Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Unimatic is an Italian watch company with a clear mission in producing purpose-oriented tool watches which are hyper-minimalist in design. Established only a few years ago in 2015, Unimatic have already carved themselves a place in the often congested world of micro brand watchmaking. Their first watch, the Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 reviewed here, was released as a series of limited editions in different color combinations and quickly sold out. Now, Unimatic are releasing an updated collection of their Modelo Uno in no less than six color combinations, one of which is a limited edition collaboration with Italian retailer Luisaviaroma.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

As far as actual specification goes, the new series of Modelo Uno watches is identical to their predecessors other than the inclusion of a date function for a couple of the new models. Featuring a no-frills, 40mm-wide stainless steel case with 22mm lug width, an anti-reflective double-domed sapphire crystal, Seiko’s workhorse NH35 movement, a large 8mm crown, and Unimatic’s trademark minimal dial with text at six, the Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 is a diver’s watch with impressive specs for its pretty reasonable price range. Given the wide range of color combinations, Unimatic should have options for everyone who likes their design sense.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Starting with the most straightforward of the new collection, the Modelo Uno U1-D, we are treated to Unimatic’s signature dial in a matte black and white color configuration with matching ladder hands. White C3 Super-LumiNova is also utilized on the hour markers, hands, and bezel pearl for nighttime viewing. Also interesting here is the aluminum diver’s bezel insert, this time with all the elapsed time markings an underwater fashionista could ever want, a feature which is worthy of note as several of the other members of the collection feature bezel inserts utterly devoid of markings other than the twelve o’clock indicator.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Rounding out the new U1-D is the novel inclusion of a date function displayed, as you might imagine from symmetry-obsessed Unimatic, at six o’clock rather than the usual three o’clock position. For those with more subdued tool watch needs, Unimatic also produce this exact configuration in a DLC (diamond like carbon) coated case which they call the U1-DN. The Modelo Uno U1-D and U1-DN come on 22mm heavy duty, color matched nylon NATO straps and also include a 22mm silicone diver’s strap with a matching buckle. These new pieces will retail (without VAT) for €485 for the stainless version or €585 for the DLC’d version and will be available in limited editions of 600 and 300, respectively.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

For those who prefer their Unimatic watches to be as minimal as possible, there are the Modelo Uno U1-DW and U1-DWN. Built with the same specification as other members of the Modelo Uno collection, these two are the purest in terms of aesthetics, with a white and almost completely symmetrical dial and a bezel insert which is devoid of any marking other than the bezel pearl at twelve. It's stylish, but still allows you to actually time something, which is notable, as we've seen "dive watches" with totally unmarked but still rotatable bezels before, like this one from Maurice De Mauriac. Also, we should note the lack of a date function here, a move in the direction of an extremely pure and minimal design concept. Like the U1-D, the U1-DW is encased in uncoated stainless steel but, for the ninjas out there, Unimatic have once again provided a DLC option in the U1-DWN. These two will retail for €585 for the stainless steel and €625 for the DLC’d variant and will be available in limited runs of 200 and 150, respectively.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Perhaps the newest member of the Modelo Uno U1 series is the U1-DZ and all-black U1-DZN. These two are a sort of field watch take on the Modelo Uno concept, with olive green utilized for the dial, hands, and bezel which is now equipped with twelve hour markings for tracking a second time zone. The twelve hour bezel and olive green color scheme make this piece something of a tactical landlubber’s Modelo Uno, though it’s still every bit as water resistant as its siblings. The U1-DZ will retail for €485 with the DLC-coated U1-DZN a bit more expensive at €585. Like other Unimatic watches, the U1-DZ and U1-DZN are released as limited runs, of 400 and 200, respectively.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

The real range-topper of the Unimatic Modelo Uno series is the U1-DL, a special edition of the U1 that has been designed in cooperation with Italian retailer Luisaviaroma and which will be available in a very limited edition of only fifty pieces. Featuring a fairly standard Modelo Uno look other than a LVR blue dial and bezel as well as a matching leather strap, the limited U1-DL will also be progressively numbered and LVR-signed on the caseback. Only available from Luisaviaroma, the U1-DL will retail for €575 and come with a blue leather strap as well as a heavy duty nylon two-piece strap with a signed bead blasted buckle.

