U-Boat has a particular model in their catalogue: it is a mysterious watch that was almost always unavailable throughout the past three years. We’ve had a scarce few of them in stock, but many people who ordered the watch had to either wait a long time or be told that it was impossible to get. This watch, known as the Carbonio and officially named the Classico AB 4, was for a while the only U-Boat watch that Italo Fontana designed using carbon fiber. Now redesigned and with improved features the Carbonio returns side-by-side a couple of new models created in its image.
The Original Carbonio
The Classico AB 4, is made of black PVD coated stainless steel and equipped with a carbon fiber dial earning it the nickname “Carbonio.” The rubber strap, fitted with a black steel folding clasp and engraved plate completes the watch’s sleek, sporty style that conjures visions of luxury sports cars and high tech tanks alike. In line with other watches in the Classico Automatic series, the Carbonio runs on a Swiss automatic-winding movement. The rest of the watch is manufactured in Italy at U-Boat’s factory near Florence. It is available in an oversize 53mm case as well as a 45mm case. The carbon fiber, which distinguishes this watch from the other pieces in the same collection, coupled with the scarcity of production have made the Carbonio a very common topic of conversation in the past few years.
The New Carbonio CAB 4 and AB 4/2
For those who like their carbon fiber more subtly presented, the new Carbonio models should be very interesting. Italo Fontana, founder and chief designer for U-Boat watches, has incorporated on many of his watches what is sometimes known as a “sandwich” dial. These dials are composed of two layers constructed of different materials where the top layer has certain elements cut out of it to reveal the color and texture of the material bellow. The new Carbonios offer “sandwich” dials with carbon fiber hour markers and subsidiary dials under a matte finished black plate. Add to the dial black photo-luminescent hands and numerals, and a black PVD coated steel case and you have a stealthy-looking (not too mention cool-looking)timepiece.
Another novelty is that the CAB 4 will be part of the new Classico Chronograph series that will be available this November. This is actually what “CAB” stands for; Cronograph, Automatic, and Black case. The chronographs will be equipped with the infamous, Swiss, high-end 7750 movement. Both the chronograph and non-chronograph versions of the new Carbonios will be available in 45 or 53mm versions.
The once elusive Carbonio AB 4, is now part of U-Boat’s official collection, albeit in limited numbers, and will be joined by the brand new Classico CAB 4 and AB 4/2 models. Although carbon fiber is used in watches for its light weight and strength, it is often used simply because of its stylish qualities. U-Boat’s Carbonios make great use of this fantastic material as both a major player and an accent in their overall design.