No Mystery At All! A few months ago I was checking Facebook when I saw a photo of Alessandro Baldieri in a tropical setting. That’s not unusual - Alessandro is a sun-seeker and a fan of ‘la dolce vita’. What was unusual was the watch he wore in the photo. I sent him a chat message: “AB - what’s the watch you’re wearing these days? I’ve never seen it before.” The short reply I got was a bit mysterious: “Can’t talk now - I’m going fishing for octopus. Will show you later…” A day or so later I got a message with some confidential photos and a set of informal specs: Called “Enigma” 45mm bronze case DEEP domed crystal Drilled-through 24mm lugs Screw-down titanium caseback and bronze crown / 200M water resistance Automatic Miyota 9015 movement with hand-winding, date and hacking features Unique aged dials As is usually the scenario, I asked him where to send my money and how much to send: “…but I want the first one!” The other day the postman brought a weighty package from Alessandro’s assistant Clare! Inside the layers of bubble wrap was a black leather sheath-like pouch. Resting inside that, Alessandro Baldieri’s new “Enigma”… #001 of 100! I win AGAIN! What’s So Special About Bronze? Simply put: bronze resists corrosion in saltwater settings. In its natural state it is pink, owing to the copper and other metals mixed into it. Once bronze hits the atmosphere it begins to form a layer of oxidation. That oxidation, once formed, actually serves to protect the metal underneath. So, unlike iron-based alloys, which will rust from the surface to the core, bronze changes hue and remains completely intact and structurally sound. That makes it an ideal metal for outdoor and marine fixtures. That makes it perfect for a watch that you might wear in or near a salt-water environment… like fishing for octopus! Snowflakes of the Sea I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen over the past 5 years documenting the travails of watch-geeks around the world finding new and exotic ways of speeding-up or managing the corrosion process: saltwater baths, mayonnaise salves, fizzy soft-drinks for cleaning… I’m sure I saw one chap who wedged his watch inside the potting soil of his mother’s geranium plants for a week to get a specific tone pattern… to each his own I suppose. While manufactures like using bronze because it is sturdy enough to take constant, corrosive punishment, watch-geeks like it because once you wear it, it changes color. So, not unlike snowflakes, no two bronze watches are alike. The Enigma features relatively simple case of swoopy compound curves and a firm 120-click bezel with markings at the 10’s and a luminous dot at 12. The outside of the bezel is knurled very deeply so that it can be operated easily with bare hands or gloves. The finishing note of the case is the bronze screw-down crown. Signed with Alessandro’s initials, the 8mm diameter by 5mm thick crown is also knurled for ease of use. There are no crown-guards on this case so the crown can be pulled while still on the wrist without too much fuss. (Please – Don’t unscrew the crown while underwater! That will void the warranty and void the clause in the social contract that says you won’t do stupid things!) As with all of Alessandro’s other designs, this watch sits on your wrist comfortably. It makes no difference if you have a narrow wrist or a bear-paw like mine, the broad, flat caseback in conjunction with the downward ‘sweep’ of the lugs means that the case hugs your wrist without causing any problems with range of motion. Dialed-In for Legibility Some people buy 4x4 sport utility vehicles, but never take them off-road. Some people buy 200M divers watches and never so much as take them into the bathtub! Part of what makes a dive watch a dive watch is the dial; when you’re snorkeling after your favorite eight-legged delicacy, there’s not much time for messing about. You have to be able to look down and see the time with no ambiguity. Even though the Enigma has a blue/green aged dial by daylight the gold hands with tan lume and tan luminous markers stand out very vividly. By night the 8 round markers bisected by the three rectangular markers at 3,6 and 9 are just as vivid. The lume that Alessandro uses is very bright and legible for at least three hours the first night I wore it. If there is one thing that brings me joy in a watch it is good lume. I need to be able to tell the time when I wake-up in the middle of the night. It is an obsession of mine. The dial of the Enigma enables that obsession nicely! Another thoughtful extra is the fact that the seconds and minutes hands are long enough to overlap the 60 gold-tone indexes that circumscribe the dial. I am a super-geek when it comes to setting my watches and get frustrated quickly when trying to line-up the minutes hand to a marker that it does not reach. Problem solved! Strapped-in For Style The presence of drilled-through lugs means that changing straps is the push of a spring-bar away. That said, the strap a watch comes with is always going to be the best-looking choice (hint: Alessandro was an architect and interior designer in another life – he is a master at selecting accents and colors that work well together.) The Enigma comes on a beautiful, minimalist strap of light brown leather with an almost suede finish. Not unlike the case of the Enigma, the strap is designed to pick-up marks and scuffs that will make it look ‘lived in’ and vintage. At 4mm thick it is a substantial piece of hand-crafted leather, but it is soft enough to wear comfortably from the first moment you strap the watch to your wrist. The Winner Takes The Bronze By this point you are saying to yourself: “…Whatever you longwinded SOB – should I buy one or not?” I never like to tell people how to spend their money. What I will tell people is to do their own research. If you are looking for a ultra-thin pocket watch that tells time in all the places you keep your money – search elsewhere. If you are in the running for a stylish, large, bronze sports watch that you can swim after an octopus with – this one ticks all the right boxes. Mario Squillacioti Contributor of Monochrome Watches https://monochrome-watches.com/
