Field test: Archimede Outdoor Protect Schwarzwald

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Candide

Themenstarter
Dabei seit
20.10.2016
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1
Having a watch hobby is dull. A watch enthusiast spends hours behind his computer, and his only hobby related ‘outdoor’ activity consists of visiting the local jewellery store.

Or is it? In this field test, I am taking my watch hobby outside for a bit. On a Romanian hiking and bear watching trip to be exact. For this field test I selected a rugged, Swiss powered automatic watch: the Archimede Outdoor Protect Schwarzwald. Can it cope with the rough Carpathian Mountains? Is its scratch resistant coating bear proof? Let’s find out.

Making plans

Having become an Archimede Outdoor enthusiast, I approached the company to do a field test of their latest offering, the hunter green version of the Outdoor, which is called ‘Schwarzwald’.

Last spring I planned to make a trip through Romania and Bulgaria, visiting the Carpathian Mountains, which appeared to me the perfect way to put this fine rugged sports watch to the test. Archimede gladly provided me with a Outdoor Protect Schwarzwald. The addition ‘Protect’ relates to the special hardened (1200 Vickers) steel versions of the Outdoor line-up.

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In my review of the black version of this watch, I already expressed my delight of the compact, comfortable nature of the Outdoor, but – since I sold my black version some time ago – it still took me by surprise. I have to repeat myself here: I honestly don’t know any other watch that is so utterly comfortable, legible and suits both business and outdoor settings. To see how it performs in the latter, I took it to Romania and Bulgaria to find out.

Field test 1: beers

My trip through Romania would involve some hiking in the Carpathians mountains, but the first few days I decided to start out with getting a taste of the city life, and walking around a few villages. The first stop of my Romania trip was Timisoara, where I decided to take the Outdoor Schwarzwald out for a beer first.


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I immediately noticed the versatility of the Archimede Outdoor. When I entered a bar or restaurant, my functional outdoor proof watch wasn’t particularly showing off what thrilling encounters with wildlife and nature lay ahead later that week. With the modest and discrete Outdoor on my wrist, I could have been easily mistaken for a dull, photographing and beer drinking tourist…

Natural habitat

Well, let’s take the Outdoor to the environment where it belongs, the forest. Romania has some very beautiful mountains and forests throughout the country. Because of my desire to see bears and wolves in the wild, I chose the city of Brasov as my starting point. Wearing things that did indicate what I was going to do (Meindl boots, Fjällfräven jacket & trousers), the Archimede Outdoor Schwarzwald fitted even better. As you can see, the forest is the place where the beautiful hunter green dial comes into its own.

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Field test 2: bears

With a guide and two other tourists, I hiked into the first hills of the Carpathian Mountains. Earlier that day, we asked around for the best place to spot bears and wolves. It was quite a walk and because it was already getting dark, we had to hurry to the hiding spot. Bears are very shy so in order to see them up close, we had to be very silent and patient. Despite the friendly forecasts earlier, it was raining heavily, reminding me I had taken off the wax of my Fjallraven clothing in order to have some ventilation in the summer heat of Romania. Having no other protection with me, I was soaked within minutes. Of course no problem for the Archimede Outdoor Protect here, which boasts an excellent water resistance of 200m.

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After another 30 minute walk, we reached the hideout. After an hour of waiting very silently, a few bears appeared. They carefully approached to eat the fruit that had been placed there by our guide earlier. It was an amazing experience to see these magnificent animals up close.

In the cabin, I decided to check if the lume would give me enough light to tell the time on the way back. As you can see, the lume is properly bright in a nice green colour and lasts quite some time, at least long enough to find my way back through the forest that evening. It’s also bright enough to alarm the bears of my presence during their preferred time of day: the night.

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Fortunately, the Fjällräven jacket’s sleeves were long enough to cover the Archimede Outdoor. We don’t want the bearteeth test on the Outdoor for real, do we

Field test 3: more beers

Happy with the hiking tour’s result, I hit the bars for some beers, dragging the tireless Outdoor along until the early hours. I put the Archimede Outdoor Schwarzwald through similar tests in Vama Veche.

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Field test completed

During the flight home, I had some time to think over my field test with the Archimede Outdoor Schwarzwald Protect. It had been the perfect companion for my trip. Light, comfortable, scratch-resistant and – with 200m WR and excellently legible dial – very well equipped for outdoor activities. The green coloured dial might be a bit too ‘outdoorsy’ to wear to my management consultant job. I think I would prefer the black dialed version for this type of occasion.

During my trip, I had the Outdoor on the bracelet, because I really like the look and feel of this over the rubber or canvas strap. The latter is a relatively new offering by Archimede. It is very comfortable and looks nice too. Still, I prefer it on bracelet, but it’s a nice strap for those who prefer other materials than steel, or just want to switch straps every once in a while.

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Final words

My positive experience with the black version of the Archimede Outdoor Protect was reaffirmed with this Schwarzwald edition of this watch. Sure, it’s a very pleasant, comfortable watch at home or at the office. But if you really want to benefit from the excellent build quality, scratch resistant materials and the perfect legibility, you should take this watch out on a nice adventure the way I did.

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Special thanks to Lisa Ickler of Archimede Watches, who was very enthusiastic from the very start and made this field test possible.
 
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Morty

Morty

Dabei seit
20.01.2017
Beiträge
742
Nice review, well done! I like this watch in different dial colours and if I'd do such a travel like you, I guess it would be one of the best models to carry on my wrist (perhaps also the Tudor North Flag). I wish you a lot of fun and more journeys with your Archimede :super:
 
Aelaex

Aelaex

Dabei seit
26.11.2014
Beiträge
407
Ort
Ruhrgebiet
What a lovely, detailed and well written review!
I am now really interested in seeing that watch in real life, thanks a lot :-P
 
D

duffte

Gast
Good looking and perfect size for outdoor activities. Only thing i don't like is the non lugs look.
 
anmita

anmita

Dabei seit
28.12.2010
Beiträge
2.101
Cool watch (i'am from Schwarzwald;-)) and a very nice review!
Thanks a lot:super:
 
Aelaex

Aelaex

Dabei seit
26.11.2014
Beiträge
407
Ort
Ruhrgebiet
One month later and I have to confess that the Schwarzwald is still in my mind.
It spooks around and I always have to remember your review and that beautiful green dial.
Thanks a lot ;-)
 
sifu

sifu

Dabei seit
10.10.2014
Beiträge
838
Ort
Residenz
I've noticed this nice and detailed review only today and I'm impressed by your creative way of writing - and by the watch, of course. Thank you for this diverting little story about beer, rain, bears and a robust, sporty timepiece.
 
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Field test: Archimede Outdoor Protect Schwarzwald

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