By TLex It was presented at Baselworld 2012. It is an evolution of the U-1001. It is the new U-BOAT Classico 47 1001 IPB 9MM, a dive watch that commands attention with its imposing 9mm thick Sapphire crystal that proudly towers up from its case like a monolith.
Why? I hear you ask; well maybe sometimes it's just better to admire than to question why. But seeing as you asked, there is no obvious answer other than what appears to be Italo Fontana's celebration of the Sapphire crystal itself, albeit in its most extreme form.
The crystal is one of the most important components that a modern day divers watch is comprised of as far as water-resistance is concerned, but also an equally important aesthetic feature. Thicker crystals allow for increased water-resistance, they bear the brunt of the forces that are exerted by the ocean's depths. They can be cut and shaped in such away as to increase their effectiveness when resisting enormous pressures, which invariably increases their attractiveness and appeal.
The CX 20'000 Feet has a 10mm thick domed Sapphire crystal that enables it to achieve its water-resistance of 6000m. Its crystal isn't as prominent looking because it has a thick rotating divers bezel that wraps around it. The new Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA Challenge has a 14.3mm thick Sapphire crystal that allows for a staggering 12000 meters of water-resistance. Its crystal clearly juts up from its case yet it too is nowhere near as extreme looking as the 1001's 9mm crystal.
The 1001 9MM is a bit of an enigma. It retains a fairly conservative water-resistance of 1001 meters as do all U-1001 models (in fact it was tested to more that 1200m, how much more I am not sure). Yet it has this incredible feature that defies reason. Is it cool or is it a crazy caricature? I really couldn't tell you. But I can't help but admire any watch designer audacious enough to make such a feature of the crystal. What do you think?
MOVEMENT Automatic mechanical, modified and personalized to U-BOAT specifications for stem position at 9 o'clock. Height 4,60mm, jewels 25. Power reserve 40 hours.
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, seconds, date at 4 o’clock. Frequency 28.800vibrations per hour, 4 Hz.
CASE Steel with subsequent IPB coating. Distinguishing crown on left side, with a special protective device and helium escape valve, serial number engraved on a steel plate, set on the left hand side of the case. Diameter 47 mm.
CASEBACK screwed in, serial numbering engraved in bas-relief. Personalized U-BOAT Rotor “skeleton.
DIAL The dial of this model is made up of two superimposed dials: one in carbon fiber and the other one cut, treated with composed opaque black pigments. U-1001caligraphy in high relief and raised.. Black hands.
CRYSTAL High quality Sapphire crystal, scratchproof, 9mm thick.
WATER-Resistance 1001 meters - 100 ATM.
STRAP Black, rubber (hypoallergenic) with plate in steel and subsequent IPB coating. Deployante buckle, width 23/22 mm. Fastened to the case with screws.
MSRP 5'900USD Limited Edition of 300 units