This leads me to the bracelet, which is going to take a bit of explaining. Firstly, the individual bracelet links are magnificent! They are well-fitted and weighty, sporting a lovely polished centre link to contrast the brushed sides. The removable links for sizing the bracelet are fitted with screws that were a bit difficult to get out, but not the hardest I’ve experienced by a long shot. The bracelet also has the diver extension feature, and the overall fit and finish of the links is something that far exceeds the sub $500USD price point. It really elevates the look and feel of this piece, but because it is so superbly done, it creates a bit of an odd contrast for me.

Basically, the outer “shell” of the clasp and the safety bit that folds overtop feel a bit thin compared to the links, and as a guy with short nails, I had a bit of trouble lifting the safety clasp when I put on and took off the watch every day. The weird part is that even the hinged prongs beneath the shell and safety clasp feel much more substantial than the parts on the outside.

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I could only come to one conclusion as to why this is: when you are wearing the watch, the bracelet links and hinged prongs are what rest against your skin, and since they feel great, the few seconds of befuddlement regarding the clasp are easily forgotten once the watch is on your wrist. Again, not sure why this small portion of the folding clasp isn’t as substantial as the rest of the watch, but it’s the only “issue” I can find. Heck, the clasp is definitely better than what I’ve seen on Seikos around the same price, and it only stands out because the rest of the bracelet is so damn superb — there could be worse things to gripe about!


Otherwise, this watch looks and feels on the wrist like a watch in the $1500–$2000 USD price range, easily. With that one small issue of the bracelet resolved, perhaps it could pass for an even higher price-point? Maybe, but Unimatic has really already overshot the “bang-per-buck” mark with the Unimatic Modello Uno. Kudos to them.


Overall, the Unimatic Modello Uno is a winner for me. I really enjoyed wearing it, it’s definitely worth the price, and it’s simple yet unique. There is an honest charm I find refreshing, especially with so many micro-brands producing dive watches that would seemingly rather be a Rolex Submariner or Blancpain 50 Fathoms than something distinctive. It’s not about trying to communicate status or shoehorn some financially acquired brand history into its actuality, it simply exists as a finely made instrument for you to appreciate.

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A good fit on the wrist, the Unimatic Modello Uno looks a tad smaller than the actual 41.5mm size, but feels perfectly balanced.

A good fit on the wrist, the Unimatic Modello Uno looks a tad smaller than the actual 41.5mm size, but feels perfectly balanced.

Furthermore, I am not the biggest fan of dive watches, and the only other watch from this genre I have ever desired enough to purchase was the Tudor Black Bay Red. I definitely appreciate the genre, but I seldom find myself willing to forego the purchase of yet another vintage chronograph to put my money towards some sort of clicky-bezel-diving-contraption. And yet, the Unimatic Modello Uno somehow makes this connection for me. Giovanni Moro, the designer behind the Unimatic Modello Uno, has achieved a conversion of sorts, and you may recognize him as the man behind the design of the Smiths PRS40 military watch. Aside from the Modello Uno’s limited 300-piece run (did I mention there are only 300 of these?), looking up the Smiths PRS40 may give us some insight as to what lies ahead for Unimatic as a brand.

But is Unimatic a “brand”, or an interesting one-off? What is the long term plan? I’m not sure. All I know is that this watch exists here and now, and I definitely want one. You can make one of the 300 available watches yours for €450 (approximately $490 USD + VAT). unimaticwatches.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Unimatic
>Model: Modello Uno Ref. U1-A
>Price: €450
>Size: 41.5mm x 13.6mm
>Material: 316L Stainless Steel
>Movement: Automatic, Seiko NH35A
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Any nerdy design enthusiast who you’ve heard say the word “utilitarian” or “clean.” If you don’t have such a friend, then anyone who can appreciate a good, durable, mechanical watch at an attainable price.
>Best characteristic of watch: The overall industrial look… It feels like a piece of equipment you had to sign out from a lab, then unpack from one of those padded aluminum Pelican cases before you got to strap it on.
>Worst characteristic of watch: The outer shell and safety lock on the folding clasp don’t match the weighty feel of the rest of the piece. Also: no padded aluminum Pelican case… You know, like you’d have it handcuffed to you until you got transported to your top-secret job site… Y’know? You know.

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