The most popular Italian Watch Brands that make friends Shout “Wow”
Italian watches have been a symbol of elegance and sophistication around the world. From the classic design of Panerai and Rolex, to the modern looks of Bvgari & Bulgari, Italian watches have been crafted to last. In this article, we are going to take an overview of history of Italian watchmaking, we are also going to highlight some industry’s most iconic Italians watch brands. Towards the end we take a look at why Italians watch brands remains so popular till today.
Every watch brand has a distinctive offer. If you are want to check in with Italian watch brands, there are many unique timepieces you will get. Most often, people focused on French, German, Swiss and Japanese watches, forgetting that Italian born-watch brands are good alternative to check when looking for uncommon and exquisite wrist watches.
Popular Italian Watch Brands that will make you stand out from friends
One greatest challenge most watch lovers face, is in finding a true heritage watch brands from Italy. You know, most of the brands with founding origin from Italy, later moved to Switzerland for a competitive advantage and when they get there, their Italian-born craftsmanship alters. Another real problem with Italian watches is that they are design pretty big, chunky and heavier on wrists.
In this article, we have searched far, wide and deep, to uncover some true Italian watch brands for you. Hope you find one that you appreciate their aesthetics, and which compliment your personal fashion styles, and taste.
1. Panerai – best vintage italian watch brand
Panerai Italian watch model: panerei Luminor Due 38mm
- Watch face diameter: 38mm
- Case thinnest: 11mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Water resistance: 30m
Panerai is a reputable Italian watch brand I have often heard mentioned, when luxurious brands like Rolex, Patek Phillippe are compared. No list of Italian watches will look complete without Panerei included in the list.
A history bears it, Panerai was founded in Florence by Giovanni Panerei in the 1860sand became the official supplier to the Italian Royal Navy. At the international stage, Panerai is a standard-bearer of Italian wrist watch brands.
What is so special about this Italian watch brand is their unique style. Panerai watches are noticeable for big numbers in the dial, large labels, Iconic designs, and an easy to see numerals. They are too honest with their calibrations, although they have moved out to Geneva since 1997.
Another unique and unbeatable feature about Panerai Italian watch brand is affordable prices. The brand makes watches for everyone, irrespective of their level of wealth. One of their special watches in the collection is the Luminor Due which is not really expensive, shows big numbers, and protects its movement inside a cushioned case and a patented crown. Other models included the tritium-based lum watch called Luminor and later on, radiomar.
2. Unimatic – stunning italian watch brand with small watches
Unimatic Italian watch model : Modello Due U2S-MN sports – Italy slim minimal field watch
- Watch face /case diameter: 38.5mm,
- Both depth : 11.6mm
- Case material: Black carbon
- Water resistance: 300m
You might have heard of one Italian watch model called Modello Due U2S-MN sports watch. This timepiece in a diamond-like carbon case is actually from the Unimatic brand. Considering their number of years into watchmaking since 2015, you might think it is a micro-brand.
Well, the Unimatic is one Italian watch brands that focused on making limited edition italian watches and that is why their timepieces aren’t Italian-like. This independent watch brand builds their with minimalism in mind.
You know how Movdao watches look huuh? Yeah, Unimatic makes watches with minimalistic design. Actually, you will find their models with slim, more compact or thinner cases in plenty of sizes and durable finishing.
Divers watches are known for being durable and strong. In fact, no sensible watch manufacturer makes easy-to-break dive watches at all. The diamond-like carbon case Modello Due is one Italiano dive watch built with a sturdy thinner carbon case, boasts of 300m of water resistance and a super LumiNova dial.
3. U-Boat – Italian watch brand for bold guys
U-Boat Italian watch model : Stratos 40 BK – A Classico Unisex Analog Swiss Automatic Watch with Crocodile Leather Bracelet 9002
- Watch diameter: 40mm
- Body thinnest: 9.5mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Water resistance: 100m
Thanks to the founder’s Grandfather, this Italian watch brand has gained roots in the history of tool watch making. They got their own fashion statement, which is “bigger-is-better” and that is what they have been delivering for more than 20 years.
