One of the most recent limited edition UNDONE watch collaborations is with a major name in the modern design and fashion world. The watch is the UNDONE X STAPLE Ying-Yang watch, and it was designed in collaboration with Jeff Staple. Born Jeff Ng, Jeff Staple rose to popularity in the 1990s and founded Staple Design in 1997. Staple Design was later renamed to Reed Art Department, which is still headed by Staple. He also founded Staple Pigeon — a complete clothing line — and also oversees the U.S. Creative Operations for Hypebeast, which is a publication and store dedicated to contemporary fashion. Mature, experienced, well-educated, and brimming with good taste, Jeff Staple is among the most ideal personalities UNDONE could have chosen for a design collaboration — and the result is rather inspired as well as attractive.
The UNDONE X STAPLE Yin-Yang watch is poetic, easy on the eyes, and also appropriately branded. Built on the 40mm-wide UNDONE Basecamp timepiece collection, the UNDONE X STAPLE [PIGEON] Ying-Yang watch is most easily identified by its “double pigeon head” Yin Yang motif which makes up the dial. Going with the dual element theme, the dial also has both Arabic numeral hour markers, as well as graphical markers (UNDONE says that this is yet another take on the California dial), as well two colors of luminant.
Classic Submariner-style hands are in Staple’s signature pink (looks red at a glance, along with a “lightning bolt” seconds hand (also in pink) that adds additional personality to the composition (along with legibility). The bi-directional rotating bezel is printed with Staple’s personal slogan of “positive social contagion” and the numeric markers on part of the bezel go from 75 – 97. These numbers represent 1975, which is Mr. Staple’s birth year, while 1997 is when he founded Staple Design. The rear of the watch case has a pink-tinted exhibition window, with an additional pigeon motif above the view of the automatic movement.
The 40mm wide case (15m- thick) is water-resistant to 100 meters and in steel. The case for the STAPLE watch has a matte-black PVD coating and is covered with a domed crystal produced from Lexan polycarbonate (very rare for a wristwatch). Inside the watch is a Japanese Seiko Instrument caliber NH35A automatic movement that operates at 3Hz with a power reserve of 42 hours.
Both UNDONE and Staple Design are selling the watches, which come in a few forms depending on the wearer’s strap preference. The most exclusive model is a limited edition of 300 pieces on a bracelet known as the UNDONE X STAPLE Yin-Yang Limited Edition, which comes with a matching black steel bracelet (on quick-release spring bars), as well as an additional Staple Pigeon black-and-white printed NATO-style strap (as well as a key chain). There are also two non-limited-edition versions that come on a leather strap or an all-black NATO-style strap.
What I like most about the UNDONE X STAPLE watch is the resulting project. It is, of course, impressive for UNDONE to be working with an important fashion personality, and it is also a great treat for Jeff Staple (and Staple Pigeon) fans to have a new wristwatch product to rally behind. That said, the true measure of an interesting timepiece is being able to appreciate it without knowing anything about the people who imagined it. The unique Yin-Yang style dial and fresh take on a classic wristwatch dial are simply fun and interesting. Sure, you need to have some penchant for the common pigeon to truly enjoy the overall design, but rarely do you see “design collaboration” watches such as the UNDONE X STAPLE that feel so coherent when they are taken outside of the context of their creators. Price for the UNDONE X STAPLE Yin-Yang watches is $649 USD for the 300-piece limited edition on the bracelet, and $519 USD for the two non-limited edition models on straps. Learn more or order at the UNDONE watches website here.