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U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver

U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

Apparently based on a never actually made design from 1942, the limited edition U-Boat U-1942 watch is an Italian blast from the past. The story goes that the Italian Navy commissioned a special watch to be made, but it never made production. This U-1942 watch is based directly on that design – and it is really sharp looking. The oddest part of the watch is of course the crown. It extends out.. maybe too far.  It is kind of silly and phallic to be honest. I mean it works, and looks cool, but you know…. Lets just say that it looks like a periscope…yea that’s it. The crown is meant to have a functional use though. The idea is that it is meant to be easy to use with gloves. Easy to use meaning winding it and adjusting it. Not sure how easy it will be to release the crown while in the locked position with gloves though, but probably pretty simple. Further, I believe that the crown can be adjusted and wound underwater… which should be nice.

The watch is big! Really big with a grade 5 titanium case of 64.4mm wide and over 18mm thick. What a beast! At least being in titanium it won’t be too heavy. This takes massive watches to a new level. The sweet looking diver’s bezel rotates in both directions and has a special lever that locks it into position and keeps it from rotating. The design certainly has a lot of Ennebi in it, which itself is based on retro Italian looks. So all in all this is cosmetically “very Italiano.” The darkened case is water resistant to 400 meters, with a great looking dial that shares a design theme with Panerai watches. Interestingly enough the watch hands are done in German Silver (which does not actually contain any silver).

U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

Nothing completes a traditionally styled Italian diver watch like a rich brown thick cordovan leather strap – with a large titanium buckle. Inside the watch is a Swiss Unitas 6497 manually wound movement. It is a solid movement, and ideally decorated a bit, though a really simple movement. U-Boat, and other brands like this movement a lot, but I’d like to see them mix it up a bit with a little more variety. For the serious collectors, this movement is not as exciting as the outside of the watch is. Still, buyers of this U-1942 watch will be proud owners due to the cool design – which it certainly is. I do like how U-Boat always places in the cute little subsidiary seconds dials. They just sorta look charming don’t they? Of course the dial is covered with lots of lume, and is quite legible.

The U-Boat U-1942 watch is a limited edition of just 29 pieces – really not that many to satiate the U-Boat fans out there, of which there are a lot. Not sure about pricing, but given standard U-Boat watches, I would say that we are talking at least $5,000, probably more.

See U-Boat watches on eBay here.U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

See U-Boat watches on Amazon here.U-Boat U-1942 Limited Edition Watch: Giant Retro Italian Diver Watch Releases

[phpbay]u-boat, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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  • I really have a problem with U-Boat as a brand. A few years ago, they were approx 200-300 euro, laying around in clothing shops. Nothing special, just fashion watches (mostly quartz) lifting on the ‘hype’ of the Panerai watches. Just a few years later, they position themselves as serious watches, in the same segment as Panerai or Anonimo. U-Boat is just a sad brand, using the same course that was so succesful for Panerai.

    People in Italy will raise an eyebrow if they catch you wearing this watch. The way to go is either Panerai or a vintage Rolex that hangs loosely on your wrist. 🙂

    Sorry for the rant, but U-Boat positioning themselves as being more than a fashion watch make my stomach feeling funny 🙂


  • I post this in response to RJ. Perhaps I am biased, because I sell U-Boat watches, but that also puts me in a position where I have seen many of them, and know a lot about them.

    My take on U-Boat watches is that they are really well designed! People love the look of these watches and for this reason the brand continuously sold out their production during the time that they were making fashion quartz watches. At one point U-Boat was confronted with the choice of mass-producing the same watches or keep smaller production numbers, but create new models of much higher quality. U-Boat watches are now high-end, luxury watches in every way.

    You mentioned Panerai. These are roughly double the price of U-Boat watches and are based on the same movements, materials, and manufacturing practises. If you can remember, before the Richemont Group pumped millions of advertising dollars into the brand, Italians and everyone else scoffed at Panerais like they do at U-Boats now. I think Italians will mostly scoff at anything. Thats just what we do. Its unfortunate that the U-Boat started with fashion watches, because that image has really stuck in peoples minds.

    In closing, this may or may not reinforce RJ’s beliefs, but The U-1942 will retail for US$ 40K.

    • Hi Marco,
      Thanks for your thoughts and joining the conversation. Take care.

    • Mikhail

      Marco this is indeed a Nice watch.however, its the concept, the design,the materials, the movement, the craftsmanship ,the brand and the price ratio that decide the watch for me. All the U-boats are not bad, some are truly well designed and are just that. In all honesty, no new watch company starting up today can boast of a heritage. What they can do is simply make very good time peices and price them well. What SEEMS to be happening is that new watch companies like U-boat and Graham try to associate themselves with some person or object from history, design a watch, price it very high and make the customer belive that they are buying into something that has heritage and is a luxury.

      But all watch lovers have value different aspects of a watch, some like the design and some the movement in the watch itself, and for many its the brand. No one is wrong, it all equates to the money you are ready to shell out. But there are many who buy expensive time pieces thinking they are buying a remarkable piece of horological equipment (sound fancy enough?), only to find out later that its just another ETA based watch and has no value for money what so ever,no real craftsmanship…that you’ve just been had by another marketing gimmick.

  • Frank

    To Each His Own, Big watches are the fad now and the U-Boat watch fits the bill, not only fits it but over does it with a fine watch. Some people are bias one way or the other by Being “Italian” Made, or by the name “U-Boat”. This is a fine watch that produces and so far has kept its value. The history makes it Unique, and the size makes it Neat and as I am not six foot the watch looks Great sitting there on my arm giving the time to any one nearby. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, wear your Rolex or whatever. But regarless, Have fun. Frank

  • marco castro

    I´d like to know if there´s a original u-boat u-1942 cronograph,or all i saw on internet are fake!!!!thank you for your attention!!!