Maybe not as classy and well-advertised as the major Swiss watch manufactures, the relatively young Bertolucci brand is nevertheless capable of producing a sort of wrist watches characterized by their stark and well-balanced design. Their new Bertolucci Serena Garbo Chronograph (ref. 318.104.22.168D), for example, features a surprisingly reach design language with lots of well-chosen details that together form a very solid-looking quartz timekeeper: a rare thing in a niche dominated by watches featuring crude (sometimes, deliberately so) approach to design.
Just like one may gather from the name of the timekeeper, the new Bertolucci Serena Garbo Chronograph watch features a movement with chronograph function.
Powered by the ISA quartz caliber 8162/220 that can be found on a great number of affordable quartz chronographs and sports a battery with an impressive life span of three and a half years, the new watch features a tri-compax dial layout.
However, instead of the usual “chronograph hours + minutes + small seconds”, there is a lot more useful combination of a 30-minute chronograph totalizer at 10 o’clock, a subsidiary seconds display at 2 hours, and a circular oversized “day of week” indicator at 6 o’clock.
The small (if not plain tiny) date aperture, which is on this movement normally placed at 4 o’clock, has also been transferred to 6 hours to add some extra symmetry to the dial, that features a bit too much of off-centered indicators. Although the dial’s styling certainly has some art-deco flavor, the watch as a whole looks very modern thanks to its black glossy bezel and black bracelet inserts of the same color and finish.
Frankly, I am not overly impressed with the setting crown: its shape not only sounds like an off-key note here, but is also make it a bit uncomfortable to operate the timekeeper.
As usual, the chronograph function is operated with a pair of polished stainless steel push-pieces located at 2 and 4 o’clock. The former is used to start and stop the chrono and the latter performs the split/reset function. Unlike the crown, the pushers look ergonomic enough.
Decorated with a pattern resembling the omnipresent Cotes de Geneve stripes, but thinner and, well, more decorative, the dial is protected from dust and water with a sapphire crystal. As you can see, the long and wide hour markers, as well as the skeletonized hour and minute hands are bigheartedly covered with bluish luminescent compound, which basically means that nighttime legibility will never be a problem (at least in case that you wear this little beauty on your wrist giving it a chance to recharge).
Although quartz watches are usually packed into rather compact cases, the Serena Garbo Chronograph sports large stainless steel case 41 millimeters in diameter and just 12mm in height.
The thick case provides the watch with a certain presence, which is usually reserved for mechanical, self-winding models, but still keeps it wearable even with tight-cuffed shirts.
The watch gets some extra appeal thanks to the glossy black-colored bezel, setting crown and elements of the bracelet.
No info on pricing yet*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The Serena Garbo Chronograph is currently sold at €2900. Sounds quite expensive considering that for the price you can get a nice ETA 7750-powered chronograph from a reputable Swiss-based brand.
Bertolucci Serena Garbo Chronograph watch specification:
Price range: €2900 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Complications: Date, day of the week, chronograph
Power reserve: A couple of years
Case material: stainless steel, some elements coated with PVD
Case diameter: 41.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Black, decorated
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Stainless steel with PVD coated elements