January 28, 2023
by Ariel Adams
It is a good time to be Unimatic right now. Judging by the number of new models and collaboration projects the brand is releasing on a regular basis, the small, nimble watchmaker is in high demand. The core product it produces is a vintage-style diver/military watch with a graphic designer’s minimalist style. That concept has been translated into a series of different models, colors, movements, and now, materials. The story with these lovely new timepieces is that Unimatic introduces titanium as a case material into the Swiss Made collection of U1S and U2S products. While more expensive than some of the first Unimatic watches I started to review a few years ago, the brand has upped the quality of execution and components while still offering a competitively priced product. Let’s now check out the Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-T-MP and the Modello Due U2S-T-MP watches.
What these two watches have in common is their titanium case material, blue color scheme, and Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 automatic movements, and each is limited to 500 pieces. I think most Unimatic watches still contain Seiko-made Japanese automatic movements, which are fun. That said, the Sellita SW200-1 automatic movements that operate at 4Hz with about 38 hours of power reserve are going to be a slight upgrade. The two watches also have cases that are water resistant to 300 meters. Otherwise, they differ in case shape, crystal, accompanying straps, and wearing style.
Unimatic also claims that titanium helps the watches be 45% percent lighter than the steel versions. For the 40mm U1S case that apparently translates into a weight of 62 grams for the case, which is pretty light, and they do feel it. The titanium case quality is also better than you might expect for the price. Each of the watches is sandblast-finished, and the cutting precision on the edges is done with precision. Over the dial of the watches is an AR-coated sapphire crystal, but the shape is different between the two. The larger U1S diver’s style watch has less dome to the crystal, thus less glare. The U2S crystal is much more domed (for style purposes), and has a lot more glare. That isn’t too big of a deal during daily wearing, but don’t expect it to photograph easily.
The U2S-T-MP has a smaller case that is 38.5mm-wide. It has a vintage military-style vibe and is a diver in terms of performance, but it doesn’t have a rotating bezel. The case is 11.6mm-thick and has a modest 47.5mm lug-to-lug distance that actually feels larger due to the straightness of the lugs. People like this case shape and I agree it is interesting. It is also novel to wear such a small watch with such a wide strap. There can’t be too many 38mm-wide watches on the market with 22mm-wide lugs like the U2S.
The U1S-T-MP on the other hand is a bit larger at 40mm-wide with a 49mm lug-to-lug distance. It is also just 11.6mm-thick and has 22mm-wide lugs. This version has a uni-directional rotating bezel with a blue aluminum insert that matches the fashionably handsome blue dial colors. The bezel has markers on it but intentionally no color aside from the lume pip at the 60-minute mark. Each of the watches also has a distinctive caseback. Both have useful information such as the model name and limited-edition number, but the U1S has a conversion table ring, while the U2S has a chart showing hand signals which are part of the Milliradian Scale. This uses hand signals for numbers used to estimate the distance to a target, which is an important piece of information soldiers use for various purposes.
While both the U1S and U2S watches have their own interpretation of Rolex Submariner-style dials, the execution of each is a bit different. Both are given nice amounts of blue-emission Super-LumiNova. The U2S does away with a date window opting for a cleaner symmetrical dial look, while the U1S has a date window neatly placed at the 6 o’clock marker. Notice the attention to detail in that Unimatic ordered matching blue date discs.
Both watches come with two straps, one urethane, and the other a fabric-style nylon. They are also both the same color blue, and each is comfortable and stylish. The nylon straps are, however, a bit different on each of the U1S and U2S models. The former piece has a NATO-style thin-material nylon strap while the U2S has a two-piece stitched nylon strap.
Like many Unimatic watches, the U1S-T-MP and U2S-T-MP models are handsome and also timeless. It is hard to disagree with the price, as well as the stylish versatility that a gray and blue watch brings. More so, with the ability to add other straps, this watch duo can gain new personalities as well as be worn more formally. So, in all, while the real news is the titanium case material, Unimatic otherwise shows that it can successfully develop its core theme while adding further utility to its lineup. Given how practical titanium is as a watch case material, if the U1S-T-MP or U2S-T-MP aren’t on your Unimatic shopping list yet, a future titanium model probably will be. Price for the limited edition of 500 pieces Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-T-MP watch is €1,180, and the Modello Due U2S-T-MP is €900, also limited to 500 pieces. Learn more at the Unimatic watches website here.