U-Boat Classico Titanium Limited Edition Chronographs from Baselworld 2010
The Baselworld 2010 fair is undeniably the most important trade show for the watch industry. Within its immense confines there is one place that shines above all the rest.
Hall 1.0 is the first floor of the main building for watch brand exhibitors, and it is where important brands such as Patek and Rolex setup their impressive booths. Amongst the new-comers to Hall 1.0 this year was U-Boat.
As it is no small feat to be in this area, it is important to justify your presence by unveiling great new products. Italo Fontana, owner and designer of U-Boat watches, lived up to this expectation with several new models including the one I am about to present, the Classico Titanium Chronograph.
Three new limited edition versions of the U-Boat Classico Titanium chronograph were presented at Baselworld 2010. Two are all black models and one displays many white elements.
The case for these models is 53mm in diameter, and 17mm thick. This thickness is probably above average, but it is well justified when considering the diameter of the watch. While similar to the case of the basic Classico chronographs, several details differ.
It is made of titanium, and sports a massive crown system and robust chronograph pushers that have more demarcated and intricate grip teeth than those found on the regular Classico Chronographs.
The use of high-tech materials makes the Titanium about 15% lighter than the steel chronographs. This works together with the “left-handed” configuration of the crown and pushers to make these large watches surprisingly comfortable.
Not very noticeable until pointed out, the six structural screws that hold the bezel in place have been reworked as well. Specialized screw-drivers have been developed in tandem to be able to use these U-head screws,.
The back of the case offers a view of the U-77’s balance wheel. The U-77 caliber movement is a slightly modified version of the infamous automatic-winding 7750 chronograph movement. The markings on the back of the case indicate that each watch is one of only 200 of its kind to be manufactured.
While the white ceramic version of the Classico Titanium Chronograph offers contrasting color combinations, the other two models offer a decisively monochromatic style. Similarly colored materials, including carbon fiber, create a stealthy style that is reminiscent of the interior of a powerful race car.
Contrast is provided by the relief of the applied hour markers and hands as well as the alternating finishes of the matte metal and glossy carbon fiber. The titanium of the case is blackened by U-Boat’s in-house PVD treatment as are the clasp and the U-Boat plate on the strap.
The rubber band completes the all-black look and makes it possible to take the Classico Titanium Chronograph into water. Here the Classico Titanium Chronograps find themselves very comfortable thanks to a water resistance rating of 200 meters.
As a participant and a fan, Italo Fontana is strongly influenced by car racing. This is often noticeable on his watch creations.
The Limited Edition U-Boat Classico Titanium Series is a good example, where aspects of dashboard instrumentation collide with the same high-tech materials often used in manufacturing high-performance cars.