A Quick Guide to Italian Luxury Watches

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Arm candy

A man’s suc­cess is show­cased by his choice of watches.

For the longest time, “Ital­ian” has been syn­ony­mous to lux­ury and style. Just men­tion Ital­ian leather and you’ll have your audi­ence swoon­ing. It’s rather unfor­tu­nate, though, that they don’t get as much credit for watches.

Any ref­er­ence to lux­ury watches would imme­di­ately bring up the names of Swiss-made time­pieces. What many peo­ple over­look is the fact that Ital­ians are rather avid watch col­lec­tors. Why not? Italy boasts of many highly spe­cial­ized watch design­ers. And many of them are just start­ing to get noticed.

 

Ital­ian Brands List:

 

His­toric Lux­ury Ital­ian Watch Brands
His­tor­i­cally, there are 2 Ital­ian watch brands that are most famil­iar to the rest of the world: Bul­gari and Panerai.

Bul­gari – the best of both worlds

Ask any­one to name Ital­ian watch brands and Bul­gari will always be included. Founded in Rome in 1884, Bul­gari is hardly your typ­i­cal watch com­pany. Alright, if we’re being tech­ni­cal, they’re not even really a watch com­pany.
The com­pany pro­duces lux­ury goods – jew­elry, fra­grances, cos­met­ics and acces­sories. Bul­gari Time SA, its watch pro­duc­tion sub­sidiary, was just founded in 1980. Inter­est­ingly enough, that’s based in Switzer­land.
Every­thing inside a Bul­gari watch is Swiss-made. But every­thing that makes them fash­ion­able, styl­ish and classy on the out­side is Italian-made. With a part­ner­ship like that, it’s no won­der that the most basic of Bul­gari watches will already set you back by at least $3,000. But surely, to have one of the most pre­cise and envi­able watches in the world is worth the price tag, don’t you think?
If you want tra­di­tion mixed with con­tem­po­rary, then Bul­gari is the watch for you.

Inter­ested in buy­ing an Ital­ian Made watch? check out the fol­low­ing  Ital­ian brand whole sale directory:

Pan­erai – Lim­ited Edition

Like Bul­gari, Pan­erai has been around for a few hun­dred years. Unlike Bul­gari, Pan­erai has been mak­ing watches for longer.The com­pany was founded in Flo­rence, Italy in 1860. They also have been mak­ing div­ing watches for the navy for over 50 years. Richemont bought the com­pany in 1997 and brought the com­pany to the new mil­len­nium, mix­ing tra­di­tion with con­tem­po­rary tech­niques. The result was one of the best div­ing watches the world has seen.

See  Pan­erai Radiomir: His­tory and evo­lu­tion of a myth

 

A Pan­erai stands out due to its dis­tinc­tive over­sized shape. Some edi­tions are made with full car­bon cas­ings and always entirely by hand. Pan­erai only pro­duces 4,000 watches per year, mak­ing their lim­ited edi­tion time­pieces a must-have for any seri­ous col­lec­tor.
Pan­erai watches, far from just being good invest­ments, also speak of unpar­al­leled qual­ity and impres­sive history.

 

panerai

Impres­sive, even from the back!

Extreme Sports and Ital­ian Time­pieces
Lux­ury Ital­ian watches don’t nor­mally share space with extreme sports. But in the last decade, many enthu­si­asts began look­ing for time­pieces than can keep up with more active lifestyles with­out sac­ri­fic­ing style and crafts­man­ship. The demand gave rise to smaller pro­duc­tion brands cre­at­ing excep­tional watches that deliver in dynamic envi­ron­ments.
Div­ing

If there’s one thing Flo­rence has in quan­tity, it’s highly skilled watch­mak­ers. This is some­thing Fed­erico Mas­sacesi wisely exploited when he bought Panerai’s old man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ties. Hir­ing the famous Ambuchi fam­ily of watch­mak­ers, he launched Anon­imo. Their claim to fame? Qual­ity cas­ings for deep sea div­ing.
Anonimo’s watches are all hand-crafted, with even the sim­plest ones requir­ing at least 20 steps to cre­ate. One of their more pop­u­lar styles? The 2000 meters water­proof Pro­fes­sion­ale. It has a U-lock sys­tem to pro­tect it from the dam­age intense water pres­sure can make.

Flight

If you pre­fer being on air to under­wa­ter sports, then Lucca-based com­pany U-boat is the per­fect choice. The irony of a flight-centric piece named after a water ves­sel isn’t lost on owner Italo Fontana. How­ever, he did start the com­pany based on his grandfather’s designs from the 1940’s. So maybe it’s not so bizarre a name after all.
U-boat’s sig­na­ture design is a large-faced watch with the crown located on the left. Why? So it would be eas­ier to read even with gog­gles on. It was pri­mar­ily made for Ital­ian Navy pilots. The irreg­u­lar crown loca­tion ensures pilots can use it even with gloved hands.
If you need any proof at all that U-boat has made its place among Ital­ian lux­ury watches, then look no fur­ther than the wrists of Gior­gio Armani, David Beck­ham or Tom Cruise. Each one of them proudly wears his U-boat regularly.

uboat

Ready to fly…

Rac­ing

Quat­tro Valv­ole, or “Four Pis­tons,” is the Ital­ian watch brand col­lec­tion of choice when it comes to mix­ing lux­ury and the need for speed. Quat­tro Valv­ole watches have faces resem­bling pis­tons.
Par­ent com­pany Mec­ca­niche Veloci fre­quently col­lab­o­rates with lead­ing Ital­ian rac­ing and indus­trial com­pa­nies to cre­ate high tech watch com­po­nents and mate­ri­als. They’ve been known to use things like ergal, from rac­ing car car­bu­re­tors, to pro­duce sleek timepieces.

Fash­ion­ably On Time
Europe is one big fash­ion house. And Ital­ian lux­ury watches can’t be left behind, can they?
How­ever, many watch enthu­si­asts are look­ing for fash­ion­able watches that doesn’t scream lux­ury invest­ment piece. And many gladly took the chal­lenge.
One of the bet­ter ones out there is Offic­ina del Tempo.
Founded by broth­ers Gior­gio and Roberto Emili in 2000, Offic­ina del Tempo watches are a show­case of inno­v­a­tive and attrac­tive designs. The long-time watch col­lec­tors from the medieval town of Seni­gal­lia have since been mak­ing waves at the annual Basel Fair. It’s only the most impor­tant watch event in the world.
There’s also MOMO Design and Brera Orologi. Sim­i­lar to Offic­ina del Tempo, the two com­pa­nies pro­duce mod­ern and fash­ion­able watches at a frac­tion of the price of a Pan­erai or a Bul­gari. Most of their watches are stain­less steel, with quartz or auto­matic watch move­ments.
These watches, though, do not increase in value over time. But they are good stand-ins if one can­not afford the more lux­u­ri­ous brands.
What­ever your per­sonal style is, there are lux­ury Ital­ian watches that would fit you. The world of Ital­ian watch-making is just brim­ming with this high-quality, amazingly-crafted and uniquely-made time­pieces. And if the trend is any indi­ca­tion, these Ital­ian pieces will soon be giv­ing their Swiss-made coun­ter­parts a run for their money.

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