U-Boat, a new name in international watchmaking Featured

Tough-looking timepieces hand-made in Lucca
by 21 May 2010

U-Boat is a company based in Lucca, and in the space of just a few years it has succeeded in opening 14 own-brand boutiques worldwide, with over 370 shops-in-shop. The latest boutiques opened are in Jakarta and Manila.
These chunky creations have won the appreciation of celebrities including Tom Cruise, Giorgio Armani, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kenzo, David & Victoria Beckham, James Blunt, Sylvester Stallone and many others. They are unisex watches with a large dial, designed by Italo Fontana.


As often happens, the story began in a rather unexpected way. Italo Fontana was looking through his grandfather Ilvo Fontana's old papers, and he found a sheaf of documents regarding a project for the manufacture of watches for the armed forces. The Italian government's 1942 commission for Italian navy pilots' watches - which had to be easy to read in all conditions - came to naught. However the drawings gave Italo the idea, and, starting in 2000, for seven years he patiently worked on a completely new look for watches, based on hand-crafted pieces and 18th century design. Their appearance is tough and military, exuding an impression of power appropriate to the brand name. Every piece is a unique work, incorporating state-of-the-art technology guaranteed by finest Italian craftsmanship. All the watches are made in the workshops in Lucca, Tuscany. They are distinctive for their large crown wheel on the left-hand side of the watch, and for their technical specifications that enable them to survive the most extreme conditions.

Work is continuing at the company, and over the next month, own-brand boutiques will be opened in Beirut, Rome, Milan and New York.
For further infomation, see www.u-boat.it

Further reading:
New Trends in Watchmaking at SIHH 2010
Franck Muller, Master of Complications
Panerai, the pursuit for watchmaking perfection