July 15, 2019
by Ariel Adams
With the Type XX watch collection (debuted here), Hong Kong-based Undone now aims for the sky. Anyone with some knowledge of vintage pilot watches knows of the “Type XX” name, which is actually a dial design (more layout, really) designation. Type XX watches were originally produced by a number of companies, such as Dodane and Breguet. Today, the Type XX name is probably most closely associated with Breguet but, because it is not a title but a dial layout orientation, I don’t think they have the right to prevent others like Undone from using the name. The Undone Type XX certainly has a resemblance to some historic Breguet Type XX watches and no real aesthetic overlap with today’s Breguet Type XXI models. (Breguet does not currently produce a Type XX watch.)
The Undone Type XX is a reminder to the world of entry-level watch buyers and collectors who simply want something basic and fun, that the Type XX dial and historic mostly military watches that has it were pretty nice to look at. Out of three launch models, Undone really only dedicates one of them to a more “authentic” vintage look. And that doesn’t take into consideration all the customization options available with the Type XX and other Undone watches. The blue and black Type XX is much more contemporary and hip, and it reminds me of the color palette used for the TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford that was in a black carbon case. This particular Undone Type XX is the “Panda Dial” — opting for a black-and-white contrast that I am not sure I recall from any other Type XX dial watches. Undone decided to put the ABTW logo on there to demonstrate how the watches can be customized, as the norm for most Undone watches is to place the brand name discreetly under 6 o’clock.
A small quip about the Type XX watches is the fact that the “mecha-quartz” caliber VK64 Seiko Instruments movement has one of the sub-dials used by a synchronized 24-hour hand, which more or less only serves as an AM/PM indicator. I feel that such a display of information could be smaller and that this isn’t an ideal use of space. I’d prefer for a more complete 12-hour chronograph rather than have the 24-hour hand complication there.
Small differences aside from colors mark the three Undone Type XX models. The “Special Edition” in black and blue has a black-coated steel case, and the dial markings and hand colors are different for all the models. Those small but real differences among the models make it clear that Undone wanted each to have its own personality, as well as potential owner. The vintage style Type XX Classic will appeal to traditional watch collectors, while the Type XX Special Edition is the more modern and urban of the lot. This Undone Type XX Panda is somewhere in the middle, offering a bold but conservative look suitable for a lot of wearing situations.
The case, which is based on the Undone Urban collection, is in steel and 41.5mm-wide with the bi-directional aviator-style rotating bezel. It is water resistant to 30 meters and is capped with a mineral crystal. A new turnip-style pilot watch crown was developed for the Type XX. Like most Undone watches, the Type XX is a modular watch concept, meaning that if you don’t want one of their three ready-made Type XX designs, you can use their online customization tool to mix and match parts, as well as include your own graphics that can be printed on the dial. There are at least 15 different strap options to choose from, including a NATO-style strap which automatically comes as an added bonus (for the time being) with the Type XX Special Edition.
Comfortable and on-theme for the classic pilot watch look (with a chic, accessible twist) the Type XX is another solid offering from Undone that is yet another way for watch collectors to enjoy the look of a something classic without a price that makes most balk. If there is anything the greater watch community has made clear, is that while many people have luxury budgets, not all collectors want to max out their budget with each new watch purchase. Brands like Undone offer the ability to experiment with a fun look, or to simply enjoy a particular style without having to go all out and actually get something vintage or from a luxury brand that would cost thousands of dollars. Merely having options like this simply means that consumers will buy less, so, in my opinion, the democratizing pricing effect of a brand like Undone is very positive for the watch industry, as well as for collectors.
Price for the Undone Type XX watch (before any potential customization) is $315 USD for the Type XX Classic and Panda, and $350 USD (more for the black case and extra strap) for the Undone Type XX Special Edition. Learn more order from the Undone website here.