The list of world-renowned fashion brands that offer head-turning timepieces is constantly on the rise.
Apart from brands that everyone and their dog recognizes, there are also less mainstream names capable of offering just as good if not better quality of a wristwatch. One of such names that we will have a closer look at today is Salvatore Ferragamo.
Up until quite recently, the brand has been known mostly, not to say exclusively, for its excellent shoewear. However, Ferragamo’s offer has considerably expanded over the years and now also includes a wide range of fashion accessories, including watches.
In today’s Salvatore Ferragamo watches review, we will dive deep into the quality of these pieces to establish whether they warrant the price tag some think is higher than the standard of craftsmanship on offer.
But first, let’s have a quick peek at the brand’s history and background. Alternatively, you can move straight to the Watch Quality Review or pick any topics from the Table of Contents below
Without further ado, let’s go!
Salvatore Ferragamo History
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Although Salvatore Ferragamo watches are a relatively fresh concept, the brand’s beginnings date back to the early 19th century.
Salvatore Ferragamo was a young shoe enthusiast born in Bonito, a small town located approximately 100km away from the beautiful city of Naples in Italy.
Salvatore’s education on shoes started remarkably early. In fact, he opened his first shoe shop at the age of 11 after returning from a knowledge-gaining trip to Naples in 1909.
Emigration to the US
His road to worldwide recognition started after his emigration to the United States, however. During years of studying the anatomy of a human’s foot, he was testing different designs and solutions to make the process of walking as hassle-free and skeleton-supporting as possible.
During the 1920s, Salvatore was running numerous boot shops in Hollywood, making shoewear both for movies and everyday use. Because of his influence on the local shoe industry and the gained reputation amongst high-ranking locals, Ferragamo acquire US citizenship in the winter of 1926.
Ferragamo was proud of his work being appreciated by movie stars, directors and wealthy customers but he wanted to reach other, less prominent groups of customers. And that’s what gave birth to Ferra-Gamo Inc., an enterprise he set up after his return to Italy in 1927. Its goal was to design and manufacture all shoes in Italy and then use the Hollywood stores to distribute them to American and European customers.
First Branded Store
After coming up with many ground-breaking patents such as the wedge heel, the shoemaker opened his first branded store in Florence in 1937.
After surviving the shortages of World War II, it was time to rise up again for the much-loved brand. Riccardo Magni, a Florentine painter and illustrator, released a painting in the November 1945 issue of the prominent fashion magazine “Bellezza” in which a Ferragamo wedgie was shown as the solitary survivor of the Florence bombs.
Safe to say, the brand got back on its feet relatively quickly and continued to expand, opening its first New York store in 1948. The next two decades were full of success, both in Italy and the US, which prompted Salvatore to release his autobiography. Titled “Shoemaker of Dreams”, the autobiography wasn’t intended to glorify his enormous success but to tell the story of his life and work in the first half of the 19th century.
After nailing the shoe industry, Ferragamo’s next dream was to turn the brand into a fashion house that could dress men and women “from toe-to-head”. Although he didn’t accomplish the goal himself, his six children and wife Wanda, who took over the reins after his death in 1960, certainly did Salvatore very proud in the subsequent decades.
The Birth of Salvatore Ferragamo Watches
Salvatore timepieces were the last to be added to the brand’s offer as it had mostly focused on scarfs, fragrances and other accessories for men and women.
The first Salvatore Ferragamo wristwatch saw daylight in the 1990s, and the brand hasn’t looked back since. Just like other apparel, Salvatore Ferragamo watches beam style and elegance and are equally appreciated by male and female aficionados.
At present, the timepiece collection consists of tens of comment-worthy models. And it grows with every passing season.
How about the much-debated quality of these watches? It’s time to find out.
Are Salvatore Ferragamo Watches Any Good?
Salvatore Ferragamo, just like other providers of fashion watches, splits opinions quite notably.
When opting for any fashion watch brand, you need to be aware of one prime rule: you’re mostly paying for the brand’s label and reputation and shouldn’t expect a God-knows-how-high level of craftsmanship. Fashion brands will never offer as good value as well-established watchmakers, such as Tissot, Glycine, Bulova or Seiko.
