The Venice Automatic is said to be inspired by Italian design and architecture. This association is loose, with the most “Venice” thing about the watch being the caseback design. Nevertheless, to consumers eager to get personality out of their timepieces, the Venice story means a lot more than if the watch was titled with a series of numbers. On the rear of the watch is a machined etching depicting the Basilica di San Marco, which adds a light emotional element to the watch for those who are familiar with Venice landmarks.
The Filippo Loreti Venice On The Wrist
On the wrist, the Venice Automatic watch is 42mm wide in stainless steel, and 12mm thick with 50m of water resistance. I’d suggest that the case is a bit thick for a dressy watch, and that is true. In order to make the watch feel and look thinner, the caseback is bowl-shaped and it does help the watch look slimmer on the wrist. For “premium” watches such as this, Filippo Loreti clearly opted for an AR-coated sapphire crystal and Italian leather strap – which I understand are upgrades over most Filippo Loreti watch products.
Miyota 9100 Movement
Inside the watch is a slightly modified Japanese Miyota 9100 automatic mechanical movement. The modification done by Filippo Loreti is the adaptation of the synchronized 24-hour hand into a day/night indicator disc. This feature does the same thing, but in a visual form via a disc, the AM/PM indicator looks a bit more elegant. It is a shame however that Filippo Loreti copied the look of a moon phase indicator with the accompanying double half-circle windows which have nothing to do with a day/night indicator. So Filippo Loreti did a nice job modifying this indicator on the movement, but the execution is not entirely logical for people who know what they are looking at.
The Miyota 9100 movement operates at 4Hz with two days of power reserve. My favorite part of the movement is the placement of the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. The movement offers the day of the week and month via dials, as well as a window for the date. The 9100 movement is a great value and offers a lot of complexity and performance as I understand. It isn’t a “luxury” movement as I know it, but at this price range, there is a lot to like about this mechanism.
The Dial & Hands
Filippo Loreti uses “alpha-style” hands which are attractive but given that they are all-polished – could have contrasted better with the slightly glossy dials. For a brand trying to create a dial with depth and visual interest, the Venice Automatic is really better than their previous watch dials, which I seem to recall as being flatter (though not entirely flat). Really important is that while the Venice Automatic watch as a whole feels familiar and approachable, it doesn’t copy any other particular watches and feels original to the brand. In at least that, Filippo Loreti succeeded in ways others have failed when it comes to creating something that doesn’t immediately appear to be mimicking something else.
A Good Effort, But Lots Of Uncertainty
As someone who has worn a lot of timepieces from brands new and old, I can say that so early on in their career making timepieces, the Venice Automatic is an impressive result from the young team at Filippo Loreti. For seasoned watch lovers – aside from wanting to support the brand or if the design speaks to you directly – the Venice Automatic doesn’t offer too much unless you are keen on having a watch with this particular movement.
That leaves Filippo Loreti in a tricky situation because it has yet to discover (or create through training) the ideal consumer for this watch. Their existing customer base will buy some Venice Automatic watches for sure, but to really be successful at this price point they will need to educate their existing customers on why a mechanical watch – let alone a calendar watch is a good reason to spend money on something new.
Filippo Loretti Venice Final Thoughts
Overall the Venice Automatic collection from Filippo Loreti is an excellent place for people just exiting a quartz watch and going into a mechanical watch. It’s hip, has nice colors, comes equipped with a decent movement, and is stylish. It isn’t perfectly legible nor does it have a design that will prove timeless – but it is much more than what most roughly $600 watches offer. Price for the Filippo Loreti Venice Automatic watch on the leather strap is $609 USD, and on the mesh metal bracelet, the price is $675 USD. Visit Filippo Loreti here.
>Brand: Filippo Loreti
>Model: Venice Automatic
>Price: $609 USD as tested
>Size: 42mm wide, 12mm thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When I was younger and wanted a mature looking yet fashionable timepiece to make me appear hip and mature in front of friends.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Under 30-year-old people seeking a real mechanical watch from a brand that doesn’t feel distant like many of the old-school luxury names.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great effort from a young brand with an attractive overall case and dial design. Inspired pricing and an interesting dedication from a brand that we hope to see get even better.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Dial textures and finishes could be further improved to assist legibility and overall refined look. The case is a bit thick given the dressy theme. Connection to Venice in regard to design is loose and the product might benefit from a more cohesive story.