MILUS Archimèdes Is At Home On Land Or Sea A diver built for adventure has some refined characteristics to boot… by Rob Nudds June 01, 2020 MIN READMILUS Archimèdes Is At Home On Land Or Sea
I’m a sucker for compressor or compressor-style cases. But that doesn’t mean I had any intention of going easy on the Milus Archimèdes when I heard I’d be getting it on my wrist for a couple of weeks…
Everyone’s got a weakness. Mine is a double-crowned watch case. I’m not sure when it started. I’m not even sure which model turned me on to the compressor in the first place. All I know is that my legs go all wobbly whenever I see one in person — even better on my wrist.
From a proportional perspective, the I would have regretted not getting the chance to see it in the metal. Archimèdes reminds me of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris, which is about the highest praise I’ve dished out so far this year. But my assessment of the Archimèdes was not without its uncertainties, pitfalls, or backtracks. Simply put, though, this is a watch that deserves our attention. And if you’re looking for a compressor-style case in this price bracket, it is definitely worth checking out.
We recently reviewed the Milus Snow Star. That watch met with some pretty favorable comments from the Fratelli. And that’s fair enough. It is a very clean, very handsome timeless timepiece that would serve any owner well (especially if they happen to get themselves into a pickle during wartime). But even though it hit the pages of Fratello magazine before the Archimèdes, it was the Archimèdes that turned me on to the Milus brand in the first place.
I caught wind of the name from fellow editor Gerard. Consequently, I did a bit of digging. I was intrigued more than I was impressed by what I found. Here was a watch that, on paper, had all the elements I go gaga for: a compressor case, beige lume, a smoked, gray, degradé dial, a closed case back covering a reliable but unremarkable movement, and a beautiful leather strap boasting a sharp, well-machined buckle.
I would have regretted not getting the chance to see it in the metal.
And yet it would take me seeing this piece in person for all those elements to really come together. At first, it was as if someone had snuck into my dreams while I slept, stolen all my favorite things, and then botched their reassembly when the time came. Thankfully, I was able to give the Archimèdes a trial. I would have regretted not getting the chance to see it in the metal.
An established truth
You’re probably sick of hearing it. I’m sick of writing it. But you really can’t beat seeing a watch in real life. It has become an established truth by which I live. Whenever receiving press releases and finding myself tasked with their write-up, I bite my tongue. I hold back from strong opinions. I keep my powder dry. Time and time again my initial impressions have been proven wrong. I don’t much like looking like an idiot, so I keep those first impressions to myself a bit more often these days…
And in the case of the Milus Archimèdes, it bore out once more. My opinion began to shift the moment I opened the box. Now, I’ve said on more than one occasion that I don’t care a great deal about packaging, before completely contradicting myself an article (or sometimes paragraph) later, and so I think I’ll just stop saying it. I think I like packaging. I think, after all this time, and despite the fact I never display and rarely reuse it, it might just matter to me.
…an olive green leather wallet that is one of the downright sexiest I have ever seen.
The Milus Archimèdes comes in a simple black box made of cardboard. Within that box, however, wrapped in nicely printed crepe paper, is an olive green leather wallet that is one of the downright sexiest I have ever seen. It’s incredibly well made. And you know what? It set me off in a good mood. It just goes to show that a little investment in the right places can go a long way…
Upon opening the wallet, you find the Milus Archimèdes neatly tucked up in bed. The strap, which is fitted with quick release bars, has its own section, while the watch head lies next to it surrounded by dense foam padding. It may annoy some people to have to take the watch head off the strap to use this wallet as a transporter, but it could easily be repurposed as just a regular wallet or travel accessory so I wasn’t too fussed by that.
…the best way to sum-up the watch, on the whole, is that it is of good quality.
The strap really is of superb quality and is a lovely color. It sits somewhere between black, gray, brown, and olive with a cracked, vintage surface that really works with the overall aesthetics.
In fact, the best way to sum-up the watch, on the whole, is that it is of good quality. The screw-down crowns and internal bezel operations work flawlessly and feel stable when in use. The case back is nicely engraved and the case and lug machining is similarly crisp.
I can’t shower the Milus Archimèdes with universal praise from a personal perspective, however, as there were elements that didn’t really grab me. I should express, though, that these are simply personal preferences and by no means a slight on the quality of execution, which was roundly top-drawer.
The handset, although very legible and quite novel, didn’t grab me entirely. I think the lollipop of the seconds hand is just a bit too much, and I would have preferred it to have been a little smaller. The red triangle at 12 does its job admirably but somehow doesn’t mesh with the numbers as well as I want it to.
…a worthwhile addition to the industry’s offering…
And, finally, the numbers themselves aren’t in my kind of typeface. I like something a bit more angular, I think, and, in most cases, veer away from Arabic indicators altogether. What I will say, however, is that the design is very true to itself. It is clearly feeding off the past and comes off as a pleasingly vintage homage while being sufficiently individual to make it a worthwhile addition to the industry’s offering en masse.
I had the Milus Archimèdes strapped to my wrist for more than a week. I found it a comfortable daily wear. Despite its vintage looks, it has a diameter of 41mm. Although that sounds relatively small on paper, it wears much larger. I put this down to the narrow external bezel and edge-to-edge sapphire crystal. Consequently, it has a more modern presence on the wrist. Powered by the well-known and reliable ETA 2892, buyers should expect consistent performance out of the box.
Overall, I came away impressed by the build quality from top to bottom. At CHF 1,919 it is a viable alternative to luxury compressor-inspired models that go for far more. If you’re looking for a surging brand off the beaten track it is a solid option and definitely worth taking a look at in person. To learn more visit the official Milus website here.
Brand Milus ModelARCHIMÈDES BY MILUSReferenceMIH.01.001DialCharcoal degradéCase Material316L stainless steelCase Dimensions41mmCrystalSapphire crystalCase BackClosedMovementETA 2892Water Resistance300mStrapLeatherFunctionsTime, date, internal rotating diver bezelPriceCHF 1,919Special Note(s)Inspired by '70s super compressor diver Watch of the Week
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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