A lot of watch brands like to associate themselves with the world of car racing. There is something to be said about this world of glamour, competitiveness, danger and ultimately one where time counts. Hence we see huge watch brands sponsor the likes of Formula 1 racing.
Today I am reviewing a relatively new player in the watch market, Filippo Loreti. This watch brand started back in 2015 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.com. It had three very successful campaigns with over 30,000 backers raising more than $10 million, with the first 2 campaigns breaking records as most funded luxury watch on Kickstarter. Its success was a combination of Italian inspired designs, low prices by cutting out the middlemen and selling directly, and the use of quality materials and watch mechanisms both automatic and battery operated. Also, it created a uniqueness by having limited editions of certain watches. Buyers are truly buying a unique and limited expensive product at reasonable prices.
Filippo Loreti had such a huge success that soon Forbes was quoting: “Filippo Loreti disrupts luxury industry by offering $1000 luxury watches for less than $200”
So that is the marketing story so how is it in real life…
When Filippo Loreti decided to enter a car racing themed watch, it did not by sponsoring huge racing events as this would jack up the price. No, it took inspiration in Italy’s past and from one of its legendary racers in Alberto Ascari. He was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion in 1952 and 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari. His fame was short-lived as he died in a tragic car accident on the Monza Eni circuit in 1955 test driving the Ferrari 750 Monza.
Ascari Grand Prix Gp 1952 watch
The Ascari Grand Prix Gp 1952 watch is part of the Ascari Grand Prix series of which there are 1951, 1952 and 1953. As I wanted to pay homage to his first world champion Formula one title, I chose the 1952 watch. In line with keeping the watch exclusive, there are only 1952 made, where I have number 0393 of this limited range. At the time of writing, there are only 61 pieces left on the Filippo Loreti website.
First what surprises me the most is that for a limited edition watch, this one is going only for 176 euros as part of the Early Black Friday Sale. The watch is black with gold details on the bezel, dials and the watch face, in line with his first golden racing season in 1952. Both pushers on the side work the chronograph and reset function. Initially, I thought the chronograph was not working, and I did some research on the Internet. The dial at 9 o’clock only registered minutes and not seconds, so you have to wait for 60 seconds to see some movement. Also when you reset it, it is not quick but rather slowly in returning to zero. The second dial at 3 o’clock shows the 24-hour function. All in all, I think this makes the chronograph pretty gimmicky and not very useful, but who really uses these things anyway.
The ribbed bezel can rotate and has the Tachimeter lettering and numbers on it. I did find that the lettering is not that solid and some of it has come off. Looking on the web and the Ascari Grand Prix Gp 1952 has a smooth bezel. Maybe it is because the ribbed bezel limited edition has already run out of its 1952 stock and Filippo Loreti runs another limited edition with some slight changes.
The casing feels solid and is 12.9mm thick, on the back, there is a racing car reminiscent of the Ferrari that Alberto Ascari used to drive. The rubber strap feels solid and strong, it even has the lettering “genuine rubber” on it.
- Case Material: Stainless Steel
- Strap Material: Rubber strap
- Glass: Sapphire Coated Mineral Glass
- Water Resistance: 100M (10ATM)
- Case Diameter: 42mm
- Case Thickness” 12.9mm
- Pusher at 2 o’clock: Start/Stop The Chronograph
- Pusher at 4 o’clock: Reset
- Movement: Seiko VD54
This is my first time trying a Filippo Loreti watch and it looks very fashionable, and so are the other watches in its collection. It does definitely look stylish and makes a statement. Do I get a $1000 watch for $200, I don’t think so as there are some quality issues with it, notable the numbering on the rotating bezel. As for limited edition, I noticed changes in my limited edition model and the one sold on the website. So it is limited but to what extent. With all this in mind, I do think the price of this watch is right. You are buying a fashion watch.