Unimatic Modelo Uno U1 Watches For 2017 Watch Releases

Unimatic’s major expansion of their core Modelo Uno collection demonstrates the brand’s climb since their inception in 2015. Despite the larger offering, pricing remains similar for the new Modelo Uno launch and one can hardly argue with their value proposition. For the design-obsessed tool watch crowd – who are, judging by Unimatic’s early success, clearly out there – the new Modelo Uno U1 series should provide extremely minimal and well-built options for many tastes. unimaticwatches.com

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (38)
  • I want it! (21)
  • Interesting (9)
  • I love it! (5)
  • Classy (3)
  • Jonathan Smith

    nope, don’t like the logo down low

  • Terance Hill

    Fuori di qui non in questa vito

  • SuperStrapper

    “Hyper minimalist in design”. This design is certainly not busy, but just plain ole ‘minimalist’ would have been a misnomer. Hyper minimalist? Aside from that term being an awkward oxymoron, it’s a fallacy when used to describe the watch.

    And, just because you used a Seiko movement doesn’t mean you have to use their dials and handsets.

    • Tempvs Mortvvs

      Hyper minimalist = bland and vapid

  • Beefalope

    Not even remotely interesting or inventive design, but I suppose these are … nice enough?

    I guess?

    Kind of?

    I guess what I’m saying is that these are adequate in an inoffensive way, like an Oldsmobile, an old brown sofa or a nice piece of salmon.

    • SuperStrapper

      GM products are offensive.

  • egznyc

    Not bad overall and reasonable value. Just kind of boring IMO.

  • 200 Fathoms

    That top one is actually kind of tasty. I like boring. Dammit—Momma said NO MORE DIVERS.

    I hadn’t heard of this brand. Reputable?

  • DanW94

    Can we please have a moratorium on the term “workhorse”? I’d like to see the writers at ABTW (and other blogs) find an alternative to describe a pedestrian but otherwise well functioning movement. That poor word had to be exhausted at this point, being used to describe movements from ETA, Sellita, Soprod, Seiko, Miyota, Seagull…etc, not to mention the abuse it’s taken in Kickstarter campaigns across the Internet.

    • SuperStrapper

      But workhorse is a workhorse of a term tho

      • DanW94

        Overused and abused by its very nature…

        • Raymond Wilkie

          As is ” Homage ” & ” Retro “

    • Yan Fin

      Same goes to ‘venerable’. Venerable workhorse.

    • Tempvs Mortvvs

      What about ‘ordinary and relatively cheap but proven’ xxxxxx caliber xxxxxx movement.

      • Tempvs Mortvvs

        Or ‘ubiquitous but relatively reliable and easy to service’

        • DanW94

          Much better…..

      • Larry Holmack

        If they really want to impress buyers….just say, the movement is widely used by Invicta in their under $100 Pro Divers. That’ll impress the hell out of people!!!

    • Ross Diljohn

      Widely used by a myriad of other low end brands and new start ups…Too long?

    • Agreed! Quit flogging a dead (work)horse, horology affectionados.

    • Mikita

      What about “horsey”?

  • Pete Pete

    more like a hyper-minimalist approach to designing a watch. just copy whatever is already available and omit the logo.

    • Jon Snow

      Yup, it’s a total shitter.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    I like the white dial one, but not with that bezel. Maybe with 12 hours bezel.

  • Framlucasse

    Quite a nice toolwatch, seems expensive for a NH35. And made in Italy my as….

  • Sigmund

    The polar version is kinda nice, although i don’t know why they decided that no markers were needed on the bezel. However, why would one choose this watch over any entry-level Seiko diver ?

    I’ve seen some Unimatic in the metal at Colette’s in Paris. This should be enough of a warning. Colette also sells Romain Jérôme, Bell&Ross, Franck Muller, CVSTOS, Linde Werdelin. :c

    • WatchNeophyte

      What is this Collette’s? And why shouldn’t I shop there…please explain?

  • Some of the nicest Seiko mods I’ve seen.

  • Kumaran Ramu

    I like the blue ones..cool!


    I like the green bezeled one nh35 is well not so great but whatever

  • Yan Fin

    Please, drop this ‘workhorse’ copy and paste from one text to another.

  • Andi

    Luisaviaroma Edition retails for 690€.

    I know because I have just ordered one … 🙂

  • Lode_Runner

    The article surprisingly left out the dimensions of the watch, which I think make the piece more attractive.

    According to the company’s website, the Modelo Uno U1 has a 40mm case diameter and a 49mm lug-to-lug distance, and a thickness of 13.6mm. That would place, refreshingly, it on the smaller side of dive watches. It has a screw down crown, as one would expect.

    It also looks like the Seiko movement may still have the date complication notwithstanding the lack of a window for it on the dial.

    • ZL

      The dimensions are in the second paragraph.

  • Ross Diljohn

    I shall be brief….I want it. Take my money.

