Anonimo and Dino Zei, military precision meets Italian luxury
With the high-tech knowledge he acquired in his successful career in the Italian navy, Dino Zei pushed the boundaries of luxury watchmaking. For Anonimo this visionary created the Dino Zei line, the most prestigious collection for the Florentine watch brand which is fully dedicated to innovation. In 2011 Zei will be celebrating his eightieth birthday with a new design: the Anonimo Dino Zei Aeronauta, a watch aimed at pilots, frequent flyers and fans of luxury watches and aviation.
The Dino Zei line by Anonimo is a limited edition series of handmade watches. All the models are the cream of the crop in terms of both design and technology. The watches are equipped with an entirely mechanical movement and an exclusive case made in Anonimo's own workshop. The line features innovative design and the use of exceptional calibres.
The collection is named after its designer, Dino Zei. For thirty years, the former navy colonel was at the head of a renowned Florentine company which made diving instruments and diving watches for special units of the Italian navy.
Zei's career in the Italian navy began in 1958. It was the start of a high-flying career that would finally lead him ...to the watchmaking industry. A contradiction? Certainly not! In the navy, Dino Zei was at the head of the weapons department, a top team that developed electrical systems and weapon systems, but also watches which had to completely fulfil the requirements of the navy's divers.
This is how Dino Zei managed to create watches which were much more reliable than those on the market at the time. After all, time is of essential importance in the military world, where all activities are programmed and performed according to strict schedules. His achievement: the production of high-quality watches which are accurate, reliable and easy to read and with a long power reserve. In order to do so he worked closely with a specialised Florentine company.
In 1972 he left the navy to work in the world of watchmaking. With his high-tech expertise and feel for style, he put the Florentine watchmaking industry on the map and set a new standard in the world of luxury watches. And he continues to do so at Anonimo where he has developed unique, military-inspired watches in the design and research department since 2003. The watches each have their own story and are also tested by the navy's divers.
The new timepiece which Anonimo will present at the Basel watch fair is the Anonimo Dino Zei Aeronauta, a revolutionary watch with a bronze watch case. Bronze is the trend in watchmaking in 2011. This is thanks to Dino Zei's great vision, as he already experimented with the material in the 1990s. While designing a watch that would work in the most extreme circumstances, he developed a bronze watch case in cooperation with the Anonimo workshop. Not just bronze but marine bronze, also known as aluminium bronze, a copper, iron and nickel compound.
Dino Zei Biography
Dino Zei was born in Viterbo in 1931.
In 1950 he entered the Naval Academy and in 1958, as a Naval Weapons Officer, he graduated in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pisa. His last assignment in the Navy began in 1968 with the double position of Head of the Weapons and Explosives Section of the Navy Commandos and Divers Headquarters Teseo Tesei and Head of the Ammunition Section of the Institute for Weapons, Ammunition and Missiles of the Standing Committee for the Experimentation on War Materials. In 1969 he became Director of the Centre of Studies of the Navy Commandos and Divers Headquarters.
In 1972, after Giuseppe Panerai’s death, he left the Navy to take up the management of Guido Panerai e Figlio, a Florence-based company engaged in important and extremely delicate work for the Special Units of the Navy. In the same year he established and became Sole Director of Officine Panerai Srl, which took over all the activities and industrial capabilities of Guido Panerai. He became Chairman of Officine Panerai SpA, until the watch division and trademark were sold to Cartier and covered this position for the Panerai Sistemi SpA until 1999, when the business was transferred to the Bologna-based company Calzoni. He currently lives in Florence.
Firenze Orologi distributes the watch brand Anonimo. This is the Italian fine watchmaking company that was founded in 1997 in Florence (Italy) by Federico Massacesi, former executive at the fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo.
Although the company is still relatively young, it can boast years of experience in manufacturing hand-made top-quality watches.
Handcrafted watchcases are produced in an artisinal way in ateliers existing in Florence since 1939. By means of its luxurious mechanical timepieces, Anonimo continues the Florentine tradition of watch-making.
Anonimo, which means ´anonymous´ in Italian, refers to Massacesi´s philosophy: the product (the watch) is the focus, not an overhyped brand name.
Each year Anonimo makes a very limited number of mechanical watches, made by hand.
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