U-Boat Watch

October 2012

U-Boat watch is a relatively young Italian brand created by Italo Fontana, who has produced a distinctive large round case design, and based in the Tuscan town of Lucca.

The company has a strong artisanal tradition, which makes it one of the few genuine Italian watch brands, along with the likes of Officine Panerai.

The U-Boat watch models are notable for their large diameters. The Classico models, for example, are available with case diameters of 45 and 53 mm. All the models are also characterised by their left-handed design, with an oversize crown and special chronograph pushers (with a special patented protection for the reset button), located on the left-hand side of the case.

Many of the U-Boat watch models are produced as small limited series and the brand also produces a timepiece, the Flightdeck CA 925, in sterling silver, which is an unusual material for a watch case.

U-Boat presents two new models with slightly different applications of the unusual case material of bronze for the imposing 46mm round case with its distinctive oversized crown and pushers, which are located in the left-handed position on both models.

U-Boat watches are distributed worldwide and the brand has a number of its own stores in various countries, including such unusual places as Beirut. The brand also has a strong presence, of course, in its native Italy.

The more recent U-Boat watch models are the U-51 Chimera collection, which also uses materials unusual in watchmaking. The U-51 Chimera is available with a naturally-aged bronze case or a two-tone model that features a bronze case with black PVD-coated stainless steel for the bezel and pusher inserts.

Both models use a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement that has been customised to accommodate the inverse crown and pushers and personalised for U-Boat with black screws and a special silver oscillating mass.

These 180 gramme timepieces also have an unusual bronzed sapphire crystal and a two-level dial that also features bronzed glass. Their sturdy look is completed by a hand-made and hand-finished calfskin strap with a naturally distressed look—another trademark feature of U-Boat watch.