Friday, June 10, 2011

Ennebi Fondale Vintage Base and Cali Watches

Ennebi Fondale
Ennebi is another independent watch brand that traces its heritage to the Italian Navy much like Panerai. The company's history can be traced back to the 1980s when in 1985, Alessandro Bettarini created prototype professional diver's watches and presented it to the attack divers of the Italian navy for evaluation. One of the prototypes presented, the Fondale was never produced because of insufficient orders even as it passed every requirement of the Italian Navy.

A quarter of a century later, the man from the original team of Pre-Vendome engineers who engineered the prototypes, Alessandro Bettarini, set up Ennebi and brought the Fondale back to life.

These two new recreations of the Fondale, limited to 33 pieces each, are powered by the hand wound ETA6497. It boasts of a hand made painted dial whose indices are filled with "vintaged" lume allowing it to have a nice Faux-tina'd look out of the box. The sizeable hour markers provide a nice contrast against the huge black dial making the dial extremely easy to read. A seconds sub dial can be found at the 9 o'clock position.

          Ennebi Fondale Ennebi Fondale

I personally like the Cali dial more than the base dial because I find the mix of Roman and Arabic numerals quite interesting. I also like that it shows more numbers than the base dial, meaning that it packs a lot more lume. I'm not a big fan of the seconds sub dial and I would think it would look even better without it.

    Ennebi Fondale Ennebi Fondale

The size of this watch makes it not for the faint hearted. The diameter of this watch is 50mm and the thickness is at 18mm. That's a lot of stainless steel! The case has a bead blasted finish, giving the watch a very utilitarian look. It has a non-rotating bezel with a very interesting 750kt gold handcrafted pip. The Base model has an old school diver helmet pip while the Cali has a skull pip. Again I prefer the Cali here, skull over divers helmet anytime!

     Ennebi Fondale Ennebi Fondale

It has a stainless steel thick "pancetta" crown that is protected by very cool looking crown guards. It uses a domed "organic" crystal which I assume to be mineral glass.

Ennebi Fondale 

The caseback is engraved with the LE number xx/33 and is fixed to the case by 6 screws. It comes with a 24mm black leather strap with contrasting sticth that matches the faux-tina lume.

Ennebi Fondale 

Over-all this is one big bad-ass watch that's not afraid to show off how bad-ass it really is.

  • Movement: Swiss made ETA6497 mechanical handwind movement
  • Dial: Engraved black dial with vintage luminous. Black hands.
  • Case: AISI 316L Stainless steel
  • Case Back: AISI 316LStainless steel. Fastened by 6 special screws.
  • Bezel: AISI 316L stainless steel. Non-rotating.
  • Bezel Pointer: 750kt gold handcrafted Deepsea diver helmut index.
  • Crown: Stainless steel thick "pancetta" crown
  • Lug: 24mm.
  • Crystal: Domed organic crystal
  • Strap: 2 X Ennebi sign Italian made leather strap with Ennebi roller buckle. Black and tan.
  • Water resistance: 3,000 feet / 1,000 meters
  • Dimensions: 50mm in diameter excluding crown, 18mm thick
  • Power Reserve: ~44 hours
All photos from Gnomon Watches

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