U-Boat timepieces are really tool watches mad with uncommon watch materials. Imagine, their watch materials include forged carbon and bronze. You might have notice the brand has pretty cool looks with a canteen crown.
If you’re a guy with pretty small wrists, you might go wrong trying to shop for small watches from U-Boat. Men’s watches from U-boat Italian watch brand come really larger with chucky cases. If you can find an Italian watch with case under 40mm, there for sure fall into their woman’s category noticeable by their lighter colors, pinks and pastels.
One U-boat diver’s timepiece that comes in sub-40mm is the Stratos BK. This U-Boat dive watch has 100m water resistance, features 12, 8 and 4 indices, got sharp lugs, and fashionable alligator straps. This Italian watch is particularly attractive for bold guys, and I will tell you, it wears nicely on most wrists.
5. Anonimo – best italian watch brand for men
Anonimo Watch model: Anonimo epurato Mens Analog Automatic Watch with Leather Bracelet AM400004466F66
- Watch diameter: 42mm
- Case thickness : 9.5mm
- Case material: Bronze
- Water resistance: 50m
Anonimo is a popular Italian watch brand born out of opportunity created by Panerai. Frederico Massacesi the founder of Anonimo watch brand saw the opportunity and gathered the watchmakers and purchased the watch manufacturing facilities abandoned behind, when Panerai left for Switzerland (the center for famous world watchmakers) in late 1990s.
Their timepieces are noticeable with big Arabic numerals, a real craft for Italianese. For example, The mode Epurato looks exceptional as it hold Anonimo’s striking design featuring a style-focused automatic design with sleek indices on the green sunburst dial.
There are other crafted automatic timepieces(self-winding movement) from Anonimo – Militare, and Nautilo. These models are dive and military-inspired Italian watches. I am sure their original design changed when Anonimo has a buyout in 2013 and moved to Geneva too.
5. Visconti – best Italian watch brand with swiss movements
Visconti Italian watch model: Opera GMT watch
- Case diameter: 43.5mm diameter,
- Case thickness: 15mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Water resistance: 50m
Visconti is another serious Italian watch brand that has been in horology since 2013. When they first started, they engineered watches using swiss movements and they are still using components made from Switzerland.
Unfortunately for people for small wrists, Visconti does not make ultra-thin watches that can go on skinny wrists. Their timepieces measure from 42mm in case diameter, which is only for medium to manly wrists sizes.
Some older Italian watches from Visconti came with as high as 48mm in diameter, which is pretty very big. The exception came in on their opera GMT watch which was designed with comparatively small watch lugs, and that is the reason most watch lovers find this wrist watch wear smaller. Unfortunately, the piece is truly too thick at 15mm.
I am pretty much convinced that today, Visconti might have adopted small watches. The way technology is pushing fast, wearables are getting smaller and thinner each day and Visconti just need to include smaller face timepieces in their Italian watch collections.
6. Giuliano Mazzuoli – best Italian watch brand for professionals
Model: Manometro Compressed
- Watch face: 45mm,
- Slim size: 10mm
- Case material: Bronze
- Water resistance: 50m
It you are looking for Italian watches with classic and professional faces, sure, you should take a deep look into Giuliano Mazzuoli collections. This Florence-watchmaker crafted some of their watches using air pressure gauges as the base for the manometro. Is it a new dimension of a watch technology?
Whatever craftsmanship they are using, the resulting timepieces look overly big for an average wrist size man or woman. One of their Italian made timepieces comes with a really large watch face of 45mm, and a characteristically thicker case up to 14mm.
We have seen many of the luxury styled small watches come under 40mm and measure less than 11.5mm in body thinness. The lightweight and slim design is not the “thing” of Manometro Compressed – the Giuliano’s most compact wrist watch with 10mm thick case.
This compact timepiece might just be a new beginning into G. Mazzuoli’s sleep watch collections in future. Just keep your ears and eyes open for what they are going to deliver this year. Nonetheless, the large bulky Manometro’s pressure gauge face and a crown at 2 o clock’s position are amazing qualities.
