Enrico Margaritelli's brand CT Scuderia is going mechanical for 2013. A while ago I offered a review of their Corsa Chronograph. The interesting design has a stopwatch-style case that some people loved and that some people were not drawn to at all. At over $1,000, some people felt that they would be more interested in the brand if they contained mechanical movements. CT Scuderia was a bit of ahead of everyone as they were working on mechanical versions of their watches from almost the start. Meeting with Enrico late in 2012, we talked about the future of the brand, as well as what the inclusion of the mechanical watches mean to to the brand.
You can also check out our video interview with Margaritelli from that time below. A rather prolific designer, the CT Scuderia brand is among the few very "super Italian" watches he's designed. Without holding back much, there is a various degree of Italian flag spirit in the design. Some CT Scuderia watches have nothing inherently Italian about them, with just a sense of flair and flamboyance I personally wouldn't be surprised to come from an Italian designer.
Speaking that way would sort of mis-characterize Enrico if you didn't know him that well. A more soft-spoken person, he is much more humble than these designs might suggest given their loud styling. While the design of CT Scuderia watches is based on the clever inclusion of a stopwatch into the case, the brand's personality aims to be more about motorsports and motorcycling.
You'll notice that some of the pieces have a more exaggerated stopwatch style with large pushers, and a crown complete with ring through it. Others have a more compact set of pushers on a crown. To be honest I like the blatant stopwatch look, but the presence of the loose ring is a mixed bag.
New for 2013 is the mechanical collection of three hand CT Scuderia watches in addition to the chronographs. These include both the new Salt Flat Racer and Salt Flat Racer 0-60 collection pieces. These contain automatic mechanical movements, and of course just one crown. The 0-60 model especially with its white dial looks fantastic with the steel metal bracelet. Though the white on white hands may suffer from some legibility issues.
The new chronographs are sharply styled from the slightly vintage looking Master Time collection to the again bold Cafe Racer collection. The addition of metal bracelets is a great touch in combo with the various leather and NATO-style straps. I should also remind CT Scuderia that the hands should be a bit longer across the board on all the watches. Each of the CT Scuderia watches is 46mm wide in steel, with the colored versions being IP coated. They have sapphire crystals and are water resistant to 100 meters.
As mentioned, each of the new mechanical watches contain Swiss made automatic movements, but it isn't clear whose movements. They aren't ETA, and the pieces are priced less than most with ETA chronographs. There seems to be more and more brands with nameless Swiss made automatic movements. Should that be something to be worried about? It depends. A range of companies exist that produce lower-priced, but still technically Swiss made movements that mix Swiss and Asian made parts, often mostly assembled in Switzerland. They are often technically less complex than more expensive Swiss movements, but are perhaps just as reliable for most uses.
You have to ask yourself if you want to spend $5,000 - $10,000 (or more) for a really good automatic mechanical chronograph that will be pretty reliable and of course not as accurate as an electronic device, or if you want to spend $1,000 - $3,000 for a decent automatic mechanical chronograph that is "enough movement" for most of the time, and again, is still not as accurate as an electronic design. Most people aren't going to wear one of these bold and interesting timepieces on a daily basis... but they still want mechanical. With a typical price range for their mechanical pieces at $1,495 - $3,295, I think CT Scuderia is at a solid sweet spot, mixing niche appeal and price. ctscuderia.com