News

April 08, 2018


The History of Cuoierie Meccaniche Brelli by Mario Paci


CUOIERIE MECCANICHE BRELLI HISTORY
Taken from Family’s document, from Castelfiorentino Town Archives, Florence Town Archives and from Enzo Bartalucci’s diary.
Bruno Bartalucci, stage-name Brelli, was born on May 2, 1901 in a little place in Central Tuscany.
 
When he was 12 years old, learns craft by an artisan shoemaker; at 20 years old sets up shop in Castelnuovo d’'Elsa, when soon is well appreciated by his fellow townsmen.Brelli is well known in the whole Val d’Elsa, by all the valley nobility and aristocracy so that his fame reaches Florence, where, his brother in law, Ippolito Sabatini, has the good idea to open a shoemaker’s shop with accessories in Via Palazzuolo n. 34.
 
We are at the beginning of 1930, the Brelli’s shop becomes a little factory that, with the help of machinery and expert artisans, produces little hide masterpieces: this is the birth of "Cuoierie Meccaniche Brelli".
 
Giuseppe Panerai becomes customer of "Calzoleria Sabatini" and remains astonished at the exceptional strength of shoes and accessories produced by Brelli.  Panerai asks to Ippolito Sabatini to meet his brother in law: he wants to order an important sampling for the "Regia Marina Militare";  Giuseppe Panerai goes in Castelnuovo d'’Elsa where meets Brelli in his laboratory; Panerai shows to Brelli a watch: it’s the prototype of Radiomir and Panerai wants a special strap that can resist to the ruining action of sea water as that particular watch will be the kit of the Division "Incursori" of the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina). 
 
Brelli can obtain a greased hide that satisfies the needs of Panerai: he will call it "sea hide".  Brelli will supply the most part of straps used by Panerai and due to both the co-operation and friendship, Giuseppe Panerai hires, from Officine Galileo, Enzo Bartalucci, first-born child of Brelli.  Due to this adventurous and demanding job, Enzo is often far from home and his Tuscany; he goes in all military harbour of Italy, he sails the whole Mediterranean sea on different units of Regia M.M.; this direct getting in touch with Marina Militare increases a strong passion for the military professional watches.  Enzo is charmed by the already legendary Radiomir, for which his father produces straps.Many times he went in Piazza Ferraris to deliver to Panerai the monthly production of straps in sea hide and many times he stayed on talking with Giuseppe Panerai and admiring the produced watches:  Enzo starts to draw watches.He designs, plans and realizes Aliseo, a watch studied for Army officers appointed to the fire of torpedoes on torpedo-boats destroyers; it’s a Radiomir modified on which it has been applied a big button at h. 9.00 and with "crono" movement (one button).  On the dial there is a sliding rule that was used for the immediate calculation of the speed of the enemy ship to be sank; with these data on the aiming system patented by Panerai it was possible to hit the mark with the max facility and rapidity.
 
In the spring of 1940, Enzo is engaged in an important and risky undertaking: he has to install and test transmission systems on units of Japanese Navy. Enzo leaves as a technician, he sails on submarine Mambelli to reach the meeting point in the Atlantic Ocean. The main difficulty of the mission will be to run the blockade made by the English; notwithstanding Italy is not entered the war yet, it is under the control of the Anglo-american Allied Forces.  The submarine Mambelli sails across Gibraltar under an Allied transport ship getting confused with it; now the Mambelli can reach the fixed point: on May 20th, at h. 11.12 p.m., at 60 miles South of the Cape of good hope there is the meeting with Guro la Kiso , speedy unit of Japanese Army.  Enzo, in Japan, receives the news of the Italy entry in war and he will come back to Italy on September 27th, 1940.  During his stay in Japan, Enzo designs the "Submarine", a watch of about 64/65 mm destined to big depth, planned for the submarine forces and for divers.In the first months of 1941, Enzo Bartalucci becomes part of the testing group for Regia M.M., we are in the middle of the war, Enzo, together with other two colleagues, sails on torpedo-boat destroyer Ardito in order to make important transmission tests ship to ship in the Mediterranean sea on behalf of Officine Galileo.  The end of the Brelli’s first-born child will be tragic; called to perform the Military service in M.M., he will take part in important actions in the Sicily channel and in Aegean sea as NCO on a torpedo-boat destroyer; survived to the bombing raid on Naples, he will die for typhus epidemic in the military hospital of Castellammare di Stabia on August 13th, 1943.
 
In the first ‘1950 Brelli transfers his factory in Castelfiorentino where, with the precious work of 25 artisans, can put all his products on the Italian market; many working prosperous years will follow, full of satisfaction for Brelli who will leave his position to his nephew, Fabrizio Ciampi, the only continuator of his skilful art.  Fabrizio Ciampi or Fabrizio del Brelli continues with dedication the work started by his grandfather and destiny wants that, 60 years later, in 1995, Brelli’s heir and Officine Panerai S.p.A. gather their destinies.  
 