    • IG

      I take it but I buy booze.

  • donkol

    Hopefully someone here can explain this. On the 3rd pic down, it shows the date window quite well. It appears that it is only big enough to contain 1 digit. How could they fit ’28’ in that little space?

    • SuperStrapper

      The typeface would be shrunk to accommodate. I have seen a few vertically stacked double digit dates on date wheels that display at 6, but they are rare and I wouldn’t suspect a fledgling brand like this to invest in something like that.

      • Indeed, the normal date wheels from movement makers for 6H have condensed numerals but they are not stacked. The limitations are the width available with 360 degrees of the wheel divided by 31 days (roughly 11.6 degrees per day). The other factor is the diameter of the date wheel. Larger movements can have larger date wheels, so those 11.6 degrees become wider.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Their is more than enough space ,just elongate the font.

    • Indeed as SuperStrapper noted, the normal date wheels from movement makers for 6H have condensed numerals but they are not stacked. The limitations are the width available with 360 degrees of the wheel divided by 31 days (roughly 11.6 degrees per day). The other factor is the diameter of the date wheel. Larger movements can have larger date wheels, so those 11.6 degrees become wider.

      • donkol

        Thanks for the info, guys!

        • The date window on a Seiko NH35 is 2.00 mm by 2.90 mm (so wider when at 3 or taller when at 6).

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Blue or black please, but I’ll have to change the stap. A nato strap would bring me out in a rash.

    • Leather NATO perhaps?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        No. It’s those wee metal rings round a Nato.

        • Stainless steel “zulu” loops shouldn’t cause a physical rash. Or it is a psychological reaction?

          • Raymond Wilkie

            It’s more a physical reaction as a walk around listening to the sniggers people i pass who notice I’m wearing one. I also have a nickel allergy.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Papa like. Very nice and clean.

  • Terance Hill

    I just don’t understand how they got so much boring and droll into one watch I fell asleep looking at it.

  • As Superstraper noted, this is not a minimalist dial by any definition of the word. The dial construction (no applied hour markers) is minimal but the busy dial design is not minimalist. And yes the ones with bezels that only have a pip are minimalist, but the other bezels are quite detailed/busy with every minute marked. I’n not criticizing the design so much as the term used to describe it.

    The “California” style horizontal marker at 6 seems out of place, like they used that single design element from a Cali dial. Otherwise the dial seems to be the usual Submariner copy (triangle at 12, rectangles for 3, 6 and 9 and round markers for the remainder). At least the hand set doesn’t have a Mercedes hour hand!

    I would hope that the “design-obsessed tool watch crowd” looks for a more original design than this. But if one is only shopping for a generic clone dive watch, I guess this fits the bill.

  • Ranchracer

    I like this watch, especially in the blue and green colors. But ABTW, please please PLEASE stop using the term “workhorse” to describe the Seiko NH35 and ETA 2824! Just decide NOT to say it anymore. It’s not hard. Just make the decision and stick with it. Please. For everyone’s sake. Stop. Just stop.

    • Mikita

      I suggest using horsey

    • WatchNeophyte

      I suggest having a bottle of Jägermeister ready next time a movement is described. Every time they use this term…drink up! It will help you get through the article.

  • Mikita
  • rainmaker

    Not a big fan of the design but I am begining to like the NH35 movement. I had in the past never paid much attention to Seiko NH35 or their domestic 4R35 movement, maybe it’s because Seiko gave it a really wide +45/-35 daily rate. I always prefer ETA or Sellita. But few months ago, I pick up a kickstarter watch with this movement, which according to the project starter, was regulated before shipping out. It had been running at a daily rate of 3~4 secs fast. I am really impressed. It may be a cheap 21,600 bph movement, but if regulated carefully, it can be very accurate.

    • Mikita

      My 4-years old Seiko 5 based on their cheapest 7S26 caliber is also running pretty accurate. Hasn’t had any problem with it at all, as you said – when properly regulated it can run similarly to the ETA such 2824. But the problem is that sometimes they lack oil / regulation.

      • rainmaker

        Consumers like me tend to read too much into the specs. My advice is go ahead and get one of those affordable Seiko with 4R35/4R36 movements, have it regulated by a watchmaker and experience for yourself how reliable they can be.

  • WatchNeophyte

    Meh, nothing to see here.

  • I rather like the white-dialed version.

  • I would not mind one of those for casual wear.

  • Ulysses31

    I like the finishing of these cases and the rather fine pitch of the splines on that bezel indicate something of higher quality than standard. The dial has a bit of a generic look though.