Anoma’s A1 Is One Of The Coolest Affordable Watches Of The Year
— Updated on 27 May 2024

Anoma’s A1 Is One Of The Coolest Affordable Watches Of The Year

— Updated on 27 May 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

If recent releases from the likes of Berneron and Cartier seem to be any indication, it would appear that the trend for melty, distorted, or otherwise curiously shaped watches is far from done.

Still, it’s a risky horse to back when you’re gearing up to launch a new brand into the market at the same time but that’s exactly what Matteo Violet-Vianello, founder of Anoma, has resolved to do with the A1: a new mechanical release “born from a desire to break the mould of conventional watch design”, available to pre-order between now and July 6th.

Matteo has all the right software to ensure that Anoma’s first release will be enthusiastically covered. Aside from a stint at Sotheby’s, and membership in the GPHG (nicknamed “the Oscars of watchmaking”), the young brand founder was also one of the original employees at A Collected Man — a cultural lodestone in the high-end watch-collecting community.

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The triangular A1 offers a refreshing point of departure from the vast majority of generic dive watches at this price point. According to Matteo, the watch’s core inspiration is the ‘Mexique’: a free-form table first designed by French architect (and Le Corbusier disciple) Charlotte Perriand in the late 1930s.

After seeing the design in a Parisian antiques gallery, Matteo instantly fell in love with it. As a result, the A1’s overarching aesthetic motif is the rounded triangle: repeated no less than four times throughout the watch’s case, chapter ring, and thrice-lacquered dial.

For enthusiasts of good design, this is the stuff horological dreams are made of. To be sure, mechanically speaking, the A1 isn’t that complicated of a machine. Matteo notes that it’s equipped with the self-winding Sellita SW100, yet the decision to use that movement was integral to achieving a sub-$3,000 price tag; and ensuring, moreover, that the A1’s crown could be hidden (thus preserving the purity of the case design).

For the A1 project, Anoma’s founder Matteo Violet-Vianello (pictured left) was determined to create “a silhouette that is singular, subversive, and wearable”.

And what case design! Somewhere between a guitar pick and a pebble, the A1 seems capable of emulating radical shifts in density: expanding and flattening with even the subtlest tilts of the wrist.

To focus wearers’ attention on this effect, the Anoma team has worked hard to ensure the A1’s sculptural form is uninterrupted. Observant viewers will already have clocked that the watch doesn’t possess any lugs (at least in the traditional sense of that word) while the hands — laser-cut, then curved — mimic the flow of the surrounding case.

Anoma Watches

Following the closure of the online ordering window, Anoma intends to deliver all orders by January, 2025. Matteo notes that, subsequently, the A1 will never be reproduced in this particular configuration again.

Reports from those who’ve managed to go hands-on with the watch so far are encouraging; with John Goldberger (the Italian author, photographer, and super-collector) lauding the A1’s “well-executed details” and “great two-tone” dial.

You know the drill: run, don’t walk et cetera.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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