Around three years ago, Archimede has revealed its Pilot H limited-edition model. The Pilot H was a sort of “homage” to their successful Pilot Original that was powered by a vintage (so-called “New Old Stock”) Junghans 687 hand-wound movement. This year, the German brand decided to bet on yet another iteration of the same timekeeper that is now introduced in a smaller case. Meet the “historic” Archimede Pilot 39H!
Although the new version is animated not with a rare NOS caliber, but by a mass-produced ETA 2824-2 self-winding ebauche, the watch still retains the DNA of other “historic” models.
As you can see on the pictures, the timekeeper comes sans the brand name on the dial, has the calendar wheel and date aperture removed, and shows the usual for B-Uhr-inspired pilot’s timekeepers diamond-shaped, luminous hour and minute hands, as well as the inevitable triangle with a pair of luminous dots at 12 o’clock.
While the Pilot H was presented in a rather large stainless steel body 42 millimeters in diameter, the Archimede Pilot 39H re-edition is delivered in a more compact and discreet 39 mm body, which is crafted of the same metal and satin-finished in order to provide it with that dull look that we got used to expecting from military watches.
To make the gadget look even more vintage, the German brand offers it on a choice of riveted leather straps, although a less authentic stainless steel bracelet is also available at an extra price.
Speaking of which, I must notice that the watch has become a lot more expensive compared to the 2008 Pilot H. While the latter was introduced at a base price of only €345, the new model starts at €435 (around $580 or so at today’s EUR/USD exchange rate.)
More than that, the watch is getting more and more expensive as soon as you start adding options, like stainless steel bracelet (at €120 it is not a cheap one, but the quality is reported to be good,) branded oscillating weight (€145 and this one is outrageously high) or a deployant clasp for the leather strap that will set you back at €40, but in the process will make the wristwatch not only a lot more comfortable but also faster and easier to secure on your wrist.
Still, even in its base form, it is a great timekeeper that successfully combines high-grade mechanism with the good build quality of its case and that irresistible minimalism and efficiency of the 1940-era military equipment. If your wrist is thin enough for the watch to look organic on you, it is definitely a keeper.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Photos: Archimede / UhrForum.de
Archimede Pilot 39H Historic specification
Price: From €435 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Optional branded rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black, light brown or dark brown riveted leather strap or Stainless steel bracelet (optional)