Since 1988, Florence-based penmaker Visconti has been producing high-quality writing instruments. And after over 25 years crafting writing instruments in Florence, at Baselworld 2014, the company launched a timepiece collection to complement their assortment of fountain pens, rollers, and ball-pens.
The Abyssus professional dive watch collection was the first collection, and according to the company they have, “won the approval of such professional experts as the CNS, Italy’s National Diver Centre, forging close professional ties with the center in the development of its monobloc Scuba Abissus 3.000 mt. watch, with two patents, currently pending.”
We visited Visconti’s at Baselworld 2016 for the first time, and from a technical perspective, their 3000 meter dive watches were the most interesting. The Abyssus Scuba Urban Camo collection, in particular, stood out due to its rugged military aesthetic, and unique professional locking dive crown design that can be unlocked very quickly, with a simple twist of the crown – thanks to patented technology (which of course is specially designed not to be inadvertently unlocked) taken from the brand’s pens.
Crafted from a monoblock of stainless steel, the Scuba Urban Camo case measures 45 mm in diameter x 17.80 mm thick x 57.90 mm in height and 54.50 mm across including the crown. It is oversized in a way that is bold but not ostentatious, somewhat reminiscent of a Panerai Luminor profile.
One distinctive touch is the unique military standard varnish coating that has been used on the case, lugs, and bezel. The lugs are hollowed out and secured to the case with unfinished steel screws. Further, every component of the exterior has been either micro-shot blasted and/or satin finished resulting in a non-reflective completely matte finish.
Continuing the military theme is the camouflage dial, available in multiple urban/digital patterns. An aluminum bronze saw-tooth sliding rotation locking system, controlled by a button a 4 o’clock, allows the engraved dive scale bezel to be set for a dive and then locked in place.
An automatic Swiss made (Soprod caliber SOP A10-2) movement – beating at 4Hz, with 25 jewels, and a power reserve of 42-hours – drives central hours, minutes, sweep seconds, and the date (at 2 o’clock).
This is a professional dive watch, and so the large, brushed steel Visconti-exclusive hands, printed indexes (which are part of the camouflage pattern for all except 12 ‘clock), as well as the dot at 12 o’clock on the bezel, have been treated with luminescent material (per ISO 6425 diving watch requirements). There is also an automatic helium escape valve at 6 o’clock (not needed for skin or scuba diving but useful for saturation diving). A 5.00 mm thick, flat-convex sapphire crystal protects the dial, and a screwed-down steel caseback protects the back. Water-resistance of the watch is impressive at 3000 meters (300 ATM), which is also 9842 feet.
The Abyssus Urban Camo currently comes is multiple colorways including variations in the camouflage pattern of the dial, the color of the case and bezel, and a choice of a water-resistant weathered leather or textile strap, secured by a stainless steel folding clasp.
Visconti is a name known for pens, not watches – and so they have to stand out in the crowded luxury watch space. And whether is it the saw-tooth bezel, urban camo dial, cool military varnish painted case, or patented crown locking system – this watch accomplishes that.