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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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