BRONZE & CAMO
The limited-edition Anonimo Militare Alpini combines a bronze case, a camouflage guilloché dial and a bespoke modular chronograph movement in a timepiece that walks the line between military machismo and sporty elegance.
| e limited-edition Anonimo Militare Alpini combines a bronze case, a camouflage guilloché dial and a bespoke modular chronograph movement.
— When I think of Anonimo, particularly its lineup of bronze-cased watches, I can’t help but be reminded of the old Barbara Mandrell song, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” Because Anonimo was doing bronze long before it became the hot new case material in the horological world – before Tudor, before Hublot, before Montblanc, and notably before the brand to which it has been most often held up for comparison, Panerai (the latter, not totally unjustly: Anonimo was established in Panerai’s hometown of Florence in 1997 – after Panerai was acquired by the Vendôme Group and packed up for Switzerland – by a team that included Panerai CEO Dino Zei, and in its early days showcased designs very similar to Panerai’s).
When new owners acquired Anonimo in 2013, the brand opted to pare down its portfolio to two major collections, Militare and Nautilo (recently joined by a third, the thinner, elegant Epurato), retaining some, but not all, of the technical features and aesthetic keystones that defined its early models, as well as adding a few new ones. From the Militare collection comes the limited-edition, camouflage-dialed model that I review here, the Militare Alpini Camouflage Khaki Limited Edition, which provides a great showcase for many Anonimo stylistic hallmarks, old and new – not to mention being a really sharplooking, undeniably masculine, sports-luxury chronograph.
Anonimo has always been known for large, thick, cushionshaped cases, and this one is no exception, measuring 43.4 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm thick. All the major parts – including the raised coin-edge stationary bezel, the topmounted, notched crown and the pedal-like chronograph pushers with their grooved inserts – are made of a bronze alloy, with the exception of the caseback. Attached to the main case body by six screws and decorated with a relief engraving of the Matterhorn (the Alpine mountain that straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy, thus lending this watch its “Alpini” surname), the back is made of solid, non-allergenic titanium, by now a fairly common choice for bronze watches, as bronze’s tendency to develop a patina – one of the traits that has endeared the material to today’s vintage-obsessed watch fans – would be less endearing were it to be permitted to turn one’s wrist green. (Patina is nice on metal, not so much on skin.)