The original Classico presented Italo Fontana’s ideal of pure and timeless design. The watches are not for those faint of heart, but instead, for those with passion and verve that match his own. And as we’ll see, passion and verve are in the Fontana DNA.
As a creator of precision engineering instruments, Ivo Fontana was requested by the Italian Navy to work on a project for them: a model watch for the Navy pilots. This project meant high quality standards and precise tech specs, while guaranteeing reliability and readability too. Though the project did not reach completion, the plans had been tucked away, perhaps awaiting rediscovery. That rediscovery came in the form of Ivo’s grandson, Italo. Some say genius skips a generation, and in this case, perhaps it is so; genius paired with passion equals beauty.
Those plans may have laid the groundwork for what has become a signature watch – the U-Boat Classico. Larger than typical men’s watches, and with the crown on the left side instead of the right, the Classico stands out in a crowd.
This time, the innovative watch, still in 47 mm, is presented to us in bronze. Many watchmakers have been using bronze lately, and it is easy to see why. The metal possess the fascinating ability to make your watch become one-of-a-kind, despite being one of a collection.
Bronze is an alloy of metals, traditionally composed of copper and tin. Adding the tin, or other metal, to copper, makes the alloy stronger than just copper. The resulting bronze is also easier to work with, whether in timepieces or in tools and weapons.
Bronze also reacts to water and other elements in a very unique way, with a patina. In a watch, for example, the way the watch is strapped to your wrist (tightly or loosely), and how it reacts with the elements (rainwater, sweat, cologne) combine to create a unique and individual patina on your watch. It will become uniquely your own.
The evolving quality of this metal is precisely what drew Italo Fontana to want to work with it. His passion and creativity have found expression in the U-47 watch. The metal practically beckons to artisans and craftsmen, asking them to see where their imagination can take them together.
The U-47 has a black dial, with indexes and spheres in beige superluminova, and is powered by a Swiss automatic mechanical movement. Though it has only the time and date functions, the watch is perfect for those among us who are passionate and adventurous. It is indeed a beauty to behold.