This Filippo Loreti review describes the Milano Black Red Automatic by Filippo Loreti. It is a watch with a self-winding Miyota movement, and an Italian-inspired design that gives it unique looks. At the price of €489, it is a readily accessible timepiece, with a lot of details that make it a pleasure to wear. It combines a touch of automotive inspiration along with intricate visual features that create a parallel with the classical architecture of the building that inspired it: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan.
Today there are many mechanical watches that attain a relatively low price by using a third-party movement providing the basic functions, time and date, and in this piece, day of the week and month as well. What really sets a watch apart is the design, the inspiration that provided the initial idea, and the clarity of thought applied to transforming the idea into the final product. Filippo Loreti is a brand founded by Danielius and Matas Jakutis, and from the start their concept was their love for everything Italian. The inspiration for the Milano Black Red Automatic is not immediately obvious when you look at the dial. Its black colour with touches of red suggest an automotive inspiration, but the origin of the intricate dial design is revealed when you turn the watch over, and you see the lettering around the frame of the sapphire caseback: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is one of the most significant buildings in Milan, right alongside Piazza Duomo with its magnificent Gothic cathedral. The Galleria was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1860, a daring construction in brick, stone, plaster, iron and glass that constituted the first covered arcade, a place that artfully combines the feel of being “inside,” protected from the elements, and “outside,” because you are looking at shop windows, cafés and restaurants as on a normal street. Its soaring central dome is a filigree of black framing, and this is where the dial design was born: the spectacular view from under that central dome.
The architectural feel of the dial is combined with a logical arrangement of the printed guilloché and the fine pattern created by the slender metal lines. The printed guilloché reinforces the minute divisions, and the principal radial lines become hour markers. The two subdials, for day on the left and month on the right, are nicely framed, and continue the overall colour scheme of black with touches of red and steel. The second hand is long and elegant, and the hour and minute hands are batons filled with SuperLuminova for night-time visibility.
The case is compact and comfortable at 42 mm diameter and 10 mm thickness. The curved shape of the caseband ensures that the watch sits comfortably on the wrist, and makes the knurled crown even easier to use. Pulling it out to the first position and rotating clockwise, you set the date; anticlockwise changes the day of the week. The month is changed by pressing the recessed pusher on the caseband at 2 o’clock, using a ballpoint pen. The time is adjusted at the second position of the crown. The watch can be wound using the crown in the closed position. A very attractive feature of the case is the red ring between bezel and caseband. In combination with the notches on the bezel, this catches the light in certain positions, creating a ring of tiny flashes of red. The watch thus changes its appearance according to the angle at which you look at it. The caseback is marked with the lettering “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II” and the edition number – the Milano Black Red Automatic is a limited edition of 1,641 pieces. Curious number, I wonder what it is celebrating? The case has a 5 bar, 50 metre water resistance, therefore better than the usual standard of 30 metres. It is resistant to rain and occasional splashes, but not to swimming or showering.
Strap and buckle
As is appropriate for a watch of Italian inspiration, the strap is made in Italy, in Italian leather. It has a printed alligator pattern. Even when new it is soft and supple, a pleasure to touch and smooth on the wrist. The folding butterfly clasp is easy to open using two pushers, and its position on the strap can be quickly changed to adjust it for your wrist size (it suits wrists of 14-23 cm diameter).
Quick strap replacement
One of the user-friendly features is the fact that the two strap sections can easily be removed from the case by sliding the spring-loaded levers that project slightly from the strap lining between the lugs. The black colour of the strap works very well, but if you wanted to change it and use it with a black perforated strap to reinforce the automotive effect, or a bright red strap for a racier look, it would be a quick and easy operation.
The Japanese-made Miyota 9122 is a reliable movement, self-winding, with the possibility of hand-winding from the crown. The black-coated oscillating weight is personalized Filippo Loreti with an engraved swirling motif. The movement itself has a degree of decoration with Geneva-type stripes, and a few red bearing rubies – in total, the calibre has 26 jewels – providing a touch of colour. The balance can also be seen, with its 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) frequency that translates into the smooth sweep of the seconds hand. The watch has the stop-second feature which enables precision time-setting. The precision of the piece that I tested was excellent, at +5 seconds per day, within COSC chronometer standards. The mainspring provides a 40-hour power reserve, but of course, when this is your everyday timepiece, you don’t notice: the watch continues operation constantly and becomes a part of your everyday activities. The movements of your wrist are transformed into mechanical energy by the oscillating weight, making the watch into a perpetual motion machine, the concept that inspired the early horological pioneers and that still today provides that touch of fascination that attracts people to mechanical watches: the idea of a device that continues to operate indefinitely, a mechanical heartbeat that accompanies you throughout your life.
The Filippo Loreti Milano Black Red Automatic is delivered in an attractive black case, and it is ready to go as soon as you take it out. Just set the time, day, date and month, wind the movement a bit, put it on, and you’re off. The watch is accompanied by an instruction leaflet, certificate of authenticity, and a card signed by brand founders Danielius and Matas, who welcome you as a new member of the Filippo Loreti family. This is a nice touch, illustrating their level of dedication. And it’s always pleasant to feel part of a family.
Price and further information
The Filippo Loreti Milano Black Red Automatic costs €489, with shipping included. Considering the reliable Miyota movement and the level of finish throughout, it’s an attractive price. Not many watches of this limited edition are left. Read more of Filippo Loreti reviews.