Two decades is not a huge amount of time in the watch industry. Hell, fifty years seems a drop in the ocean with the current spate of re-issues and updated classics streaming from Switzerland. Yet where many slow-moving giants of watchmaking haven’t changed much in the past twenty years, the same can’t be said of Anonimo.
Anonimo was born from a void. Florence had always had an exceptional tradition of watchmaking, fronted by the almighty Panerai. But when Panerai like so many brands before them relocated to Switzerland, it left Florence without a signature watchmaker. Fortunately, Anonimo founder Federico Massacesi was there to take up the mantle.
One year after Anonimo was founded, taking in many members of the old Panerai atelier, their first timepiece was revealed. In one go the Millimetri wrote the blueprints for what Anonimo would become with its rigorous military standards and 1,000m of depth resistance.
Anonimo soon became the singular name in Italian military style. First there was the Militare in 2001 which set the watchmaker’s tradition of innovation with its patented crown locking mechanism. Its design was also pure Florentine watchmaking, in good part thanks to Anonimo’s collaboration with Colonel Dr. Dino Zei, ex-navy officer and former CEO of Panerai.
This was further pushed forwards in their next timepieces, the Nautilo and Polluce, which were quickly adopted by the diving elite as professional standard tools. It’s easy to see why. Some models could reach depths of up to 2,100m and were used by Cooperative Nazionale Sommazzatori in their Sicilian GEOSTAR project.
Once they’d pushed frontiers on a mechanical level, Anonimo turned their eye to aesthetics. They already had the clean military look down to a tee, but what next? Given that every watchmaker has brought out a bronze piece in the past couple of years, it’s interesting to note that Anonimo were doing so back in 2006, at least a decade earlier.
In 2013 Anonimo saw its biggest change when, like the brand they became the spiritual successor to, they too made the move to Switzerland. On paper it seemed like that would have spelt the end for the brand; it went against why they were founded in the first place! Take a look at the brand today however and it was obviously not the case.
The new Militare and Nautilo pieces retain that inexplicable rugged elegance of the original Millimetri and earlier Anonimo watches, combined now with quality Swiss movements. Twenty years on, you can take the watchmaker out of Florence, but not Florence out of the watchmaker; www.anonimo.com