Hong Kong-based UNDONE watches has recently released additions and upgrades to its still-recent Basecamp models — which make an already desirable timepiece collection even better. Recall that UNDONE allows buyers to purchase “pre-configured” watches or your own ideas and configurations via the UNDONE Customizer. To avoid choice paralysis among too many good options, I do like to recommend the pre-selected design configurations. That said, I also like UNDONE because the products are affordable enough to get more than one each month and not lose too much sleep over it.
UNDONE just came out with the Basecamp watch earlier in 2019 and has already announced this Basecamp 2.0. Is this really a brand new watch? The answer is that the latest Basecamp models will have additional dial and hand-set options and that the cases offer some upgraded parts. Basically, the 40mm-wide polished steel case had its water resistance rating changed from 50 meters to 100 meters. Second, the rotating bezels have K1 mineral crystal over them, as opposed to the slightly more scratch-prone plexiglass of the debut models. That’s pretty much it for the Basecamp upgrade, so people who recently purchased one should not feel bad.
New dial options are probably the most exciting news. UNDONE has finally released a blue-colored Basecamp and has also debuted the lovely Cali Dial, which is an homage (again) to vintage Rolex California dial watches. I don’t think there is any trendy vintage Rolex that will not receive some flattering emulation at UNDONE. I also don’t think that is a bad thing. I’ve regularly said that it is a silly shame there is so much cult affection for rare vintage Rolex watches that their handsome style can’t be appreciated by more people. Without ever actually copying a Rolex watch (or the other brands that it likes), UNDONE fashionably injects known themes into otherwise original watch designs. For the money and the quality, a style like UNDONE offers is very hard to find elsewhere.
The Cali Dial option for the Basecamp is featured with this cool, textured hunter-green dial with matching bezel. There is also a black Cali Dial available. Texture is increasingly a big deal at UNDONE, and I am proud to say that these are both dynamic and attractive in their artisanship. It really goes to show that, with effort and determination, a watch brand can push the envelope of how much quality you can punch in a low-production yet high-ambition business model.
Inside the watches are still Seiko Instruments NH35a automatic movements which operate at 3Hz with about two days of power reserve. They aren’t the world’s most exciting (or pretty) movements to look at, but there is a display caseback on the Basecamp, and it is good to have such a view at the ~ $300 price level.
Strap options are wonderfully varied, as usual, but I think people will really like the “extra chunky” NATO-style strap with its thick gauge metal hardware. In fact, the 40mm-wide case feels larger on the wrist when paired with the NATO-style strap because of how bulky it is. The look isn’t for everyone, but the right people will love the Basecamp on a NATO. The Basecamp case is also on the thicker side (15mm) thanks to the thickish Lexan crystal. For the next upgrade, I’d like a clicking bi-directional bezel, as opposed to the free-moving (but stable) bezel it has now.
I encourage you to look at the varies different UNDONE Basecamp 2.0 and Cali Dial watch configurations available. Little differences might sway you in one direction or another, such as how the Cali dial option doesn’t have the date but the standard Basecamp does. All are good choices and have prices that start at just $315 USD for the UNDONE Basecamp. Learn more at the UNDONE website here.