of heroic proportions and are not willing to pay thousands of dollars for ridiculously overpriced timepieces like, say, IWC Doppel-Chronograph Top Gun, then you may want to check out the vintage-styled Archimede Pilot XL , which is both ruggedly-classy and, priced well below the €500 mark, surprisingly affordable.
Coming at a price of €395 (plus €40 for a leather strap with a “deployant” clasp,) the Pilot XL is available in a brushed stainless steel case 45 mm in diameter.
Being only 10 mm thick, the “aviator” sports extremely good proportions and leaves an impression of a slim timepiece, especially if worn on a rather large wrist. The relatively low profile of the deliberately oversized case will also make the Pilot XL a lot more convenient to those who prefer more formal attire. Like, say, actual pilots.
Despite being equipped with a new leather strap that now features white contrast stitching and two “historic” steel rivets on each side (if I was on the market for this sort of an “aviator” and decided to pull the trigger, I think buying a good textile NATO strap would be in order: a textile strap may not look as “historic” as one made from leather, but it would be a lot more comfortable in most circumstances,) the watch looks almost the same as the previous models in Archimede’s “Pilot” family.
It sports the same layout of its high-contrast black dial with a signature luminous triangle accompanied by a pair of dots at 12 o’clock and a set of blued diamonds-shaped hour and minute hands also covered with luminous substance.
Well, to be frank, all these models are inspired by WWII-era pilots’ watches worn by the Nazi Luftwaffe pilots, so the reason for the similarity is obvious.
As you can see, its luminescent hour markers go along with bold Arabic numerals that make the dial even more legible.
At this time, the collection is available only with a standard ETA 2824-2 Swiss movement, however, the company also announced plans to also offer a version powered by a hand-wound caliber ETA/Unitas 6498 of the same origin.
The Unitas-powered model has the potential to be slightly smaller, will feature a small seconds indicator, and, what’s even more important, look more organic with the large movement that was originally designed to animate pocket watches wholly filling the large case. Well, I guess this was probably the real reason behind the decision to start making such a huge timepiece.
Regrettably, the movements come without any noticeable decoration, so there was no need for a display case back: it only made the new Archimede Pilot XL a little more expensive.
You can order the self-winding version right now from Archimede’s official website.
Photos: Archimede / uhrforum.de
Archimede Pilot XL specification
Price range: €395 (MSRP, including VAT)
Movement: Caliber ETA 2824-2 (automatic) / Caliber Unitas 6498 (the hand-wound version, 16.5 lines,) Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, brushed, transparent case back with mineral glass
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Hands: Diamond, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Brown or black leather
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective on both sides