The sporty Archimede SportTaucher automatic diving watch is now available with a new feature: a bidirectional rotating bezel graduated with a compass-style 360-degree scale. Although, unlike some electronic timekeepers, the new Archimede SportTaucher K (Kompass) doesn’t have a real compass function, you can still use this little gadget to impress your girlfriend by finding north (or south). The only three things that you need to do achieve this are the watch, visible Sun, and a girlfriend.
Known for its no-nonsense approach to doing business, the German watchmaker doesn’t wait for an annual international show to showcase its new offerings. Or, at least, I have an impression that they adhere to that “deliver when it’s ready” philosophy that software companies love so much.
Although I wholeheartedly support this attitude, I pity a little that the watch wasn’t officially presented just a couple of weeks earlier: in this case, I would have a really good chance of getting one of this rugged beauties as a birthday present. Not that I really need a compass (especially a rudimentary one), but it would be really nice to have a watch with this sort of “complication”: there is something magical about a timekeeper that not only tells you time, but also allows you to find your way in a location where there are not so many road signs.
Actually, the trick is quite simple. Take any watch with analog display and place it on a table with the hour hand pointing at the Sun. If you happen to be in the Northern hemisphere, the minute mark that stays more or less midway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock marker points in the southern direction. In the Southern hemisphere the principle is the same, but the mark will point to north.
As simple as it is, some watchmakers are still trying to make the task even easier by equipping their timekeepers with “compass” bezels that have a 360-degree scale on them with distinct North, East, South and West marks on them. If you need to find south, just follow the procedure above and rotate your SportTaucher’s (or that of Seiko Land Golgo 13 Automatic Limited Edition (Ref. SBDC021) if you like Japanese watches better) bezel in order to set the “S” mark between the hour hand and 12 o’clock position on the dial. Here, you have your south.
Based on a 2010 model, the watch is still very compact for a sporty model. Measuring 41.5 mm in diameter and equipped with rather short lugs, it doesn’t occupy too much space on your wrist. Also, at just 12 mm thick, it must also be quite comfortable when it comes to interacting with tight-cuffed shirts and field jackets.
Compared to the SportTaucher 300M that the German brand has introduced back in 2010, the new watch features the same basic design, but ditches the original ETA 2824-2 movement in favor of more accessible Sellita SW200, which is essentially a clone of the aforementioned caliber.
Everything else, including the setting crown at 4 hours and a pair of broad sword-shaped hour and minute hands is the same. Well, the price is different, too: while the 2010 model was available at as low as €535, this new SportTaucher K starts at €690: an increase of almost 30 percent in just three years and a half! As usual for Archimede, this is just a starting price: as soon as you start adding options (like a fancy Milanaise mesh bracelet or a transparent case back cover), the watch gets even more expensive.
Well, for a model that is built of highest-quality components made either in-house or bought from Swiss manufacturers and features a very original design, the price is not terribly high. In fact, I could even call it modest if only it wasn’t climbing north at such an overwhelming rate.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Archimede SportTaucher Kompass Automatic watch specification
Price: €690 to €820
Movement: Automatic, caliber Sellita SW200, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: Basic
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, compass scale on the bezel
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.50 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Dial: Black / White
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black shark leather strap / black rubber band / stainless steel bracelet / Milanaise mesh bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid (optional transparent)