It seems as though the name of this watch has changed since I received it. So while it says “iTime” on the dial, the new brand name is ITAnano – which I presume is a combination of Italy and nano-particle. The designer of this piece is the prolific Alessandro Baldieri, who has an eponymous brand as well as a few other sub-brands. iTime and ITAnano are among them. iTime probably had some obvious issues with the name. Not sure if “ITAnano” is much better, but at least it is more distinctive. I imagine iTime might have had some legal issues with it as well – just guessing. Anyhow, the watch itself hasn’t changed, and it is pretty cool as an affordable fashion piece.
Visit the ITAnano website and you’ll be presented with oodles of options in a range of categories. I can’t quite seem to make the most sense of it, but I know for sure this watch is in the Phantom collection. A quizzical name for a watch whose main allure are bright colors and large sizes – not exactly what I associate with a phantom. Perhaps the idea is to be ironic. From a collection standpoint there is the Phantom Carbon, Phantom Mineral Fibre, and Phantom Polyfibre. Not being a material expert I have to be honest with you in saying that I can’t explain the differences. On top of that you have sizes in 40, 43, and 49mm wide options. What I can say is that none of these cases are metal, and colors certainly abound.
The Phantom case looks like a super-sized Patek Philippe Nautilus and Aquanaut Hybrid. This one I have is 49mm wide and looks pretty cheeky. In its new ITAnano guise, this model would be the ref. PH4900-C PH02T. There are little upgrades here and there, but aside from the new logo, the watch is essentially the same. Wide and thick, the Phantom Carbonio is rather light and airy on the wrist. The material is some type of compressed carbon in a dark gray color. It almost looks felt-like when seen very close. To the touch it also feels like that, but isn’t a soft material, holding the angles quite well.
At this point I should probably include a quote from the ITAnano website in regard to this collection that says “designed to the level of intimidation from others looking, trying to understand how much is cost but don’t dare to ask… elegance has no price.” That is a word-for-word description from their site. Clearly not one for copy, I do appreciate the designs at least from the brand. Oh, and elegance does apparently have a price, and it isn’t expensive at all.
Strong, legible hands and a series of good details attracted me to the Phantom Carbonio watch collection. It also helps that I chuckle each time I get to say “carbonio.” The dial is carbon fiber (or made to look like carbon fiber – it doesn’t really matter) and the hour markers are applied. Lume is applied to the hands, but at these prices you aren’t getting a SuperLumiNova treatment. Like I said, I enjoy how everything on the dial is bold and pretty easy to see. The double zeros at 12 o’clock are cool as well.
The carbon case material is among other things… unique looking. It seems rather durable for the price and the color is interesting. I feel that the felt-like look seems to match clothing. Of course, the Phantom is available is oodles of other styles – even ones with white or blue cases. You’ll just have to peruse the site and see the seemingly rapid growing selection. There may seem to be too many options, but in reality that isn’t a bad thing for a fashion watch where choices are a benefit – especially among those looking to “find their own look.” Don’t forget, you can’t put a price on elegance (0r something like that).
Inside of the ITAnano (I miss saying iTime) watches are Swiss Ronda quartz movements. Nothing fancy, but you get the time and date, and get to say that your watch has a Swiss movement. Attached to the watch is a silicone strap with a waffle pattern that I tend to like. While inherently a simple watch, the Phantom Carbonio seems to feel like a bit more than the sum of its parts. I’d gladly wear it sometimes as a super casual alternative to a mechanical. Especially when you don’t want to worry about losing or damaging your watch. It is not the be all, end all of watches, but it is fun and refreshing. Prices range for the collection but as of when I picked up the Phantom Carbonio it retailed for about $230. itanano.com
>Brand: ITAnano / iTime
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone with a modest budget and sense of flair that doesn’t want to shop for a watch in regular places.
>Best characteristic of watch: It is just fun. The unique arrangement of materials mixed with comfort and legibility make for a polarizing, albeit successful design.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Too easy to say that the case design is a loan from brands like Patek Philippe.