U-Boat, Italian watch brand masterminded by Italo Fontana, has opened its third flagship store in Italy on Corso Como, Milan. Its other stores in Italy are in Florence and Forte dei Marmi (both in Tuscany), and there are another 16 stores in other locations worldwide.
Corso Como is famous in Milan for its shopping and nightlife, and the boutique is just opposite Corso Como 10, the boutique, café and art gallery run by Carla Sozzani, one of the trendiest locations in the city.
U-Boat is a brand with an interesting history. Italo Fontana inherited some documents from his grandfather, regarding watches designed specifically for the Italian Navy, for a 1942 government commission that never saw fruition. Italo decided that it would be interesting to revive the project, and from 2000 he worked for seven years, redeveloping the original designs into a concept based on hand-crafted pieces. The watches are large and easy to read, and they are characteristic for their distinctive chunky design.
The brand is currently accelerating its retail growth. It has plans to open a boutique in Rome, a third boutique in Rome, and a flagship in Beijing. Italo Fontana runs all the brand's activities from his home town, Lucca.