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From a peculiar watchmaking brand renowned for its slightly unconventional yet incredibly appealing Italian-made timepieces, U-Boat unleashes their latest collection of masterpieces carrying the brand’s distinctive masculine style, and it is certainly mesmerizing to look at. Designed by talented brand founder Italo Fontana, the Chimera collection draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape of Lucca’s old medieval town walls where U-Boat is based, capturing the strong Italian heritage into this series of compelling new watches.
Despite being a rather young watch manufacturer that stepped into the industry, U-Boat has grown rapidly to establish a huge following for their unique military-inspired designs combining a tasteful Italian flair and the exceptional precision of Swiss watchmaking. U-boat was founded in 2000 by Italo Fontana when he discovered his grandfather’s detailed pencil sketches depicting robust watches carrying a masculine yet refined character. The name ‘U-Boat’ has its origins from a series of watches intended to be created for Italian Navy Pilots back in 1942 with designs that emphasized water resistance, durability and extreme precision. Unfortunately, this project never materialized. However, through the determination and strong resolve of Italo, his grandfather’s valuable sketches were brought to life, giving birth to the U-Boat we know today.
U-boat Chimera Green SS 46mm Ref. 8529
It is clear U-Boat takes incredible pride in the making of their watches, having every single U-Boat timepiece individually handcrafted and assembled in Lucca, central Italy by master watchmakers. Many of U-Boat’s timepieces embody the unique designs, impeccable performance and remarkable attention to detail from the past designs of Ilvo, Italo’s grandfather. We can certainly see why the brand has gained such a massive following, even to be seen on wrists of Hollywood’s renowned actors including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise.
Presented in a sizeable 46mm AISI stainless steel case, the three-piece construction of the U-Boat Chimera Green SS Ref. 8529 - Ltd Ed is meticulously held together by a specially fabricated set of external screws to bind the brushed bezel and caseback; a design evoking a strong utilitarian character to complement the bold case architecture. Measuring with a lug to lug distance of 55mm and a case thickness of 18mm, the watch definitely boasts a powerful and confident presence on the wrist, ready for some action.
|Innovative crown release system (patented) at 8 o’clock for easy time and date setting|
Perhaps the most distinctive design aspect defining this handsome piece is the iconic oversized left-hand crown cap secured with the brand’s patented crown-release system operated using the pushbutton at the 10 o’clock position. This innovative feature facilitates time and date setting while beautifully amplifying the unique appeal of the Chimera. Completing the look with a 21mm distressed black laser cut leather strap stitched with waxed cotton, which is naturally aged and handmade in Tuscany by an expert craftsman with a thorough process of leather and material selection, expresses Italo Fontana’s love for the vintage culture.
Underneath the anti-reflective curved sapphire glass, the U-Boat Chimera Green SS Ref. 8529 - Ltd Ed showcases a dual-layer dial with the upper layer constructed out of matte black metal over a sheet of brushed metal underneath — a charming yet highly legible retro-inspired dial that draws upon Italo’s vintage inspiration. Achieved through a series of carefully laser cut numerals and markers, the dial delivers a great deal of depth, bringing the entire dial to life with this delightful design. For a final touch of color, hand painted green accents found on the hands and dial are the icing on the cake.
| Stunning U-shaped sapphire caseback reveals impressive movement decorations
At the core of the watch lies a 26 jewel Swiss-made automatic movement processed and modified according to the specifications of U-Boat, powering the U-Boat Chimera Green SS Ref. 8529 - Ltd Ed with a healthy power reserve of 48 hours at a rate of 28,800 BpH (4 Hz). The back of the watch features a stunning custom U-shaped exhibition sapphire caseback which reveals impressive movement decorations and U-Boat’s custom rotor. Being a limited edition model of only 500 pieces, each individual watch is numbered with its own unique serial number situated on the right side of the case.
Combining the right blend of materials, innovation and design, the U-Boat Chimera collection explores an abundance of stylish details that resonates throughout seemingly every aspect of the watch, bringing the rich heritage of Italy in an Italian-made timepiece, designed to perfection.