With that said, they sometimes offer timepieces that look way more interesting and the mere fact of wearing them is associated with high status and prestige. People that don’t consider themselves watch dorks might not have come across any of the above-mentioned watchmakers but they’re likely to be familiar with Salvatore Ferragamo, Maserati or Fossil.
Whether Salvatore Ferragamo watches are the right fit for you will largely depend on what values you’re looking for and prioritize in a wristwatch.
To establish the quality provided by these timepieces, let’s now dive deeper into the most important aspects that contribute to the overall quality of any watch brand.
As already mentioned, design is probably the strongest point of fashion watch brands. They’re simply obliged to look good and turn as many heads as possible along the way.
If we were to briefly describe the style offered by Salvatore Ferragamo watches, most of them oscillate in the dressy spectrum – something you’d expect from a fashion brand.
They definitely look no cheaper than the price tags would suggest.
We will have a closer look at different styles offered by some of the more popular watch models in the Salvatore Ferragamo Collection section further down the article.
The reality is, that even the best-looking timepieces are rendered pretty much useless if they don’t boast solid durability standards.
So, how does Salvatore Ferragamo fare in this field?
Starting from arguably the most damage-prone part of any watch, the dial window, the Italian brand passes the test with flying colors.
All watch models, whether at the lower or the higher end of the pricing table, utilize the most durable type of watch glass – sapphire. It’s the most scratch- and crack-resistant material used in watches at present and it’s an ever-present element of all the big sharks of the industry such as Rolex or Omega. Additionally, the sapphire glass comes with an anti-reflective coating which greatly improves legibility.
A lion’s share of Ferragamo watches utilizes by far the most popular material in the form of stainless steel. It’s the material with the highest anti-corrosion properties and is widely used across the whole watchmaking industry, whether talking about low-, mid- or high-budget brands.
Some of the pricier watch models come with titanium or ceramic cases.
Crucially, the vast majority of watch models are equipped with screw-down casebacks which greatly decreases the chances of any moisture getting inside the watch and causing potentially irreversible damage.
When it comes to straps, the choice is vast. You can pick from:
- stainless steel – used in a large portion of watches. Looks smart but is equally durable
- leather – probably the most elegant type but wears off quicker
- silicone – available with some of the sporty-themed models. Extremely rugged
- titanium – lighter and tougher than stainless steel but more prone to stains
- ceramic – probably the most premium type. Despite being super light, immune to corrosion and highly scratch-resistant, it can crack more easily than any of the above types
At the very least, you can expect the watch to offer 30m WR rating which effectively means it’s splashproof. On the other end of the spectrum, models with the dive-style bezel can withstand depths of up to 200m.
All Ferragamo watches, as long as they’re purchased from an authorized seller, come with a 2-year warranty. It’s pretty much an industry-standard duration.
During the guarantee period, you can return the watch for free servicing in case of defects related to the workmanship. Naturally, any damage caused to the watch or its movement because of your negligence, won’t be considered for free repair.
The Achilles heel of Salvatore Ferragamo watches, just like in the case of any other fashion watch brand, is the quality of movement.
If you prioritize outstanding design and really solid construction, it won’t bother you that much. However, if you value complex and highly accurate calibers, you can find considerably better value elsewhere.
Like most fashion moguls, Salvatore Ferragamo concentrates for the most part on quartz movements. Again, if you value excellent accuracy (they rarely lose or gain 15 seconds per month), it’s hardly disappointing news. On the other hand, you will probably turn your attention to other watchmakers if you’re after reliable and well-crafted automatic calibers.
Ferragamo watches are advertised as utilizing Swiss movements which is great. While this is completely true when it comes to battery-powered models, there are some doubts regarding the small portion of automatic timepieces.
For example, the widely-used DP24 automatic caliber is essentially a Chinese movement with Swiss finishing. In other words, the movement was manufactured in China but then exported to Switzerland where it was polished and encased.
