Anonimo Firenze...the historic brand

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Anonimo Firenze...the historic brand

Post by koimaster » March 15th 2019, 8:29am

Posting up a thread on the Anonimo Brand as tribe125 sort of provided a gentle nudge, and why not…I have had a thing for the “historic Anonimo” for some time, and by “historic” I’m talking about Anonimo Firenze (pre-2013), as the brand was purchased in 2013 by Flavio Becca Luxembourg, naming the brand Anonimo SA and moving the company headquarters from Florence, Italy to Switzerland. I’ll say right away (and of course it’s my opinion only), it’s a real shame what has happened to the brand. With the exit of the founder, Federico Massacesi in late 2011, nothing has really happened with the brand until just recently with the introduction of the “new” Militare model in ss and Bronze, but it just isn’t the same. I’m not feeling the designs at all, and those that have seen some of the new metal comment that the quality of machining and overall build pales in comparison to the Anonimo Firenze of old. Sad, just really, really sad…

Some history for those not familiar with the brand: Anonimo is a young brand created in 1997 (but with historic roots going back to 1939 through connections with Officine Panerai). Those familiar with the brand will know that the creation of Anonimo in 1997 already meant a second chance, a new beginning in itself. In 1997, Officine Panerai (which was also based in Florence at the time) was purchased by the Vendome Group of Richemont SA. It was an important acquisition for the giant luxury group that currently owns A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, and several others. The new owners of Panerai relocated manufacturing and design facilities to Switzerland, leaving several of its engineers, craftsmen, and much of its Florentine manufacturing heritage behind. Anonimo's birth in 1997 meant a new beginning partly because many of those craftsmen that used to work for Panerai (but could not or did not want to follow Panerai to Switzerland) started working there, and partly because with Anonimo there remained a luxury watch brand in Florence.

The birth of Anonimo in 1997 created a brand that would help keep the Florentine watch making tradition alive, and so Anonimo began producing watches with strong Italian designs powered by Swiss made mechanical movements (ie. Think ETA for most models, with Sellita in a least a few that I’m aware of, particularly some of the later models). The focus was mostly diver style watches, with the ‘Militare’ model straying a bit from the pure diver theme. In September 2011, the founder Federico Massacesi left the company to new ownership and, sadly, not much developed with the brand after that timeframe.

So IWL, do we have any fans of the Anonimo brand? (I know we have a few...William?...Michael?....!!!). Would be interested to hear other opinions of the historic Anonimo. Do you have a favorite historical model? What do you think of the new ownership and new designs (if you are familiar with them?).

I will say that the “historic Anonimo” struggled to find its identity and price point (again, my opinion) with MSRP prices that were way too high versus the market position (I expect many IWL’ers know a few brands that might currently fall into that category as well???). I purchased nearly all of mine on the preowned market, where there were extremely nice values and incredible bang-for-the-buck to be had, and a couple from grey market resellers that offered really outstanding discounts (at >65% off retail). ... oric-brand


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