http://www.watchfreeks.com/121-watch-review/197634-watch-review-alessandro-baldieri-magnum.html Magnum M-48 Watch Review On Watchfreeks.com 14 December 2015 by Mark Andrew ___________________ Alsesandro Baldieri Timepieces is a UK based watch company, which was formed in 2006. For this watch review, the company has provided one of its Magnum models for review. This is a PVD finished watch, with an automatic movement, date complication and sapphire crystal. Packaging: The Baldieri Magnum comes packaged in an elongated packaging, with double boxing. An outer blue cardboard sleeve, with the Alessandro Baldieri name and logo printed on its top, protects the inner watch box. The watch case has a wooden frame, with a carbon fiber printed vinyl covering. On the top of the case Baldieri is printed in Black and red AB logos are printed in red. The case construction is a lid and base style, with the entire top coming off to expose the watch inside. Inside the case, the base is lined with a foam core, which is covered with soft, black velvet. There are cutouts in the core for the watch as well as a strap changing tool, which is included with the kit. Case and Crystal The Magnum 48 is a boldly designed watch with distinctly Italian military aesthetics, but with a modern twist. The overall design is quite unique and is not necessarily derivative of any single design. The dimensions of the watch are oversized, but due to the curved caseback of the watch as well as the fairly short lugs it wears a little smaller than one would expect. With that being said, this is definitely not a conservative watch and not one for the "wilting flower" crowd. It's 316L stainless steel case has a smooth, matte finish, with a black DLC coating applied. The watch's angular shapes and case transitions help to create a fluid design and mitigate the appearance of it being too thick. In addition, the lack of bulky crown guards gives the watch a more narrow appearance. These design features all create a nice transition from surface to surface throughout the watch, as you can see from the photos below. The case has a nice profile, with downward sloping lugs. The lug shape allows the watch to wear very close to the wrist. As you can see from the photos, the sides of the case have screw heads installed. These are merely ornamental and do not function. The Magnum's DLC coated uni-directional bezel has a matte, bead blasted finish. The bezel includes illuminated as well as raised metal markings, which provides a very unique look to the watch and adds a bit of additional interest to the design. The v-shaped bezel grips provide a nice, secure surface for making adjustment or setting dive times. Its action is nice, with no play and firm clicks though out the entire 120 positions. The watch's sapphire dome crystal sits slightly above the bezel and rises upwards to create a nice silhouette. The crystal has a blue antireflective coating applied to its inside surface. As you can see from the photo below, at certain angles, it creates an interesting distortion. Below is a close-up of the white illuminated marker at the 12 o'clock position on the bezel. As you can see, the stark white color of the Superluminova provides a great contrast to the matte black surface of the bezel. The watch's 316L stainless steel screw-in case back has a bead blasted finish. As you can see from the photo below, the case back design is actually curved, which is a great design feature and allows the large case to sit directly on the wrist. Below is a close-up of the gorilla image that is etched into the caseback. Based on my conversation with Mr. Baldieri, the gorilla represents strength as well as represents peace, love and respect! He has much respect for these magnificent creatures and wanted to pay respect to them by using them to represent the theme of the Magnum line of watches. The Magnum has a generously sized, 9.0mm crown, with the brand's logo engraved into its end. As you can see from the photos below, the case features a very unique crownguard system. The guard is a fairly simple, yet effective, tube, which surrounds a majority of the crown. This allows the crown to be protected while still being able to be manipulated and pulled out. Initially, accessing the crown is a little difficult due to the fluted top edge and the crownguard design, but it is easy enough to operate once you get used to it. Once unscrewed, the crown itself has a nice feel when setting the time and is easy to manipulate. The photo below shows the backside of the crown guard. As you can see, there is an opening where you can lift the crown to the different positions to set the time, set the date or wind the movement. Dial and Hands: The Magnum 48 has a "Suede Super Matte" black dial, which has a matte texture and has the AB logo as well as M-48 painted in beige on the