Italy, the ‘homeland of Romans’, is famous for its food, fashion, architecture and much more. From Ferrari to Maserati, it has given the world some of the best luxury car brands which only the rich and famous can afford. Gaining status of a country since 1871, the peninsula constituted of separate territories, grew exponentially over the years, making a mark globally. While the country, most commonly revered for its delicacies, ‘Pizza’ and “Pasta’, is also known to give many luxury watch brands that cost a fortune. There are no brownie points for guessing why Italy is a favourite destination among travellers. Speaking of watchmaking, it has deep-rooted traditions which makes it a hot-spot for luxury watch manufacturing. Before we talk about Italian watch brands, let us first touch base with the history of Italian watchmaking.
-Bvlgari, derived from Sotirio Voulgari, is one of the oldest brands to foray in watchmaking.
-Bvlgari and Senatore Borletti made their foray in retailing of watches in Rome and Milan in 1884 and 1896 respectively.
-Bvlgari is known for its jewelry inspired luxury timepieces.
-Initially, it crafted timepieces at its artistic workshop, “bottega”.
-Florence’s watchmakers, such as Giovanni and Dondi pioneered in the design of clocks.
-Watchmakers from Florence are believed to have produced astronomical clocks.
Italian brands are popular all over the world for their style, and sophistication, and are a first choice for many people. While most luxury Italian watch name brands are expensive, you can get an Italian watch at an affordable price. Many people prefer Italian designer brands over Swiss watch brands, as they are more luxurious, best priced and well known.
Decades later, the watchmaking has evolved worldwide, and Italy is a part of the change. Bvlgari, known for its jewelry, accessories, leather goods, fragrances and watches, comes under LVMH conglomerate, which also includes sibling watch brands such as TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot. When talking about Italian watches, it is hard to find an affordable timepiece. However, the list of 5 best and affordable Italian watch brands may help you find one.
Rooted in Italy, Breil is a luxury company known for manufacturing eyewear, jewels, leather accessories, fragrances and watches. The brand was established in the early 1900s by Innocente Binda, in Italy’s fashion hub, Milan. Over the years, the brand has evolved and flourished; the Binda Group still has the ownership of the brand. While Breil markets in various sectors within the fashion industry, it tapped watchmaking in 1942 with its first wristwatch. The chic timepieces from the brand mainly focus on aesthetics over craftsmanship and watchmaking traditions.
2. Salvatore Ferragamo
The brand carries its name from the founder Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian shoe designer and the founder of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p. A, which retails in high-end luxury goods. While it is known as one of the most innovative shoe designers, Ferragamo forayed into watchmaking in 2007, almost sixty years after its establishment in 1928. Recognized globally for its unmatched taste in fashion, the brand makes elegant timepieces with a modern flair. The company, however, has licensing agreements and partnerships manufacture for its watches.
It is a relatively new watch brand, founded by Federico Massacesi in 1997 as a tribute to the watchmaking traditions of Florence. The brand’s vision is to craft mechanical timepieces that combine aesthetics with functionality. With Panerai’s relocation to Switzerland, Massecesi purchased Panerai’s production facilities which helped the brand enter Italy’s watch industry smoothly. In 2009, European investors took over Anonimo’s management, though it remained headquartered in Florence. As of now, the brand features three collections-Militare, Epurato and Nautilo.
4. Roberto Bianci
Founded by Roberto Bianci, the brand carries the name of its founder. Bianci’s father crafted jewellery, and so he was exposed to the art of making jewellery since his childhood. Ensuing his father’s footsteps, he pursued jewellery making and acquired a degree in gemmology. Later, he launched his watch brand that is known for its beautiful Italian designs combined with high-quality Swiss movements. Watches from Roberto Bianci are some of the most affordable Italian timepieces known for its fashionable designs and styling.
U-Boat, recognized for handcrafted luxury Italian timepieces forayed into watchmaking in 2000 with retro designs first created in 1942 when U-Boat officers and Italian Air Force pilots asked Ilvo Fontano to build watches. However, the designs were not finalized and remained with the family for over 60 years. In 200, Italo Fontana created military-style rugged timepieces using those designs which soon became popular among men with an inclination for retro-designs. A unique element on most of the U-Boat watches is the crown placed on the left, which stands out. Currently, the brand features four collections-Classic, U-42, Chimera, Capsoil and Precious.
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Watch is an essential wear one cannot ignore, be it men or women. It adds an aesthetic value to the attire and reflects one’s personality.