7. BVLGARI – best luxury italian watch brand
Model – bvlgari Octo Fissimo
- Watch diameter: 40mm,
- Watch thinnest 5.8mm
- Case material: Platinum
- Water resistance: 30m
If you have been waiting to hear me say “luxury Italian watch brand”, he it comes. BVGARI is a very reputable Italian watchmaker and has been in the watch business since 1880s. Founded in Rome, Italy, by a Greek watchmaker Sotirios Voulgaris, they are more than a century-old watch brand that we expect their timepieces to be more innovative and highly crafted.
BVGARI watches have earned public attention, from the years of experience. Some their watches have industrial looks, the only few in the jewelry industry, with a bright color styles of Roman origin. They have got a swiss subdiary Bvlgari Haute Horlogerie which manufacture high spec watches too.
The nicest appreciation I have for their timepieces is the super thin design, and the use of the jewelry-grade materials in making their wrist watches. You will first notice a classic touch, and a delicate look in most of their timepieces.
Finissimo watch is quintessentially a BVGARI handwork, designed with sophistication and a 60-hour automatics. It is a true sub-40mm super lightweight watch, and the 5.8mm case just makes it an ultra-thin watch, I have seen so far. You will wear the stunningly-thin platinum-case Italian watch featuring a posh-dial face, all day long, without even noticing you got anything on your wrist.
8. Ennebi – best italian dive watch brand
- Watch case diameter: 47mm
- Case thickness: 15mm
- Case material: Bronze and titanium
- Water resistance: 1000m
We have been lucky enough to meet a few Italian made watches for serious divers. Now, we got a Ennebi to be one of the top rated Italian watch brands that makes handcrafted professional watches for diving.
The most legendary of the Italian dive watches is the Fondale, which is professionally made with a stunning water resistance of 1000m. The Foldable runs on an automatic movement, and measures around 47mm in size, while the Ennebi Austin Bronzetto comes in smaller 40mm case.
Ennebi is the first dive watch brand I have heard, has made divers watches for ocean adventures with water resistance as high as 6000m. I am amazed. I guess the diver watches will look like a huge tank on an average diver’s wrist. Some of their tool watches have California dials, bright red watch face, and leather strap.
9. Officina del Tempo – best sporty Italian watch brands
Model: officina Del Tempo chronograph – vanity watch
- Diameter: under 39mm,
- Thinness: 11mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Water resistance: 100m
For active men and women, Officina del Tempo is a sport-inspired Italian brand of watches founded by Brother Roberto and Giorgio Emili in their hometown called Senigallia. They offer sporting watches for racers, sailors and many more. Their sporty timepieces come in variety of sizes, and you will surely find timepieces for both big and small wrists people.
One quality to expect from their watches is ruggedness. That is a lab-made quality for most professional watches. One typical model I took so much interest in was the Vanity watch which has a smaller watch face under 40mm, and a slim profile thickness of 11mm.
The 100 meters water resistance keeps it useful for light swimming, but not for scuba diving activity. But I appreciate the race-tracking middle dial, the bold Arabic indices, the crystal markers, and the breathable bezel.
Apart from their movements which are mostly quartz, everything else in their watches is made in Italy. These guys have totally an impressive lineup.
10. WeWOOD – stylish, light italian wood watch brand
Little did I know there are Italian wood watches too. WeWOOD is an pretty youngest Italian wood watch brand with headquarter at Tuscany, which focused on planting a tree for every watch the sell.
You love wood-made fashion watches? You are in to check the WeWOOD timepieces. One thing I love about the wooden wrists watches is their lightweight aesthetics. You know, if you want to make a distinct fashion statement, you go for something very unique.
That is exactly what WeWOOD watches from Italy are designed to offer. Lower than 200 dollars in price, I believe you can get a well-built wood-made Italian watch at your own price without searching far.
If you doubt which model to try, I recommend the Jupiter Army Beige clock watch. This piece is crafted from hardwood, which made it strong, with a beautiful finishing. The Italy-constructed wood watch has a cut-out sub-dials for hours and seconds. Really eye-catching.
11. GUCCI – biggest Italian watch brand
Another Italian fashion watch brand Gucci is a watchmaker founded by Guccio GUCCI in Via della Vigna Nuova, Florence, Italy, in 1920s. Their fashion timepieces are truly in the price for everyone, costing just few hundred dollars.
