Best Italian Watch Brands in 2021

Italy is renowned for its designer fashion brands in Milan such as Guccia, Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and many many more. So, it is no surprise that the country has produced some stunning Italian watch brands with iconic designs that are not found anywhere else.

From the more famous likes of Panerai to the far lesser-known Meccaniche Veloci, Italy has some watch brands that you should definitely know about. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what Italy has to offer…

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Panerai
  • Iconic designs
  • Luxury brand
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U Boat
  • Unique designs
  • Left-hand crown
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Anonimo
  • Bold designs
  • Panerai inspired
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Giuliano Mazzuoli
  • Inspirational & unique
  • One of a kind designs
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Officina del Tempo
  • Racing inspired
  • Relatively new brand (2000)
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Meccaniche Veloci
  • Automotive inspired
  • Relatively new brand
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Panerai

One of the most iconic and expensive Italian watch brands around is Panerai. For many people, they are a little known brand, but the likes of Sylvester Stalone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Joe Rogan, have made this brand and the Panerai Luminor in particular, very famous on the big screen.

In terms of brand ownership, Panerai is currently Swiss-owned (since 1997). However, historically, and in terms of style, they are very much Italian. They were founded deep in Tuscany, in the city of Florence, by Giovanni Panerai in 1860. So, they have a long history as far as watches go.

Specifications

  • Iconic designs
  • Luxury brand
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U Boat

Founded in the famous Tuscany city of Lucca in 2000, U-Boat is an Italian watch brand with deep roots in the second world war. The founder, Italo Fontana, a watch fanatic himself, used the designs from his grandfather of aviator watches from the war as inspiration. But it did not stop there.

U-Boat as a brand is quite unique in more than history. The founder uses materials to their fullest, including both unusual manufacturing techniques and options. They also make use of rarer materials such as Tungsten, which is something quite distinctive in terms of hardness.

The designs are also quite bold, with thick bezels, large indicies, and have a characteristic over-sized crown on the left-hand side of the watch. They hand make all their watches in Lucca, using Swiss movements for maximum reliability.

Specifications

  • Unique designs
  • Left-hand crown
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Anonimo

Like all top-notch Italian watch companies, Anonimo is located in Tuscany, in the iconic city of Florence. Founded in 1997 by Federico Massacesi, the brand has many of the hallmarks of the more famous Panerai, and for very good reason.

When Panerai was taken over by the Swiss, Anonimo took their watchmaking facilities and many of their talented watchmakers. As such, you will see many of the same design traits in their watches, including the shape of the case and the clean dials with large indices.

Technically, like Panerai themselves, this brand is no longer Italian owned, as they were bought out a few years ago and the headquarters moved to Switzerland. But at heart, and design, they are very much Italian.

Specifications

  • Bold designs
  • Panerai inspired
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Giuliano Mazzuoli

Giuliano Mazzuoli is a renowned designer who yet again comes from the area just outside of, you guessed it, Florence, in Italy. He has over 70 years of experience designing, originally in the field of planners and pens, but these days, in watches.

His first, and perhaps most famous watch, the Manometro, was inspired by a pressure gauge that he saw while trying to design a new watch without any existing watchmaking influences.

Today, you will find his watch collection is still as stunning, unique, and a little crazy as it was when he first started. His designs, ranging from the Manometro and Contagiri with gauge inspirations, to the Trasmissione Meccanica with all its gear-mechanism aspects, are all truly one of a kind.

Specifications

  • Inspirational & unique
  • One of a kind designs
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Officina del Tempo

Officina del Tempo are quite new to the Italian watchmaking scene, having been founded in the year 2000. It was born of the passion of the two brothers, Giorgio and Roberto Emili, both of whom have deep watchmaking experience and knowledge.

Their watches proudly bear the “Made in Italy” stamp and are heavily focused on their love of racing and timekeeping. They also produce very typical Italian designs with models in the dress, dive, and sports ranges showing off their skill.

Specifications

  • Racing inspired
  • Relatively new brand (2000)
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Meccaniche Veloci

Although Meccaniche Veloci is now headquartered in Geneva, it started out in Italy. The Italian watch designer Marco Colombo founded the company in Milan in 2006. However, in the meantime, Swiss-Italian entrepreneur Cesare Cerrito bought the company and moved them to the heart of watchmaking – Switzerland.

This distinctive Italian watch brand makes very exclusive, unique, and mechanically inspired watches. Perhaps their most famous model is the Quattro Valvole, which aims to highlight the design of the pistons from a petrol engine. It is balanced like a 4 cylinder engine with four sub-dials and has many of the design cues you would expect.

Specifications

  • Automotive inspired
  • Relatively new brand
  • Based in Switzerland
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