UNDONE has done it again, creating a base model for lovers of classic tool watches. Its latest model, the Basecamp, is being rolled out this week, with all the usual customization options. UNDONE, a startup that appeared on the scene in 2014, is headed by renowned watch guru and vintage collector Michael Young, a.k.a. the Rolex Bracelet magician.
UNDONE is the first fully bespoke watch company that offers personalized bezels, cases, dials, hands, straps and engraving for every watch it sells. The brand believes that watches go far beyond functional fashion — that they tell stories. With customizable, made-to-order timepieces, wearers become narrators.
The Basecamp is a new customizable tool watch collection that is based on feedback gathered from customers about the Aqua diver, UNDONE’s first customizable diver’s collection. While the Aqua is a robust 43.5 mm-wide and 16mm-thick, the new Basecamp is scaled down a notch, with a 40mm-wide, 15mm-thick case and a sleeker, non-printed bezel option. The smaller case gives the watch a sleeker look, which makes it more of an everyday wear, but the Basecamp is still every inch a sports watch, with 50 meters of water resistance and a robust case. It takes its design cues from iconic tool watches made by the leading brands — the orange, highly visible hour hand is a tribute to the Rolex Explorer II. The minimalist bezel with only a lumed triangle at the top is reminiscent of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms.
It also mimics the original Bakelite insert by applying a layer of lume under the acrylic. In keeping with the legacy of authentic vintage tool watches, the bezel rotates in both directions without clicks. Hands, numerals and markers are fully luminated, so they stand out against the simple matte black dial. And in the style of watches from the 1950s and ’60s, the crystal over the dial is noticeably domed. While it looks like a normal plexi, the bezel is actually made of Lexan, a polycarbonate thermoplastic used in headlamps and motorcycle helmets, with 250 times the impact strength of glass. The crystal, along with the chamfered case, took two years to develop and perfect, with endless prototypes being tested.
The Basecamp’s basic design, however, is not set in stone. The philosophy of UNDONE’s founder, Michael Young, is that “individuality matters.” You can change it up if it’s not your ideal combination of features. There are four case options planned for the Basecamp that UNDONE will gradually roll out: stainless steel, black PVD, rose gold, and yellow gold. The iconic “sterile” bezel can be swapped out for a classic 60-minute bezel (available in early May 2019). It will have an exhibition caseback on sapphire glass, either with or without personalization (an image of choice can be printed on the inside of the glass). Strap options include a choice of three NATO straps in olive green, orange, and black that are exclusive to the Basecamp, or any of the other UNDONE 20mm straps from the accessories store. Custom dials and hands will be rolled out over the next month. Like all UNDONE products, the Basecamp is assembled, tested, and shipped worldwide within 7-10 working days from the order date.
The movement is the same as the one in the Aqua series: the Seiko automatic caliber NH-35, with a 41-hour power reserve and a date window at 4:30. The Basecamp is water resistant to 50 meters, and the base model starts at $295. It is available here starting today or you can visit undone.com/basecamp to learn more.
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