Salvatore Ferragamo Collections
Generally speaking, Salvatore Ferragamo watches are oscillating in the dressy spectrum. However, that’s not to say they all look very similar.
To give you a better idea of the ranging styles offered by the brand, below find a brief peek at some of the most popular models at present.
Salvatore Ferragamo SFDK00218
If you appreciate a more sporty look in watches, the SFDK00218 model should be a great fit.
The timepiece is one of these Ferragamo watches that combine elegant design with sporty features. It includes three chronograph timers for 10, 30 and 60 seconds. The chronograph function is operated by the two pushers placed on each side of the crown. To add to the sporty vibes, the gold-tone bezel features a tachymeter scale. Furthermore, at 6 o’clock there’s quite an inconspicuous date window.
All hour markers, hour and minute hands, as well as chronograph hands, are luminescent, ensuring excellent legibility in the dark. The watch also features an easily distinguishable second hand which is painted red.
The watch boasts a 42mm stainless steel case with a solid caseback. The navy blue leather band comes with a deployant buckle clasp.
Considering the fact that this watch is primarily designed for lovers of sports timepieces, the water resistance is extremely modest not to say disappointing. The watch can withstand a pressure of up to 30m which effectively means it’s splashproof.
The watch runs on Swiss quartz movement, providing an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds monthly.
Salvatore Ferragamo FF3270015
If you’re a dive watch aficionado, you must be familiar with arguably the most iconic diver released to date, the Rolex Submariner.
The high status of the Swiss brand and the characteristic design of the timepiece means many brands try to replicate the style by releasing so-called homage models. Salvatore Ferragamo is not an exception to the rule.
Although the brand doesn’t advertise the model as a dive watch per se, the 200m water resistance indicates you can easily take a deep leap with the timepiece. Another feature characteristic of dive watches is the unidirectional bezel that can be used to measure elapsed time underwater. Last but not least, the watch features large, easily readable indices. All indices and hands glow in the dark.
The watch wears slightly heavier than the original Submariner. The diameter of the case is 43mm compared to Submariner’s 40mm. Both the case and the 3-link bracelet are made from stainless steel. The bracelet’s central link boasts a rose gold ion plating. Positioned at three o’clock is a date window.
Similar to the model above, the Submariner homage is powered by a Swiss quartz movement. It utilizes a popular caliber in the form of Ronda 715, ensuring the accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month.
Salvatore Ferragamo SFDE01119
We kicked off the list by reviewing two models with sporty features so it’s only fair to depart from that and now concentrate on more dressy timepieces – something Salvatore Ferragamo is mostly known for.
The SFDE01119 model you see below is one of the most elegant watches available at the time of writing. It has a much more minimalistic approach which is why it’s probably better suited for more formal occasions.
The rose gold-plated stainless steel case measures 40mm in diameter and has a solid caseback. It combines neatly with the brown leather strap which uses a deployment clasp.
The snow-white dial features rose-gold stick indices and additional sub-dial measuring seconds positioned at 6 o’clock. At 8 o’clock is the Double Gancini logo which is the internationally recognized symbol of Ferragamo. The hour and minute hands, as well as indices, are luminescent.
Taking into account that it’s a dress watch, the 5ATM (50m) water resistance is fairly impressive.
It’s another model powered by a Swiss quartz movement.
Salvatore Ferragamo SFDR00319
Rolex Submariner is not the only iconic model to which Salvatore Ferragamo pays homage.
The SFDR00319 timepiece looks very similar to Cartier Tank Solo which to this date is the most popular release by the luxury Swiss watch brand. This is down to the rectangular shape of the case that resembles a tank from a bird’s view.
The watch is just as elegant as the model discussed just above. The rectangular case measures just 31mm in diameter, meaning it’s also a good fit for ladies. The case is rose gold-plated and has a solid caseback. Adding to the stylish look is a brown leather strap with a tang buckle closure.
The watch face is a true classic. The white background combines neatly with the Arab numerals to which point hour and minute hands. This watch is the sole model on today’s list that doesn’t offer any form of luminescence.
