This is not a review of Silver Watch Co.’s Archetype One.
I can’t review the Silver Watch Co. Archetype One dive watch. I really wanted to, but I’m not able – because the company’s founders didn’t keep their word.
First, let me tell you what Silver say about their watch, so you get a sense of why I’d hoped to review it for you. The Silver Watch Co. “About Us” page tells the story of their grandfather’s Rolex 5513 military Submariner. He cherished that watch, and it eventually became a safe queen. When the patriarch of the family passed away, the watch was sold, never to be tracked down and re-purchased. The Silver Watch Archetype One is a dive watch that the founders of the brand state boldly is to be “as close to the real thing as possible,” recreating their grandfather’s watch. They mean it, restating it, “we made our ARCHETYPE ONE series to be an exacting tribute to the great and elusive Rolex 5513/5517 Military…” and “Then we poured over every millimeter of the engineering schematics until we finally had prototypes we wanted – a 5513/5517 military tribute watch like none else out there.”
Way back on August 3, 2018, I emailed Silver Watch Co, asking them if I could arrange to review their watch. When I hear of a microbrand starting out, I like to register interest and arrange a review early enough that I can be first to review it, and publish as it launches for sale, or slightly before in order to generate interest. The reason we write this blog is to help people appreciate good mechanical wristwatches, and find the one they want to wear. We especially like to talk up the underdog new watchbrand, because they tend to make interesting things, and should be encouraged. So what happened? Let’s take a look:
On that same day, August 3, 2018, they wrote back, and said, “We would definitely be interested in a hands-on review… We’ll be in touch!”
I wrote them again on November 21st, when they sent out a newsletter announcing the watch.
I got no answers. I again emailed on November 30th, asking if it was still possible to do a review.
On December 6th, a full week later, they wrote back, “Sorry, but we are booked for reviews at this point.”
“Sorry, we are booked for reviews at this point.”
And that’s why you’re reading this now. They agreed to arrange a review and promised to be in touch. Not only were they not in touch, they wouldn’t send over a loaner for review. (Common practice here is to send a watch, and provide a shipping label for its return. We do not accept payment for reviews.)
Silver Watch Company state on their Web site that they teamed up with Doug of Manchester Watch Works to make the Archetype One. It looks as if Doug helped most with the black dial. It’s not clear what else his involvement was, although I suspect he shared his mailing list with Silver. Doug’s good people, and when Doug says he’ll send something, he does. In fact, you should read my next review on the site, about the Manchester Watch Works Rattler, a titanium field watch that you should buy while you still can. If it’s a Submariner style watch you want, you could choose from Orange Watch Company, NTH, Hamtun (not exactly a Sub, but definitely a diver, check out H1 or H2, we’ll be reviewing H2 soon) or Orion’s Calamity (which I haven’t had hands on yet, but looks fantastic.) If you’re shopping micro brands, you have options.
That’s what was really disappointing. I’m frustrated, because I had high hopes that they would achieve their goal of making a faithful 5513 Submariner homage, but I can’t actually hold one and tell you that. I expressed interest early so as to be among the first reviewers to bring you an honest opinion of the watch. I can’t do that, either. All I’m able to do is give you my honest opinion of their founders: They failed at communication, and then failed to deliver the review sample I was looking forward to seeing and sharing with you.