The Florentine brand are best known for creating beautifully crafted high-end; ballpoint, roller and fountain pens. Not only are Visconti’s writing instruments exquisite, they have been used for the signing of some important documentation over the years.
One such document was for the 2010 centenary of the Musée Océanographique de Monaco, which incidentally was where HUBLOT first unveiled their extreme diver, the Oceanographic 4000M. Suffice to say, this could have been where the first seeds of the Scuba Abyssus were planted!?? I digress! ;)
The exact details of the watch’s conception are unknown to me (at this stage), but what I do know, is that when Visconti’s Florentine neighbor, ANONIMO were sadly taken over, some of the engineers went to work with Visconti, subsequently working on the Scuba Abyssus. They also continued to work closely (as they did when they were at Anonimo) with the CNS, Italy's National Diver Centre; only this time, it was for the development of a Visconti diver; hence the ‘CNS International’ logo at 6 o’clock on its dial in recognition of their cooperation.
The Scuba Abyssus features what is known as a monobloc-case, which means that it doesn’t have a removable caseback, so that the movement, dial and the rest of the watch’s inner-workings are loaded through the top of the case. One main advantage of a monobloc-case, is that it eliminates one of the watch’s most venerable entry point, thus increasing the possibility for a higher level of water-resistance.
The Scuba Abyssus’ monobloc case, which measures 45mm x 17.5mm is fitted with a 5mm thick Sapphire crystal, a Helium escape valve and a saw-tooth edged ratcheting, rotational divers bezel (the top of which is a little too reminiscent of Clerc's Hydroscaph for me) – as well two new divers watch safety features: a locking mechanism for its divers bezel (switch at 4 o’clock) and a second locking system for the crown. Patents are pending for both innovations.
The case will be available in three materials, each available in Limited Editions of 399 pieces: Bronze ref. W108-01-131-00, Stainless steel ref. W108-00-123-00 and Titanium ref. W108-02-132-00.
Further features of the Scuba Abyssus 3000M include: Visconti’s signature skeleton-ized lugs and a bronze 'Abyssus' name plate. The lug design is said to echo that of a famous Florentine bridge - it should save a little weight, too. Power comes by way of a Soprod A10-2 Swiss made automatic movement. Its features include a power-reserve indicator, seen at 12 o’clock on the dial.
So what are we to make of the Scuba Abyssus? For those of you that have been craving something new and original – voilà! For those of us that have been left hanging after Anonimo were taken over – there is still hope in Visconti, who are set to take on the mantle. Yes, there's a hell of a lot going on design-wise, it’s unrestrained to say the least, but it is an incredibly technical looking device, which in many ways epitomizes a diving instrument.
And what it does bring, is a much needed sense of drama that is sadly lacking in world of homogenized divers. I for one love it, but am sure that many will find it an acquired taste. Finally, there is no question that its build is going to be of an exceptional quality and that its price-tag is going to be equally exceptional.