As I teased in our original writeup a few months back, we were working to get an Archimede Pilot 42 GMT in for review, so we could see if our impressions from the photos held up when beholding the watch in the steel.  Well, what are you waiting for?  Read on to get our impressions.

With this review of the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT, I want to jump into some details you might not normally focus on first.  Well, when it comes to Archimede (and sister-brand Limes) you really should pay attention to the Ickler-designed cases.  On the surface of it, the 42mm case of the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT is nothing particularly note-worthy.  Smooth, brushed surfaces abound, and it holds everything together.  With the various watches I’ve reviewed from the brand, however, I have come to appreciate the focus they have on creating compact cases.

Now, no one will say 42mm is a small case size.  Take a closer look at the proportions on the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT, though.  The bezel is, as they say, wafer thin, keeping the focus on the watch.  Keeping the thin theme going, the case is not much taller than the diameter of the crown.  There is no wasted space here (well, perhaps in diameter, as the 2893-2 is not filling all of that).  This is further evidenced by how close the dial is to the crystal.  This closer space makes it so you don’t need a chapter ring, again keeping the focus on the dial.

Speaking of the dial, that’s the other spot I want to focus on with the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT, specifically, the lume.  On a flat-printed dial like this, you might not expect the lume to be particularly bright or noticeable.  If that’s the case, you are wrong.  This first struck me when I was sitting near a window in daytime.  I noticed that I could – even in the sunlight – see the glow of the dial.  Cupping my hand around the watch quickly confirmed that, yes, it was indeed glowing quite brightly.  Now, I have not done any timing of how long the lume lasts or anything like that, but I found it to be perfectly adequate as I went around my evening activities after sundown.

That leaves us with the other attention-getter on the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT, the GMT hand.  As I mentioned in the prior writeup (LINK), this is not something I have seen before on a flieger.  But, you know what?  It makes sense.  A flieger is a pilot’s watch, and pilots are the ones who first wanted that GMT complication.  Here, of course, we have the GMT hand showing up in red (a common color choice for this hand), with a shape that follows that of the main handset.  The GMT hand is smaller (and only half-lumed), so it differentiates itself from the main handset, along with the coloration.  At first, I was concerned that my eye was being drawn to the red hand for quick timing glances, but I quickly got used to it.  That said, something like a blue or yellow option might be interesting for this hand.

By way of comparison, take a look at the date window on the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT.  The date wheel is color-matched to the dial, and the window is just large enough to get the numerals visible.  This allows the date complication to be there when you need it, but otherwise fade into the background.  Sure, Archimede could do that on the GMT hand with a different shape, but then you lose some of the charm that the mimicked hand shape brings to the party.  So, that leaves adjusting the color.

That one (very minor) suggestion aside, the $1,064 Archimede Pilot 42 GMT was a delight to wear around.  I did not try it with a suit (just not quite the right look there, though it would easily fit under a cuff), but wore it to the office as well as around the house.  In these less-formal settings, the watch is a solid choice.  It gets its job done with aplomb, keeping you on time (and easily readable at a glance).  At this point, the flieger styling of the dial is fairly classic, so it not going to raise any eyebrows.  In other words, this is a watch that can blend in with you pretty easily.  That is, until your watch buddies catch notice of it, and then they’ll be wanting to take a closer look.

At the outset of this review, I said we wanted to see if our initial impressions (from the photos we saw of the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT) held up, and I am quite happy to say that they do.  I have been consistently pleased by watches coming from Archimede, and this one is no exception.  The addition of a GMT complication is not something one would call daring, but it is a very welcome – and logical – addition to this well-known look.  If you’re on the hunt for a watch that’s just slightly different from the norm, and appreciate a well-designed case, the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT is a solid choice to consider.

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Archimede Pilot 42 GMT
  • Price: $1,064
  • Who’s it for?  You want a Flieger that follows convention, but adds some interesting elements
  • Would I wear it?  Indeed – this is a solid choice for casual wear and at the office
  • What I’d change:  Try swapping out the red GMT hand for one in blue, or even yellow
  • The best thing about it:  Putting the complication aside, it’s got to be the case execution

Tech Specs from Archimede

  • ICKLER stainless steel case, 42mm
  • Brushed surface
  • Luminous dial and hands
  • 2nd timezone
  • Swiss Made movement Eta 2893-2 Automatic

Last Update: August 13, 2017

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