The Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral (Live Pics & Price)
Milus' Super Compressor watch couldn't be more 1970s
If you’re reading MONOCHROME on a regular basis, the Milus Archimèdes should be familiar to you. Already presented in classic black and blue editions, as well as in a modern and technical-looking silver model, this watch is the direct descendant of the brand’s 1970s Super Compressor diver’s watch… A style we don’t see that often but that is, without a doubt, one of the coolest types of sports watch around. This year, and right in time for summer, the brand is enlarging its collection by presenting a highly limited model with a dial that couldn’t reflect more the 1970s, with a bright and bold orange colour. And something pretty cool with coral conservation too. Here’s the new Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral.
The modern Milus Archimèdes doesn’t come out of the blue. It actually reproduces, in a far more modern style, the look of one of the Milus’ most collectable models, a late-1960s/early-1970s diver’s watch with a typical Super Compressor architecture. A reference to Archimedes of Syracuse, a mathematician of antiquity famous for the Archimedes’ principle (the forces exerted on a body immersed in a fluid), Milus proposed watches under the name Archimèdes during the 1960s, under the reference 666 for instance – due to its water-resistance of up to 666 feet. Soon after, the brand started to offer watches with the typical Super Compressor case, produced by Ervin Piquerez (EPSA). The latter patented this case, without an external bezel and with 2 crowns on the right side. Mostly, it was a case with an innovative system; to become more and more waterproof as the watch goes deeper and deeper and as the atmospheric pressure increases (progressive compression of the gasket until it becomes completely sealed).
Milus, based on this attractive design of the 1970s, relaunched its Archimèdes dive watch last year, first with a collection of classic colours – dark grey and blue – followed earlier this year by a technical, less vintagey silver-coloured version. Today sees the fourth edition of the Milus Archimèdes being launched, and this time it comes with an impactful dial. But there’s more about this watch than just a watch, and it has to do with corals… but more on that at the end.
The new orange Milus Archimèdes retains all the attributes of previous editions, at least for its proportions and specifications. The case is typical of the vintage compressor watches, in shape and style, with a 41mm diameter, an ultra-wide dial opening combined with a thin, polished bezel and, as often with these watches, elongated lugs. The case, other than the crown and bezel, is entirely brushed for a tool-ish look and is equipped with an ultra-domed sapphire crystal, reinforcing the vintage look. Still, it has been designed with modernity and technicality in mind, with a 300m water-resistance and a helium escape valve, discreetly inserted in the caseband at 9 o’clock. The caseback is solid steel and screwed.
Being modelled after Super Compressor watches of the past, the Milus Archimèdes is, as you’d expect, built around a twin crown architecture. Both are screwed and each operates its own function. The crown at 4 o’clock is used to set the time and wind the movement. The other crown, at 2 o’clock, actuates the internal, bi-directional 60-minute bezel. If maybe not the most practical type of dive watch, specifically underwater, it remains one of the coolest in terms of look. Overall, the case feels very well assembled and solid, as a diving instrument should be.
The main specificity of this Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral is its dial, which has been treated in a bright and bold orange lacquer, with a glossy surface. There’s no turning around, the watch makes an impact and can be unnoticed. It’s colourful, saturated and very visible… but also rather cool and the orange colour is well integrated within the rest of the watch, specifically when combined with this brushed and black internal bezel, painted markers in white Super-LumiNova and metallic brushed hands with broad arrow profile.
Under the caseback is the venerable ETA 2892, a movement that is known for its precision and durability. An automatic calibre with years of track record, it beats at a 4Hz frequency and stores around 42 hours of energy when fully wound. It displays the hours and minutes, seconds that are hacking, and a semi-instantaneous date at 3 o’clock. It is here presented in its higher-end grade (A2) with blued screws and perlage.
The Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral is delivered with two straps, both equipped with quick release spring bars (no tool needed to remove them). First is a mesh stainless strap, with pairs well with the Super-Compressor look. Second is a classic, a tropic-like black rubber strap that reinforces the 1970s look.
Availability & Price (and extras)
The Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral is a limited edition of 50 watches only, available via the brand’s e-shop here. It is priced at CHF 2,119 (incl. taxes).
There’s more to the Archimèdes Orange than the watch, however. Indeed, with this limited edition, Milus underlines its commitment to the protection of coral reefs. For each watch, the brand donates an amount allowing to save a coral, which is adopted and named after the future owner. They will receive a personal certificate, issued by the Coral Guardian association. This non-profit organization, which brings together scientists and defenders of marine organisms, has developed a coral re-transplantation program. In order to fight against their extinction, it gradually reconstitutes coral ecosystems in less threatened areas.
thanks for this article, the watch looks great. what’s not clear to me from what you wrote – is it a real super compressor case, or just a ‘super compressor-style’ case, i.e. a regular waterproof case?
@Bart we asked Milus about this and here’s the answer:
The whole concept of the SC was to increase in water resistance as the watch went deeper underwater, through the use of a system that consists of a spring-loaded caseback and a rubber gasket.
Super Compressor is a trademarked name for specific case designs made by the case manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA).
The company no longer exists today. The final liquidation of all EPSA’s assets took place in the early 1990s, but diving cases were discontinued in the 1970-80s as the company moved into other sports watch models.
Hence, The Archimèdes is of the Compressor-style, but not Compressor case as “Compressor” was/is trademarked could only be made by EPSA.
Fantastica esa chambelona en la mano segundera. Que recuerde es la mas grande que he visto.
Many thanks Brice for checking with the company! I guess I should have asked ‘does it have a spring-loaded caseback?’ to get a clear and unambiguous reply. Because from what they replied it’s still not clear to me whether this Milus has a spring-loaded mechanism (even if they don’t call it SC). Christopher Ward released a real compressor watch recently, that was news (and they fitted it with a caseback where you can see the spring). I get a sense this Milus does not have a spring-loaded mechanism inside, hence no real ‘compressor’ feature.
I agree with Bart above. The reply still doesn’t make it clear whether or not it has a compressor “mechanism” inside
@Scan – as said by the brand, “The Archimèdes is of the Compressor-style” which means that it looks like a compressor (internal bezel, twin crown) but is constructed as a classic water-resistant modern watch. No spring-loaded caseback here.