dial. The watch has a nice sandwich style dial, with beige tinted Superluminova paint applied to its lower surface. The hands of the Magnum are traditional broadsword style hands. They have a matte black frame and beige tinted Superluminova luminous paint applied, which matches the lime on the dial. The second hand is a traditional post style hand, which is also painted matte black and its tip is painted with beige Superluminova. The shot below is a nice close-up of the sandwich dial cutout markers as well as the dial texture of the Magnum. The beige lume paint really works well with the dial color and pops nicely off the dial. As you can see from the photos, the Superluminova used on the bezel, dial and hands have a nice, greenish tone. The lume is fairly bright when fully charged, but tends to fade quickly. As you can see from the photos below, when it is fully charged it glows nicely. Strap: The Magnum comes with a custom black leather strap installed. The 23mm strap has a smooth texture along its length, with minimal cream stitching at the lugs. Despite its 4.75mm thickness, the strap is actually quite supple and conforms nicely to the wrist when worn. In addition to the stitching at its lug end, the strap also features decorative stitching at the tip of its tail. The Magnum comes with a good quality 316L stainless steel custom buckle with a DLC coated, bead blasted finish. The company logo is nicely engraved into the buckle's top surface. ____________ Wrist Shots: For reference purposes, my wrist is 7.25 inches. The Vanguard measures roughly 47.0mm in diameter and 53.0mm in length. With these dimensions, the watch is on the larger size of the spectrum for the dive watch genre. With this being said, due to its downward sloping lugs and curved caseback, it wears nicely even on my fairly average sized wrist. Like I said at the onset of the review, the Magnum is a big, bold watch -- It wears accordingly. ___________________ Overall impression and final thoughts: The Alessandro Baldieri Magnum is an Italian military inspired, aggressive looking divewatch. Its design is very unique, with bold proportions, angular shape and use of a sleeve-like crown guard system. Overall, I feel the watch is well built and the design features are relatively well thought out. While preparing my review and evaluating the watch, I noticed a few features that could be improved or changed to accentuate the look and/or functionality of the watch. As I do with all of my reviews, I have compiled these points and have listed them below: · As it is currently designed, the bezel lume is not tinted beige to match the dial and hands. I would have preferred to see all of the lume tinted the same throughout the watch. · The watch currently has ornamental screw heads installed on the sides of the case, with springbars used to hold the strap in place. I feel that the design would look cleaner and more refined without these installed. Adversely, if exposed screw heads are an integral part of the case design, then I would suggest functional lug screwbars be utilized and implemented into the design. · The bezel currently does not have countdown markings from the 0 to 20 minute markings. To make the bezel more functional for use diving, I would suggest some sort of markings be added. As I said previously, these points are fairly minor or nit-picky and are definitely not "deal breakers" for me. Well, that concludes my review …Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments ~ Mark
Can you explain your philosophy concerning design in general and of watches in particular? The philosophy is to get inside a person’s mind and soul and create what they see for themselves. I believe I have this gift as I’m very sensitive and notice every detail about everything and anything. In regards to the watches there is hardly anything in my opinion that really strikes you exept for expensive brands, that’s why I design pieces that will last in time at affordable prices. A watch is a small product. How difficult is it to design it? Very difficult as there are so many components in such small dimensions. To design a watch has to come from the heart, not from the drawing board I have always designed from my heart. What has been the inspiration for the current design of your watches? For example 'The ''Seamonster'' was created on a sail trip from Marmaris (Turkey) to Rome (Italy) in the course of 11 days. Being in the sea for that long in such an elegant Sail boat, blue skies and the right people around I was able to put the design together by the time we reached Italy. The Petrol Blue Seamonster was the first and my favorite. What brands and models watch do you wear yourself? I Currently only wear my own brand. How is the production of the watches organised? The production is organized all by me and my trusted staff including the quality control which I’m only strictly behind. I choose the leathers or Fabrics in Italy, I work very close with the factories that make my dials, cases, and the assembly, as I test every single watch before the final approval. All my watches are serial numbered to a Limited edition production. What are your feelings about the use of quartz vs mechanical movements? Mechanicals Mvts of course are more sophisticated to wear, but I don’t exclude the Quartz mvt, sometime as I want something more easy to wear with no complication. As I go along i see women wanting to wear a men's watch don’t mind if a watch is Quartz, as along it looks good, feels and look expensive.... Is