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Step into the world of Italo Fontana, creator of U-Boat watches, and you immediately leave behind the somewhat dour Swiss watch
industry in favor of something far less predictable and far more,
well, Italian. Inspired by an original set of designs by his
grandfather, Ilvo Fontana, and first created for the Italian navy in
1942, the unfailingly louche Fontana has spent the past decade
developing a range of over-sized watches characterized by their
legibility, limited production runs and classic aesthetic influences.
Made in Italy, the U-51 was U-Boat’s big new release at the BaselWorld
2010 watch fair and it made a triumphant return at this year’s 2011 show in a
revised format, known as the Gold Crown Arrow. The generous 51mm case
houses a Swiss-made chronograph movement with a date display at 9
o’clock alongside the left mounted 18k yellow gold winding crown secured
in place by a screw-in cap that renders the watch especially
When combined with the gold chronograph pushers
these elements add an extra 8,6mm to the total diameter of the piece and
36,6g of gold all in all. Less obvious, perhaps, but no less worthy of
mention, is the dial. Made up of two separate watch faces laid one atop
the other, there is a pleasing depth and texture to this particular part
of the watch that in most instances is left purely one-dimensional. A
hand-finished alligator strap with a gold personalized tongue completes
A new version
of acclaimed novelty, U-51 Rattrapante, but only seen
from outside. Italo plays with colors using small gold
details over the colossal 51 mm in diameter black case,
not to mention the impressive crown cap and pushers.
From the inside he changes mechanisms turning the watch
into a Chrono for a limited edition of only 99 items
in perfect U-BOAT style.
Top Soigné with black screws, rhodium plated,
automatic mechanical chronograph personalized to U-BOAT
specifications for date display and stem to be positioned
at 9 o’clock. Frequency 28.800 vibrations per hour,
4 Hz. Power reserve 44 hours. 25 jewels. Height 7 mm.
Hours, minutes, chronograph, counter small seconds at
3, counter 12 at 12, counter 30 minutes at 6. Date window
at 9 o’clock.
AISI 316 plus stainless steel, with subsequent treatment
of coating IP black, 51mm diameter. 59.60 mm diameter
including external crown-clutter. The bezel and the back
of the case are locked together by external tubing and
a customized key that ensures absolute water-proofing.
Thickness: 19.60 mm. The winding crown is secured by
an over-sized protection device, positioned at 9 o’clock,
fixed on the carrure.External tubing and screws, protection
device of the winding crown, chrono pushers frame and
serial number plate in yellow gold 18K 2N. Total weight
of the gold components is 36,60 g
Sapphire glass on the front and on the back case of the
timepiece, both thick and flat with a double compression
50 m, 5 ATM.
Made of two superimposed dials, first layer made of gold
2N, golden baton hands.
Hand made and hand finished alligator black leather,
square scale, buckle with gold personalized tongue. Width
23/22 mm, hypoallergenic and color retain treatment,
fasten to the case with screws.
Limited edition 99 units.
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