A new watch company started in 2014, Undone Watch Company specializes in making quality, affordable, made to order watches. Standard models are available as well, but the made to order models are really their specialty. From their Vintage Collection, I ordered a Newman Hybrid Mechanical Quartz Chronograph powered by the popular Seiko Instruments VK61A mechanical quartz movement. Offered in numerous variations, the VK61A combines the best attributes of both quartz and mechanical chronograph movements. The 6 o’clock running seconds dial moves like a quartz watch while the 12 o’clock cumulative timed minutes dial moves like a mechanical watch when activated or stopped by the 2 o’clock pusher. The chronograph second hand moves in the standard ⅕ second interval. The 4 o’clock pusher resets the timing activity with a very mechanical chronograph action. The 3 o’clock onion, signed crown adjusts the time and the black on white 3 o’clock date window.
The big advantage of this movement is it keeps running when not worn with a 3 year rated battery life. In addition, this movement, in my particular example, is less than a second a day fast, which is far better than most quartz watches and Seiko’s claimed +/- 20 seconds a day.
The fairly unique aspect of ordering the watch in your choice of colors and designs, adds the option of an exhibition case back on a quartz watch, something that I took advantage of. In addition to watch face colors, the hour, minute and second hands can be ordered with your choice of design and color. The hour and minute hands are lumed as are the 12 hour markers. The case, crown, pusher finish and watch strap are also chosen by the buyer. The most amazing part of this process is that from the day I ordered the watch from the Undone website to the day of it’s arrival was only 1 week. Considering that the watch did not come from stock is truly amazing, shipping from Hong Kong to the West Coast of the United States in a time that would be typical of an in stock piece.
The Newman model is inspired by the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona. It is definitely not trying to copy the Rolex. The watch is very easy to wear, being only 40 mm in diameter, 47.5 mm lug to lug, 13.5 mm thick with a external lug width of 25.75 mm. The strap is relatively petite and tapers from 20 mm to 16 mm. It has a narrow, fairly thin, signed logo buckle with one fixed and one loose strap loop. My watch was ordered with a quick release green cordura fabric strap which comes with a leather like lining, that keeps this strap very comfortable on the wrist The signed onion crown is 7 mm across and the two pushers are exactly what you would expect. The case and bezel have two nicely defined steps, with downward curved lugs while the engraved outer case back curves up to meet the line of the case back. The hardened domed K1 mineral crystal looks appropriate for this watch as does the flat, raised, bevel edged exhibition case back insert. I would call the case finish satin black as I ordered it. There is really no glare from this watch except from the watch crystal itself.
If you looking for a very liveable, affordable $265 chronograph that doesn’t look off the shelf, these watches from Undone should be well worth your investigation. There are quite a few other customizable watch models in the Undone line as well, including dive models. Use promo code MBWW10 for 10% off your order and free shipping worldwide. www.undone.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.