When you think about the Italian brand Anonimo, it’s more than likely that military-inspired chronographs (the Militare collection) and dive watches (the Nautilo line), both with cushion-shaped cases, spring to mind. However, things are changing at Anonimo as the brand evolves in new directions and enlarges its scope, for example with the Epurato collection – a dressier, smaller and more casual collection. Following this change of strategy, the Italian brand is now reinforcing its presence in the motorsport world with the Anonimo Militare Chronograph WRC Special Edition.
Despite the new strategy, the design of Anonimo will remain faithful and deeply inspired by its roots. The brand was created some 20 years ago on the ashes of Panerai. Following the sale of Panerai to the Vendôme Group (pre-Richemont) and its relocation to Switzerland, a handful of ex-employees stayed on in Italy and launched another brand called Anonimo. This explains the cushion-shaped cases, the numerous references to military or diving universes and the casual-chic Italian touch. Today, the brand is in full evolution and trying out new concepts. After having presented the Epurato, a softer and more wearable take on the brand’s iconic design, it’s time for these Florentines to explore the world of motorsports and true sports watches.
Last January, Anonimo announced a partnership with the FIA World Rally Championship (a.k.a WRC) and its status as official timekeeper of the event on Italian soil – meaning for the 7th stage of the 2018 WRC championship, which took place in Sardinia this year, at the half-way point of the season. This new collaboration between Anonimo and the WRC complements the already existing partnerships in motorsport, whether it be Moto3 or WTCR, on the different circuits of the world. For the occasion, the brand also unveiled its first motorsport-inspired piece, a robust and bold chronograph: the Anonimo Militare WRC Special Edition.
While the base used for this new WRC limited edition is identical to most Militare Chronograph watches, Anonimo applies several well-known but efficient recipes to create a true sports watch with a rugged motorsport appeal. This means that the powerful and gently cushioned case of the Militare watches is still present, with its robust 43.4mm diameter but short lugs and very decent 120m water-resistance. The signature crown at 12 o’clock with its patented hinge and crown protection system is still present and, again, allows for great comfort, thanks to the articulated lugs. The chronograph pushers are classically positioned at 2 and 4 o’clock.
The first and main difference regarding the case of this Anonimo Militare WRC Special Edition is the black PVD-coated case, which gives a sportier and less military look to the watch (different from the usual steel or bronze cases). The crown and pushers are also coated in black, with the start pusher of the chronograph accentuated in bright green – a colour that is echoed throughout the watch. The second new feature on this WRC edition is the presence of a motorsport-relevant tachymeter scale engraved on the fixed bezel.
The dial is also new and racing-oriented, with a vertically hand-brushed design in a nice silvery-grey colour. To optimize contrast, the signature 04-08-12 numerals (shaped like the A of Anonimo), the indices and the sub-counters are presented in black. The racing look is emphasized by multiple bright green accents on the minute track, the 30-minute counter and the central seconds hand – bright green being the official colour of the FIA World Rally Championship.
The motorsport theme extends all the way to the strap, which is made of Cordura-like fabric with bright green stitchings and a leather insert. Just like racing drivers’ suits, this strap is fireproof. The watch is secured to the wrist with a black PVD-coated pin buckle.
Powering the Anonimo Militare Chronograph WRC Special Edition is the same movement found in other Militare watches, meaning a modular movement based on a Sellita SW-300 (a clone of ETA 2892) with a Dubois-Dépraz 2035M module, specifically developed for Anonimo – without date and repositioned because of the 12 o’clock crown. This 49 jewels chronograph movement beats at 4hz and boasts 42h of power reserve. It is partially visible through a dark-grey tinted sapphire case back with the WRC logo.
The Anonimo Militare Chronograph WRC Special Edition is a special (non-limited) edition that will be priced at CHF 5,250. More details on www.anonimo.com.