Their second store got operational in Via Condotti in Rome in the late 1930s where other companies including Bulgari and Enrico Cucci were located. When Guccio passed away in 1950s, his three sons expoanded the company to international retail presence with fine jewelry and luxury watches.
Later on, Gucci acquired operating assets from Severin Montres Group, and also went on a buying spree for Yves Saint-laurent Coutrue, Sanofi Beaute and Has majority od stake in Sergio Rossi. They were on the go to dominate the Italian watchmaking market when they acquired Boucheron International group in the 2000s.
If you are in for a cool-looking wrist watch at a cheaper price, and with origin from Italy, you should check your own in Gucci. Their fashion watches has worn the hearts of most youths. Don’t expect them to come with high quality craftsmanship as other brands do.
12. Emperior Armani
Giorgio Armani founded Emperior Armani watch business and raised it to the international high fashion state. Since 1975 that this serious guy started making luxury fashion watches, jewelry, their products have grown into popularity.
Their Emperior Armani which was lunched in 1997 came in two categories – the swiss made watches and fashion wrist watches. Their fashion timepieces are powered by fine-tuned quartz movement, without compromising the contemporary style
13. Dolce & Gabbana
If you are looking for a iconic Italian watch brand that has gone as far as representing high fashion in the international stage, it is the Dolce & Gabbana watches.
Since 1985 when the Dolce & Gabbana was founded in Legnano by a stylist Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, their first line of watches came in just in 2000 with both men’s and women collection.
Dolce & Gabbana Italian made watches vary in price and design. Some models have steep with ruby, others are produced in exclusive gold and in diamonds.
Best Italian watch Microbrands
14. Mecaniche Venezian
Meccaniche Venezian is a wonderful Italian watch microbrand to partner with. The microbrand is founded and run by two brothers from the Venice region of the Country. They have the straps for their timepieces handcrafted locally in Tuscany, and even their presentation boxes are locally made.
One of their popular timepiece in their Kickstarter campaign is their recent Nereide GMT watch (Basalto Crema), whose complication makes most of the watch lovers believe Mecaaniche is poised for success. Other Venezian watch models included Nereide, Redentore and Arsenale, with MV145 movements
Viqueria is an Italian watch microbrand, with the company located near Milan, Italy, particularly in the city of Voghera. Their name originated from the ancient Roman name for this city – Viqueria.
The small Italian watch company was founded and operated by two friend in Voghera who use local watchmakers to assemble their timepieces. These two guys have also been running 2DStraps for quite sometimes now.
The watches from the Viqueria are really rich in colors, which is typical of a True Italian microbrand. Keep an eye on this grown watchmaker Viqueria, their high quality Italian watch strap is one winning strategy they got.
16. HTD – latest Italian Watch microbrand
HTD watch model : HTD Cannoli
This is one Italian watch microbrand built for adventure. HTD is the latest or newest Italian watchmaker established in 2018 by a designer Federico Del Guerra and Federico Zulian. They started the microbrand with only one purpose, to go beyond just timekeeping and deliver well-engineered tool watches.
If you check, the first watch in the HTD collection has ST19 chronographs, which was produced only in limited edition and sold out completely. Since 2020, the two Federico met with a well-known watchmaker Renzo who was know to inspect Zenith Movements (+ EL Primero) between the 1960 to 1980s.
With a master mechanic Pieto in their team, a motorsport-inspired chronograph watch was born in Florence, Italy. Their amazing tool watch had mechanical hand wound movement. Since then, Seagull ST19 had been their watch movement with unmatched reliability.
I love the Hesagraph PureSpeed which features a black dial, covered by a UltraDome Hesalite crystal, embedded in a 316L steel case, and an Italian handcrafted leather strap with butterfly deployant. The hesegraph cannoli has lume filled hands.
Their lineup included too Palletoni, space boy for aquatic adventures, ultra-high reinforced Safarigraph and more.
Best Italian dive watch brands
What is the Italian diving watch brand? Ennebi, located in Prato, Italy, Ennebi focused on making handcrafted professional watches, especially for water adventure –diving. Their legendary timepiece Foldable has water resistance of 1000m (330ft) while there are also divers’ watches with 6000m resistance.
