The German brand has just presented a pair of updated versions of its dressy diver: the Archimede SportTaucher 300M Automatic.
Archimede is one of those rare second-tier brands that are always evolving, never sleeping on their laurels. Its model range is constantly getting refreshed and the models themselves keep getting somewhat finer every year.
Their only problem is that the German brand owned by Ickelr GmbH (they also own the Limes brand, which is more exclusive and expensive) is not capable of (or not willing to) setting its own trends in the industry of fine watches. Instead, they produce “affordable” versions of idols created by the Swiss trendsetters: IWC, Omega, and Rolex. It is a shame since I hope that one day they will find an investor serious enough to propel them to the orbit currently occupied by major Swiss and German Manufactures. They do deserve this.
Its ‘secondariness’ aside, the SportTaucher 300M is an interesting product for those who cannot afford a “real thing” made in Switzerland.
Re-introduced early this year with a new bezel, better crown-tube water protection system and a more comfortable rounded solid case back, the model range has just received yet another update. This time the German brand has introduced a pair of new color combinations: a white dial with black luminescent substance and blue dial with orange and white luminant, which is positively my favorite!
While the original simply looked pretty much okay, the blue dial version with white and orange SuperLuminova compound (it is applied to the hour indices, numerals, and all three hands) looks like the best choice in the range.
While the black- and white-colored dials look somewhat flat, the blue color provides the face with an extra dimension, making it far more interesting to regard. The white and orange combination of indices and Arabic numerals, as well as the hands, provides for superb legibility even in the worst lighting conditions.
The SportTaucher also looks more expensive than it is, being available in Europe at a price of €535 (the version on black leather strap with a deployant clasp or on a rubber strap with normal buckle) and €655 coming on a stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp, security latch and a fold-out extension.
Although SportTaucher‘s new winding crown doesn’t seem to be particularly huge, it is still located at 4 o’clock position. Such a design not only prevents the crown from biting into the back of your hand but also forms an interesting visual axis together with the small date window and the hour index, which is rotated 90 degrees around its center and is identical in its width with the date window’s height. A nice touch, that.
The only thing I don’t like about this watch is that its 41.5 mm stainless steel case (which is, by the way, is only 12 mm thick and looks a lot more elegant than those chunky divers rated for the same 300 meters!) is finely brushed and doesn’t feature any polished plane whatsoever. The finish makes the case look duller than it should be, somewhat stealing from the beauty of its blue and orange dial.
Just like their gargantuan Pilot XL Automatic model, the SportTaucher is powered by the good old ETA 2824-2 movement. It features a unidirectional rotating bezel with a standard 60-minute scale, screw-down crown with Archimede’s logo and a solid screw-down case back.
If you like it, order it without any hesitation: the money will be well spent.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
See also: JeanRichard Aquascope 300m diving tool
Archimede SportTaucher 300M (Ref. UA8974-A1.4) specification
Price range: €535 to €655
Movement: Caliber ETA 2824-2, automatic, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 41.50 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, coated with SuperLuminova
Hands: Steel, coated with SuperLuminova
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Shark leather strap, stainless steel bracelet or rubber strap
Back: Solid stainless steel caseback, engraved