New for 2011 U-Boat Watch Models in Store ¶
U-Boat, a favourite here in Canada and in Montreal, is always producing interesting variations and limited editions to keep their distinctive style fresh. 2011 is no different, with a number of new models and updates of old favourites to keep the fans hungry for more. After all, U-Boat is based on one basic design that has carried them from fashion brand into the high-end of watchmaking. To keep this design from becoming stale, U-Boat continuously updates the details and materials, and produces unique limited editions.
Probably the hottest new item is the much-anticipated Titanium Ceramic Classico Chronograph series. Limited to 300 pieces each, these blacked-out 53mm monsters really stand out from the existing Classico lineup, and dominate the wrist with a military-industrial design combined with high tech materials. The cases are black PVD coated titanium, while the bezels are in either matte finish ceramic or high-polish ceramic. Two dials are available, both sandwich dials with carbon-fibre underlay. The details are unique to set them apart from the stainless steel Classicos – the bezels are secured with proprietary U-screws, the crown cap and chronograph pushers are unique as are the casebacks, overall the small details are distinctive. The caseback is numbered with the serial of the limited edition, and features a small window that shows off the Top Soigne Valjoux 7750 automatic calibre. These are really spectacular pieces that are truly imposing and very exclusive. Only a handful will be available in Canada.
Even more exclusive is the new U-51 Chronograph. Anyone familiar with U-Boat will probably recognize the style right away – the case and dial are very similar to the U-51 Rattrapante that was available up until now. In this model, however, you will find a Top Soigne Valjoux 7750 instead of the more complex rattrapante calibre. The U-51 is totally unique in the U-Boat range, and features a 51mm multi-part stainless steel case with a mixture of brushed, polished and bead blasted surfaces. The strap lugs are hidden into the side of the case, giving it the floating appearance. Now how exclusive is it, you ask? Only 99 pieces will be available worldwide, the same as the Rattrapante, and only a few will make it to Canada. That makes it the second most exclusive limited edition U-Boat has offered, behind the 65mm U-1942 that was only produced in 29 pieces.
Also in store is the totally unique U-42. Limited to 999 pieces in either a dark brown or a beige dial, the U-42 has styling like nothing else. It features a 53mm titanium case with rotating bezel and a patented folding crown. The design is based on Ilvo Fontana’s original drawings for a military diving watch from 1942; legend has it that it was these drawings that inspired Ilvo’s grandson, Italo, to start the U-Boat watch company. The U-42 is a downscaled version of the U-1942 which clocked in at a massive 65mm. Even at more "modest" 53mm the U-42 has loads of wrist presence, and the unique style of the locking bezel and folding crown are sure to attract attention. In addition it comes on a hand-cut and hand-stitched brown calfskin strap that really looks the part.
For new variations, we have two items to showcase. The U-1001 IPB takes the popular U-1001 diving watch and adds a black PVD coating to the 55mm titanium case. Like the original U-1001, it is available in three dial colours (blue, beige and orange), and each series is limited to 1001 pieces. It also comes in the most badass presentation box we’ve encountered, a massive 15-pound stainless steel case with a magnified porthole, numbered to match each watch.
For something a little more subdued there is the new Flightdeck Ceramic Bezel Chronograph. Available in 45 and 50mm diameters, the Ceramic Bezel is an updated version of the Steel Bezel that featured a PVD coated case mixed with brushed steel elements. On the new model the stainless steel PVD coated case is set off by a high-polish black ceramic bezel. The dial is the signature black carbon-fibre weave with printed numerals. It also features a rubberized black alligator strap to distinguish it from the standard Flightdeck. As on all Flightdeck chronographs the Ceramic Bezel features the venerable Valjoux 7750 movement.
Overall the new U-Boat line is a nice step forward for the company, with a number of cool limited edition pieces that really stand out while offering very high exclusivity. New variations are also giving new life to existing models; in addition we will soon be receiving the much-anticipated 45mm (up from 43mm) Flightdeck Chronographs. Watch this space for future developments in the U-Boat watch lineup.