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Thread: Anonimo Firenze...the historic brand

  1. #1
    Member stew77's Avatar
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    Anonimo Firenze...the historic brand

    Posting up a thread on the Anonimo Brand as tribe125 sort of provided a gentle nudge, and why not…I have had a thing for the “historic Anonimo” for some time, and by “historic” I’m talking about Anonimo Firenze (pre-2013), as the brand was purchased in 2013 by Flavio Becca Luxembourg, naming the brand Anonimo SA and moving the company headquarters from Florence, Italy to Switzerland. I’ll say right away (and of course it’s my opinion only), it’s a real shame what has happened to the brand. With the exit of the founder, Federico Massacesi in late 2011, nothing has really happened with the brand until just recently with the introduction of the “new” Militare model in ss and Bronze, but it just isn’t the same. I’m not feeling the designs at all, and those that have seen some of the new metal comment that the quality of machining and overall build pales in comparison to the Anonimo Firenze of old. Sad, just really, really sad…

    Some history for those not familiar with the brand
    : Anonimo is a young brand created in 1997 (but with historic roots going back to 1939 through connections with Officine Panerai). Those familiar with the brand will know that the creation of Anonimo in 1997 already meant a second chance, a new beginning in itself. In 1997, Officine Panerai (which was also based in Florence at the time) was purchased by the Vendome Group of Richemont SA. It was an important acquisition for the giant luxury group that currently owns A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, and several others. The new owners of Panerai relocated manufacturing and design facilities to Switzerland, leaving several of its engineers, craftsmen, and much of its Florentine manufacturing heritage behind. Anonimo's birth in 1997 meant a new beginning partly because many of those craftsmen that used to work for Panerai (but could not or did not want to follow Panerai to Switzerland) started working there, and partly because with Anonimo there remained a luxury watch brand in Florence.

    The birth of Anonimo in 1997 created a brand that would help keep the Florentine watch making tradition alive, and so Anonimo began producing watches with strong Italian designs powered by Swiss made mechanical movements (ie. Think ETA for most models, with Sellita in a least a few that I’m aware of, particularly some of the later models). The focus was mostly diver style watches, with the ‘Militare’ model straying a bit from the pure diver theme. In September 2011, the founder Federico Massacesi left the company to new ownership and, sadly, not much developed with the brand after that timeframe.

    So IWL, do we have any fans of the Anonimo brand? (I know we have a few...William?...Michael?....!!!). Would be interested to hear other opinions of the historic Anonimo. Do you have a favorite historical model? What do you think of the new ownership and new designs (if you are familiar with them?).

    I will say that the “historic Anonimo” struggled to find its identity and price point (again, my opinion) with MSRP prices that were way too high versus the market position (I expect many IWL’ers know a few brands that might currently fall into that category as well???). I purchased nearly all of mine on the preowned market, where there were extremely nice values and incredible bang-for-the-buck to be had, and a couple from grey market resellers that offered really outstanding discounts (at >65% off retail).

    Here are some pics of the models that I own. I must admit, I’m regularly tempted to add something from the “Professionale” line, which has one of the coolest case designs and finishes ever for a serious tool and diver (yep, all IMO).

    Millemetri


    D-Date




    Millemetri Polluce Drass


    Bronze Polluce 10 Anni




    Hi-Dive




    Militare




    Dino Zei Glauco




    Cheers,

    Chris

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  3. #2
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Anonimo kind of reminded me of owning Ducati's in the 80's and 90's. Nearly every third or forth piece would be different in some way even though the same model and series. I'm even aware of two of a specific model getting out with the same serial number. This was the fun of Anonimo. As Chris has shown they were bold and sometimes quite colorful. They had nearly a dozen case finishes and one of the few that actually used sand blasting for some of the finish areas. Anonimo's had their own lingo kind of like Pams with terms like Drass (on both bronze and Stainless steel), OxiPro and others. Some mixed multiple types of metals in ways that were unique like a two tone crown. Most came on waterproof Kodiak straps. Anonimo was proud of their case making, and the movements were just along for the ride. They even highlighted this in their adds when others would shy away from being labeled as case makers. Some of the most complex case machining could be found on these watches with the pinnacle being the Professional series. These had sort of a portal hinge on one side with dog like seals holding the cases together. A far better representation of a ship hatch seal than what PP did with the Nautilus. Anonimo was the first to release a bronze case watch. So even the big P was a follower. Also add that during the years when they were making the cases for Panerai they were the first to have a PVD coated watch. I owned three of which I can only find pictures of two. My Nautilo photos are missing.

    Here are the Polluce Magnum and the WayFarer II. The Polluce had polished, brushed and two types of sand blasted finishes on the bronze case. I have it pictured here on the Kodiak and Vintager straps. Note this was the first of the later series watches to have the hex screw pins. In anonimo fashion there were these beautifully machined hex tools to change straps with.























    The WayFarer II is a really neat setup for a GMT watch. This was the OxPro finish that was said to be what Beretta was using on its guns to finish the steel. They offered about 10 different dial and case finish options for this watch. Note the 51 ATA WR rating and the second crown which was the HEV valve. These also had a power reserve meter.









    I hope others will post their Anonimos pictures here. I think that would add to the value of this post that will most certainly make it to the Library some day.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

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  5. #3
    A little history on this brand-ANONIMO-D-Date-2824-2 . These are the people who built Panerai until Richemont International SAgroup bought them in 1997 and moved the big P to Switzerland! Same case makers , same strap makers that go back 3 generations! Italians build things in Italy and 99% didn't make the move with the Big P and are proud of what they can do in Italy! As said earlier it's sad that there designs now don't make the cut for most WIS.
    My Nimo D-Date is
    Sand-blasted and satinated AISI316 & stainless steel manufactured in three components; 42.00 mm diameter, screw locked back cover and bezel; screw locked crown at h. 3 and screw locked helium expulsion valve at the 8 marker, sapphire crystal.ETA 2834.











    People sleep peaceably in their beds @ night ONLY because rough men stand ready to do VIOLENCE
    on their behalf.....


    William

    Member#842

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  7. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by stew77 View Post
    Thank you C, Iyonk, and Richard!

    Iyonk - Your posts always make me smile! Nobody's got more vibe than you!

    Richard - Which Anonimo model did you own?

    To those that have owned them...you understand just how great the case machining and workmanship is from this historic brand.
    It was this one. Marinai d' Italia.....I sold it to another Anonimo collector.




    (picture borrowed from web)
    Cheers,

    Richard

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