Posted on June 10 2022
For the most part, I'm a fan of watches that do something specific. Watches like the Rolex Submariner and Breitling's Navitimer.
But what if you could get a watch that ticked more than one box without becoming a jack of all trades?
A watch that you could dress up and dress down?
An affordable alternative to a watch like Rolex's iconic Oyster Perpetual?
That's the niche that the Archimede Klassik 200 sits in. It's built for people who want one reliable and versatile watch. I've spent a month with this German-made automatic, so let's see how I found it.
Archimede Klassik 200 Automatic
Archimede Klassik 200 Automatic Watch Review
At first glance, the Klassik 200 looks like a straightforward watch. Indeed, it is a straightforward watch. So much so that I'm tempted to talk about what it isn't.
It's not colourful for example. And it doesn't have multiple complications. It doesn't have sub-dials and there are no crown guards. No rotating bezel and a crown that doesn't screw down.
That's a lot of features that this watch doesn't have.
But guess what?
It's that simplicity - or dare I say purity - that makes this watch so appealing. The pared-down aesthetic provides versatility - and that's something that many watches don't offer. The Klassik 200 is neither a dress watch nor a sports watch.
Although it doesn't focus on one function, it's not a jack of all trades either. It successfully sits on the fence between restrained design and real-world functionality. It's both classically styled and robust.
It has some of the styling of a dress watch, but with specs and build quality above many affordable divers.
And it's an everyday watch. A style sometimes referred to as GADA - go anywhere, do anything.
To reduce the Klassik to its basics, the watch is a simple piece with 3 hands and a date.
However, it's also powered by a Swiss automatic movement and has 200M of water resistance. And the case is tougher than average. It's German-made and fashioned from hardened steel.
There's quite a lot to unpack there, so let's dig into the details.
Archimede Klassik 200 Automatic Watch in Detail
I've light heartedly referenced the features that the Klassik 200 doesn't have, but I'm keen to show how that is to the watch's advantage.
When you have one watch - or a primary watch - then versatility and reliability become paramount. And that's where the Archimede wins. It's both adaptable and resilient.
Let's start with the basics, with the aesthetics of the Klassik 200.
The manufacturer describes this watch as being classically styled. That's a fitting description. It's mid-sized and has a sober look. There's nothing flash and little in the way of colour. The hands and indices are slim and the dial text is utilitarian.
At first glance, I see a tasteful dress watch. A conservative piece that is ideal for an office worker. I'd describe it as quietly handsome rather than eye-catching.
But when we dig deeper, we can begin to appreciate the other side of the watch - the robustness.
Take the case. It's made in Pforzheim, Germany by Ickler. They're a well-respected watch manufacturer with decades of knowledge (more on this later).
Stylistically, the case is recognisable as a dress watch and with a modest diameter of 39mm I found it very comfortable to wear. The plain bezel is polished and the top and sides of the case are brushed. With a lug-to-lug length of 45mm it really hits a sweet spot for me.
Where the Klassik differentiates itself from the average mid-level dress watch is with the addition of tougher features. It's a concept that Seiko use with their Alpinist line and something that I find enticing.
This case is forged from hardened steel, making the watch more resistant to wear and tear. It seems to be a feature favoured by German brands with Sinn, Hanhart and others opting for this upgrade.
At 10.8mm, the case is slim. It wears well on my wrist and easily slips under a shirt's cuff. And those last two points sum up the USP of the Archimede.
It's offering you a dress watch look, but with tool watch specs. I find it very easy to like a watch that ticks those boxes. Particularly when the quality is so obvious.
And the dial?
It's a crisp silver that could be mistaken for white. It's tasteful and features simple silver indices - all using BGW9 lume. The indices were applied by hand too - again another sign of quality and a justification for the £800 price tag.
The spartan hands reinforce the utilitarian style and there's a neat date window in the traditional 3 o'clock position. In a nice touch, the text on the dial uses the German spelling for Klassik and Automatik. A reminder that this is from one of the world's premier watchmaking nations.
So of course, at the foot of the dial there's also the important 'Made in Germany' wording.
It's all protected by a sapphire crystal
Overall the impression is of a simple but very legible everyday watch.
As I noted above, the crown doesn't screw down. And do you know what? I like that. As someone with multiple watches, it's refreshing to have a watch with legitimate water resistance that is also quick to set.
The crown itself is prominent, knurled and signed with the distinctive Archimede logo.
Turning the watch around, there's an attractive screw-down case back. There's an industrial edge to the case back and beneath the sapphire crystal is a Swiss-Made Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement.
Again, this is a real selling point for the Klassik.
It is German-made, but Swiss-powered. Once more, the best of both worlds. German quality and reliability matched with an engine supplied by the Swiss.
I like that some of the most ornate touches are on the rear of the watch and the crown. It feels authentic and functional rather than fashionable.
Finishing off the watch is a substantial stainless steel bracelet. It features brushed and polished finishing and solid male end-links. The diver's clasp offers micro-adjustments and has the brand's logo.
If this watch's versatility is important to you then you may prefer one of the variants with a leather strap. It's probably how I would wear the watch.
But that sums up the Archimede Klassik 200. It's a very adaptable mid-sized automatic watch. It's an all-purpose piece. It features both German and Swiss watchmaking knowledge and perfectly blends dress and sports aesthetics.
Who are Archimede Watches?
Archimede appear to be a young watch brand from Pforzheim, Germany. Their first watches were launched in 2003 and the emphasis was very much on classic German pilot's watches.
But the roots of the Archimede brand are much older than you might think and it's worth taking a minute to note that history.
Archimede is a brand produced by Ickler. Ickler also produce watches under the brand Limes.
Ickler was originally founded by Karl Ickler in 1924. Having worked for a number of other companies, he created his own watch case factory. Following a hiatus during the war, his sons relaunched the brand in 1947.
Ickler is still a family business, now run by the 3rd and 4th generations.
The company is well-renowned for its watch manufacturing and case production. All cases are created from solid blocks of steel, bronze or titanium.
As for watch production, aside from the movements, it's all done in-house. That includes the design, construction and prototyping etc.
The concept for Archimede was for Ickler to create a brand that produced watches with great quality and at an affordable price. Initially, the brand produced pilot watches and it's still what they're most known for.
However, their range is now wider and includes a few different collections.
Where are Archimede Watches made?
Archimede watches are made in Germany.
They're produced by Ickler in Pforzheim, a city widely known for watchmaking. Although their watches are German-Made (and include that wording on the dial) Archimede does use Swiss movements.
The Archimede Klassik 200 is a very pleasing watch. It successfully blends dress watch styling with sports watch functionality. Think of it as a beefed-up dress watch.
It's smart but tough. Slim, but made from hardened steel. It's a conservative everyday watch that also includes 200M of water resistance.
It also mixes German manufacturing skills - Ickler has been making watch cases since the 1920s - with Swiss watchmaking knowledge.
At the risk of repeating myself, it offers the best of both worlds.
And it does that for less than most of its Swiss competitors.
I'd suggest that the Klassik 200 is ideal if you usually wear the same watch regularly. It's versatile and sensibly sized. It's the kind of watch that you can wear every day. It can go anywhere and do anything.