Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.
If you’re a regular Gear Patroller and a watch guy or gal, then you’ve invariably come across Unimatic on multiple occasions during your horological perusals. The boutique Italian watchmaker is responsible for some of our favorite affordable dive watches and chronographs from the last few years, and their U1 model has proven the perfect platform upon which to launch collaboration timepieces.
Unimatic’s latest timepiece is being produced with NYC-based Massena LAB, a collaboration studio founded by industry veteran William Massena, a noted collector and previously the Chief Operating Officer of Antiquorum in Geneva. The new UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Modello Uno Ref. U1-ML6. is inspired by 1950s dive watches and features a striking galvanized brown dial, clearly inspired by “tropical” dials on vintage watches. (A “tropical” dial is a black dial that has turned brown to due the affects of light, oxidization and other factors.) Because the dials are handmade and due to variation in the chemical process, each one is unique. “Old radium”-style SuperLumiNova and a negative-etched gilt minute rail complete the vintage aesthetic.
The watch features the U1’s typical 40mm steel case, water-resistant to 300m and housing the automatic Seiko caliber NH35A with 41 hours of power reserve. The case back in turn features a deep engraving of Poseidon, a reference both to the ocean and to World War II veteran Alastair Robertson, an officer in the British Royal Navy and navigator on the aircraft carrier HMS Ocean, whose crest featured the Greek god of the sea.
The U1-ML6 is topped off with a 120-click, unidirectional dive bezel with black aluminum “15-minute” bezel insert (a first for Unimatic) and ships on a Horween Cordovan Shell two-piece strap, as well as a Unimatic NATO strap with stainless steel hardware signed “Unimatic.” A limited edition of 99 pieces, the U1-ML6 comes with a branded UNIMATIC x Massena LAB case, a 24-month warranty card and a unique ID seal, all for $850.
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