The example of Allemano shows again why the watch industry and the automotive industry just seem to be made for each other. In order to understand the history of the young watch brand from Turin a bit better, we first have to go back in time a little:
In 1856, a young Italian by the name of Giuseppe Allemano set up his own business with a company using steam-driven rollers for road construction. A little bit later down the line, in the Roaring Twenties, his son Felice continued the business and tapped into new areas of business, not least because of his experience in controlling steam engines. The company increasingly specialized in the production of state-of-the-art measuring instruments, which were used in ships, submarines but also Italian automobiles. (An example is the Fiat 501 “Torpedo”, one of Italy’s first ever industrially produced vehicles. This car still plays an important role for Allemano today, but more on this later).
With his decision to invest in the development of measuring instruments, Felice turned out to be a business man of great entrepreneurial foresight. So it happened that in the 50s almost everything that swam, drove or flew carried Allemano technology on board.
Even though Allemano did not produce any watches at that time (but primarily underwater instruments), the quartz crisis that occurred in the 1980s did not stop at the Italians: The reason was that mechanical measuring instruments, such as Allemano’s, could be replaced by digital depth gauges from the Far East, which were less precise but also considerably cheaper. It got quiet around Allemano for a while.
With an history that rich, it would be a real shame to just sink into oblivion. Luckily, the year 2019 was the year Allemano officially resurrected and, it’s fair to say, with flying colors.
A whopping three collections where proudly presented, exactly 100 years after the Fiat 501 was first being equipped with Allemano onboard instruments, which undeniable served as a source of inspiration here. Let’s jump right into it and have a brief look at the individual collections:
The watches of the DAY collection are very straight-forward and honest three-hand watches, i.e. no clutter and great readability. The elegant outer railway minute track encloses the 12-hour scale with its Arabic numerals, while the date window is placed at the 3 o’clock position.
The watches of the GMT line are based on the DAY watches, that’s obvious at first glance. The main difference is an additional GMT hand, allowing a second time zone to be displayed simultaneously.
MAN watches represent the third pillar of the 1919 collection and have a little more to offer visually speaking, although the date window has been deliberately omitted. The minute ring is punctuated by a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, while the dial now also incorporates a small second at 6 o’clock.
MV Agusta is a well-known Italian motorcycle manufacturer that has joined forces with Forward Racing, an Italian Moto2 racing team. The watches in the collection are characterized by the MV Agusta Forward Racing Team logo at 9 o’clock and the black rubber strap, reminiscent of slick tires. The perfect watch for petrolheads.
“Il Grande Torino” is probably a household name to most Italian football fans (although it might give them a good deal of chills): The term refers to the football club FC Turin of the 1940s, which dominated the league, for instance by winning the championship five times in a row. In a horrifying turn of events and at the peak of their success, however, the entire squad fell victim to a plane crash on 4 May 1949. On its way back from Lisbon, the plane crashed into Turin’s local mountain Superga. With this special collection of DAY watches, the Turin-based watch brand commemorates the athletes and their tragic end.
All misuratori del tempo (engl.: time keepers), as Allemano affectionately calls them, are a combination of Swiss movements and Italian craftsmanship. The 44mm cases used in all five collections are fitted with sapphire crystals on both sides and are water-resistant to 50m. They come on Italian leather watch straps, boasting nice little details like the nation’s tricolour at the strap’s keeper loop. The fully assembled watch is delivered in a high-quality wooden box made in Turin, complete with folding clasp and spring bar tool.
In accordance with Allemano’s long-standing tradition of producing high-quality precise gauges and manometers, the watches are being manufactured with the same claim of quality. For this purpose, the young watch brand has even established its very own test center. Quite impressive for a watch brand that is barely two years in business.
By referring to the European regulations EN 3158 and EN 3159, Allemano developed a series of tests, ensuring authenticity and superior manufacturing quality. Above all, the certificate provides information about the accuracy of the respective watch, as displayed below:
Why waste on such a beautiful history full of maritime gauges and automobile manometers, especially since these skills and experiences can be beautifully transferred onto watches? Thank goodness Allemano has been wondering the same thing and decided to take the path out of its slumber to create these good-looking misuratori del tempo instead. The distinctively designed watches just scream “vintage”, house rock-solid Swiss calibers and come with plenty of high-quality accessories, what’s not to love?
If you would like to learn more about the automobile inspired watches from Turin, we recommend visiting the Allemano website.