The stunning watch to the left is the just-released Limited Edition U-51.
At this year’s Baselworld Expo Italo Fontana, makers of U-Boat watches, showed off a number of their new automatic models, most sadly never to be released to the public. Except the U-51. The catch is they are limited to only 100 pieces worldwide.
At a diameter of 51mm, this 200g titanium-steel monster is the first Rattrapante Chronograph in the U-BOAT collection with its own sterling silver plaque screwed to the case reading “2/100 Limited Edition”.
The watch has a Arola-Alfred Rochat Lap Timer with a power reserve of about 40-44 hours. The bezel and the back of the case are locked together by external tubing and a customized key ensures absolute water-proofing to 120 m or 12 atmospheres. The horn rubber/alligator inset strap is hand made and hand finished in horn black and brown and has a steel tongue buckle.
U-BOAT watches have enjoyed great success in the last decade, and will certainly be a watch that is closely associated with the first decade of the new millennium. Over the last 9 years there are some things we have come to expect from Italo Fontana, but the new U-51 was not one of them. When we asked if U-BOAT had been affected at all by the current economic downturn, the answer we got wasn’t really what we expected either “Yes we are. We’re up!”