I haven't done a write up on a new arrival for a while, but it's been a while since I bought a watch brand new. The back story is that I've been looking for a blue dial diver/tool/holiday watch for a few months now.
I thought I might go for this:
It looks stunning to my eyes, and has a COSC-certified, thermo-compensated quartz movement, lovely sunray blue dial and is the sweet spot for size at 41mm. One problem – it's not available yet. I've got my name down with Jura for when it arrives, and I also have a Jura voucher to use so I might still try it.
But the search continued. I looked at the usual boutique brands: Helson, Benarus, Armida, Helgray, Halios, etc., etc. but nothing was fitting the spec for me – either too big, too Sub-a-like, too diver …
I widened the search and saw this:
Now we're getting closer. Titoni is a family-run, venerable old lady of Swiss watch making, and the Seascoper is a reimagining off its orignal classic. Again, it's a perfect 41mm size, beautiful blue dial, and looks different to all the usual homages. One problem – I can't find anywhere that sells Titoni watches, or at least not this model, and certainly not in the UK. It's just not easy to get hold of. Like the Zodiac Sea Wolf (now also available with a gorgeous dark blue dial), it seems that the UK market isn't even on the maker's radar. Strange, but there it is.
So I keep looking and finally something catches my eye, and the more I came back to it, the more I thought it could work.
It arrived yesterday:
No huge presentation box for this one, that's not what the company is about …
And it's German …
It comes with all its stickers intact …
And stickers removed, the watch looks like this …
The Archimede Outdoor Protect has a hardened steel case and bracelet (optional) to 1200 HV, the same level as Sinn's tegimented cases.
The case size is 39mm (42mm with crown), thickness is 11.2mm and lug to lug is 43.5mm.
It runs a Sellita SW200-1 movement and is rated to 200m WR.
All in all, it fits the the diver/tool/holiday criteria I was searching for and on it's first outing today I'm enjoying it.
It's no nonsense, looks a bit different to the rest of my collection and it can't be mistaken for a homage of something else. It looks pretty unique with the scalloped lugs hiding the 20mm end links, while the bracelet flares to 22mm at the case before tapering back to 20mm at the standard flip lock clasp with four micro adjustments and divers extension.
Links are connected with big, solid screws and it took about 5 minutes to adjust to fit.
The signed crown is chunky without being obtrusive and the protectors flow neatly to the case
On the wrist it sits comfortably and the clasp is centred, something that doesn't always happen with micro brand bracelets and clasps.
Obviously, I hadn't yet set the time and date, and I haven't taken a lume shot but it's a lovely bright blue.
One cause for concern was an email I received two days after ordering explaining that some customers had experienced problems with rust on the bracelet and parts of the case. I nearly cancelled the order there and then but after investigating it seems that people living in humid, tropical climates (Singapore, Hawaii are two of the sources of complaint) may suffer this problem, but in more benign climates such as the UK and Europe, there are no problems reported.
The company has said if any spots do appear then they will replace the bracelet immediately, either with the hardened version, as on mine, or with the standard steel version. Failing that, they will, of course, offer a full refund. It's something to do with the surface hardening process reacting, although I can't recall similar problems with Sinn, but the rust spots can be easily cleaned off. I'm really not expecting any issues with this and will be giving it a proper test on holiday in a few weeks.
So there we go. Thanks for reading