U-Boat U-51 Rattrapante Video Review - Literally Awesome ¶
I realize Baselworld 2010 is already far away, but the footage that we got there is still relevant and fun, and therefore we continue to produce videos with the HD footage we got there last spring. The most recent release is a video presentation of one of my favorite watches of 2010, the U-51 Rattrapante by U-Boat Watches. The funny thing is that when I saw the first images of it I didn't like it at all. Then I wrote about it in some blog posts both on and off the Baily Blog (see New U-Boat Model: U-51 Rattrapante and U-Boat U-51 Rattrapante Complicated Watch – An Amplified Masterpiece), and the conspicuous masterpiece started to intrigue me. When I finally got to film it and play with it at Baselworld 2010 is when I fell in love with it.
The U-Boat U-51 Rattrapante represents a balance between the sophistication of high-end horology and Italo Fontana's rugged, industrial design principles. The 51mm wide and nearly 2 cm thick, stainless steel body is not delicate in the slightest, but displays a great amount of careful craftsmanship.
If you do not see a video embedded here, visit the original post at http://www.mattbaily.ca/blog/2010/08/24/u-boat-u-51-rattrapante-video-review-literally-awe.
Transcription of Video
The U-Boat U-51 was released in 2009 and is the first "complicated" model that the young company has created. Only 100 will be manufactured and presented in this Italian leather case.
What's cool about the U-51 is that it is big, robust, and thick like other U-Boats, but is powered by a sophisticated automatic Swiss movement that enables the split second function, which we will see in a bit. The stainless steel case is 51 mm wide, hence the name, and that's not including the hefty crown and pushers. The specially engraved movement is visible through the sapphire crystal back. Most prominent is the oscillating rotor that winds the watch while it is on your wrist.
So, lets see what the "split second" or "rattrapante" function does. So there are three chronograph pushers as opposed to the usual two. Because all U-Boat watches are configured to be left handed, the primary functions are all placed on the left. To wind the watch I unscrew the massive crown cap, and wind the crown as usual. Next to the crown you find the start/stop pusher, which is placed on the bottom here, and the reset button on top. The third button controls a red seconds hand that runs in tandem with the primary white one and is placed underneath. Once you push the button, the red hand stops, allowing the wearer can easily take a time reading while the chronograph continues to run. Pressing the third button again releases the red hand, which immediately catches up to the primary seconds hand. Hence the name "Rattrapante," which in French literally translates to "Catching up with."
Despite its bulk, the U-51 Rattrapante is quite elegant. It is fitted with a luxurious alligator and rubber strap and the stainless steel is immaculately sculpted and finished in the company's workshops near Florence. Compared to my average sized, 42mm Anonimo, the U-51 is quite large, but this just reflects how everything about it is really amplified and, literally, awesome.