Back in March I wrote a preview piece on Anonimo’s new Epurato announced at Baselworld 2018. After meeting with the US Anonimo team at COURTUREtime 2018 in Las Vegas, they were kind enough to send me one for a hands-on review. I’ve had the piece now for a good month and developed some pretty solid impressions of the watch.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Yes, the Anonimo Epurato is shaped very similarly to one quite well known brand out there that starts with “P”. This offends many hardcore “P” fans, but there’s a very good reason for the looks of all of Anonimo’s collections. Following Richemont Group’s acquisition of Panerai in 1997, and its subsequent move from Florence, Italy to Neuchatel, Switzerland then Panerai CEO Dino Zei jumped shipped and teamed up with Federico Massacesi of Ferragamo to create Anonimo in Florence. As a former Italian naval officer, Zei was able to repeat what originally made Panerai famous, that being to supply time pieces to the Italian navy.
Fast forward 20 or so years and under new Swiss ownership, Anonimo appears to be firing on all cylinders after several years in limbo. While they’re known mostly for their big, burly chronographs and divers (Militare and Nautilo respectively), with the new Epurato the brand is dialing it back just a bit, hoping to appeal to a wider range of buyers.
To start, the Epurato is downsized to a more wearable 42mm. It also foregoes the 4 o’clock crown placement of the Nautilo, and the even more odd 12 o’clock crown placement of the Militare in favor of a more standard 3 o’clock crown. The 3-handed dial is much more conservative than the other two collections, venturing further into the dressy side of the house.
Polished stick indices mark every hour save for 4, 8, and 12 where we find the double-digit Arabics made famous by the Militare. You’ll notice that those three indices form the letter “A”. The sword shaped polished and lumed hour and minute hands extend nicely out to their respective tracks, as does the polished seconds hand. The date window sits down at 6 o’clock, a position that I generally prefer over the more standard 3 o’clock location. I feel that it helps to balance the dial better. Above the date is the word “AUTOMATIC” printed in white, while an applied logo resides just under 12 o’clock with “ANONIMO” under that, also printed in white. While the dial is offered is several different colors, the piece I had in for review was graced with a beautiful light sunray blue shade.
The square cushion case is mostly polished with only the upper surfaces of each corner treated to a brushed finish. Nicely done crown guards ramp up to meet the signed crown at about its mid-point. Speaking of the crown, for me it was the only weak point of the watch. My hands are on the larger size and I found it a bit difficult to manipulate. This may be picking nits, but as good as the rest of the watch is, the crown didn’t quite meet the same bar. A slight increase in diameter would work wonders here.
One of the standout hits of the watch for me is the gorgeous fluted bezel. While thin, its highly polished surface catches the light perfectly from every angle. I’ve traditionally not been a fluted bezel guy, but Anonimo really nailed it here with the Epurato. It takes what would otherwise be a pretty generic Panerai lookalike (at least from a case perspective) and ups the ante considerably. It helps the Epurato successfully transition from a sporty piece during the day, to a dressy piece in the evening. Helping in those efforts is the 11.9mm overall thickness, allowing the Epurato to gracefully slip under a dress shirt cuff.
Flipping the Epurato over we’re treated to a view of the Sellita SW200 automatic movement through a sapphire exhibition case back engraved with the Anonimo name and logo, “Swiss Made”, and the 5 atm water resistance rating. The aesthetics of the movement are nothing to write home about, but I tend to be a sucker for an exhibition back. The 22mm polished lugs hold a quick release brown leather strap with a wood grain pattern, and the brushed and polished buckle makes excellent use of the Anonimo logo.
So how was the Epurato to live with for a month? In a word, fantastic! Everything about the watch, from the incredible blue dial, to the cushion case, to that incredible fluted bezel worked for me. I found this to be surprising given my relative lack of interest in Panerai over the years. Perhaps it’s the addition of a central seconds hand, something that has always disappointed me about Panerai’s offerings, that does it for me. Maybe it’s the now trademark double-digit Arabic indices at 4, 8, and 12. Or, possibly the fluted bezel is what so draws me to the piece. More than likely it’s the sum of all these parts that adds up to a watch that I’d add to my own collection in a heartbeat. As an aside, many of you probably know that my wife (@perpetualgirl on IG) is also an avid collector, and while she loved the look of the Epurato, at 42mm it’s still too big for her and many other collectors out there. While downsizing from the 44.4mm size of the Nautilo and the 43.4mm size of the Militare is a good first step it would be great to see Anonimo follow Panerai’s lead by offering a collection that comes in below 40mm.
The Epurato case is offered in several different finishes, including bronze and black DLC, while the dial is offered in no less than ten very pleasing shades. Starting at a respectable $2,480 USD for the stainless steel model I had in hand, and rising to about $3,200 for one of the bronze-cased references, the Epurato should prove to be a very successful entry into the sport casual/dress market for Anonimo. Now, where to find twenty-five hundred bucks… anonimo.com
- Brand & Model: Anonimo Epurato Reference AM-4000.01.103.W22
- Price: $2,480
- Who we think it might be for: If you’re a fan of the Panerai look, but not of the Panerai price tag.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Yes I would. It’s solidly in the top 5 of my current wishlist.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Make the crown slightly bigger for an easier grip.
Technical Specifications from Anonimo
- Material: Stainless steel
- Size: 42mm, 51mm lug-to-lug
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Case Back: Exhibition, screw-down
- Water Resistance: 5 atm
- Inter-lug Width: 22mm
- MOVEMENT: Sellita SW200, 26 Jewels
- Functions: Time, Date, Manual Winding, Hacking
- Beats Per Hour: 28,800, 4Hz
- Power Reserve: 38 Hours
- Material: Leather
- Clasp: Pin Buckle