Before discussing Archimede, we first need to go back to Germany, 1924. It’s here that Karl Ickler founded ICKLER, a family business manufacturing watch cases out of Pforzheim, an area historically significant to the jewellery and watchmaking industry.
90 years later, with decades of experience and 4 generations in watchmaking, ICKLER live on, designing watches, producing watch cases and assembling the final product for brands such as Archimede and Limes. Thomas and Lisa Ickler are at the heart of ICKLER, carrying on the legacy which Karl started in the 1920s.
Archimede as a brand kicked off in 2003. Leveraging off generations of manufacturing excellence, they fuse together high end German watchmaking, with the industry standard in SWISS movements (ETA and Sellita), to produce a product that is robust, quality and reliable. They boast a refined line of pilots, marine, dive and dress watches.
In the 18th century, time was used by sailors to determine longitude, as this together with altitude and latitude was required for orientation in celestial navigation. Before the marine chronometer came along, racks, weights and other appliances were used in clocks in an attempt to counter the ships swell, however this couldn’t provide the accuracy required to aid navigation. It wasn’t until John Harris invented the first marine chronometer that this problem was solved, by the use of a fast-beating balance wheel controlled by a temperature-compensated spiral spring. Initially featured in a pocket watch, this naturally evolved into the wrist watch we know and use today.
The Archimede DeckWatch pays tribute to those pocket watches and wrist watches used by the Navy and merchant ships of the 19th century. The stunning yet simple dial layout was key in providing legibility to the wearer. The leaf hands are beautifully heat blued in-house by ICKLER. This process is no simple feat and requires precision and skill. The sub seconds at the 6 o’clock position is classic early 20th century design, adding refinement and class to this absolutely stunning piece. The font is sharp yet delicate, clearly visible and true to the requirements of this tool watch. The watch is available in two metal options: stainless steel and bronze, with the model I have photographed being the stainless steel of course. I’ve put the piece on an after market leather strap to preserve the original which comes with the watch, however I wanted to call out how incredibly soft and high-quality the OEM strap is. No short cuts taken here. The transition between brushed and polished surfaces on the case is impeccable, clearly illustrating that ICKLER have carried on what Karl set out to do all those years ago.
This watch is certainly contender for the most beautiful piece <$1,000 AUD. It needs to be experienced ‘in the metal’ to be truly appreciated, however I have done my best to capture its beauty in these photos near the docks. This watch features the legendary ETA 6498, used by brands such as TAG & Panerai, With 18,000 vpb and a 46 hour power reserve, it’s a solid performer, affordable to service and just an all around workhorse movement.
The Archimede DeckWatch covers many use cases. I personally think it best suits smart-casual attire, however its quite a versatile piece, especially when paired with NATOs or various leather strap options. I’ve loved my time with the DeckWatch and will hopefully be adding this one to my personal collection.
Lug width: 20mm
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Caliber: ETA Manual wind 6498, 18,000 vph, 46 hour power reserve
Strap: Black Calf leather, white stitching, signed buckle
Water Resistance: 5 ATM