Disclaimer: This watch was sent to me to review, and I am not required to return one after my review is complete. This watch was given to me without restriction and is not contingent upon a particular outcome for my review. All opinions here are my own, and Archimede/Ickler had no influence over the opinions stated here.


Previous Review (2020)

Link to previous review from 2020 of the White Dial Outdoor 39 Protect: https://www.beansandbezels.com/reviews/archimede-outdoor-protect-review/


Archimede is a distinguished Pforzheim based German watch brand that boasts a remarkable heritage as part of the Ickler family’s century-long tradition in watchmaking. Celebrating 100 years of manufacturing watches and components, the Ickler brand remains a family-operated entity, a fact I’ve personally come to appreciate through my interactions with various Ickler family members involved in their range of brands. My previous experiences with an Archimede watch, specifically another model of the Outdoor 39 Protect in a different color, left a lasting impression, making the opportunity to photograph and review a new variant of the same model a prospect I eagerly anticipated.

Beyond Archimede, I have also had the privilege of reviewing watches from other brands under the Ickler umbrella, including Limes and Defakto, which I also recommend exploring. I have previously reviewed the Limes Endurance GMT, Defakto Transit & Defakto Kinetik. The watch we’ll be taking a lot at today is the Archimede Outdoor 39 Protect, this time featuring its Black Forest dial variant paired with a stainless steel bracelet (the non-hardened version), coming in at a retail price of approximately $950 USD. Notably, despite the steady rice in prices seen in the watch market over the last few years, the price of the Outdoor 39 Protect has remained relatively stable over the last four years.

Let’s check it out!


After exploring watches from three of the Ickler family brands, it’s their cases that stand out as a hallmark of their manufacturing expertise, likely a testament to their century of experience in manufacturing components and cases. The case of this watch is a prime example, achieving high standards of finishing and build, ensuring there are no sharp edges or potential for discomfort. Holding this watch, I can’t help but think of the ergonomics and comfort of the Rolex Explorer-I, a watch I hold in very high regard for ergonomics and case comfort. I remember feeling this way when I reviewed this watch 4 years ago, and my appreciation for this case hasn’t wavered, even after photographing and reviewing over 250 watches in the interim.

While Grand Seiko maybe renowned for its high-polished, beautifully faceted cases that shine with a jewelry-like luster, Ickler excels in creating cases that feel indestructible, embodying the essence of a truly functional and well engineered instrument. The brushing quality on the case is superb, and its proportions are impressively versatile. Measuring 39mm at its narrowest diameter and 42mm across from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock, with a lug-to-lug width of approximately 44mm, the design benefits from a hooded lug (or lug-less) design, resulting in a snug and comfortable fit. The case’s 11mm height, including the crystal, and the crown’s 6mm diameter are well balanced.

The entire case is hardened to 1200 Hv, resisting scratches even under my deliberate (and failed) attempts with a spring bar tool. The crown and crown guard are exceptionally designed, threading seamlessly into the case, showcasing the thoughtful engineering and design. This is what I use as a benchmark for evaluating case manufacturing quality, and the Outdoor 39 passed with flying colors. If you don’t believe there is a difference in crown and thread machining, I recommend you operate a Seiko watch with a screw down crown under $2000 right after operating one of these.

Equipped with a flat sapphire crystal coated with ample inner anti-reflective treatment and a screw-down case-back, the watch achieves 200m of water resistance. Pretty good for a 11mm tall field/sports watch, right?


In the broader landscape of the watch industry, German tool watch dials tend to focus on simplicity and restraint. Brands like Archimede, Damasko, Sinn, and Guinand adhere to a tradition of high-contrast, printed / painted dials, eschewing embellishments in favor of clarity and function. And that maybe why this design philosophy resonates deeply with those of us who cherish the utilitarian elegance of vintage tool watches, such as the Rolex 1016 or the Omega Seamaster 300 165.024, is because they capture the essence of an era where form followed function.

Despite this apparent simplicity, there is no shortage of thoughtful design in this dial. It features a smartly executed chapter ring with a sloped top leading to a vertical drop, seamlessly integrating with the base dial layer. The slope is adorned with printed numerals at five-minute intervals, while the vertical section is marked with minute ticks. The lower dial presents large rectangular printed hour markers and numerals in a crisp, readable font. A notable design choice is the large 12 o’clock marker and the omission of an hour numeral at 3 o’clock, which gracefully accommodates a cohesively placed date window. If I can’t have a no-date option, I’m always on #teamsixoclockdatewindow, but on this rare occasion, I will accept this well integrated 3 o’clock date window design.

