Elegance has evolved. From the stylistic pinnacles of the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s, when formality remained a key element, it segued into the relaxed chic of the 1960s and the 1980s. We still see those casual attitudes as dominant, but now ‘casual’ has its own traditions. NeroUno addresses this notion of a contemporary ‘life style’ with a combination of all the qualities that were born of the Riviera in the 1950s, of the chic clubs in Manhattan and Miami, of Golden Age Hollywood, of Rio and Paris and Milan.
Montegrappa’s NeroUno collection began with pens that were designed with an eye to the company’s peerless reputation for classic writing instruments. The clean lines beloved of the post-Bauhaus era were married to the signature Montegrappa touches of a faceted barrel and a pocket clip with roller. Followed by the equally elegant and minimalist range of cufflinks, NeroUno has taken shape as a collection of accents to way of living. It is a distillation of bella figura, a purely Italian attitude about presenting one’s self appropriately, gracefully, without pretence, but rich with panache.
It was clear that the third element in the NeroUno collection would have to be the wristwatch. This eminently practical tool, born in the 20th Century, has become a form of shorthand for men, an indication of taste and self-awareness in the manner of distaff accessories such as shoes or bags. Time-telling is almost secondary: how you tell the time is the prime concern.
To create a watch to complement the NeroUno pen and cufflinks, Montegrappa turned to Switzerland, so near to the company’s home in Bassano del Grappa, in Northeastern Italy. The resultant effort between Montegrappa and its Swiss watchmakers is a line of timepieces that respects the brand’s core elements, while acknowledging the role of the modern wristwatch.
Not least of the features is a wholly contemporary case size of a generous 42mm. It houses a Ronda 6004 quartz movement, and is water resistant to 5ATM (40m). Though utterly modern, the NeroUno wristwatch is fitted with a traditional ‘small seconds’ sub-dial instead of a sweep hand, adding a nostalgic touch to the guilloche-patterned dial. The time is indicated by elongated nickel hands that point to slim indices instead of numerals, while the date is visible through a window at 3 o’clock. Protecting the dial is a sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating.
Every NeroUno watch is fitted with a luxurious wide leather strap with crocodile pattern, engaged by a deployant clasp. A final touch is a faceted black gemstone mounted in the crown, symbolising ‘NeroUno’ but both its colour and form. The Montegrappa NeroUno timepieces will be offered in stainless steel or with a 5n rose gold PVD finish, both versions available with black or silvered dials.