Archon Sealiner

Review and photos by Mike Razak

When the people of Rhodes sought to commemorate their successful defense against Demetrius Poliorcetes' year-long siege, they turned to Chares of Lindos. A sculptor of some renown, he had been involved with a number of large statue projects, and apprenticed with Lysippos (who you likely know from his 72-foot bronze statue of Zeus at Tarentum). The people of Rhodes beseeched Mr. of Lindos to make the grandest statue of all, on par with their victory. They asked him, "How big? How big can you make it?" Confident and ambitious, but not foolish, Chares of Lindos told them: "Big, but not nearly as big as the Archon Sealiner."

Archon Sealiner

As Chares of Lindos was presciently aware, and as I have come to find out, the Archon Sealiner is an exceptionally large watch. Archon is a newer brand that is part of the Blacklist Watches family (along with Aquanero and Harbinger; I reviewed the Blacklist Divematic here). Archon has two offerings: the cushion-cased Seafarer and the barrel-cased Sealiner, which I had for review. While neither is small, the Sealiner lives up to its oceangoing moniker in full. 

Archon Sealiner wrist shot

The Sealiner weighs in at over half a pound and makes itself known with proportions to match: a 45mm wide, 15mm thick case with a 52.5mm lug-to-lug makes no apologies as it sits on your arm. This watch is for big wrists and strong shoulders. While it is Brobdingnagian in the truest sense, it wears slightly better than you’d expect thanks to a gentle lug curve. Those lugs, though, are just as big as you'd expect, at 24mm (I don’t even own any 24mm straps).  

Archon Sealiner

For all its size, the case is well made with clean finishing and crisp edges. And you can’t take that away from it. The cushion-shaped fixed bezel is brushed on top with polished sides and rests on a fully-brushed (save for the back) barrel-shaped midcase. A small polished bevel creeps up from the caseback for a hint of light play.

Archon Sealiner

Crowns and pushers are as plentiful as millimeters on this watch. The three o’clock crown could stand a bit more length (if your case is 45mm, why not go for broke?). Just above, at 2 o’clock, a corrector is nestled into the case to adjust the month (though I prefer to just advance the date through a full month). The bezel crown is situated at 10 o’clock; it’s the same size as the time-setting crown, but that’s less of an issue here. The dive bezel shouldn’t be overly easy to adjust, nor prone to nudges, and a less protuberant crown makes sense.

Archon Sealiner

Let’s discuss this wonderful dial we see through the flat sapphire. Look at that slow fade, from the deep ocean up to a vivid sky. Look at how it goes right through the radial subdials! The applied subdial rings are brushed and offer a contrast to the almost-matte dial finish. Don’t let those subs fool you, though—they track day of the week and month.  You’ll find no chronograph functionality, but instead a complete calendar, including the date window at 6 o’clock.

Archon Sealiner

The dial is well-balanced, with nothing over- or undersized. Legibility is excellent, though I would’ve preferred a more prominent 12 o’clock marker. The lume on the sword hands is adequate but not exceptional. On the dial, lume suffers and is noticeably dimmer. I do like that the subdial hands are lumed.

Archon Sealiner

The internal bezel is an internal bezel. I’m just not a big internal bezel guy. I’ve got less of anissue with an internal 12-hour bezel, which you set and forget. But dive bezels (for most of us) are used for timing, usually spontaneously. I really wish there was some lume to be found here, but alas. And curving your fingers over the case to grip the left-side bezel crown, rotating it just right (there’s not a click like on an external bezel), and hoping it stays put is an unattractive alternative to a traditional external bezel. It seems brands mostly use internal bezels for the aesthetic rather than practical purposes. The Sealine is no exception.

Archon Sealiner

Rolling the watch over (put your back into it), the Sealiner features a mixed-finish screw-down caseback with a sapphire crystal. While there’s a laser etching of the Archon logo on the rotor, there’s no real reason to put this movement on display. A Japanese Miyota 9122 is otherwise undecorated and features 26 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve. I had no issues with my movement regarding basic functions or accuracy, which remained well within the -10/+30s spec. The text around the sapphire has plenty of information, including the 200m water resistance. 

Archon Sealiner case back

The bracelet on the Sealiner is no less of a beast than the watch itself. It features 5-piece links with alternating finishes, and tapers from a Panerai-sized 24mm to a normal-sized 22mm. The branded clasp is stamped and similar to ones I‘ve seen on a number of microbrand offerings. With such a robust case, it’s a shame they didn’t opt for a milled clasp.

Archon Sealiner

I like my watches to wear in a very particular way: not huge. On my 7-inch wrist, the Archon Sealiner was simply too large for my liking. But if you like a watch that wears large, or simply have wrists that can better accommodate the Sealiner, there’s plenty to like here. The build quality, the gradient dial, the pops of red, and the cushion bezel all stand out for me. And I don’t hate a complete calendar (the combination of the dive bezel and the complete calendar is curious, perhaps good for those long sea voyages).

Archon Sealiner

The only thing that dwarfs the watch’s size is its price: $1,250. There's no value to be had at that price. That said, I’ve seen opportunities to get this watch much cheaper, whether through discounted pricing or the secondary market. If you’re hip to the Archon Sealiner, there’s still hope. You can check out the Archon site for pics of the other dials or to buy the watch at full retail. Or you can just set a reminder on eBay or WatchRecon.

Share:
© The Time Bum | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig