New: U-Boat unveils the 1938 Doppiotempo range – commentary and prices

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U-Boat unveils the new 1938 Doppiotempo range. Presented first time last year, based on a model originally created for the Italian army’s parachute-assault regiment, the Col Moschin, the watch comes out now in other two models enlarging the range started with a special edition of 200 pieces.

Press Release with commentary in italics

U-Boat 1938 Doppiotempo Ref. 8400/A and 8500 is priced at € 1938, VAT inclusive.

U-Boat 1938 Doppiotempo

The new model is available in two dial options, one black and one in green. Both are cased in a 43mm satin-finished steel case fitted with two crowns, one for setting time and date, the other for adjusting the “doppiotempo” or dual-time function, thanks to the internal rotating bezel able to set the second time zone. Featuring an ultra-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, it also boasts a Swiss-made, self-winding movement with 44-hour reserve and a skeletonized rotor visible through a bronzed sapphire glass on the back, with a back case sealed with 8 external screws.

Vintage-style watch, 1938 Doppiotempo features numbers, hands and markers beige treated with superluminova, a 24-hour indicator and hand of the second time zone, in red color. The two versions feature a laser engraved green calf leather strap with steel tongue buckle. Highly versatile, 1938 Doppiotempo is ready to be worn in everywhere and every time. Live your adventure!


Historically, U-Boat have had strong connections with the military, having been founded as Officine Fontana in 1942 as a potential supplier of watches for the Italian navy. Ilvo Fontana made advanced designs for the production of wristwatches for pilots which would satisfy the Navy’s technical specifications. These blueprints showed a robust wristwatch with a strong character, guaranteeing maximum visibility and water tightness. As the contract never realised, and the project was forgotten. In 2000, the plans were discovered by the founder’s grandson Italo Fontana. These blueprints form the basis of U-Boat watches. Initial products centered around the dive watches of the 1940s.

The 1938 Doppiotempo is based on the model was created for the 9th Paratroopers Assault Regiment of the Italian army, called “Col Moschin”. The unit conducted operations behind enemy lines in Tunisia, Algeria and in Sicily after its allied occupation. After  the surrender of Italy to the Allies in 1943, they were active in the Italian War of Liberation. More recently, the unit have been deployed in various conflicts including the Gulf War, the Iraq War and UN Peacekeeping Missions.

Most of the watches since the introduction of U-Boat have been very large diving watches, largely based on the designs of the plans which were discovered.

On the 1938 Doppiotempo, they seem to have reigned in the size, making it only 43mm in diameter. The model was first released in 2019. The 2019 release had a black dial and the second timezone hand, also in black and tipped with lume. The current new release has a green or black dial with a red second timezone hand. The movement is also different, but U-Boat does not specify the caliber, only that the power reserve is increased from 32 hours to 44 hours. Without a caliber number, we are unable to properly ID the movement manufacture, but only go by the documentation which only states Swiss movement. However, other U-Boat watches have used the ETA 2824-2, known as their U28, but specifications on the movement used in the Doppiotempo is not the same as that of the U28. Also the second timezone would be an added complication.

The watch seems to be very robust and maintains the tough image that U-Boat is keen to project. We have requested for a review loaner to take the watch through its paces, and will revert with a hands-on review when that happens. 

U-Boat 1938 Doppiotempo specifications

Reference 8400/A and 8500

MOVEMENT: Swiss automatic mechanical, personalized to U-BOAT specifications. Skeletonized rotor. Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour. Power reserve: 44 hours. 26 Jewels.
FUNCTIONS: hours, minutes, seconds, date, 24h indicator, bidirectional inner bezel, with hours and 30-minute intervals that synchronize with the additional hand so as to display the two different time zones.
CASE: stainless steel AISI 316L, satin hand finish, double crown on the left side, one for the time and date adjustment, the other for the second time setting. Diameter 43 mm.
BACK: sealed with 8 external screws, with bronzed sapphire glass showing the movement.
DIAL: black or gree, two superimposed dials, with rotating inner bezel. Numbers, hands and markers beige treated with superluminova. 24-hour indicator and hand of the second time zone, in red color.
CRYSTAL: ultra curved bronzed sapphire, high quality, with anti-reflective treatment.
STRAP: green calf leather, with steel tongue buckle. Width: 22/20 mm.


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