Another automobile inspired watch company from Italy: Enter Meccaniche Veloci. Whenever these companies release a bunch of watches that just don’t sell too well, there are bargains to be had. Its not that there’s anything wrong with the watches, but without the proper marketing, its hard to command the same prices at brands out there that just have better recognition.

I picked up an Ace Cafe from Meccaniche Veloci (say that 10 times really fast), and for the money, not too shabby. Read more to find out what I think 🙂

I really didn’t like the textile strap that came with it.. the white stitching didn’t look to great since the highlights on the watch are red. I ended up switching it to a Hirsch Croco pattern strap which also doesn’t really look all that great – that’s the strap in the photos. I ended up picking up a Black Calf Rally strap with red stitching that works PERFECTLY with this watch. Maybe I’ll post a photo some time later.

The arabics at 3, 6 and 9 look to be Panerai-inspired, and the open visible movement is .. well, not my favourite. Unfortunately I think the open movement on the front makes it look a bit cheap because the movement isn’t decorated. We’re talking bone-stock ETA 2824-2 here, not Patek Philippe. The hands are lumed, but not the dial on this guy. While I might not agree on the open movement, there are other details that warrant some applause. The red line aroudn the crystal gives it a neat look, as do the alternating brushed and polished parts – which we will see more of later.

There are those alternating brushed and polished parts I had mentioned. Even though they are PVD coated, they did a nice job creating more interesting textures with the alternating finish. The lugs also have some semi-skeletonization which is a very nice detail and overall adds to the value of the watch. These are the kinds of details that set it above the rest.

Visible caseback showing the stock ETA with slightly decorated and signed black rotor. Nice touch to make it match the case. Now if the whole movement was black that would be even cooler. Also a nice touch was the contoured caseback that lets the watch sit more snugly on the wrist.

Here is a closeup of the dial showing the aluminum dial ring, and the visible date wheel. The raised indices look like a translucent plastic or rubber, which is a very interesting choice of materials. Overall its a very creative and different looking watch. The company seems to have focused all its efforts on the Meccaniche Veloci Quattrovalvole, which is a watch that derives its design from a Four-Valve Engine Cylinder.

Here’s a look at the rather large 44.5mm diameter Ace Cafe on my 6.75″ wrist. It wears pretty nicely, and doesn’t look to big in my opinion. The watch is on the thicker side due to its shape and how it is a flat cylinder, and measures 11mm thick. Overall a lovely watch for the money – so long as you can get it for cheap. I would say quality wise it is better built than Hamiltons, and probably up there with Newer Oris watches in build quality.

Diameter: 44.5mm
Thickness: 11mm
Movement: Swiss ETA 2824-2
Case: Stainless Steel PVD
Strap: Textile