Watch Reviews

The Archimede Deck Watch Review: An Introductory Mechanical Watch That’s Not So "Introductory"

by on Oct.18, 2010, under Review, What's New

Today, a look at the Deck Watch from German brand Archimede.  The Deck Watch draws its clean, legible design cues from naval chronometres, specifically German ‘Kriegsmarine’ style watches. This distinctive style, with arabic numerals, railroad chapter ring and small seconds can be found in a diverse range  of German brands catalogues, notably Stowa, Dornbluth & Sohne as well as A. Lange & Sohne.

The ever growing popularty of mechanical watches, along with the wonders of the internet, has catalyzed an explosion of smaller watch brands who understand the importance of an effective online presence, something the big boys of the watch world are only starting to catch onto. Archimede has taken this ‘internet only’ approach for the last few years, and done it very well.

Archimede is a brand, along with Limes, of case manufacturer Ickler – this means they have strong control over the production of components (as opposed to many other watches in a similar price range that will outsource production to keep costs down) meaning you get a lot of quality (and less BS) for a good price.

Archimede’s latest model, the Deck Watch (which I’ve had the pleasure of trying out for the last week or so) epitomises this approach.

It’s a watch that does all the right things; it’s a reasonable 42mm, runs on a manual wind (or “handaufzug”, if you like) ETA 6498, has a double AR coated sapphire crystal and a case that has a brushed/polished finish that dresses up or down easily.

The Deck Watch retails at a very reasonable $635 US (you can buy one with a higher grade movement for $995), which is great value for a watch of this build quality with an ETA movement. This watch is more than $300 cheaper than the popular (and VERY similar) Marine Original from Stowa. Archimede can charge less because the movement is undecorated, the hands are chemically blued, and the packaging is simple. Choices like this allows for a competitively priced product, while not diminishing the appeal in any significant way.

Watches at this price point are often said to be ‘great introductions to mechanical watches,’ and while this is certainly true of the Deck Watch, I think that does the quality of this watch a bit of a disservice. I can see this watch (particularly on a nice aftermarket strap and with the optional solid caseback) holding it’s own in terms of quality against watches with much heftier pricetags.  

Oh, and by the way, Archimede has just released a black dial version, too.

Click here to check out the Archimede official website.


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