Archimede Outdoor Antimagnetic Short Review by Warsh (May 2019)
My thanks to Mike Stuffler and Bhanu Chopra of WUS for organizing this “pass around” of the new Archimede Outdoor Antimagnetique. I enjoyed wearing this watch for about 10 days for the purposes of sharing my thoughts about it.
The Archimede Outdoor Protect watch has been a favorite of tool watch lovers since 2012. With its hardened Ickler case, legible dial and solid Swiss movement, the Outdoor hits many sweet spots for tool watch lovers. The fact that Archimede makes it available in a wide range of dial colors (and with two styles of bracelet!) only serves to broaden its appeal.
But this review is not of that watch (although we will compare the two and add some Sinn and Damasko comparisons too at the end of the review). Instead we are looking at a new release of the watch -- the Outdoor Antimagnetic.
The watches sport very similar dials, with the main difference being that the new antimagnetic model has grown (from 39mm to 41mm in diameter and from 43mm to almost 46mm lug-to-lug). And, as the name might indicate, the new version has a wrap-around iron Faraday cage to give the watch strong anti-magnetic properties.
Archimede is owned by Ickler, the famous German company that produces outstanding watch cases, and this case is no exception. It is hardened to 1200 vickers. I did not try scratching it, but I suppose I wouldn’t have been able to if I had. Unlike some other hardening processes (e.g. Damasko) which result in a darker appearance, the case of the Archimede Antimagnetic looks like regular stainless steel (a plus, in my view) and it is nicely and evenly brushed. There is a thin polished bezel that catches the light nicely. The other interesting feature of this case, is the very short (some have called them hidden) lugs and the scalloped top and bottom. All of those features (combined with the case being only 11mm thick), combine to make this watch sit very comfortably on your wrist. I tend to prefer my watches 40mm and smaller, but this watch is quite a manageable 41mm for the reasons cited above. And you have to commend Archimede for keeping the case so thin while including such strong anti-magnetic features.
Like its predecessor, the Antimagnetic sports 200M of water resistance, so its appropriate for all manner of water sports, although it would be wise to get if off its nice leather strap before swimming….
The dial is quite similar to the Outdoor Protect. It is a matte black with white lumed arabic numerals and pips.
For my taste, the dial is a bit overly busy. Moving from the center of the dial out, you have arabic numerals AND hours pips, AND minute markers AND numerals at every 5 seconds (05, 10, 15 etc). When you add to that the 3 lines of text above 6:00 (these include the model name “Outdoor” which I don’t think belongs on the dial), the dial, although large, if fairly full. Still, while the dial is a bit cluttered, it remains quite legible as its tool watch heritage requires.
One thing that bothered me about the date window, was that it seemed smaller and harder to read than most of my others. It is also not along the edge of the dial, which I know some people prefer.
The hands are well lumed, and this lume seemed to charge more easily than the lume on my other watches. They are a good length and highly legible.
The highlight for the hands is a thermal-blued second hand. Not sure how Archimede did this, but the second hand is blued to a color I felt like I had never seen before -- kind of a flat, semi-metallic blue. It is a really gorgeous color, and if you wear this watch you will waste time admiring the nicely smooth sweep of this truly unique and beautiful second hand. However, the downside of this blued second hand is that, against the black dial, it can be hard to see sometimes. That is offset by the white tip of the second hand, which can help you find it when the second hand itself blends into the dial. It's hard to accurately capture the blue of the hand, which is unlike other blued hands I own:
The Outdoor Antimagnetic comes on a nice leather strap with white stitching. The strap was controversial among my friends -- some loved the style while others actively disliked it. It is a thick strap, but quite soft and supple. I think the heaviness of the strap supports the overall tool watch vibe of the watch --- that is, this is a strap that is clearly not going to break or tear -- it’s a tool-ish strap for a tool watch. The watch is only available on this strap on the Archimede website, but perhaps there will be a bracelet in the future for this watch.
The Archimede Antimagnetic is a solid tool watch. It is NOT a GADA (go anywhere, do anything) watch, in that is doesn’t really work in dressier settings. So, it would only be a great all arounder if you rarely dress up.
I make some comparisons to other watches below, but I think the real question to ask about this watch is: Is it an improvement over its predecessor, the Outdoor Protect? I think how you answer that question will depend on your personal taste and needs. If you prefer bigger watches, the Antimagnetic is 2mm wider and 3mm longer (lug to lug) than the Protect, so you may prefer it. And, of course, if you need strong anti-magnetic properties in your watch (I’ve never had one of mine get magnetized), then this new watch is obviously an upgrade over its predecessor. On the other hand, if you are like me and prefer a smaller case, or if you want a colorway that is not black, or if you want the watch on a bracelet (at least for now) then you may end up preferring the original Archimede Outdoor Protect model.
Comparison to comparable watches
I felt that the most interesting part of my consideration of this watch would be to compare it to 3 other similar watches (2 of which I own). I include a chart at the end of this review with a comparison of the specs of all four watches. So without further ado…..
(note: The Outdoor Protect is not included in this photo)
Archimedes Outdoor Protect
Just to repeat what I said above, the main reasons to prefer the Antimagnetic over the Protect is if you want a bigger watch or you need a watch with strong anti-magnetic properties. For my personal taste (and 6.75” wrist), 38-40mm cases are the best size for me, so I end up preferring the Protect's 39mm case to the Antimagnetic’s 41mm case, although I also should repeat that this watch at 41mm wears very well because it has short/hidden lugs and is quite thin. The Protect also comes in many dial colors (including a killer sand dial shown above) and is offered on two different bracelets. It seems that, so far, the leather strap and black dial are the only options for the Antimagnetic.
This is a tough comparison, as the Sinn 556i is one of my favorite watches. It is a much smaller watch (38.5 vs 41mm) and the Sinn is a great GADA watch because you can dress it up. I think it’s inky black dial and cleaner dial make it a more flexible option. On the other hand, the Sinn’s case is simply standard (non-hardened) stainless steel, so if a hardened, scratch resistant case is important, the Archimede wins. Also, the Archimedes is about 30% less expensive than the Sinn when purchased new (comparing Sinn on bracelet to Archimedes on leather).
This may be the closest comparison, as the Damasko is clearly a tool watch, with a hardened case and strong anti-magnetic properties that are equal to those of the Archimedes Antimagnetic. Choosing between these two really comes down to personal preferences. The case of the Damasko is darker because of the way it is hardened, and the pop of color from the yellow second hand is welcome in my opinion, but may be objectionable to others. With a very similar feature set (although the Damasko does feature a superior movement) and vibe, it’s worth noting that the Archimedes is about $200 (or almost 20%) cheaper than the Damasko when purchased new.
And finally, here is a comparison of the specs:
|Archimede Outdoor Antimagnetic||Sinn 556I||Damasko DA36||Archimede Outdoor Protect|
|Width (excluding Crown)||41mm||38.5mm||40mm||39mm|
|Lug to lug||46.6||45.7mm||48mm||43mm|
|Height (including crystal)||11mm||11mm||12.2mm||11.2mm|
|Case hardening||1200HV||none||710 vickers||1200HV|
|Movement||Sellita SW 200||ETA 2824||ETA 2836||Sellita SW 200-1|
|anti magnetic||80. 000 A/m||none (?)||80,000 A/m||none|
|Price (new in USA)||$923 (leather, converted from EURO, excl VAT)||$1,320 (bracelet)||$1,132 (leather)||$960 bracelet|