Compared to the yesterday’s vintage-styled Zenith Pilot Big Date Special Edition (Ref. 03.2410.4010/21.C722) automatic timekeeper, this new limited edition Archimede Pilot OR2 may not look as intense and it definitely plays in a different league when it comes to hardware that makes it tick, however, it is also about nine times less expensive and, equipped with a NOS movement from a German ebauche maker, is certainly more exclusive.
Design-wise, the upcoming (it will be available only later this month) Archimede Pilot OR2 looks, well, like an ordinary pilot’s watch from the German watchmaking brand.
Per usual, it sports a medium-sized stainless steel body with military-style satin-brushed surfaces and features the same highly legible dial with luminous, diamond-shaped hands and bold, highly legible markers and numerals, too, painted with Superluminova C3 luminescent substance.
The difference is hidden inside the case behind a screw-in solid back. According to Archimede, the watch is equipped with a so-called ‘new old stock’ (NOS, which means that they were manufactured decades ago, but were never put inside a watch) Junghans JH867 hand-wound caliber that was built more than half a century ago. Also known as J87/10, the movement was in production from the early 1960s to 1969 and is often referred to as “Junghan’s last blank movement”.
Not terribly large (it measures around 25.5 mm in diameter and only 4.60 mm in height), the hand-wound movement has a more than adequate (for the time) power reserve of more than 40 hours. The secret is simple: the mechanism beats at a rather slow pace of 18,000 vph so that the short, antimagnetic mainspring takes longer to unwind.
As usual for this kind of job, the stock movement that Archimede somehow managed to obtain, were disassembled, cleaned, oiled and then assembled again to ensure the proper functioning of the device. To keep the price down, the watchmakers decided to leave the movement as is (i.e. undecorated), but that isn’t a problem since, as I’ve already noted, the movement is hidden behind a solid case back cover.
For the base price of 740 Euros (around $950 at today’s exchange rate), you will get a watch on a leather strap, which is currently available in neutral black, as well as in somewhat dressier brown (three shades of it) with the usual contrasting stitching and riveting. For extra €120, you can also order the watch on a more durable (although certainly less authentic) stainless steel bracelet.
Another option includes the sapphire crystal that protects the dial from moist and dust. For some unspecified amount, you can get the base flat sapphire crystal replaced for a sexier curved one. It is nice to note that both crystals are treated with anti-reflective coating on both inner and outer sides.
If you intend to get one, be quick: the German brand plans to limit the timekeeper’s production to only 100 pieces, all of them sporting individual numbers on their left sides.
See also: Archimede Pilot 39H Historic Automatic
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Photos: Archimede Uhren
Archimede Pilot OR2 Hand-Wound specification
Price: €740 – €760
Movement: Hand-wound, Junghans caliber JH687, NOS (1960), diameter 11”’, Made in Germany
Number of jewels: 17
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Not decorated
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 9.60 mm
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, blued, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black, light brown, dark brown in middle brown leather straps / Optional stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, antireflective on both sides / Optional curved sapphire available
Back: Solid, engraved