Anonimo Florentine Watchmaking
#wtbasel/The small Italian watch brand with new Belgian owners boasts an ambitious five-year plan.
WORLDTEMPUS - 8 March 2012
”We would like to offer more expensive and limited timepieces and also look into new exciting materials,” David Cyrner said during a recent visit to the Italian watch brand Anonimo in the Florence area. Anonimo has actually been rechristened Firenze Orologi S.r.l. since former owner and founder Federico Massacesi sold his company in 2011 to Belgian investors. Cyrner is no stranger to the Florentine brand as he has been the Benelux distributor of Anonimo since 2004. He fell in love with it while he was working in the Dutch diamond business. Instead of simply spending money on an expensive watch, he decided to represent the whole watch brand.
“I didn't just want to buy a watch. I wanted the whole watch brand,” Cyrner smiles.
Anonimo's headquarters are located eight kilometers outside the Florence city center and offer a beautiful view across the scenic city on a clear day. The anonymous (pun intended) villa houses the management, administration, product development, graphics and the pearl of the watch company: the manual finishing of the cases.
The basement houses some of the 80-year-old machinery utilized, which is expertly handled by the humming-like-Winnie-the-Pooh Alessandro, who sandblasts, brushes and polishes the masculine cases that end up housing the Polluce, Marlin, Professionale, Militare and, last but not least Dino Zei, watch models.
The latter is named after the legendary naval officer who worked for Panerai from 1972 through 1997, when Vendôme (now Richemont) took over the former military-issue watch brand. Today, Dino Zei acts as the newly announced honorary president of Anonimo. Anonimo named a watch line for him in 2004.
Pearl of a case
The cases are undoubtedly the magic element of an Anonimo and make for their “bella figura” as an Italian would say: it is their outside beauty that counts - which, of course, runs exactly counter to the current maxim in Swiss watchmaking, which mostly favors what is inside the case.
The manual labor put into these cases in a wonderfully old-fashioned, far from mass-produced way is quite remarkable and fascinating to such a degree that while discussing the uncertain future of movement delivery from the Swatch Group, it occurs to yours truly that Anonimo is more about handcrafted Florentine case making than uncertain Swiss movement supply. This only proves that Cyrnes and his fellow countrymen from Belgium probably did well if they invested in the impressive Florentine case making element rather than a watch company that has to compete with the movement manufacturing frenzy going on in neighboring Switzerland these days.
Anonimo's new tagline could well be: masters of Florentine case making, users of Swiss movements. Either way, checking this brand out in Hall 5.1 this week during Baselworld would be well worth the visitor's time.
Born in Italy, crafted in Switzerland. The history of Anonimo watches is unmistakably linked to the pioneering exploits of Italy’s naval divers and alpini militare.Find out more >
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