ContaTempo Scuderia is a watch brand many of you may be unaware of, but their aggressive, overbuilt, race inspired aesthetic is one that begs to be noticed.
The entire line of ContaTempo Scuderia watches share many distinctive characteristics, not least of which is the inclusion of a bullhead case design on all timepieces. This design choice is in keeping with the brand’s commitment to creating watches inspired by automobile and motorcycle racing, as pushers positioned at 12 o’clock recall the design of a stop watch.
Enrico Margaritelli, a third generation watch maker and previous collaborator with Fossil and Emporio Armani, is the brand’s head, and his extensive experience in watch making is apparent in each of the ContaTempo Scuderia pieces. In our time at the ContaTempo booth at Baselworld, we had the chance to go hands on with the brand’s entire line of watches, all of which felt very well made and wore comfortably despite their large (46 mm diameter) size. Their designs are balanced and clearly well thought out. Each watch features quality components, including sapphire crystal and Swiss quartz or mechanical movements. Its no doubt that the ContaTempo Scuderia aesthetic is a bit extreme, but all this dynamic, colorful, over-the-top design is implemented very, very well.
One of our favorite existing models in the ContaTempo Scuderia lineup is the Cronografo, a colorful, bi-compax chronograph with vintage styling. Faux patina hands and hour indices give the Cronografo an aged look, while red and green chrono pushers, red and green chrono hands and “red-line” indication between 0 and 3 along the outer rim of the dial drive home the Italian racing theme. The Cronograf0 is available on your choice of a perforated leather strap or leather NATO and sells for $1,195.
Building on their existing line of quartz watches, Scuderia released several new watches at Baselworld 2013, including two very interesting automatic chronographs, each featuring 27 jewel, Swiss made automatic chronograph movements by ValSwiss, beating at 28,800 beats per hour with 40 hour power reserve. For us, the highlight of the new ContaTempo Scuderia offerings is the Café Racer, inspired by vintage racing motorcycles of the same name. According to the ContaTempo Scuderia press materials, the café racer bikes “mimicked the style of a contemporary Grand Prix roadracer.”
Reflected in the design of the Café Racer watch, the chrono pushers and crown feature a much lower profile compared to those on many of the brand’s other pieces, and the dial design is far more bold and purposeful, clearly built with practicality in mind. A checkered flag pattern around the outer rim of the dial has obvious racing references. The Café Racer comes in several finishes, but our favorite was the matte black version with brown leather strap. The Café Racer is available in matte and polished stainless steel finish, as well as black PVD, and retails for $3,095.
We spent a lot of time at the Scuderia booth taking pictures, so check out the gallery for a look at some of the other watches in their lineup.
By Blake Malin