Fabrizio Ciampi supplies straps for the historical re-edition of the legendary Luminor Panerai and for this watch, under direct request of Ing. Dino Zei, realizes the "Kodiak", a particular treatment that allows to leather to remain into sea water for 24 consecutive hours.   Later Fabrizio Ciampi patented this treatment.
April 08, 2018


Strap fitting...what size do I need?

FAQ's about your size strap you need and how to get a perfect fit....

 

What is the length of the strap that I need?

The Panerai Regular length BEFORE 2 years ago was 115/75.  After that time they started making their straps in 125/75…..1 more hole.  That means 125mm on the side with the holes and 75mm on the side with the buckle.

If you measure your current strap it should tell you if you need a strap that is Longer, shorter or the exact same length.

The OEM Panerai Straps are 115/75 (measured in millimeters) in length. 115mm on the side with the holes and 75mm on the buckle side.

Look at the bottom of your wrist and see where the buckle sits....if it is in the middle then 75mm is your size....if it is off to one side...measuring how much more or less you need for a proper fit.

On the long side, which hole are you using on the Panerai Strap?

If you are in the first, second or third hole from the pointed end you need a longer strap. No ands, ifs or buts. Some people use both keepers to help the strap in place and some prefer using only one. This will determine what length is best for you. if you are a perfect fit on the OEM strap, which is 115/75, you will need to order a little longer as TC and Mario Paci straps are thicker than the OEM and will fit "1 hole shorter."

Can I use any strap on my Deployant buckle?

Straps are usually 4 to 5mm thick at the watch case and on a deployant strap they get thinner, down to 2mm at the buckle so they can fit in the slot. A strap for a regular buckle stays pretty much the same thickness throughout. Our straps made with a sewn in buckle run 4.2 to 4.5mm thick. Our Pre-V by Mario Paci Straps are 3mm thick.

A tang buckle goes on like the belt on your trousers.....it has 2 separate pieces.  A Deployant buckle goes on like a bracelet where it is attached and you slide your had through.

You CANNOT use a Tang strap on a Deployant buckle...but you can use a deployant strap on a tang buckle.


What is "Original Kodiak" and is it really waterproof?

Original Kodiak is a patented process that is applied to leather to make a 100% waterproof strap. Waterproof in the pool, sea, shower or gym...and, even sweat. If it is not made by the Cuoierie Meccaniche Brelli for Time Connection in Castelfiorentino, Italy, it cannot be Kodiak.

 

Does Time Connection take credit cards?

Yes, we take credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express) as well as and PayPal. There is never an additional charge for using a credit card or PayPal.

 

Does Time Connection ship Internationally?

Yes, we ship Worldwide to every country everyday.  That includes your country.


How much are the shipping charges?

Standard shipping is FREE.  That means Free standard shipping in the U.S. takes 3-5 days.  Internationally, standard shipping can take up to 20 business days...and there is NO TRACKING on the free shipping package.

Should you want to track your order or choose a specific time frame for delivery,  you can choose from Priority Mail, FedEx 2 day or FedEx overnight for an additional charge.

Internationally, you can choose USPS Registered Mail with Tracking or FedEx International for a small additional charge.

 

How long will it take before my order is shipped?

We ship all orders, placed by 2pm Central Time, the same day Monday through Friday and , if we can, also Saturday. All orders placed after 2pm Monday through Friday generally go out the next business day.

***All orders are shipped from our offices in Texas. We do not ship anything from our factory in Castelfiorentino, Italy.


Does TC take custom orders for watch straps?

Yes, custom strap orders usually go in to the shop in Italy every Monday and then take 15 to 20 BUSINESS days from that time, not from the day you place the order. Custom Crocodile/Alligator straps take 4-5 weeks due to CITES restrictions. We do not get updates from the factory in Italy on individual straps so it is impossible for us to check on any particular orders.


Does Time Connection have a retail store?

No. Time Connection is an e-commerce website and operates through the internet. We do have toll free telephone numbers from the U.S., Great Britain, France, Australia and Hong Kong. Please keep in mind that these phones ring in our Texas Office which is GMT -6 hours. We are not there to answer the telephone 24 hours a day....sorry. All of our orders ship from:


Time Connection 
100 Commons Road 
Suite 7410 
Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Telephone:   
***Please note that all of these numbers ring in our office in Texas.
Toll-free  U.S. 800.340.7411
Toll-free  U.K. 020 7193 2344
Toll-free  Australia (02) 8005 0121
Toll-free  Hong Kong 852 8121 4271