U-BOAT, timeless design and innovation
U-BOAT is undoubtedly an expression of the values of Made in Italy in the world. Each watch contains passion, uniqueness and wisdom, all characteristic traits of Italo Fontana, founder of the Tuscan company today present in over 60 international markets.
To understand the origin of the brand, however, we need to take a leap into the past, reaching the 40s, "the war years" and more precisely to 1942, when Ilvo Fontana, Italo's great-grandfather and precision instrument craftsman, received an important assignment from the Italian Navy: design and make a new watch model for their pilots.
The project, due to the instability of the historical moment, was not followed up until Italo Fontana rediscovered Ilvo's designs in 2000 and inspired by them, he created the first U-Boat, introducing a new dimension of watchmaking.
The Italian designer immediately wanted to give his creations a very strong identity that is not at all confusing and perfectly identifiable. Here style, shape and details, as long as they are small, have always made the difference. The design of U-Boat watches leaves no room for interpretation or misunderstanding.
Unique handcrafted pieces, with a large crown to the left of the case and characterized by perfect visibility and reading in all weather conditions and many of them for some exclusive technical characteristics, as well as a unique, bold and distinctive design.
Every single watch is personally designed by Italo Fontana, a Tuscan entrepreneur strongly linked to his land, his source of inspiration. It is, in fact, precisely in the Gragnano estate, between the soft hills between Lucca and Florence, that Fontana gives free rein to his creativity for the design of U-Boat watches.
The moment of the day when Italo Fontana is most inspired and where he manages the best ideas is during sleepless nights. His goal is to create jewels that have never been seen before, which live in their own light and which have their own identity and their own constructive philosophy at the base.
Another source of inspiration for the "Italian genius" is his passion for speed and the world of motors, which has seen him as a protagonist in the past years of some car races, which have offered him unprecedented and unthinkable ideas for his work as a designer. Rev counter, gearboxes, clutches become elements that he transfers to a small extent in his timepiece collections.
In each of the models that comes to life under the hands of the Great Master of Made in Italy watchmaking, a distinctive element is the unusual combination of carefully selected materials. From raw carbon fiber to titanium, passing through hard and scratch-resistant tungsten, commonly used in military and industrial applications that U-Boat was the first to use in watchmaking.
The other materials used, such as bronze and silver, are more alive because they change color over time. To these are added, again, steel, gold and ceramics. Another element of strong appeal is represented by the introduction of details such as the fine laser-cut steel wire mesh, the protagonist of the dial of some models.
The offices, warehouses and laboratory, where assembly operations are carried out by skilled craftsmen, are both located in the same Gragnano site, surrounded by greenery, the heart of Italo Fontana's life, while in two separate locations, respectively in Bologna and Lucca, the cases and straps are made.
In Italy U-BOAT is present with three stores in Florence, Rome and Venice, that is, best Cities with high concentration of tourism. In fact, the Brand is highly appreciated by an elite clientele coming mainly from America, Russia, Germany and England.
Even the world of Celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, David Beckham wears the sparkling Italian “Haute Horlogerie” brand.
Among the fans of the brand we also find style icons from the Italian Fashion Industry such as Giorgio Armani.
U-Boat has become one of the companies that offer niche products, real Must Haves of the last 20 years.