Published by Joshua Clare-Flagg on 8 Oct, 2020.


Love them or hate them, you can’t help but appreciate that Filippo Loreti is a popular watch brand. They exploded into life due to their incredibly popular Kickstarter campaign in 2017, selling 18.5k watches and raising an insane €4.8 million.

I see talk regarding the after-sales service not being the best, but I’m sure that with a brand this popular, for every person who complains there are a hundred silent happy customers.

I previously reviewed the Venice Rose Gold, which was a lovely watch for the money – certainly not as bad as I was expecting, as I let the negative press influence what I thought would flop out of the box in a heap of parts.

This watch is the Ascari, a motorsport themed chronograph. They’ve got the design on point, it’s simple yet striking. But with an RRP of £249, how does it hold up? Let’s check it out.

The specs

The video review

The case

Coming in at 42mm in diameter, it’s not a small watch as such, but the relatively dumpy lug-to-lug length of 49mm means it wears smaller than that. The case is primarily brushed, with polished bevelled shoulders.

The impressively detailed caseback features Alberto Ascari and his Ferrari, an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion (52 and 53). An obvious source of the name and racing vibe of the watch.

One choice that has made me curious is that of the bezel insert: interestingly it has 12-hour dual-time zone marking. As this is such a sport-inspired watch, a regular countdown or tachymeter markings would be much more suitable. I’m not sure how many clicks the bezel has, I counted at around 90 which is a strange number. It’s loud, satisfying and easy to use.

Sitting on top of the watch is a flat sapphire coated mineral crystal. It’s beautifully clear and provides a great view of the dial.

The push-pull crown has a cute checkered flag, the style used in racing, embossed on the end, which is neatly done.

The pushers are easy to use, but visually I’m not sure if they’re on the slightly small side.

The dial

The dial is all about this beautiful textured finish, providing a great amount of depth and detail. The amount of detail captures by the texture also changes based on the amount and angle of light, it’s captivating to look at.

The bi-compax dial configuration is a winner in my eyes; with a 60-minute chrono counter on left, and a 24-hour indicator on right. The subdials have a lovely concentric circular pattern, which again provides more texture to the dial.

The Ascari has rather simple pitched and polished pencil hands, with lumed channels near the tip. The lume is distinctively average.

The printwork on the dial is delicate and fine, and is neatly done considering the depth of the texture it is printed on.

The applied hour markers are pitched, polished, with a lumed channel to match the hands. They also have an angled tip and are deep and well made.

The bracelet

When you shake the watch around a bit, the bracelet feels a little flimsy, but under closer inspection, is well made. The flimsiness is probably due to the short links; when used in conjunction with the two micro-adjustment points on the buckle, you can get a great fit.

The polished central link is eye-catching and reflects the light well. The end links are solid and fit nicely between the lugs. It’s also great to see quick release pins on a bracelet, especially on a watch costing this much.

The buckle is understated but rather classy. It’s pretty quaint, featuring a brushed finish with polished bevelled edges. The logo sits on a frosted bar in the centre.

The movement

Stated as Seiko VD54 mechaquartz chronograph – but that has the chrono running seconds hand as subdial at 6. On this watch, chrono running seconds is the big seconds hand – therefore it’s most likely the Seiko VK63.

It has a very good reputation as being a hybrid “mecha-quartz” movement: it’s battery-powered, with the main time function being quartz, and the chronograph function is driven by a mechanical module (also battery powered, so no winding). The beat rate of the chrono is 18k bph (5 ticks per second), and it has 3-year battery life.

Final comments

Currently available for £179 direct from Filippo Loreti, do I think the Ascari is a good buy? One thing’s for sure: it’s extremely well designed – it looks lovely in the hands and on the wrist. However, I don’t necessarily feel as if anything is outstanding about it – but I suppose that comes with the territory in this price range. In terms of specs, it ticks all the right boxes – so in terms of what you’re getting for the price, it’s a pretty good option if you’re after an affordable, classy, motorsport themed chrono.

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