Unimatic’s New Collection Introduces Its Smallest Watch Ever

The limited-edition Modello Cinque U5S-ML made with Massena Lab is more Bauhaus than bombast.

In its young life, Italian microbrand Unimatic has launched countless collabs and limited editions, but only four distinct collections. Today, they announce their fifth major product family, the U5 or Modello Cinque, and it’s one spec that’ll grab your attention first: a relatively diminutive diameter.

It’s only 36mm wide, and thin


If you’re familiar with Unimatic watches you’ll know that they often don’t wear small. The U1 and U3 essentially share a case and dimensions of 41.5mm, and the U4 is smaller but feels similar. The U2 is 38mm but wears tall on the wrist. They’ve got a solid, military vibe with thickish, angular cases, and this works well for their tool-watch persona. 


The U5, on the other hand, is only 36mm wide and a reasonably (though not exceptionally) thin 11.05mm. Some call 36mm “midsize” or “unisex,” but this is a sizing that recalls the way many vintage watches wear and which has been popular in recent years. If anything, Unimatic is a little late in getting in on the downsizing trend. If, like other Unimatic watches, it wears larger than its spec sheet suggests, however, it just might be perfect for a lot of wrists.

It’s more German-minimal than military


It might also be seen as a slightly new design direction for the brand. Yes, the brand is known for minimalism mixed with tool-watch pragmatism, and the U5 would seem to continue the design language in this sense. But it’s the least “military”-feeling Unimatic yet. Rather, it’s got a look of German toughness and Bauhaus sensibilities.


In the brand’s own words, it’s “inspired by German mid-century industrial design, like the work of Dieter Rams, or vintage Bavarian automobile dashboards.” The brushed case, stark dial, (nearly) monochromatic colorway (save the yellow-tipped seconds hand) and thin indices communicate this well. Fans of watches from the likes of Sinn, Porsche Design, Laco, Stowa, Defakto, Braun and others will appreciate the aesthetic. Like other Unimatic watches, and despite its smaller case, it’s rated to a dive-watch-worthy 300m of water resistance.

Oh yeah, and it’s a limited-edition collab


This first example of the U5 is, in fact, a limited edition in partnership with Massena Lab and it’s specifically called the U5S-ML. We have to assume that the U5 will join the brand’s permanent collection or “Classic Editions” in the future, but it’s not yet clear how those will differ from these initial LEs. 


With a Swiss-made Sellita SW200 movement inside, it seems likely that the Classic Edition U5 will follow the trend of other models and offer the likes of a lower price point and Japanese automatic movement. There very well could be other differences such as design changes (seconds hands in other colors are easy to imagine). Is the 36mm size the defining trait of the U5? We’ll be curious to see how it evolves and what limited edition collabs use the U5 as their base.

Unimatic x Massena Lab U5S-ML Modello Cinque Specs


Case: Steel; 36mm wide; 11.05mm thick (+2.5mm thick-flat sapphire); 43.7mm lug-to-lug

Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic.

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date

Water Resistance: 300 meters

Strap: Black and straw-yellow tapered TPU straps (22mm lug width)

Availability: 300 numbered examples

Price: $995

Learn more at Unimatic or Massena Lab


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1 comment

  1. J. Quincy Magoo says:
    The disrespect that is Massena Lab

    I received an email from one, Massena Lab, introducing Unimatic’s new watch. Since I never gave my email nor signed up to receive news from this outfit, I asked them from where they got my email address. They responded with one word, calling me an “idiot”. I would caution anyone considering doing business with these dorks. They don’t deserve people’s business and they don’t deserve to be reviewed or rewarded for their outrageous behavior. They obviously don’t know or care about how they do business. It’s jerks like these that give the watch profession a bad name.

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