Rather than a full blown review I wanted to touch on a few aspects of this watch that stand out to me, and my personal take on the upsides and downsides of the watch. Overall, the former outweigh the latter to a significant degree.
Letís start with the case. This is the part of a watch that often makes or breaks it for me. I can learn to love a watch with a stunning case but mediocre dial in a way I never could with the assessments reversed. For that reason Iíve often considered buying the 39mm Archimede Outdoor Protect despite being generally unmoved by the dial.
The 41mm diameter of the Outdoor AntiMag is a reasonable boost from the 39mm Outdoor Protect. Offering another variant in the family in a new size is good to see, and Iím happy to see a sensible increase applied here. Although the lugless design will stop the watch from giving any ďoverhangĒ on the average wrist until it grows by quite a lot more, the body of the watch still feels substantial enough as it is.
Although the scalloped lug area draws the eye initially, I found that aspect of the design very easy to live with and almost inconspicuous. Instead, the part of the case I found myself inspecting and admiring the most was the crown guards. The lines are soft and organic, yet with plenty of distinct arcs and surfaces to draw the eye.
Iím familiar with several hardened steel cases from Damasko and Sinn, and each time I handle them Iím left with a real tool watch vibe. This is in part due to the blasted finish that usually accompanies it. In the case of the Archimede I donít get the same at all, and Iím still not sure if thatís a good thing or a bad thing. The hardness is right up there as a true tool watch attribute, but the Outdoor AntiMag doesnít shout about it. The subtle brushing flies under the radar and gives more freedom for Archimede to give the watch a finish befitting the overall design rather than being restricted by the ďprescribedĒ hardened steel finish.
The thickness and the profile of the case also somehow hides the soft iron core inside that helps provide magnetic resistance up to 1000 gauss. It feels (and is) far slimmer on the wrist than a Milgauss. Iíve never been overly bothered by the thickness of the Milgauss, but Iíll admit itís an achievement that, much like the hardened steel case, youíd be forgiven for not even suspecting the anti-magnetic properties had you not known (or read it on the dial).
And so to the dial. As I admitted above, itís not one that has strongly appealed to me in the past and itís not one that will linger in my thoughts in the future. Thatís not to say itís at all bad, just not memorable or particularly in tune with my tastes. The crisp white printing and bold white hands over the matte black dial give excellent readability, and as far as telling the time goes I canít fault it. The blued second hand gives the watch a feel very similar to the Damasko DA38 and thatís no bad thing, and the white tip on the Archimede probably elevates it above.
I did find the date window to be slightly awkward though. On the 39mm Outdoor Protect the date window sits perfectly in place of the three, but due to the increased dial here the date window is left hanging a little. Itís not terrible, but not quite as neatly integrated as on the smaller dial.
Part of my gripe (perhaps too strong a word) with field watches Ė or dials that live in that general area, is the level of clutter that often comes from all of the markings that are included. I was pleased to find that the Archimede copes with that problem* fairly well. *Ok, so itís my problem really. Each of the 11 remaining lumed Arabic numerals are accompanied by a large lumed block, and thatís it on the main surface of the dial. The vertical portion of the chapter ring displays dashes for the minutes (or seconds), which then leads to a sloped surface showing numerals in intervals of five. Both are visible if you need them, but I grew to like the fact that there are never too many markings visible at the same time from any particular angle.
The strap that comes on the Outdoor AntiMag is surprisingly good. The leather is soft and supple and gave a good fit for my seven inch wrist. This particular style of leather, slightly notched and with stitching around the lug area, isnít normally to my taste but visually does work well against the arcs of the case. Iím pleased to see a bracelet option is available for the watch as that is how I would probably choose to wear it.
I havenít measured accuracy or power reserve Ė only noted that my main requirements were fully met. They are:
After taking it off in the evening, and after a day of wearing something else, I can pick up the watch to still find it running the next morning, and
After repeating this a couple of times I didnít feel the need to re-set the time.
So, given this watch doesnít have me reaching for my wallet, what would I change? Not a lot. In a perfect world the date window would sit a little closer to the lume block at three oíclock, but that modification to the movement and date wheel inside is unlikely given the price of the watch. Iíd therefore personally prefer to see a no-date version to sit alongside this one. Other than that I canít really find fault.
Thanks for Mike, Bhanu and all at Archimede for the opportunity to spend some time with the watch.