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Thread: Archimede Bronze Pilot 39H

  1. #1
    Antipodean Ape GlennO's Avatar
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    Archimede Bronze Pilot 39H

    There's not many reviews of this watch online so now that I've owned this one for about 6 weeks I thought I'd do my own mini review which might be of some assistance for anyone considering this model.

    I had been interested in a bronze cased watch for while. Just for something different really, and I thought it would be cool to have a case that took on a strong patina over time and gradually changed its appearance. I'm not a fan of the big bulky bronze divers that have been produced in recent years, but when Archimede introduced this bronze pilot about a year ago It immediately got my attention. They have had a 42mm model for a few years but I thought this 39mm model might be ideal for my small wrist.

    So anyway late last year I finally bought one. Here's a pic of the watch on day one, all bright and shiny, not that dissimilar to rose gold:



    Ickler uses the traditional CuSn8 bronze formula. It rapidly began to take on a patina that was noticeable even after just a few days. Patina development has since slowed to a gradual pace. This pic was taken today, about 6 weeks later:



    The finish has noticeably dulled, although it is not even, with dark patches all over and a few green spots. Here's some more current photos:









    I think it's progressing nicely. The end result will, I think, contribute to quite a unique vintage appearance.

    I much prefer domed crystals over flat ones, and I also like the additional clarity that external AR coating provides, so the domed AR coated sapphire upgrade was a must have for me. I didn't think that the extra 140 euro was too excessive, although it did push the value of the watch over the $1000 AUD Australian Customs GST limit, but that's another matter! I also considered the solid caseback 'upgrade', but I didn't think that the extra 45 euro was justified for what I feel should have been the standard option given the undecorated ETA 2824-2 movement. Speaking of which, 160 euro for the Archimede signed rotor upgrade is a joke!

    Initially I wasn't overly impressed with the strap. It looked a bit cheap and flimsy compared to some of my own straps. But I've changed my view somewhat, it's turned out to be extremely comfortable and appears to be quite durable. I was also worried that the OEM strap would be too long for my wrist. Their website says that the strap fits a wrist size of 17.5cm - 21cm. My wrist is 16.5cm but the strap fits fine on the second last hole.

    Overall I'm very happy with the watch and it's received lots of wrist time. It seems to be running reasonably accurately but I don't really track the accuracy of my mechanicals. If I'm in the mood for precision I just wear one of my HAQ's! The dial is big and legible and suits my ageing eyes. The case is a fraction larger than I'm used to wearing but I like the look of it on my wrist. Here's a few pics on my 6.5" wrist:







    I think the C3 lume suits the watch and it's very effective, extremely bright initially although it does fade a bit quicker than some of my watches. It still puzzles me why many of the Swiss and German brands haven't been able to master lume as the Japanese do. The Pilot 39 model (non-sterile dial and black hands) uses C1 lume.

    The only thing I'd really like to see Archimede do differently is to use proper thermally blued hands. The lacquered hands are done very nicely and are very good looking, but I'd prefer the authenticity of heat blued hands. There's also no chance of paint flaking off as actually happened to me with a Laco that I once bought.

    Nevertheless I've really enjoyed wearing this watch and I feel that it was worth the price to me. I might update this thread with some additional pics when the patina develops further over time. Thanks for looking!
    Last edited by GlennO; Jan 16, 2015 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Thank you very much for this review, Glenn. Not sure the bronze cases are for me, but your comments and pics are very helpful.

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  4. #3
    Member appa papa's Avatar
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    You don't have to worry about paint chipping off of the hands of your Archimede as they are chemically blued. A process that puts it in between flame blued and just simply painted. Ickler has been throwing out the idea of using flame blued hands across the board lately. No doubt will be in their near future.

    Your flieger looks great on your wrist. I think bronze paired with a vintage aesthetic is extremely desirable.
    Congrats!
    --^^^--​Current Rotation--^^^--

    Dress::Nomos Glashutte Tangente Datum
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  6. #4
    I like that a lot. I've been considering getting a 39mm Archimede for a while and it's good to see a wrist shot and here your views on the strap as we share similarly sized wrists
    Apeks | Archimede | Breitling | Bulova | Cabot Watch Company | Casio | Daniel Wellington | Davosa | Glycine | G-Shock | Hamilton | Nomos | Omega | Rolex | Seiko | Slow | Swatch | Timex | Vostok

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  8. #5
    Antipodean Ape GlennO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by appa papa View Post
    Ickler has been throwing out the idea of using flame blued hands across the board lately. No doubt will be in their near future.
    That's interesting. I hope they will make hands to fit all of their existing models.

  9. #6
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFR View Post
    Thank you very much for this review, Glenn. Not sure the bronze cases are for me, but your comments and pics are very helpful.
    Pretty much this!
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  10. #7
    I liked it in the first pic - nice write up.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennO View Post
    Their website says that the strap fits a wrist size of 17.5cm - 21cm. My wrist is 16.5cm but the strap fits fine on the second last hole.
    Ze german wrists are using the different centimetres of course

    I'm not a huge fan of this company, seems a bit too commercialised for me, it's come across several times (to me)...I've said too much

  11. #8
    Antipodean Ape GlennO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    I'm not a huge fan of this company, seems a bit too commercialised for me, it's come across several times (to me)...I've said too much
    Nah, you haven't said enough, what do you mean? I think most of their watches are pretty good value.

  12. #9
    You've mentioned most of the gripes with:
    I also considered the solid caseback 'upgrade', but I didn't think that the extra 45 euro was justified for what I feel should have been the standard option given the undecorated ETA 2824-2 movement. Speaking of which, 160 euro for the Archimede signed rotor upgrade is a joke!
    Having too many options , which should have been standard... just money making opportunities for them. Perhaps I'm being too cynical?..
    There are some decent watches in the stable... but perhaps there's just many with relatively small differences?

    I'll go and refresh myself with them on the site, not been there for a year. :-)

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  14. #10
    Antipodean Ape GlennO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    You've mentioned most of the gripes with:


    Having too many options , which should have been standard... just money making opportunities for them. Perhaps I'm being too cynical?..
    There are some decent watches in the stable... but perhaps there's just many with relatively small differences?

    I'll go and refresh myself with them on the site, not been there for a year. :-)
    Ah yeah, well I'm with you on that, but if you happen to like the standard versions I think the value is there, mainly, for me, due to the quality of the Ickler cases. The Outdoor Protect is another model that interests me.

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