Just in the nick of time as summer is in full swing, Unimatic has announced four new variants of their U1 Diver. The last time we covered Unimatic, it was to discuss their collaboration piece with Parisian retailer Nous, to release a strange, but exclusive, California dial version of their U1 design. For this batch, Unimatic is back to their minimalist roots for these four new renditions of the U1, with a new bracelet offering to boot.
The base specifications on all four models are consistent with what we’ve seen Unimatic release on previous renditions of the U1. All four designs feature a stainless steel case measuring 40mm in diameter (41.5mm including bezel), a 2.5mm thick double domed sapphire crystal, and are all powered by the Seiko NH35, a hacking and hand-winding automatic movement with a 41-hour power reserve and amplitude of 21,600 bph. All models feature Unimatic’s usual conversion table engraved caseback. The differences between these releases come down to the cosmetics, so let’s get a closer look at each model.
This is perhaps the most traditional U1 style design from the bunch. The design here is very well in line with Unimatic’s past releases and that’s a good thing, in my opinion. The U1 has a great, utilitarian/minimalist design that I really dig. It retains the classic, stark contrast of bright white hour plots against a matte black dial. This variant has a matte black sapphire bezel insert, which is lumed with BGW9 (blue) Super-LumiNova on all hour plots and hands, a date window at the 6 position, and comes on a Unimatic branded NATO-style strap as well as a black silicone strap. The U1-E flavor is limited to 600 pieces and is priced at €525.
The U1-EN is the U1-E’s Gothic brother; sharing the same style as the U1-E, but with a black DLC finish on the case. I’ve never been a huge fan of DLC finishes on watch cases, and the U1-EN certainly doesn’t change my mind on that opinion. However, Unimatic has experience with doing DLC cases, and clearly there’s enough of a market for it, seeing as how Unimatic has stuck with it, and seems to have no issue selling them. The U1-EN comes on a NATO-style strap with matching black hardware as well as a black silicon strap. The U1-EN is limited to 300 pieces and is priced at €625.
This variation takes minimalist to the max. The U1-EM features a completely clean dial, with halo-style hour markers, and a clean black bezel with no markings aside from the lume pip at 12. Absent on this flavor is the date window, replaced with a rectangular hour marker, parrallel with the horizontal markers at 3 and 9. This is my favorite of the four models; something about the extreme minimalism really captures my interest. I acknowledge that the clean bezel isn’t all that useful for diving purposes, but as a desk jockey I’m not too worried about it. The U1-EM comes on a black Shell Cordovan leather strap, as well as a black rubber NATO. The U1-EM is limited to 400 pieces and is priced at €525.
The U1-EMN is to the U1-EM as the U1-EN is to the U1-E (bit of a tongue twister there for you), in that it’s the black DLC cased brother version of the U1-EM. This is perhaps the most stark of the bunch. The white markers and hands really stand out against all the black on this design. Combined with the black strap, it’d be quite the murdered-out dive watch. The U1-EMN, like its brother, comes on a black Shell Cordovan leather strap, as well as a black rubber NATO. It is limited to 200 pieces and priced at €625.
Perhaps most interesting part of this release is Unimatic’s introduction of a bracelet option. The bracelet is available in brushed steel or DLC to match any of the new U1 designs, with fitted solid endlinks. The bracelet features a tool-less micro adjust, a feature that I love on dive watch clasps, as it’s great for giving yourself a bit more room on a hot day. The bracelet is available for €150.
The microbrand space is, as we all know, extremely crowded. Unimatic has, in my opinion, always done a good job at offering something that stands out with their well-designed minimalist divers. These four new options are well within the design theme we’ve seen coming from Unimatic in the past, so I imagine fans of the brand will be happy to see these new offerings. All these new models, and the bracelet, are available directly from Unimatic’s web store. unimaticwatches.com