U-Boat makes big watches with features that include large chunky leather strap, crown protector, left-hand crown, and a dial with bold, luminous indications. Do they remind you of anything? Panerai of course. U-Boat watches are created by Italian designer Italo Fontana, whose company is based in Gragnano, not far from Lucca in Tuscany, and so also close to Florence where Panerai was founded in 1860.
The U-47 case is in stainless steel, 47 mm in diameter, available with black or beige colour dial, and a small plate on the caseband bearing the serial number. On the dial, there is a large U at 12 o’clock, a reference to the brand name, which in itself is rather curious: an Italian brand called U-Boat?
The strap is in hand-finished calf leather with steel pin buckle, and the presentation box includes an extra NATO-type strap made of water-repellent fabric called Kodiak (which perhaps describes the dark grey colour). The watch has a screw-in caseback, which contributes to the good water resistance rating of 10 bar, 100 metres.
The caseback of the U-47 has a relatively small display window revealing the self-winding movement, described as the U-28. It is the ETA 2824-2, or possibly a clone by Sellita, running at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz, with a 38-hour power reserve. It has the winding stem at 9 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. The oscillating weight has also been personalized with a cut-out U-Boat logo.
The U-47 watch by U-Boat costs €1,800, relatively low when compared to previous U-Boat products. Further information from the U-Boat website, http://www.u-boatwatch.com