A review of a very unusual watch - Titioni Impetus CeramTech ZrO2 Argentine blue

Published on 3 May 2024 at 17:12

Today, I am going to focus on a watch which was purchased totally unplanned, in fact just one look was enough. How has this happened? Well, I was checking my notepad on Chrono24 (a kind of a which list) and while checking one of the watches from my list, at the bottom of the page Chrono24 - under the category "You may also be interested in these watches" somehow offered Tition Impetus Ceramtech in Argentine blue version. Seeing this watch I was excited, the color and material combinations were just crazy good. "I must have this watch", was my only comment.

I must admit - with a bit of embarrassment - that I have never heard of the Titoni brand before. So I expected this brand to be yet another microbrand as microbrands nowadays popups daily all over the world. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized that Titoni is an old, independent, family owned company established back in 1919. In fact "Titoni" as a brand was first released only in 1952, before that company was known by the name Felca (which is known to me).

As I was investigating the brand, I also checked if perhaps there was some other - maybe even more interesting watch - in their collection. Impetus in fact has several other color combinations, however  all others are much more "common" and boring compared to the Atlantic blue version. An interesting choice would also be one of the Seascoper carbon/ceramic diver watches with inhouse chronometer movement (called T10), but at the end Impetus won.

So, what makes this Impetus Atlantic Blue watch so special? Well, first the color combinations used are very different from anything seen so far. A light blue dial with the yellow inner chapter ring, the combination of the black and light blue case and a black bezel, again combined with the yellow markings. On top of that the very same yellow hands. The crown is again fully matched, having all three main color components -black, yellow and light blue .And that is not all. The rubber strap is by color perfectly aligned with the case. The very same light blue strap with the black buckle. And since the watch also offers a bracelet, that too is fully aligned being in the same black color as used for other parts. 

The second important specific thing is the material used. Or to be more precise the Zirconium Oxide. Based on Ceramtec Industrial: .."unlike other ceramic materials, zirconium oxide (ZrO2 –also known as zirconia) is a material with very high resistance to crack propagation. Zirconium oxide ceramics also have very high thermal expansion and are therefore often the material of choice for joining ceramic and steel". And in this watch this is exactly what Titoni has done. The stainless steel case (DLC coated) has a zirconium oxide ceramic exoskeleton (as well as crown hat), which allows Titoni to play also with case colors. If this zirconium oxide really has such good resistance properties, then this is an absolute win-win combination. I did not try to scratch the case on purpose, but so far I can't notice any, even minor scratches. And I used the watch on some heavy duty hand works already (on a rubber, to be precise). I also tried to find out how the zirconia part is "glued" together with the steel part. I am not an expert so I will refer again to the Ceramtec Industrial words "...very high thermal expansion and are therefore ... the choice of joining ceramic and steel.." So this is possibly the key to how the case was done. If a crack between both parts can happen or under which circumstances - only time will tell.

As pictures say more than a thousand words, check the following pictures.

I need to say a few separate words about the dial. Since everything on it is just done perfectly. The basic color is perfectly aligned with the case, the  straight lines replicate the case again. Hour indexes are remarkably good looking. Main four indexes are shaped the same as the hour hand. The only thing that is a bit annoying is the TITONI text, which is for too big for my taste. Especially because a logo is also present. The size used for the IMPETUS ZrO2 is more than enough and the same font size would be a better fit for TITONI as well. And, I quite like the zirconia reference on the dial, at the end of the day this is the most specific thing on this watch that makes this watch different from others.

I already mentioned the hands, for which I have no complaints at all. Well made, very functional, easy to read. Black and yellow combination gives a very fresh look. Date window is maybe a bit too small but in general the date is easy to read. 

The dial is nicely surrounded by a chapter ring. 

The only disappointment on this watch is the bezel, which is fixed and used just to mark 5 minutes intervals. If you look closely the bezel and the chapter ring have consecutive 5 minutes intervals labeled with the number or just with the index. "05" on the chapter ring followed by "10" on the bezel, then "15" on the chapter ring, etc. And that is it. My complaint about the bezel is exactly that it has no real function except for the decoration. It is a nicely dodecahedron shaped bezel made of brushed DLC steel which just calls for scratches. So a 300m WR watch, made in a diver style, has no other purpose than just showing the time (if I am a bit sarcastic, even that is not true as there are no hours, just minutes :) ) Of course, it is a logical question, how many guys who actually dive still use mechanical watches with the dive bezel so is this kind of bezel really needed, but still - I am disappointed.

I have already mentioned some technical characteristics, but let me now summarize all of them. Watch uses sapphire crystal which is AR coated on both sides, the back plate is also sapphire. Diameter is 43mm, height is just 12mm, L2L 50mm. So don't be afraid, even though the diameter is 43mm, the watch does not look big. Check my wrist shots on a rubber and on the bracelet. Notice how remarkable the rubber strap gives a totally different character of the watch compared to the bracelet. I was sure that my personal choice would be rubber, but now I am not so sure anymore.  

At the beginning I didn't even want to shorten the bracelet to my wrist size as rubber was so soft and good looking. I was afraid of a DLC coated bracelet (again scratches are an issue here). But as the watch offers a very easy to remove quick release lugs, I put just for the sake of comparability a full size bracelet on. I was impressed how good everything looked and the very next step was to shorten the bracelet to my wrist... As the clasp of the bracelet offers an extension (four steps), the bracelet can be fitted really well. Plus links can be removed easily by the pins which can be knocked out from both sides of the bracelet. So the setup of the bracelet is an easy job. 

Clasp is engraved by the big Titoni marking. In addition on both sides of the bracelet there are two Titoni rubber rings which move freely. 

I am not sure what the purpose of those two rubber bands is and if it is expected to be worn together with the bracelet or not. As you can see on the wrist shots, I did wear it. At the beginning that seemed to be an interesting idea, a good joke, however I realized them to be a bit annoying after some time, constantly moving around. So at the time being I don't have them on the bracelet anymore.

I have to give a compliment to the ilumniova. Very bright, long lasting, luminated are just the parts, which are needed. I like it.

In all my enthusiasm about the general look of the watch I almost forgot to tackle the movement. A rather unusual choice was taken - ETA 2892-A2. So, no "standard" 2824 or Selitta SW200 (which is used in some other models), unfortunately also not the Titoni flagship T10. Pity as that fact almost made me buy Seascarper instead of Impetus. for 2892 is of course a fine movement, initial set up runs on -5 sec/daily. Titoni gold plated the rotor of the movement, so everything together gives a look of  a high grade movement.

A bit confusing is the fact that such a result is not within chronometer COSC requirements, yet the package of the watch also includes COSC certificate and an extended warranty card for T10 and chronometer movements. The truth is that this certificate is not fulfilled the same is true for the extended warranty card, so just an empty paper and empty card. There is an excuse for Titoni - maybe Titoni uses the same package for all of their watches and as some of their watches are chronometer certified, Titoni simply fulfills the certificate and a card for those watches. However despite this excuse I think that this kind of package is misleading. And that Titoni made a big mistake not to upgrade this watch with their inhouse movement or at least COSC movement.

The original price for this version of the watch in the EU is around 2.600 EUR or 2.500 EUR if you would prefer standard stainless steel models instead of black DLC coated versions. Which is a reasonable price considering the materials used and having strap and bracelet included. With a T10 or at least COSC certified movement this would be a great p/q watch.

Oh, and for the end. I know that this color combination might be a bit too bold and extravagant for many of you. But if you like the idea of the watch let me assure you that the rest of the Impetus collection is much more decent, standard. Check the entire collection here.

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