Powered by Swiss quartz movement, it shouldn’t lose or gain more than 15 seconds monthly.
On the waterproofing front, the watch can withstand a pressure of up to 50m.
Salvatore Ferragamo FFO020017
We round off the list with a ladies’ watch.
The FFO020017 model combines elegance with a slightly adventurous approach. The 40mm stainless case boasts black ion plating and has a solid caseback. The lugs are gold-tone which makes for quite an interesting combination. Adding to the elegant feel is a black leather band with a deployment clasp.
The watch’s face combines a black-and-white theme. It features three main gold-tone hands as well as two extra pointers placed in the 12h sub-dial. Hour markers are in the form of stick indices and there are also minute markers engraved on the outer rim.
Unsurprisingly, it’s another model utilizing a Swiss quartz movement.
The watch isn’t a great companion for use in water as it’s only water-resistant to 30m.
Who Makes Salvatore Ferragamo Watches?
The timepiece business of Ferragamo is managed by the popular Timex Group, known mostly for their Timex watches. The exact branch handling the brand’s watches is the Timex Group Luxury Divison which also looks after Versace timepieces.
Effectively, that means Timex is largely responsible for the design, development, and manufacturing of Salvatore Ferragamo watches.
Although Timex is a company with its main headquarters in the United States, the Timex Group Luxury Division is based in Switzerland. Hence, all Salvatore Ferragamo watches are advertised as Swiss-made. That’s particularly true when it comes to quartz timepieces which all utilize Swiss calibers. However, as pointed out earlier, the automatic collection features movements manufactured in China but polished and encased in Switzerland.
Where to Buy Salvatore Ferragamo Watches?
Because of the brand’s luxury fashion status and worldwide recognition, the number of counterfeit Ferragamo watches is constantly rising. Hence, it’s important to know where to look.
The first obvious choice is the brand’s official website. However, the number of watches listed there is surprisingly small and they are listed at the original prices. Sales are quite a rarity.
The selection of Ferragamo timepieces is much bigger at popular marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. On Amazon, the prices start at $350 while eBay also offers pre-owned models that can be snatched from as low as $200. Both websites offer a hassle-free return policy in case you are disappointed with the purchase.
Last but not least, you can check out Jomashop. It’s one of the most trusted jewelry and watch stores in the United States. It’s also an authorized retailer of Salvatore Ferragamo.
Salvatore Ferragamo Watches Review: Conclusion
If you’ve been on the edge regarding the purchase of your first Salvatore Ferragamo watch, we hope that today’s article has helped you make up your mind – whatever that means going ahead with the buy or giving it a pass for now!
To sum up the Salvatore Ferragamo watch review, it’s safe to say that the brand offers solid value for money for a fashion company. Stacked against other popular fashion powerhouses such as Versace or Gucci, Ferragamo fares really well especially when it comes to the quality of material used to assemble the watches.
One of the biggest incentives is the presence of sapphire crystal glass in all watch models. The material is the most durable of all types of glass and is used by all the luxury watchmakers such as Rolex, Omega or Breguet.
As you’d expect from a fashion watch brand, another massive selling point is the stylish and head-turning design. Most of the watches are extremely elegant and look exactly their price – or above it! We also can’t underestimate the sheer prestige that comes with wearing a timepiece with the Ferragamo label, or its renowned Gancini logo.
The weakest point of Ferragamo watches is by far the quality of movement. With that said, it’s the Achilles heel of basically all fashion watch manufacturers.
Firstly, the vast majority of timepieces run on Swiss-made quartz calibers that can be found in watches that can cost a few times less. Secondly, the small group of automatic models happens to be advertised as Swiss-made but in fact, runs on calibers manufactured in China and streamlined in Switzerland.
As it’s always the case with fashion watches from highly popular designer brands, you’re mostly paying for the excellent looks and the prestigious logo. In addition to that, Salvatore Ferragamo offers really solid construction that can easily provide years of hassle-free use.
If you’ve found the Salvatore Ferragamo watches review useful, we’re super glad! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, especially if you have already experienced any of the Ferragamo timepieces first-hand.