*** Totally biased review of Anonimo Militare Chrono Automatico
Ref. 2007 (MCA)
I am often asked which watch I prefer. When I was younger a watch was worn.
Now one is rarely worn for two reasons: firstly, I no longer need a watch to tell
time and secondly, my wrist is now fairly large. Most watches I would like to
wear are small on me.
Last Monday I was required to attend a rather important meeting
so wearing a watch was necessary. Having to rush, random choice
was an Anonimo – a Militare Chrnono Automatico.
The moment I strapped the watch to my wrist I realized that I have made
a wrong choice. But I was already half way down to the car park and I was late.
I comforted myself that I only needed to wear it for an hour or two,
and that even a wrong watch is better than no watch.
During the next hour I caught myself taking the watch of
the wrist at least five times. Chrono Automatico with it’s almost 44 mm x 15mm
steel case felt as physically comfortable as brick and the stiff and rigid Kodiak
leather strap was cutting off blood circulating.
But for some strange reason, I kept putting the watch back on.
Two hours later I somehow developed tolerance to pain and
being occupied with more important things to worry about, ended up wearing
it for the rest of the evening.
Anonimo Ref 2007 is still on my wrist. Actually for the first time in many years,
I even feel naked without the watch !
Anonimo is the Latin derivation from Greek anonimia meaning ‘without the name’
or ‘nameless’. In other words, this Florentine watch manufacturer wants to
convince that buying their product is much more than brand name. Anonimo is
the pride and joy of Italian watch making, and represents Italian industry at it’s finest.
So think of it as the Ferrari of watches.
Anonimo is manufactured in ex-Panerai factory in Firenze by watchmakers
who made Panerai watches but any attempt to link Anonimo with it’s older
cousin will get you in to trouble. For some strange reason some paneristis
are still having difficulties accepting this cold reality. (Funny enough, they are
the very same people who are desperately trying to create meaningful historical
links between modern Panerai and vintage Rolex).
In any case, you should have nothing to worry about because from the aspect
of watch making there is “nothing new under sun” since days of Breguet
and Marie Antoinette. With exception of Jaeger LeCoultre Art Nuovo
masterpiece Reverso, but that is different story altogether…
The pillow-shaped case with finely notched bezel, innovative crown locking
device at 6 o’clock and perfectly nested sapphire crystal is what the
Militare Chrono is all about. It is macho, eye-catching and cool high-tech.
The sand blasted and brush finished case is well complimented with high gloss
chrono pushers cleverly positioned at eight and ten o’clock.
Mechanically and aesthetically the case is at least as good as any Panerai.
The lack of the annoying PAM crown locking device is added bonus!
Overall I would not hesitate to rate the case at 9.8 out of 10.
Militare Ref 2007 comes with well balanced black dial. The seconds subdial
bears no markings which makes it easily distinguishable form the minute and
hour counters. In attempt to remain faithful to the original design of Opera Meccana
Militare watch line and the 12-03-06-09 hour format, ninth hour marking
has partially disappeared. It is covered by sub sec dial. Although some purist
may see this as a flaw in design, I personally find it flamboyant expression.
The only negative point is the size of the calendar window which is definitely
to small and difficult to read. This particular edition of Ref. 2007 comes
with straight hands with light green Super Luminova coating and a white
sweep seconds hand with red pointer. Score: 9/10
MCA is base caliber ETA 2892 movement with Dubois Depraz 2035
chronograph module. Overall configuration is quite unusual with winding
crown at 6 o’clock and chrono pushers on the left hand side of the case.
Although not a chronometer certified, the watch is keeping excellent time
and is factory adjusted to +4 sec/day. Good enough for me!
But don’t be fooled with the total count of 47 jewelles !
The base ETA 2892 is a rather common Swiss no-frills movement.
For this reason alone I am rating the MCA movement at only 6/10.
All Anonimo watches are fitted with a wax impregnated calf skin strap
known as ‘Kodiak’ (patented). Apparently this is the only leather
strap in the world guaranteed to survive 24-hours submerging in salt water.
According to one legend, Kodiak straps are hand made and hand
stitched by 70 years old craftsmen belt maker who is helped by his wife and daughter.
Taking into account that total yearly production of all Anonimo watches
is only 3,800 pieces I find this myth plausible. Whatever is the case,
for the first day or two you will find the Kodiak strap fairly unconformable
to wear. But as anything made of leather it will soon mould perfectly around
your wrist. The strap is unbelievable strong and very reasonable priced
(replacement RRP $240). Overall rating: 9/10
Anonimo MCA is definitely not your everyday ticker. It is a luxury timepiece
designed and build for true watch lover looking for an unusual and not-yet-popular
watch. A collector who migrated from Rolex to Panerai and who is now ready
to push the envelope even further. According to yearly production data,
Only 3800 Anonimo watches are made; 2000 pieces are sold to US dealers
and remaining 1800 pcs are distributed worldwide. Production of Militare Chrono
is limited to 350 pieces, with only 5 or so exported to Australia – to be sold
to hard-core watch aficionados of Italian background. Summarized in two
words, it is a macho eye-catcher with real potential of becoming a cult,
sought after timepiece.
From dealers perspective, the only true obstacle is the high recommended
retail price of over $A8,000. This is pushing the MCA into the
same price range with Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor,
IWC chronographs and even very close to Panerai Daylight.
But then again, if this is your market than you already know that the
RRP on luxury goods is not to be taken too seriously.
Nick Hacko is watchmaker and watch dealer located in Sydney, Australia