Before I start, I want to give thanks to archimede, mike stuffler, and bhanu chopra for organizing the pass around. This is a really great way to get a watch out in the public and get various reviews from the watch community. I wouldnít have had an opportunity to see an archimede in person otherwise.
Since so many others have done a great job going over the basic properties of the watch, Iím going to focus on the subtler details that unraveled during my week with the watch.
My initial impression upon opening the watch box was how much shinier the watch was in person compared to my expectations. The pictures really emphasize the contrast and tool style dna of the watch, but in person the bezel picks up and plays with the light. I prefer applied indicies, but the stark white and sharp printing on the dial almost sparkles.
After pulling the watch out of the box, I was impressed with the supple black leather band. It has a fun pebble texture, contrast stitching, and a nice matching buckle. But my first negative popped up when I strapped the watch on: it looked like I stole my dadís watch.
I have a 6.25 or roughly 16cm wrist, and I would need one if not two additional holes in the strap to make it work. Even then, I would almost double wrap the strap around. No worries though, I have a nice short colareb strap to swap on.
Guess where a bunch of gunk is going to build up with shrouded lugs:
On the wrist. The 41mm is mostly dial and is a little larger than my puny wrist can handle. I can pull it off, but the 39mm would be a much better fit. The 46mm lugs are within my comfort zone, and the semi circular chamfer on the watch flows smoothly into the angle that the strap curves around my wrist. The lugs definitely have more visual heft to them, though. The watch wore comfortably on my wrist, and didnít rock back and forth. From a sideview, the lugs seem to turn down dramatically, but on the wrist they are more flat.
About the mechanicals. Iíve never owned an ETA movement. I was surprised how different it felt winding compared to the seiko movements. While the seikos feel like winding a very small gear connected to a spring, the ETA felt like tightening a rubber band around an axle. The crown was very sturdy feeling. The accuracy was astounding, averaging less than one second per day error.
The dial is definitely the highlight of the watch for me. Itís quirky, it has depth, and it can go anywhere. The white lume pips are heavily applied, and have a slight contour that catches the light if you look closely. The radial flip on the numbers didnít bother me at all. The vertical rehaut with minute markings are super fun, but impractical. Looking at the watch head on renders the minute track unreadable. Reflections will change the color of the dial relative to the rehaut, which is either interesting or annoying depending on your point of view.
The hands are simplistic but stark in contrast. I was concerned about confusing the two hands, but in reality the minute hand has a slight taper that helps differentiate it. The blued metal seconds hand is fun, but as Kenny Wayne Shepherd famously pointed out, blue on black doesnít stand out much. The seconds hand completely disappears in a variety of angles.
The ickler case was a letdown. Sure itís hardened, but I was hoping the unusual barrel shape would be more endearing. Alas, the slab sides and stubby crown guards couldnít keep up despite the satin bezel bringing some sparkle. The finishing itself is fine, but I think my seiko sarbs have better brushing.
The crystal is fantastic, disappearing from most angles. At extreme angles, the crystal looks impossibly thin where it meets the rehaut. The optical transparency is very high. Fingerprints and smudges didnít bother me like they do on my sarb033.
Overall I enjoyed my time with the watch. I wore it constantly, without concern for its durability which was very refreshing. I also wore it to work in a professional office and on business travel, and it never felt out of place. The dial is super fun, but the case is a little pedestrian. Either the 39 or 41mm versions will look good on a wide variety of wrists.
The watch is on its way to our next member, who Iím sure will enjoy it.