I first planned to write this article back in December 2012 but soon found out that a refreshed model was in the works and decided to postpone this small review for a later date. Last week, the German watchmaking brand has made me aware about the 2013 Archimede Pilot 42 R Red model together with its two siblings: versions in blue (Pilot 42 B) and white (Pilot 42 W). I still hope to get my hands on one of them at some point in time, but so far I can only use their official images. So, here we go.
Compared to the last year’s model, the new Archimede Pilot 42 comes in the same body but offers a more simplified layout of its dial. Although still powered by the same ETA 2824-2 Swiss-made automatic movement, the 2013 model doesn’t have calendar functionality, which gives it a purer, true look of a watch that pays homage to the famous B-Uhren of the last World War.
The new family is available in three bodies: practical stainless steel, grim black PVD steel, as well as dull, but lightweight titanium. Although the version in titanium costs whole €100 more than the version in plain steel and bears a price tag of €535 plus shipping costs (all prices here and below include German 19% VAT, so if you are an international buyer and want to calculate its price sans VAT just take the price and divide it by 1.19; it should go like 535/1.19=449.58), it still looks like a lot more interesting choice, too, especially for those who hate to feel the weight of a timekeeper on their wrists.
Measuring just 42 millimeters in diameter, the watch is by no means small but still looks discrete, which makes it wearable not only with a bomber jacket but also with a business suit (if you match it with a red tie, of course).
Talking again about pricing, I must warn you that Archimede uses the same philosophy as the German car manufacturers that work in the premium segment: make a relatively inexpensive base model and offer lots of options that will make it twice as expensive. Indeed, when you start to add all optional parts and accessories that come with the new Archimede Pilot 42, it may quickly become pricey. But still not as pricey as similar offerings from the Swiss-based brands that use the same mechanism or one of its clones.
Consider this. The watch in titanium costs €535. To personalize it, you will probably add a decorated “Archimede” rotor (€160), a domed sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective treatment on both sides (€140), a strap made of finer leather (€52), and, of course, a matt stainless steel deployant clasp that makes wearing this watch a lot more comfortable (€50). All in all, the watch will cost you 937 Euro (shipping not included), which is 75 percent more expensive than the base model, but is still twice as cheap (and in fact a lot more attractive) than, say, the Fortis F-43 Flieger Automatic.
Highly recommended if you are looking for a quality pilot’s watch on a tight budget.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
See also: Archimede Pilot 39H Historic Automatic
Archimede Pilot 42 specification
Price: €535 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Can be equipped with a branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: Titanium (also available in Stainless steel and PVD Steel)
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Dial: Red (also in White and Blue)
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Diamond, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Riveted black leather strap with contrast stitching matching color of the dial on pin buckle (also available with optional deployant clasp at 50 Eur)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective