Owned by Ickler GmbH, a German company that makes its own high-quality watch cases and also happens to own a bit more “premium” brand Limes, the watchmaking specialist has released its new Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor. The timekeeper is offered in six variations with all sorts of available customizations that you can possibly imagine. Although not as refined as similarly (base price plus essential options included) priced models from competitors, the Klassik 42 Bicolor is worth a look, especially if you are into that sort of rugged beauty that Archimede is known for.
What I always liked about the German brand Archimede, is that these guys never fail to make a nice watch at a pretty much affordable price. Playing in the same ballpark with well-advertised brands like Mido, Frederique Constant, and, of course, Tissot, Archimede made its name selling timekeepers inspired by time-proven B-Uhr design from the WWII era.
Powered by the same ETA-sourced automatic movements as most of its Swiss made competitors, their wristwatches have their own character and may very well be that “go to” models for those tired of the “classic” design of a dress watch and looking for something a bit (but just a bit!) sportier, but still compact and elegant enough to use with formal attire.
With its 42 millimeters in diameter (51 mm lug to lug) and less than 10 millimeters thick, the Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor is on a larger side of the industry’s golden ratio, but still within its boundaries. Its profile is relatively thin and elegant, the lugs are just long enough for it to comfortably hug your wrist, and the 8 mm setting crown gives you just enough grip to manipulate the mechanism without any problem.
However, it must be noted that trying to make the Klassik 42 as affordable as it is, the German brand has also cut a couple of pennies here and there.
The first of all, it is the strap. I don’t know what kind precisely do they use, but I do know that it doesn’t make a terribly strong impression when you look at it. You will probably have to swap it for a more expensive aftermarket version to make the watch look, um, nicer. A genuine alligator leather strap would set you back an extra 150 Euros.
The second culprit is, of course, the mineral crystal that they use on the case back cover. While it probably doesn’t matter much from the practical standpoint, you will known that it is not sapphire and it may become a major source of buyer’s remorse after the first fumes of euphoria wear out. However, ordering a case back with sapphire crystal would add €150 more to the grand total.
Also, keep in mind that the original ETA 2824-2 self-winding mechanism that they use to power the watch comes with only some rudimentary finish while adding a branded oscillating weight that doesn’t dramatically change the picture will make the gadget €160 more expensive. So, with only these three enhancements, the timekeeper’s price skyrockets from pretty attractive €545 (a version in stainless steel on a leather strap) to around €1000: a sum that I am not as comfortable with. For the money, you would get a beautiful Stowa Antea Klassic, which is simply a lot better watch that also happens to better hold its resale value.
Still, if you plan to keep things simple and don’t want to add all the extra niceties that come at extra price, if you just make your first careful step into the exciting world of fine wristwatches, this Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor may be a nice product that will definitely get you there without breaking the proverbial bank.
See also: Limes Pharo Cartouche Automatic
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor specification
Price: €545 / €645 / €675 (VAT included)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel / Black PVD steel / Antique Gold PVD
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 9.80 mm
Dial: Black / Silvered
Numerals: Arabic, applied, rose gold-plated
Hour markers: Rose gold-plated
Hands: Rose gold-plated
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with optional deployment clasp / Stainless steel bracelet or Milanaise mesh bracelet, both with deployment clasps