Tuesday, November 09, 2010

watch this new space


Originally designed for the use of Italian pilots and submarine officers in World War II, the first U-Boat watches were meant to be indestructible, large, and easy to read under the harshest circumstances. Decades since, U-Boat watches still stay true to these very principles. Oversized, bold, and beautiful, these Italian timepieces now have a home here in Manila with the opening of their newly minted store in Maxims Hotel, Resorts World Manila.
Famous all over the world for its supersized dials, Swiss precision timing, and use of the most luxurious materials, local celebrities like Jericho Rosales, Heart Evangelista, Gretchen and Marjorie Barreto, Karylle Tatlonghari and Tim Yap all trooped to the unveiling of the posh new showroom to welcome the arrival of U-Boat’s signature collections.
The man who started it all – Italian designer Italo Fontana – was on hand as well to give a glimpse into his approach in designing the one-of-a-kind U-Boat timepieces. "Dimension, precision, along with a clear identity in design are the main features I've worked on to better personify a new dimension in timepieces."
Accompanying Mr. Fontana was Mounir Moufarrige, an acclaimed tastemaker who helped bring U-Boat’s grand vision to life. After rejuvenating esteemed brands like Chloe, Mont Blanc and Goyard, Mr. Moufarrige joined forces with Mr. Montana to further develop the timepieces which he believes “will gradually replace conventional size watches” because they offer “a new balance on the wrist.”
As a token of appreciation for Mr. Fontana’s vision and work for the brand, It’s ‘Bout Time, Inc. - the official distributors of U-Boat watches – honored the founder with a one-of-a-kind sculpture by award-winning visual artist Fernando Cacnio. Aptly entitled “Timeless”, Mr. Cacnio’s artwork featured the grace and beauty of a naked woman on her back, levitated only by her flowing long hair – an engineering marvel that is reflective of the revolutionary U-Boat timepieces.
U-Boat has built a strong following among wristwatch connoisseurs anchored on its three signature pieces: the timeless Classico, the sporty Flightdeck, and the adventurous Thousands of Feet. Actor Jericho Rosales was seen sporting the Flightdeck 50 Cab Titanium Bezel – a model that was inspired by the control panel of an aircraft which Mr. Fontana chanced upon while on a flight deck (thus the name).
All three collections are available at the U-Boat store in variety of cases crafted from precious materials such as stainless steel, sterling silver, titanium, ceramic, and gold. The strap options finish off the top-flight look with such choices as alligator, calf leather, and ostrich. Some limited edition pieces are also available, along with the coveted precious metals collection.

All attendees were able to get an up-close look at the hand-made construction of all U-Boat pieces. The procedure, overseen by Mr. Fontana himself, ensures nothing but the highest quality for all U-boat watches. The artisanal approach leads to limited quantities and an exclusivity that is welcomed by the U-Boat founder. "The owner (Italo Fontana) told us that his formula for success is that they're keeping the brand as small as it is. They're putting premium to its exclusivity." said Jason Soong, Managing Director of Its ‘Bout Time, Inc.

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