U-Boat U-42 Review

Last week we introduced you to the U-Boat U-51 Chimera Bronze edition, if you haven’t read it yet, go there first as it has a small introduction on the brand as well. We decided to do a U-Boat review once every week in July and we picked this U-Boat U-42 B&B reference 6947 as our second watch to review.

The case parts of this 53mm large U-42 (which refers to the founding year of the company by Italo Fontana’s (CEO) grandfather and certainly not to the size of the watch) have been made out of titanium with a black coating. However, the size of 53mm doesn’t appear to be extra-ordinary, just plain large.

However, if you ever seen one of the Fratello guys, you know we’re no slim and short guys. So maybe we are not that picture perfect reference when it comes to wrist size and talking about comfortable watches. Anyway, we thought it was OK on our wrists. Make sure to try one out if you are interested in a 53mm U-Boat.

Anyhows, besides the size, the main aspect that we’d say is the eye-catcher of this Italian timepiece is the matt black case in combination with the bronze details. Bronze & Black titanium is also the ‘working title’ and makes perfectly sense. The contrast is big and this is all good for its readability. The crown, pin of the hook, screws in the bezel, bezel release lever and the little plate on the side of the case with the numbering (limited to 300 pieces only) are all in bronze. The hands just have a bronze colour, as our guess is that bronze would be too heavy for the hands and will (eventually) result in an unhappy centre pinion.

The dial is – like the recently reviewed U-51 Chimera Bronze – double layered, one in bronze and one in black for great visibility.

We love the level of detail on these next-gen U-Boat watches, but we also think some parts are a bit over-done. Like mentioning three times that this watch is number 42 out of 300. We love numbered editions (and not – like we’ve seen on some IWCs – 50 watches with ‘One of 50’ engraved in the case) but 3x 42/300 doesn’t make sense. But perhaps the exaggerating does work for U-Boat aficionados in general.

The other side of the black titanium case shows the bezel release lever and the embossed U-42 model name. To prevent the bi-directional bezel from turning when diving (or depending on it in some other way) you first need to pull the lever in order to do so. The small bronze dots on the bezel show the exact number of minutes per quarter (15 – 30 – 45) and the 00 (or 60) is a black polished pearl-like dot.

The back of the case is all black and has no transparent caseback. Instead, there are some interesting engravings on the solid black caseback.

There is of course the limited edition number of the watch, the reference number and model name, but also an autograph of the company’s leading man, Italo Fontana.

As you can see, the crown on this watch is quite special. After you pulled the little trigger at 7 o’clock (or in the picture above, the small round bronze thing next to the lug) you can pull the long (very long) crown. After that, it works like any  other regular winding and setting crown. The reason for having a long crown like this – in theory – is the easy to use aspect in all sorts of conditions, but we assume that U-Boat is specifically targeting at diver’s using this watch having gloves on under the water surface. Besides that, it just looks cool.

Admitted, we love the U-51 Chimera in bronze a bit better, but that’s just a matter of personal taste. Again, the finish and level of details on the U-42 B&B reference 6947 are awesome. The automatic movement is based on an ETA2824-2 and U-Boat refers to it as U-28. This movement has a +40 hours power reserve and a ticking rate of 28.800 BPH. A solid no-nonsense movement used by numerous big brands out there.

More information about the U-Boat U-42 can be found here.

Robert-Jan Broer
Follow me

Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
Follow me