I do recall saying in my review of Unimatic’s inaugural watch, the Modello Uno U1-A, that I didn’t know what was next for the brand but was intrigued to find out. Well, I’ve now been satisfied with an answer, as Unimatic recently announced the release of four new watches that we introduce to you in an aBlogtoWatch exclusive. The Unimatic Modello Uno has two new variations, the U1-B and the U1-BN, and we have the introduction of the all-new line Modello Due, with U2-AB and U2-AG models.
What we see now is “a natural evolution of the design grammar,” as described by their press release, and I must say I am pleased by this progression. First off, let’s look at the two new variations of the Unimatic Modello Uno, the U1-B and the U1-BN. These are simple yet pleasing variations of the original U1-A, with the bezel markings removed in favour of an all-black insert with a single luminous pearl. This design feature reminds me of some Vintage VDB dive watches I have seen, yet at 41mm would be a much easier wear for most.
The Unimatic Modello Uno U1-B is an all-brushed stainless case which Unimatic will produce 200 of, whereas the Unimatic Modello Uno U1-BN will only run in an edition of 40 pieces. Both have black dials with a “vintage radium-coloured” Super-LumiNova application and gold-printed rail markers and logo. They both come on black nato straps with branded buckles and are both powered by the Seiko NH35A automatic movement. Personally, I respond more to the all black version, which is described as being finished in PVD, but looks much more like a DLC coating to my eye. If it is in fact DLC, it will wear much more durably, yet I kind of hope it is PVD so it wears away at the edges for a good measure of wabi-sabi, as they say on the forum threads.
Either way, the subtle alterations made to the Unimatic Modello Uno U1-B and U1-BN make this watch feel decidedly more masculine, and perhaps make it a bit less “friendly-looking.” And that’s not a dig! It’s just a great example of how a few details can change the persona of a thing, y’know? Like swapping your waxed cotton coat for a leather jacket before you head off to a Slayer concert. The 2016 Modello Uno is just getting dressed up for a different mood.
Otherwise, I’m happy to see they seem to have used the same greenish-blue anti reflective coating on the inside of the domed sapphire crystal. It’s another small thing, but seeing that tint when the light catches it is something I really adored about the original Unimatic Modello Uno U1-A.
Next up is the Unimatic Modello Due U2-AB and U2-AG, which is an entirely new model for the brand. At first glance, I can already sense that this will be a divisive design amongst the readers on ABTW, but as a military watch fan I must say I quite enjoy what the press pictures show here.
Both models feature an all-brushed stainless steel case, with the U2-AB featuring a black dial and strap, and the U2-AG sporting a green dial and brown strap. Unimatic has continued to let the lume do the talking in terms of dial legibility as the hands themselves are color-matched to the dial, which keeps the watch looking very simple and clean. Unimatic refers to them as “ghost hands,” although I doubt they will help you sculpt anything arousing at the pottery wheel (RIP Patrick Swayze). The Unimatic Modello Due also uses a Seiko NH35A and can withstand the same 30 ATM of water resistance as the Modello Uno, which makes sense as the crown and gaskets are all also the same.
The Unimatic Modello Due definitely falls into the field watch category in terms of aesthetic, and I think both available colorways suit the design. The dial numerals and hands are done in white Super-LumiNova C1 with the logo printed in white.
The most interesting feature of the Unimatic Modello Due U2-AB and U2-AG seems to be the UFO-like profile of the 39mm (without the crown) case. I’d be interested to see how this wears on the wrist in terms of feel, but until then I can only comment on the looks.
So if you’re looking to get in on some utilitarian timepieces, perhaps the Unimatic 2016 release has something for you. Otherwise, the Unimatic Modello Uno U1-B can be had for a price of €450 + VAT and the all-black U1-BN for €550 + VAT. The Unimatic Modello Due U2-AG and U2-AB are both priced at €350 + VAT, and all are available online. unimaticwatches.com