It’s rather clear that Nivada is one of the brands currently on the rise, specifically when it comes to accessible vintage-inspired watches. Knowing the rich history of the brand, there are a lot of cool things to expect. And the latest watch to surface, following the brand’s own release last week – a 1970s integrated-style watch – is the result of a collaboration with our friends at Fratello Watches. But instead of simply reissuing a vintage model, they’ve decided to bring something slightly different. It’s a whole new watch collection, still retro-styled, exclusive to the Dutch magazine, and with no fewer than 5 editions to choose from. Let’s talk about the Fratello × Nivada Racing Chronograph, shall we?
As of now, most of the watches that have been released by Nivada were faithful re-editions of past models. The brand relaunched with the all-time favourite, the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver (aka the do-anything, go-anywhere chronograph of the brand). It was later joined by a dive watch, the Depthmaster (including Depthmaster), the Super Antarctic or a surprising but historically-relevant Spider-inspired watch. In short, all new models as of now were modelled after an existing vintage model. Even the recent F77 with integrated design is all about reissuing a past watch. But the team at Fratello wanted something else.
“Instead of just picking a vintage model, we launched a new watch. It comes in a case with a dial that has not been made before. The inspiration came from a couple of models that the brand introduced in the 1970s. We used the case of the Nivada Chronosport for our new watch. The dial, however, is inspired by another Nivada model from a bygone era,” explains Balazs Ferenczi. And, just like any of the watches released by Fratello, there’s the typical Dutch orange touch.
What is this Fratello × Nivada Racing Chronograph all about then? While not being a faithful recreation, it certainly has all the vintage vibe you’ll ever want. First, the case. The shape is typical of the 1970s, with a squarish design, brushed surfaces and polished accents. The domed sapphire crystal is framed by a fixed, polished steel bezel with a tachymeter scale – racing inspiration obliges – and a pair of pump pushers frame an oversized crown. The best comes from the proportions. To keep the vintage vibe as strong as possible, the case has been made as small as possible considering the need to encase a modern movement, resulting in compact dimensions of 38mm in diameter and 44.3mm from lug tip to lug tip. Only the 13.75mm height indicates the modern mechanics inside. But considering the shape of the case, it will make a strong impact.
As for the dial, then again, it’s not about being faithful, but vintage cool. The tri-compax layout is applied on a strongly grained surface, with a funky 1970s racing-style seconds track on the periphery… And the orange touches on the markers and the central seconds hand will only emphasize this feeling. The Fratello × Nivada Racing Chronograph isn’t presented in one or two versions. No, it comes in no fewer than 5 models. 4 of them are classic, with a panda (white with black counters), a reverse panda (black with white counters), a full-black and a full-white. And the fifth version is for those who want something bolder, and with an even stronger vintage look, thanks to a tropical brown dial.
Power comes from the tried-and-tested hand-wound calibre SW510 M B – a manual version of the 7753 architecture produced by renowned movement maker Sellita. Visible under a sapphire caseback, this solid movement beats at 4Hz and boasts 63 hours of power reserve. Last, the watch is worn on a steel bracelet that not only looks vintage but wears as such – the suppleness of the multi-link bracelets… This bullet-style bracelet tapers down to 16mm and is closed by a folding clasp.
Availability & Price
Fratello will offer 10 pieces of each dial variation (50 pieces in total) for pre-order exclusively from the Fratello Shop on Monday, March 20th at 4PM Europe Time, for one week only. The pre-order window will close on March 26th at 12AM (midnight) Europe Time. Each of the watches will have a special pre-order price of EUR 1,499 (excl. taxes). All watches will ship in early June 2023 when an additional limited quantity of these watches will be available, but then priced at EUR 1,875 (excl. taxes).