this not a difficult time to launch a new brand? There are more than 1000 watch brands in existence and many of them suffer losses due to the economic crisis. True, very true. As I said before I do this for passion and do it from my heart. Also the politic I’m using behind my brand is: A high quality Watch for an affordable price. What keeps me at float is that I finance the whole production myself and don’t use banks. Can you describe the Man / Woman you have in mind as the ideal customer of your watches? The person that wears my watches is a vibrant, elegant, stylish that wants to show coordination and catch the other eye. The age group i target is all ages. (Elegance has no Age) I have always said: Ripped jeans and t'shirts, but as a long as you have nice shoes, a nice watch and a nice pair of glasses you are in. What are your plans (concerning watches) for the coming years? Is to keep creating amazing Timepieces in limited edition pieces. How do the watches fit in with your other design activities? Watches is always been my passion, in 2006 I decided to challenge myself to see if I could design and put together something so complex...I did. It does not conflict with my other design activities and I’m dedicating myself mostly to my watches now owning three brands now. To keep the mind young we need to re invent our self all the times, I believe we cannot do the same thing over and over for the rest of our life. My Father and idol always said to me: "FOLLOW YOUR HEART"
Maybe you have heard the expression: “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” For my tastes I’d rather say ‘it’s summertime somewhere!’ Unless you like to ski – which I do not – winter is a drag! Short, cold days. Blah colors. Chills that settle into your bones and don’t leave you alone… I hate it! Give me BRIGHT sunshine and warm tropical air any day. I always enjoy my family’s getaways to the sunnier parts of the world – they are not just relaxing respites from sweaters and wool hats and gloves – they are like mini adventures especially when going places we have never been! This winter’s adventure is to Bali, Indonesia! When I go on an ‘adventure’, I like to bring a watch that’s up to the task! While I have a pretty decent number of sports watches already, sometimes I want a break from my watches too! Some were pricey. Some are finicky. Some have great sentimental value. Some, frankly, just don’t work and need to be serviced! Sometimes I just want something FUN! (A summer fling – if you will.) Something I can wear with my shorts and t-shirts or my jeans and dressier shirts. Something I can wear to the beach and not have to worry about scratching up in the sand… and something I can take into the swimming pool without having to worry about soaking the movement! Enter Alessandro Baldieri – designer, entrepreneur and bon vivant! Through his iTime and now his ITAnano Orologi watch lines he’s released a few really cool, innovative and clever watches. He has now painted himself into a corner because his latest offering is perhaps the coolest, most innovative and cleverest of them all: the ITAnano Orologi Carbonio Phantom Automatico! Mine is model: PH4900-CB: a 49mm, 7 atmosphere (70 meter) water resistant, larger than life sports watch in blue carbon fibre – an industry first! (For the record it comes in black carbon fibre (CBL) and brown carbon fibre as well (CBN)! ITAnano Orologi is a partnership between Alessandro’s creative mind and ITAnano the Italian aerospace parts and solution provider’s know-how in the world of carbon fibre. The end result is drop-dead gorgeous cases that you can beat on mercilessly! Those of you familiar with Alessandro’s creations will immediately recognize the shape of the massive case. (STOP! STOP! STOP! The NEXT person to use the word “derivative” to describe the Phantom’s octagonal case will be instructed to sit in the corner and take a time-out! I already know what you are about to say – but why don’t we say the same things about all of the: round, rectangular and square cases that are produced on an annual basis? Do they not also owe their styles to watches that have come before them? Thanks for agreeing! Now stop wasting my time with your ill-formed banter dressed as philosophy and let me continue!) The overall shape is something like what a Reuleaux octagon would look like; there are straight lines in the design – but most of the visual effect comes from the curved spans between them. From the sides the 14mm thick case is again an interesting collection of straight sides and curves. The cambered edge of the wide, round, steel screw-down case back mimics the bevel of the slightly protruding octagonal mineral crystal on the top. Alessandro likes big watches. But he doesn’t just design large cases for the sake of being large; he designs them to be comfortable to be durable and to be aesthetically pleasing. First things first – it’s a wearable 49mm watch. I’ve got to hand it to Alessandro – he’s an utter genius at making designs comfortable (…designing comfortable things? I don’t know… maybe he’ll make me a carbon fiber sofa!) The lugs turn down to guide the thick hypoallergenic silicone strap around your wrist. The effect is very comfortable. The watch sits firmly on your wrist – but never digs in or prods. The crown sits proud at 3 o’clock – and even though it is something like 52mm from 9 o’clock to the edge of the crown, it is never intrusive. This is due to the fact that it sits up relatively high on the side of the