When Italo Fontana discovered the old watch designs of his grandfather, engineer Ivo Fontana, in 2000, he knew immediately that they could no longer be allowed to rot in old boxes, but should be made available to the public. In 1942, his grandfather was commissioned to design a discount replica watches for Italian Navy and Air Force officers. This is by no means the design of the watch. It should overcome those difficult to read timepieces at sea and in the air. The main focus is legibility and maximum robustness in all light and weather conditions. In the end, however, the project never materialized and the design was forgotten for over 60 years.
big but not bad
Considering that his family worked in the textile industry, Italo’s keen sense of the value of his discovery and subsequent urge to implement it was not surprising. Born in Lucca, Tuscany, Italo was fascinated by design and the sea at an early age. Against this backdrop, the creation of the brand seemed a logical conclusion. Fittingly, despite its short company history, U-Boat is considered a pioneer when it comes to unusual designs and innovative ideas. The meteoric rise of a league of luxury watchmakers confirms Italo’s work. At first, all models were powered by Myota quartz movements, but after initial success, Italo decided to adjust the interior of the elegant-looking case and equip the watch with a mechanical movement from Swiss manufacturer ETA SA.
According to the original concept, all models meet the highest technical standards and impress with their impressive dimensions. It is this extreme elasticity and unusual design that sets it apart from other timepieces in the luxury watch industry. With a diameter of up to 55 mm, these models are of considerable size. But cheap U-Boat has also overcome this obstacle through technological innovation. A crown is attached to the left for maximum wearing comfort.
The collection includes some of the brand’s most exclusive and luxurious styles. They are set with precious diamonds individually set by hand. Due to the different sizes of the stones, some of them were used incorrectly, creating a unique look.
Chronographs seem to stem directly from the past. They are a throwback to the retro aviation altimeters of the 1920s. Italo’s inspiration came when he visited an aircraft carrier and noticed the similarities between the control panels on the ship’s flight deck and the gauges on a fighter jet. Inspired by this precise tool, he created the Flightdeck series.
While the models in this collection share the same expressive personality as all U-Boat timepieces, they differ in every way from the other in their appearance. They feature a new patented crown locking system that protects the crown from water pressure and unwanted activation.
Fascinated by the depth gauges of the 1930s, Italo Fontana created this collection in the style of depth gauges, maintaining the unique character from round to porthole. A patented system is installed in the watch, which clamps the glass to the frame, and is equipped with an external fixing lever, which guarantees pressure resistance. With this system, the glass can be removed without disassembling the main parts of the watch.
Unicum represents the first attempt by a watch designer to combine a new model with a historic design. Each installed component is tailor-made and highly individualized. All the watches in the collection use different crafting techniques. The dial, frame and bezel are all acid-treated, making each watch in the collection absolutely unique.
All of these models represent Italo’s pure, timeless design philosophy, enduring and incompatible with fast-paced fashion. They feature the classic features of U-Boat watches, such as the left crown and U-Boat crown guard. The large, military-inspired design and large numeral hour markers perfectly reflect the brand’s character.
The models in the collection have strong personalities and reflect Italo’s passion for “vintage culture”. Unparalleled sheer design gives the Chimera a profoundly clear look and masculinity. The bezel and the back of the frame are connected by an outer tube, and a custom key ensures water resistance.