For this year, the German watchmaker has presented a revised version of its last year’s “deck” timepiece, which is now aptly named Archimede Deck Watch R. Initially introduced early last year as a prototype, the original was inspired by the famous (at least, among serious collectors) Stowa Kriegsmarine maritime chronometer that was used by the German Navy during the World War II.
Perhaps, the German brand’s owner decided that the watch was too
blatant a copy of strongly influenced by the original and decided to replace the Arabic numerals with Roman digits.
Although the watch became slightly less legible, the choice was nevertheless historically justified, since there were a number of deck timekeepers that were, too, equipped with dials with Roman numerals printed on them (like, say, the British EMT Deck.)
For those not familiar with the concept, I can tell that a deck watch was used as an auxiliary timekeeper that had to be synchronized on a daily basis with the “big” chronometer of a ship. Much more compact than the huge chronometers, it was still a very, very accurate watch.
Well, it must be noted that the new Archimede Deck Watch R (as you may have already guessed, “R” is for “Roman”) is not a chronometer.
Powered by a standard grade ETA Unitas 6498 hand-wound movement, it only offers a standard level of accuracy that a German mechanical watch, which is priced around €500 can provide.
The movement is encased inside a compact stainless steel body 42 millimeters in diameter and around 10.5 mm in height. Like the last year’s model, this one, too, offers an interesting to admire the combination of polished and satin-finished surfaces.
Another drawback also has something to do with the caliber.
Perfectly visible through a transparent mineral glass that covers the case back, the movement comes completely undecorated and, believe me, there is nothing to look at when it comes to a standard-grade Unitas 6498: there is just too much of dull, cheap-looking metal there for an average eye to be pleased.
The good news is that the timekeeper offers a well-balanced dial layout with lots of breathing space between the numerals and the other elements of design. And that’s the dial that you will see most of the time.
Supplied with either silvered or black dial, the watch sports blue, and white hands respectively, both sets looking contrast on their backgrounds.
Of course, it would be nice to see the watch feature a luminous dial, as the original did, thus compensating for the lack of lume on the hands and the hour markers. However, the Archimede Deck Watch R is designed as a vintage-styled dress watch, so the absence of Superluminova is not a serious problem. I mean, who needs lume when you got a face like this!
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Archimede Deck Watch R (Ref. UA7952) specification
Price: €475 (MSRP, incl. European VAT)
Movement: Hand-wound, ETA Unitas 6498, 17 jewels, Swiss Made
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 10.50 mm
Dial: Silvered or Black
Hour markers: Black or White
Hands: Blue or White
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with a steel pin buckle (a deployant clasp adds €40 to the grand total)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Back: Transparent, mineral glass