The brand’s logo, positioned just below the 12 o’clock mark, along with additional text above 6 o’clock, resulting in a good degree of visual balance. A vintage-inspired old radium color theme is consistently applied across all dial elements, including the hands and the color-matched date wheel. The printing quality is sharp, and overall dial quality control is commendable, with only a few minor paint imperfections, which are not uncommon in dials that rely entirely on printing. The lume application on the larger markers, numerals, and hands is quite generous.

This dial strikes a good balance between neatness, legibility, and practicality, further accentuated by an outdoorsy and tactical color scheme that adds to the watch’s tool-like appeal. It’s a design that not only pays homage to the heritage of tool watches but also stands as an example of the enduring appeal of straightforward, functional aesthetics in watchmaking.


The lume application on the dial, as noted earlier, is both generous and aesthetically appealing, with old radium luminous indices, numerals, and hands that emit a green glow. To evaluate its performance, I conducted a 25-minute timelapse in the dark, comparing it against two similarly priced timepieces — my CWC Royal Navy 300 and the Baltic Hermetique Glacier. The Archimede held its own in this comparison. And while it didn’t out perform the 3D luminous elements on the Baltic, it did surprisingly well overall.

In an era where the abundance of lume focused microbrands has perhaps raised our expectations with increasingly stronger and longer-lasting lume, , the lume on this watch, while not setting new records, delivers sufficiently in terms of brightness and longevity. It’s unlikely that anyone would encounter practical issues regarding the visibility or the persistence of the luminosity.


This watch uses the Sellita SW200-1 movement, a well-regarded Swiss Made alternative to the ETA2824-2. Its reputation as a reliable performer is well-earned, with a track record that speaks to its durability and accuracy. Beyond its proven track record, the SW200-1 is notably user-friendly when it comes to servicing and repairs, and even its replacement costs are considered reasonable over the long term. In my personal experience, I’ve had numerous watches powered by this movement. While it’s true that some units might experience the windmilling rotor issue, this is easily (and also involves replacing a relatively low cost component) does not detract from the overall accuracy of these movements. They are, in many ways, the workhorses of the watch movement world.

On The Wrist

The unique hooded lug design of this watch, paired with its carefully considered proportions, makes it quite versatile. It sits comfortably on my 6.75″ wrist, yet its design is such that I would comfortably recommend it for wrist sizes ranging just under 6″ to up to 7.5″. However, this same hooded lug design introduces a notable limitation — it somewhat restricts you to using strap and bracelet options from Archimede. Their bracelet option is comfortable, featuring well-crafted links that are straightforward to size and articulate smoothly. Nonetheless, the clasp design could benefit from modernization to meet the expectations of today’s watch buyers, especially in a market where watches around the $1000 price point often feature clasps with on-the-fly adjustability and more involved construction. The pressed clasp of this watch, while maintaining a lower profile and offering four micro-adjustment holes, is perhaps the only area of critique for this watch. It’s worth noting that the 41mm Outdoor version of this watch includes a milled clasp.

An oversight on my part (read: I’m an idiot) led me to mistakenly believe I had the hardened version of the bracelet, leading to an unintended scratch test with my spring bar tool. For those looking to match the hardened case with a similarly durable bracelet, be sure to select the hardened option explicitly (priced at 195 euro compared to 85 euro for the non-hardened variant). Regarding strap limitations, Archimede does provide an extensive selection of straps in various materials, including silicone, leather, canvas, and even nylon options, ensuring a degree of customization. Additionally, you can always order a custom strap from your favorite strap maker to fit the 18mm to 21mm flared end specification.

Wrapping Up

Reflecting back on my review from 2020, I vividly recall how much I liked the white dial variant of the Outdoor 39 Protect that I had purchased. Although I eventually parted ways with it to make room for new additions to my collection, I always harbored the intention of reacquiring one to keep permanently. Over the last four years, my high regard for this watch has remained steadfast, and I’m pleased to report that it continues to meet those initial expectations.

The watch, while not without its flaws, such as the clasp which could benefit from an upgrade, manages to offer something that goes beyond its specifications on paper. Perhaps it’s a touch of nostalgia for the rugged, utilitarian charm of vintage tool watches, but this watch brings a considerable amount of personality and feels like one that would be at home in the great outdoors. For enthusiasts drawn to the German tool watch aesthetic, this watch is likely to strike a chord. Its combination of functional design, a robust case, and a dial that balances readability with character, positions it as a highly appealing option for those who appreciate watches built with a purpose.