case and that the underside of the case is cambered upwards toward the crown. The lugs of the integrated case/strap design are 23mm from shoulder to shoulder with a 20mm section that protrudes into the lugs to affix the strap via spring-bars. My watch came with two straps – a gorgeous black, hand stitched, Napa leather strap with red and white stitching AND a brilliant red silicone strap. The case is blue and the strap is red with a tight grid pattern on it – the overall aesthetic of the watch is like Spiderman’s costume! I grew-up with comic books and superheroes so this is NOT offensive to me in the least! The dial is finished in traditional carbon fibre weave with applied hour markers in red and white. The hands are luminous: the hours are counted off by a stout, red, arrow shaped hand while the minutes are marked off by a grey-edged sword hand. Seconds are marked by a red enameled baton hand. The enamel is applied so that the overall effect is to create a somewhat rounded hand. It’s a small detail – to be sure – but one that I like. I can list a few makers of VERY, VERY, VERY expensive watches that don’t bother to finish their hands correctly – nothing burns me more than spending $15,000 or up on a watch and still seeing the burr marks on the hands from where they were pressed out of sheet metal! UGH!!! Infuriating! It is so nice to see a set of beautifully finished hands on a watch that doesn’t even cost 1/25th as much! There was a funny little change between the original iTime Phantom and the new ITAnano Phantom – the date window moved from 4 to 4:30! That’s because of the new movement! The Phantom Quartz watches are driven by a Swiss Ronda 505 movement. I am always leery about quartz watches. Even the very nicest quartz movements require a complete overhaul (industry slang for replacement) after a while. My Omega X-33 was my last quartz watch… it stopped running and required an “overhaul”… 8 months later I received the watch back from the service center and was regaled with stories about how much of a bear it was to recreate the circuit board from scratch!!!! Never again!!! I bought the iTime Phantom (model PH4900-C- PH02G) because I loved the color and the shape – the movement has begrudgingly won favor with me. Alessandro saw to it that I would have no problems accepting the movement in the ITAnano Phantom by placing a tried and true Mitoya 8215 movement in the case! (You watch snobs can stop snickering now.) I realize that it’s not as exclusive as the ETA 2824 or the Valjoux 7750 movement – but it does the job with ease. It’s not impossible to get serviced and parts, should the event/need arise, ARE available! No need to worry for the immediate future though – because the watch comes with a 2-year warranty. There is a growing list of distributors around the world – visit www.alessandrobaldieri.com for more information on the models and where you can find one close to you. If there’s no place close to you – feel free to work directly with Alessandro and his team – they deal straight-up and efficiently! (WATCH OUT FOR THE NEW MAGNUM ''CARBON'' IN JUNE)
Introducing the Magnum 'M-48' Italian designer, Alessandro Baldieri reveals his new Italian Military inspired divers model. The Magnum 48 with its complex beveled 48mm case that took a whole year to make has been constructed of hand sandblasted Stainless steel. It has a water-resistance of 200 meters and is fitted with a 120-click type rotating divers bezel with luminous marker at 12 o'clock. Further features include a domed, toughened, highly shatter-resistant and anti-reflective K1 mineral crystal, Super luminous hands and an extra suede matte finished dial. The Magnum 48 is powered by IT3HD 25 jewel automatic movement by Movimenti Officine Baldieri. The watch is presented on handmade, hand stitched Italian Saddle strap. Photos and review done by: oceanictime.blogspot.com © OceanicTime
Maybe you have heard the expression: “It’s 5 o'clock somewhere!” For my tastes I’d rather say ‘it’s summertime somewhere!’ Unless you like to ski – which I do not – winter is a drag! Short, cold days. Blah colours. Chills that settle into your bones and don’t leave you alone. I hate it! Give me bright sunshine and warm tropical air any day. I always enjoy my family’s getaways to the sunnier parts of the world – they are not just relaxing respites from sweaters and wool hats and gloves – they are like mini adventures especially when going places we have never been! This winter’s adventure is to Bali, Indonesia! When I go on an ‘adventure’, I like to bring a watch that’s up to the task! While I have a pretty decent number of sports watches already, sometimes I want a break from my watches too! Some were pricey. Some are finicky. Some have great sentimental value. Some, frankly, just don’t work and need to be serviced! Sometimes I just want something FUN! (A summer fling – if you will.) Something I can wear with my shorts and t-shirts or my jeans and dressier shirts. Something I can wear to the beach and not have to worry about scratching up in the sand and something I can take into the swimming pool without having to worry about soaking the movement! Enter Alessandro Baldieri – designer, entrepreneur and bon vivant! Through his www.trifoglioitalia.com watch line he’s released a few really cool, innovative and clever watches. He has now painted himself into a corner because his latest offering is perhaps the coolest, most innovative and cleverest of them all: the Radio City super slim with nato strap!