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Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial

The Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial benefits from Swiss watchmaking know-how and Italian design prowess. Angus Davies spent a few days wearing this casually-attired timepiece, endowed with a plethora of details.

Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial

Anonimo was inaugurated in 1997. The name, ‘Anonimo’ is a derivation of ‘anonym’. It was the belief of Federico Massacesi, the company’s founder, that the product should be the hero, not the brand name gracing its dial. Unlike most mechanical watches, Anonimo began its operations in Florence, the home of the Renaissance.

From the outset, the company used Swiss ETA movements, choosing to focus its efforts on design and habillage. This latter term is used to describe the case, dial, hands, crystal, crown – all those parts other than the movement. While some parts were procured from third-party specialists, the brand had in-house case-making facilities.

At the heart of the brand was a fundamental belief that Anonimo watches should exhibit both originality and simplicity.

Over the years, the ownership of the company has changed a few times but the notable style of the brand’s products remains undiminished.

In 2013, the Florentine brand relocated to Switzerland. Today, it is based in Le Locle which, along with its neighbouring city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The history of both cities is inextricably linked to the watchmaking industry. Indeed, this region is the epicentre of luxury watchmaking. With a huge supplier based within its midst, it was eminently logical for Anonimo to relocate to Le Locle.

When Anonimo chose to relocate to Switzerland there was one significant risk, namely, the watches would lose their distinctive Florentine character. However, the brand continues to embrace Italian styling, a trait evident with each of the company’s models.

For the last few days, I have worn the Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial. It shuns the military vibe evident with some of its siblings, but still retains the relaxed character synonymous with this luxury brand. However, as I will go on to explain, this watch possesses a fascinating character, deserving of comment.

The dial

My press loan was supplied on a calf leather Barenia ‘gold’ strap which seems to soften the face of the watch, especially when compared with the bracelet-attired version. As its nomen implies, the Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial exhibits a retro appearance. While the dial is described as ‘blue’, there is also a subtle cast, suffusing the dialscape with suggestions of green and yellow tones.

Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial

The epidermis of the dial is enriched with a sunray motif. However, the ultra-fine lines emanating from the centre of the dial are subtle, discreet and less conspicuous than other dials featuring this form of embellishment.

The luminescent hour and minute hands are silver-toned and slender with blunt tips. The central sweep seconds hand is ultra-thin, sports a luminescent triangle midway along its form and features a supremely fine tip.

Rectangular indexes denote the hours. They are silver-toned and lined with Super-LumiNova. Interestingly, while the position of most hours is imparted with single batons, double batons are positioned at 4, 8 and 12 o’clock. This design code is a reference to the brand’s name, replicating the letter ‘A’.

The dial emits a muted green hue in dim light. Personally, I would have preferred a tad more luminescence, however, this is my only criticism of the dial.

A date indication is positioned at 6 o’clock and the dial is encircled with a yellow minuterie.

The case

Having worn the Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial for several days, I can attest the wearer comfort is superb. The calf leather strap contributes to the elevated standards of wearer comfort. Ecru thread embellishes the strap, underscoring the casual character of the watch.

Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial

This Anonimo is very affordable, retailing for £1990 (RRP as at 3.6.2020). Despite its modest asking price, Anonimo has equipped this watch with some impressive details. The unidirectional bezel shuns aluminium, favouring a costlier graduated ceramic insert. Rotating the bezel confers a pleasant tactile feel and reassuringly clicks when turned. Unlike some watches I have worn, the bezel does not annoyingly rotate at will, always standing to attention with its circular index standing at noon, dutifully awaiting orders.

The case is satin-finished, save for two bevelled edges on the crown guard and the case back. Again, the case treatment reinforces the reserved temperament of the watch. Indeed, this timepiece is a paragon of understatement.

Appraising the shape of the case, its asymmetric profile comes to the fore. The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock and features an arcing crown protector, running from 2 to 4 o’clock. There is no similar form of protection below the crown. The idiosyncratic position of the crown looks fabulous and augments wearer comfort. Unlike some crowns, the item fitted to this watch does not gouge or rub the skin or, indeed, inhibit wrist movement.

The movement

Anonimo has furnished this model with a Sellita SW 200-1, a Swiss-made automatic movement which is generically similar to ETA 2824-2. The movement is visible via an exhibition case back.

The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 26 jewels. Assuming the watch is fully wound, the movement will run autonomously for a minimum of 38 hours.

Perlage adorns some of the bridges, while the personalised oscillating weight is openworked and embellished with Côtes de Genève motif.

Closing remarks

The Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial is a fascinating watch. In terms of the case, its scale, depth, case back and strap successfully unite, delivering a sublime wrist-fit and demonstrating the brand’s impressive understanding of ergonomics.

Bearing in mind the affordability of this watch, it is somewhat surprising how Anonimo has infused the composition with a plethora of minute details. The dial shade proves spellbinding, transitioning from one shade to another. Despite the asking price of £1990, the bezel features a ceramic inlay and rotates with a positive tactile action. Both of these characteristics are more befitting of a costlier watch. Likewise, the satin-finished case reinforces the model’s reserved character. The luxurious strap and the high-quality pin buckle, all reinforce the perception that this is a quality, stylish watch, infused with an endearing dose of Italian flair.

 

Further reading

https://anonimo.com

Technical specification

  • Model: Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Sunray blue dial
  • Reference: AM-5019.17.105.I02
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42 mm; height 11.8 mm; water resistance 20ATM (200 metres); sapphire crystal to front and exhibition case back
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
  • Movement: Sellita SW 200-1; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve =38 hours
  • Strap: Calf leather Barenia ‘gold strap’ paired with a stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price: £1990 (RRP as at 3.6.2020)

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