Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. “Pilots” are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in “aviators” regardless of the time of season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot’s watch this year.
The German brand has recently updated its collection of dressy three-handers with a nice Archimede 1950’s collection that pays homage to timekeepers that were produced by the local watchmakers after the end of the Great War. Although the Japanese movement that powers the device doesn’t look nearly as impressive as NOS hand-wound Junghans calibers that they, for example, used for their Pilot OR2 limited edition watch, it is robust and reliable and looks like an adequate choice for the price.
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.
The sporty Archimede SportTaucher 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 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.
Last month, Archimede’s sporty Outdoor collection was updated with a splendid full-lume white dial. Recently, the German brand has introduced an absolutely outstanding Archimede Outdoor Black Automatic (refs. UA8237B-A2.1-SW & UA8237-A2.1-SW) that is presented in the same stainless steel body, which is now treated with black PVD coating.
The sporty and elegant Archimede Outdoor Automatic Sport collection has recently been moderately refreshed. Since the timekeeper’s deliciously ergonomic stainless steel case doesn’t require any special attention, the German brand concentrated its efforts on the dial. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Outdoor family has finally received a version with a fully luminous face.
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 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.
Around three years ago, the German watchmaking brand has revealed its Pilot H limited edition model. The Pilot H was sold as 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!
For this year, the German watchmaker has presented a revised version of its last year’s “deck” timepiece, which is now aptly named Archimede Deck Watch R. Initially introduced early last year as a prototype, the original was inspired by the famous (at least, among serious collectors) Stowa Kriegsmarine maritime chronometer that was used by the German Navy during the World War II.