If you want watches for extreme diving conditions, made outside Italy, brands like Seiko, Omega, Citizen, and Rolex is where you should look. They know how to engineer diving computers, and an incredible analog dive watch.
Best Affordable Luxury Italian watch brands for men
If you are looking for men’s Italian watches at a lower price, here is entry level luxury looking Italian watch brands to start your search.
- Meccaniche Veloci
Best Italian watch brands for ladies
Looking for glamourous and sumptuous styled Italian watches for a wife, mothers, girlfriends, or sister? Here are some top Italian watch brands with timepieces engineered for females both old and young.
- Bulgari – the Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori watch is quite sexy on a woman’s wrists
- Gucci – especially the Gucci Diamantissima watch which sits like a piece of high end diamond on a females wrist. Its a beautiful, elegant styled – a show of vivacious Italian craftsmanship
- Breil – The chrono lady watch with Italian modern labels. This one goes for the fearless ladies and offer a touch of elegenace to the wrist of women.
- Emprior Armani – Italian fashion watch brand. The hands leather watch features a casual sophistication, superior quality loved by every young woman.
Best Vintage Italian watch brands
- Panerei first opened since 1860s with first shop at Palazzo Arcivescovile in Piazza San Giovanni, center of Florence.
- Gucci founded since 1920s, making timepieces for wealthy Florentines
- Bulgari – had origin in Greece but finally landed in Italy in 1884 where the Bulgari jewelry house was founded. Their Tubogas, and Bulgari Serpenti were some of the Bulgari vintage Italian watches
- U-Boat – founded by Fontana Italo was a watch aficionado who experimented with materials. He created timepieces with larger watch faces, swiss movement and vintage designs.
The Most expensive Italian watch brands
- TB Buti
- Officina del Tempo
- Emperior Armani
- Dolce & Gabbana
Best New Italian watch brands
HTD is the latest Italian Watch microbrand which just started making watches in 2018-2020
What Italian watch brand is the best?
What is the number one brand of watch in Italy? Panerei – which is synonymous with “Italian watch style”
Why is the most luxurious Italian brand?
Gucci. Gucci is a luxury good maker in Italy, and has retained the top position in the Kantar BrandZ ranking as the most valuable Italian watch brand for the number fourth year. The brand’s value is set at 37.9 billion dollars since 2022. If you ask what is the biggest brand ion Italy? Gucci is still the most valuable Italian brand according to statista.com. Gucci is followed by Enel.
Why do so many luxury brands come from Italy?
You know, an integral part of Italy’s economy is manufacturing and exporting fashionable items including watches. So the country is renowned for high quality craftsmanship. Sharp tailoring and luxury designs starting from 11th century. Luxury is the “Italian Way Of making Things”.
Why are Italian watch brands so popular?
Italy is good in fashion design. Most Italian brands remains so popular because customers have a generalized concept of “made in Italy “ is good. This statement is a merchandise brand way of expressing excellence in Italian creativity, and craftsmanship. Think of it, Italian good are known for having high quality, even the textiles, watches, shoes, and they make sure they deliver elegance and refinement in tie r fashion construction.
Do Italians make good watches?
Italians watches are world-renowned for high precisions, attractive styles, and carry a lot of “wow” factor. Italian watch brands boast of exquisite design, physical features, and impeccable internal mechanisms. On the price side, Italian watches are not readily expensive like Rolex, but they carry the flare of high-end luxury timepieces.
Are Luxury watches cheaper in Italy?
The surprising answer is YES, luxury watches are really affordable in Italy. Compared to USA, Europe, UK, many luxury brands for Italian watches are cheaper in Italy. Dismiss the idea that watches are expensive in Italy. Italian watches are not so expensive; they are really obtainable by everyone wealthy or poor.
Gearon is a 6 foot active young man, with 5.5″ wrist he feels looks small. The struggle to grow big wrist with exercises and to pick gorgeous watches for his skinny wrists, have earned him an unbeatable passion for wrist watches, especially smartwatches. As an entrepreneur and a handy project manager, he knows exactly what product quality is, in the eye of a customer and what value they expect for their money. He combined all these talents, and created this blog to share his knowledge to everyone and the fashion community.