March 11, 2019
by Rob Nudds
As a brand, Anonimo has a lot going for it. Now 20 years old, the Italian label knows exactly who it is. The company was founded in Florence by watchmakers who felt passionately that the product was always more important than the name. Setting out in the world of watchmaking with just “quality” as a goal is like casting off in a rudderless ship. Fortunately, the Anonimo team was not without some Italian flair. As a result, the Anonimo Nautilo watch hits the market a perfect ambassador for a company that deserves more recognition.
Let’s get one thing straight about the color blue: It’s pretty common in watchmaking. The fact that blue is, perhaps, the most popular “colored” dial (if you ignore black, white, and silver/gray) seems lost on every brand to produce a blue watch in the last 10 years. At least Anonimo doesn’t try to tell us that their blue-dialed dive watch is chromatically “unique.” Instead, the dial color is mentioned as a company favorite, given the cute moniker “sunshine blue,” and allowed to go about its business in a charming way.
Funnily enough, the shade of blue used here is so nice that even I could have stomached a little more crowing on the brand’s part. In this vintage-inspired piece, the aged beige of the lume coordinates perfectly with the blue background.
The keen-eyed amongst you will notice the double-weight indices at 12, 4, and 8 o’clock. This “subliminal triangle” is a nod to the brand’s simple, but achingly cool, logo.
Speaking of the logo, it pops up on the screw-down crown that helps guarantee water resistance to 200 meters. The 42mm cushion-shaped case is well-proportioned and neatly finished. The graining on the case middle and the lugs is very sharp and precise. It is, I would say, slightly better than I’d expect at this price- point.
In fact, I find the whole package very nicely realized, indeed. The unidirectional timing bezel is treated to a blue ceramic insert, which has the vintage vibe of a bakelite insert but also boasts the added durability of ceramic. Intelligent choices like this imbue the Anonimo Nautilo watch with a sense of self-confidence.
The crown protector is cleverly worked into the case flank and nicely picked-out by a chamfered edge. It is a welcome point of interest on what is otherwise a very straightforward case. It adds just enough character to distinguish this watch from the myriad Panerai imitations we see polluting the Internet.
Anonimo makes no attempt to conceal or dress up the fact that the Anonimo Nautilo watch is powered by the humble Sellita SW200-1. I have quite a bit of time for all Sellita movements (bar the 220, which has a day/date mechanism sent from Hades to torment watchmakers who make the slightest error during its assembly), and the 200 is a solid tractor that is the perfect choice for a brand at this price-point.
The SW200-1 has a power reserve of 38 hours, is self-winding, and has a date function, visible through the dial aperture at 6 o’clock. Pleasingly, the movement is visible through a sapphire case back. Unfortunately, there are no press shots available of the caseback yet, but we are promised a decorated rotor featuring Anonimo branding.
This is not a brand I’ve considered seriously before. The Anonimo Nautilo watch encouraged me to take a look at their entire offering. Truthfully, this is the pick of the bunch for me. The blue is genuinely attractive, and the whole color palette works flawlessly. The size, the finish, and the emphasis on quality manufacturing that can be seen in the precisely machined case silhouette and crown is spot on. The Anonimo Nautilo watch will have its detractors, most of whom I assume will find CHF 2,290 too steep for a Sellita-driven tool watch. But quality is the name of the game here. With some brands, the prices feel completely disconnected from the product. With this Italian maker, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’d suggest you get an Anonimo in your hands and see if you feel the same. Visit anonimo.com for more information.