July 20, 2019
by Rob Nudds
The anniversary of the 1969 moon landings has finally arrived — 50 years ago today, on July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, forever emblazoning the memory of humanity’s finest exploratory achievement on the global consciousness. And to extol the organization that gave us those wonderful memories, Italian brand Unimatic has released a limited edition watch to commemorate NASA’s achievements. The Unimatic Modello Uno U1-SP Watch NASA Anniversary Edition may be a bit of a mouthful (especially if you extrapolate the “SP” to “Space Program,” which is what it stands for), but it is a clean-dialed, materially appropriate homage to the space suits worn on that fateful mission, and has loads of little quirks for lovers of this brand or the space race to get excited over.
The Unimatic Modello Uno U1-SP Watch NASA Anniversary Edition case is 40mm-wide (excluding crown) and treated with a really interesting “stonewash” Cerakote coating. What appears to have happened here is that the watch has been coated with Cerakote (a hard, ceramic-based surface treatment) and then artificially aged to remove the white material from the edges of the case’s surfaces, scarring the watch in the same way rapid-moving space dust habitually tore into space suits.
The watch also sticks to the color scheme one might expect for NASA. The academy’s famous red worm logo adorns the dial between 6 o’clock and the center. Surrounding the dial is a 120-click unidirectional safety bezel. A black-anodized aluminum insert gives the bezel a stark look in contrast to the gleaming 2.5mm double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside. The 12 o’clock mark on the bezel is picked out by a pearl of radium-colored lume that matches the color of the markers on the dial.
The white Unimatic Nylon one-piece strap measures 22mm at the lugs and buckle, which is also coated with stonewashed white Cerakote. The horizontal weave of the nylon strap is mirrored by the horizontal grooving of the oversized crown, creating a nice visual link. Additionally, the Unimatic Modello Uno U1-SP Watch NASA Anniversary Edition comes with a second (two-piece) strap in Safety Orange Cordura.
Black ladder “phantom” hour and minute hands and a reverse lollipop seconds hand with a NASA red tip are the perfect complements to the high-contrast matte white dial. The result is excellent legibility. As well as being a highly functional watch, powered by the well-known and reliable Seiko NH35A (21,600vph, -20/+40 s/day, with a 41-hour power reserve), the Unimatic Modello Uno U1-SP Watch boasts a great deal of wrist presence with its unapologetically white exterior. As is often the case with Unimatic’s most desirable pieces, this watch will be limited to 50 pieces (despite the caseback render in the gallery clearly showing 100 pieces). Surrounding the limitation number on the caseback is an engraved Unimatic solar system. The Unimatic Modello Uno U1-SP watch will be on sale exclusively at unimaticwatches.com, starting today. It will retail for €650 (excluding VAT). Learn more at unimaticwatches.com.