If past performance is any indication of future results — and we're talking watches, not the stock market, here — you can expect Unimatic's newest limited edition watch to sell out crazy fast. The Italian watchmaker is a perennial hitmaker, mixing tool watch principles with stylish, minimalist design and regularly presenting fresh interpretations of its core models that keep the brand interesting and highly in-demand. And they're at it again: this time, giving their flagship U1 dive watch a strong splash of orange.
The impetus for this new model was a collaboration with one of the young brand's earliest retailers, Grimoldi, in Unimatic's home town of Milan. The brand's first product, appropriately named Modello Uno or U1, has always come in several versions with different bezel options, and it's this model that gets the limited-edition treatment here, with bright orange for the dial matched to a TPU strap.
Orange dials on dive watches were originally developed in the 1970s for their strong legibility and are associated, most of all, with Doxa. Unimatic's choice of colors is meant to evoke the '70s and "visual codes associated with the marine world" (the announcement also happens to be right on time for Halloween!). The brand gets these limited editions right, in part, because of details like the dial's lumed indices and hands with contrasting black outlines, as well as a subtle gray minute/second track.
Aside from the colors and design details, this limited edition is notable for one more major reason: it's the brand's first watch with a left-handed orientation — meaning the crown is on the left at 9 o'clock rather than the more standard righthand side of the case. It's easier for lefties to use, perhaps, but such "destro" watches are also welcomed by those who find that crowns uncomfortably poke their wrists. It's otherwise the same in terms of specs as other Unimatic U1 watches with a 300m-water-resistant, 40mm case (41.5mm bezel) and a Miyota automatic movement.
With only 100 examples available through the Unimatic website and Grimoldi stores, there's a decent chance that by the time you're reading this they're already sold out. C'est la vie. If you're quick, and lucky, you might be able to grab one for around $755, but otherwise you'll probably be paying higher prices on eBay.