UNDONE And The Chase For Ultimate ValueBy Kevin Cureau
This year, more than ever, value has played a large role in luxury products and especially watches. The effect of the world pandemic and the economic repercussions have invited us to pause and think twice about spending large amounts of money on our favorite hobbies.
Yet, even if it feels right to take a little step back, there are still ways to enjoy what the watch industry has to offer, with fun and attractive timepieces of great quality and design which all of us can purchase and wear with satisfaction. This is what UNDONE has done this year, and the reason why we’ve worked closely with them to bring our readers very charming watches at low prices, and to allow us to keep in line with our eternal pursuit of always presenting the best value to our customers.
UNDONE Tropical Dial Type 20 for The Rake & Revolution
To say it in a few words, when the UNDONE Type 20 Classic Flyback Chronograph launched on our shop, we were so impressed by the quality that the USD298 watch presents, not to mention the positive remarks we received from you, our readers, and several noteworthy vintage Type 20 collectors, that we were moved to work with UNDONE on a limited edition project.
Therein the watch that we chose to create, is a recreation of one that takes on the spirit of a vintage Breguet Type XX Ref:5101/54 with a sterile degradé brown tropical dial or the brown dial pièce unique that Breguet created for the Only Watch 2019 auction that sold for CHF 210,000. Ladies and gentlemen, with that in mind, we give you the USD325, 300-piece limited edition, UNDONE Tropical Dial Type 20 for The Rake & Revolution.
We’d also like to tell you of the charitable aspect that we’ve purpose behind the watch. For every watch sold, we will be donating USD50 towards the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2020 fund raising effort. We’re sure this is a watch you will enjoy and do so while doing your part to help raise awareness towards men’s mental health, particularly in 2020 when the world as we know it, has surely changed forever.
UNDONE Basecamp Cali
While the striking design is inspired by military designs from the golden age of watchmaking, the UNDONE Basecamp is a versatile beast. As its name implies it’s a watch well suited to outdoor activities and adventures of all types. It’s also snappy enough to keep pace with a discerning workplace, easily styling up or down as the occasion demands. But it’s a watch that will never hide in the background, thanks mainly to that California dial.
The so-called California dial is one of those interesting side streets in watch design where things get a little hazy. At its heart, a California dial is a watch dial that uses both Arabic and Roman Numerals. Typically, the layout involves Romans at the top and Arabics at the bottom of the dial, with the cardinal hours often being shown as hash marks.
As an exercise in neo-vintage design, the Basecamp Cali is clean, smart design. Taking much-loved design elements like the California dial, the waffle-style dial pattern and even the ever-popular plain leather strap with contrasting reinforced stitching and putting them on a quality 40mm steel case makes for a compelling watch, especially at the price point.
UNDONE Vintage Chrono for The Rake & Revolution
You’ll notice immediately that the watch, and its 40mm case profile, pays homage to the vintage waterproof step-case steel chronographs of the 1940s, but packaged in a sleek and modern interpretation.
The star is of course the dial and we took inspiration from those beautiful chronographs from the mid 20th century, which featured truly amazing sector or scientific dials, the most beautifully balanced dials of this era in our opinion. Sector dials first appeared in pocket watches in the 1920s and 30s and then began appearing in wristwatches. Also known as scientific dials, the were highly legible and easy to read accurately. These dials used a central chapter ring divided into sectors, with emphasised chemin de fer minutes and seconds tracks to enhance accurate timings.
The balance is wonderful and Art Deco-esque in its execution and that is why we wanted our new Revolution Edition to have this dial. The dial that we designed with UNDONE a stunning two-tone version, cream and gold, that is wonderfully complimented by blued steel hands. That classic look of gold tones or accents on the dial in a steel watch is a signature of the era and we think it makes our new watch rock. So classy, so vintage and so cool!
UNDONE Aero Scientific 1940 for The Rake & Revolution
It is widely assumed that the rotating bezel we see on so many timepieces has been invented for diving watches. Well, it turns out that the rotating bezel was actually created as a navigation tool for aviation in the 1930’s by U.S. Navy officer Lieutenant Commander Philip Van Horn Weems (1889-1979). One of his inventions was the Second-Setting Watch which added a rotating 60-seconds bezel which could be locked in place.
For the aviator and vintage design enthusiast, UNDONE has created the Aero Scientific 1940 with an exclusive aged dial specifically for The Rake & Revolution in a limited edition of 200 pieces. In our eternal pursuit of the best value for our readers, the watch comes with both a leather strap and a stainless steel bracelet.
The watch features the additional crown at 2 o’clock which functions as a bezel lock, it is designed to clamp down with just a twist of the crown. The wider bezel allows for larger fonts and printing; increasing legibility, while also giving pilots a more accessible instrument to operate while wearing thick, leather flight gloves. True to its vintage inspiration, the Aero Scientific 1940 features an exclusive aged dial which mimics the feel of patina appearing after many years of wear on the wrist.
Three hands are aligned to three separate tracks for ease of legibility and accuracy of setting. The blued syringe hour and minute hands are luminescent, where the minute hand lume perfectly aligns with the 5-minute markers, allowing for readability and clarity throughout flight at night. At 40mm in diameter, the watch is a comfortable size and the use of 316L stainless steel will insure durability without foregoing the vintage feel of the timepiece. The nostalgic aviation watch is powered by the tried and trusted SII NH35A; a self-wind, hackable, workhorse movement displaying time in a three-hand format, and the Aero Scientific 1940 is fitted with a screw-down crown.
UNDONE Vintage Tuxedo
When it comes to formal attire, there isn’t much that can take on a classic tuxedo in terms of overall style, but how about when it comes to the wrist? Well, you can make an argument for a fine gold dress watch, but we’d argue that a tuxedo is a perfect fit here too, a tuxedo-dialed watch that is. We take a look at the UNDONE Vintage Tuxedo, which promises to add a healthy dash of old-world elegance to any dress code.
When looking at prominent tuxedo dials, there’s one specific watch that, for its place in pop culture, takes the cake. The watch in question is a Tudor Oyster-Prince reference 7967 from 1959. It’s an elegant watch, the dial centre has a fine crosshatch, and the other hour chapter features a subtle radial finish that makes it quite the standout. Another famous tuxedo dial, one that pre-dates the Tudor is, of course, that early Genta design — the Polerouter, which dates back to 1954.
UNDONE’s Vintage Tuxedo offers a modern take on the classic style, with the chronograph complication adding some extra layers to the design, with a central dial in matte grey, with starburst chronograph registers and a black hour chapter ring with lovely, creamy-coloured Arabic numerals in a very pleasing deco-esque font, matched perfectly by the slender, lume-filled hands. The case is equally vintage-inspired, with pump-style pushers, and long straight lugs on the 40mm steel case. The movement though is somewhat more modern — a Seiko Instruments meca-quartz that’s a happy middle ground between quartz accuracy and mechanical actuation.
As far as tuxedos go, UNDONE’s version is quite contemporary, a modern evolution of the tuxedo — more Donald Glover than Fred Astaire, but equally stylish.