One of the great things about globalisation is that it allows smaller, nimble brands like CT Scuderia to exist. CT Scuderia is the brainchild of Italian born Enrico Margariteli, an Italian watchmaker and sometime motorcycle racer. And the love of motorsports and an Italian sense of design are both very present in the brand’s DNA. The most distinctive thing about CT Scuderia is the case. All the models use a distinctive ‘Bullhead’ case design, where the crown is located at the top of the watch, rather than on the more traditional right hand side. This design has its origins in motorsport – back when chronographs were essential, functional tools for racing drivers. It was thought that by placing the chronograph pushers at the top of the dial it would make for easier operation while driving.
So, given the automotive legacy of this case shape it’s appropriate that we’re looking at the CT Scuderia City Racer collection. This City Racer is quite a chunk of watch – 44mm across and almost 15mm high. This big, black and boldly shaped watch certainly makes an impression on the wrist.
The best thing about this watch is the case. Even aside from the bullhead design it’s distinctive. It struck me as being very much like a pocket watch with lugs attached. The main body of the case is traditional in design, with richly curved, fat bellied sides – it speaks of analogue stopwatches. Onto this base more modern looking lugs have been screwed, creating quite a unique, and pleasing look.
At the top of the case the lugs are slightly different than those at the bottom, to make way for the pushers and crown. Interestingly these elements have a shiny black finish, as opposed to the matte black of the rest of the case. And the main crown is screw down, and has a slight wobble that seems entirely normal, especially with a watch with such a large crown but that could be disconcerting to those unused to the vagaries of crown stems.
Moving onto the dial side of things and it’s clear this guy has been designed with tarmac in mind. The dial is dominated by the large ‘rally’ chapter ring, and the two chronograph subdials (minutes and hours) have red hands, which neatly match the other red dial accents. The hands and numerals (which read the minutes rather than the hours), in a nod to the purpose of this chronograph are luminous, though not staggeringly so. I also could have done without the checkered flags in the running seconds subdial but that’s just me being picky.
If we flip the watch over, and inspect its back we see a pretty nicely finished movement (PVD rotor, blued screws and perlage) that, rather than being the expected ETA 7750 turns out to be an ETA clone from a maker called ValSwiss. Not a lot of information around on these guys, but given the uncertainty surrounding future ETA supply, it’s not a bad thing to see CT Scuderia opt for a smaller, independent option for movements.
All in all this is quite a nice watch, and I like the CT Scuderia concept and design ethos. There are a few elements for me that I would change, but really, the largest sticking point for me is the price – you can buy it from their site for $3095 (I’m guessing USD, but it didn’t specify) which is quite a lot for what you get. For that sort of money you can get a solidly built (albeit differently styled) watch from someone like Sinn, or even a second hand Omega Speedmaster or a TAG Heuer Chronograph. And while the design of the watch is strong I feel CT Scuderia need to do a bit more work on the finishing to justify the high price tag.
Movement: Swiss Made Automatic
Watch Case: ø 44 mm
Case Back: Stainless Steel Black IP with See Through Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 10 atm
Material: Black IP Stainless Steel
Dial: Black with White Numbers
Strap: Brown Genuine Leather
Price: $3095 USD