An in depth look at the new Uboat Capsoil

Having owned a U-Boat piece, it was nice to have the opportunity to go hands-on with one of their newest designs, the U-Boat Capsoil SS.

First off, lets get a little background on the brand. When I first came across U-Boat, it was on Instagram roughly ~5 years ago. Having a deep love for the sea (pun intended), and being around the ocean my entire life, it was neat to see something that took inspiration from the lines and aesthetics of a submarine. I was immediately drawn to the bulkiness/ruggedness industrial design of the U-Boat. The brand itself has less than 20 years of business under their belt; the brand was founded and created when Ilvo Fontana joined the tender to produce precision time instruments for the Italian Navy in 1942. Although Ilvo Fontana didn’t end up creating any pieces for the Italian Navy, the designs were never destroyed, just merely filed away. In the year 2000, Ilvo Fontana’s grandson, Italo Fontana found the designs and decided it would be great to finish what his grandfather once started.

Now that we have some background, lets get down to the fun part, the details. The case is machined out of stainless steel, housing a new electromechanical movement, which is completely submerged in oil. Yes, you heard that right, it wasn’t a typo, the entire dial and movement is submerged in an oil bath. The case measures 45mm and has a beautiful, almost matte-like sheen to the finish. Speaking of finishing, this case is “rounded”, every angle you look at it. There are minimal sharp edges with tapered lugs, which make the watch appear a little smaller than the normal U-Boat size watches. I typically prefer watches in the 40-44 mm range; this watch wears extremely nice for its size. Since we are on the topic of the case, lets not forget the crown. Yes, the watch is a destro, but with the proper tools, you can swap it to the other side of the case. Whether you wear the watch on your left hand or right, you are thought of in this design.

After strapping the watch on my wrist I was immediately mesmerized by the color of the dial. I have never seen such a “pure” black dial as this; the oil makes it seem three-dimensional. It’s quite hard to take your eyes off of it. Once you are able to peel your eyes away from the three-dimensional dial, you start noticing other qualities close by. The dial has a patina –like color on the numerals and minute markers. There is a vibrant and striking contrast between the dark black dial and the patina numerals. Dive watches have always been know for their legibility, lets just put it this way, whether you are scuba diving in a deep cave or looking for the time in a dark room in your home, legibility will never be an issue.

After having the privilege of wearing the watch for a week or two, it’s easy to come to terms with the fact that I genuinely like this piece. I am still in awe of how well the dial pops in the submerged oil bath. All in all, this piece checks the boxes for someone who is looking for a larger, industrial designed watch. Purely, the history makes owning a U-Boat much cooler knowing that a lot of these designs were thought of ~70 years ago. This piece falls in the sub $2,000.00 price point which makes the purchasing urge much greater due the quality of components you get for the price. Whether you are an existing owner of a U-Boat watch, or have never owned one of their pieces, I highly encourage you to give this piece a try. 

Written by Brett Harmon follow him on Instagram


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