For those who are familiar with Italian brand Anonimo, you will agree that if the design is easy to recognise, its watches are not what can be referred to as “subtle elegance”. Large, sporty or even military-inspired, Anonimo’s watches are on the tool-ish/instrument side. For Baselworld 2018, a hint of sporty-chic Italian lifestyle will appear in the collection, with the new Anonimo Epurato. Smaller, more refined but still very Florentine, meet the brand’s chic new timepiece.
Anonimo was created in Florence, back in 1997. If the history, the design or the inspiration behind its watches feel familiar, it is simply because it was created on the ashes of another brand, Panerai. In 1997, Richemont bought Panerai and decided to relocate the production from Florence to Neuchatel. Yet, some of the ex-employees didn’t move and they started the creation of a brand named Anonimo (anonymous in Italian). The production was focused on diving watches designed by the military engineer Dino Zei, who was at the helm of Panerai for over 20 years until Richemont took control of the brand in 1997, and he later joined Anonimo. The idea of the founders of Anonimo (in particular Federico Massacesi) was that the product, with its distinctive functional design, should always come before the brand itself, hence the name of the brand.
The brand has had two main collections for over 20 years: the Nautilo, a robust dive watch, and the Militare, a bold watch with or without chronograph and the crown positioned at 12 o’clock. Some clear design codes have been integrated: the cushion-shaped case is one, the triangular layout of the dial is another (this recalls the “A” of Anonimo with markers at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00). Both watches were on the tool-ish side of the spectrum, with large cases (around 44mm) and with a wide use of a bronze alloy. Using these three hallmark features, the brand introduces a third collection, a purer take on the original codes, called Anonimo Epurato.
If the fundamentals are entirely present, the new Anonimo Epurato is a more refined and more “toned-down” statement. Based on the iconic cushion-shaped case, it now bears a 42mm case, with a relatively thin 11mm profile. The design is still very Italian oriented, with a rather casual style. The military roots of the brand are not entirely forgotten though, and the case is still quite robust and protected, with the integration of a long crown guard on the case band.
Again, as an ode to the brand’s codes, the Anonimo Epurato is first presented in bronze – the brand was among the first to offer such a material on watches. This material, with its warm and rich colour, is organic and reacts to its environment gaining patina over time to acquire a very personal touch. For the first time, some surfaces are now polished and not only brushed, including the new fluted bezel, the case bands, and the lugs.
Combined with this bronze case is a warm anthracite “sunray” dial, with applied indexes and markers matching the case. More elegant and refined than previous watches, the signature triangular layout is still present and gives the Anonimo Epurato a clear identity. Powering the watch is a Swiss-made automatic Sellita SW-200 (an ETA clone), which is visible through the sapphire case back – with a skeletonised rotor decorated with Côtes de Genève.
Secured to the wrist by a gradient mahogany-brown Italian leather strap, this first bronze edition is all about rich, warm tones. Steel versions will certainly complete the collection in the coming months/years. The Anonimo Epurato bronze will be presented at Baselworld 2018 and priced at CHF 2,990. More details on www.anonimo.com.