January 25, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Unimatic is a brand that has conceived a formula they’re happy with and stuck pretty rigidly to it. The entire collection consists of just three case variants — the uno, due, and tre — in a range of colors/bezel inserts. This newly released special edition for Mr. Porter, the Unimatic X MR PORTER Modello Uno U1-MP Limited Edition Watch, is perhaps the most vibrant of the bunch. It’s a fun and minimalist watch that is as striking as it is versatile.
To say that it’s pared-back is an understatement. This watch takes all the Diver tropes and applies them in the bluntest way possible. And yet, within this seemingly simple design, there is thought and a willingness to honor, rather than ape, that which has gone before.
Most noteworthy is the “reflex” blue color. It instantly reminds of the Tudor Pelagos (and I mean that as a strong compliment). The dial and bezel insert are colored in this electric shade, and so, too, is the Italian leather strap, as well as the heavy-duty nato supplied with the watch. It is an unapologetic explosion of summery vibes for the wrist. But what about its beating heart?
The case is 41.5mm, excluding the crown, and houses a 21,600vph (3Hz) Seiko NH35. These movements from Seiko are solid, if unremarkable. It was a wise choice to hide the movement behind a decorated case back, as the finishing is mediocre, at best. The case is made of 316L stainless steel, appears to be satisfyingly chunky, and also carries a water resistance rating of 300m. Its utilitarian appearance is particularly appealing as a contrast to the bright, more sophisticated blue.
I would definitely wear this watch. It is an almost comical exaggeration of all the things I like about Dive watches, but every external element has been well made. As a result, the end product is far above simple imitations. The C1 Super-LumiNova is applied liberally to the dial, ladder hands, and timing pearl fitted to the aluminum bezel insert. The Unimatic X MR PORTER Modello Uno ref. U1-MP Limited Edition Watch is limited to just 100 pieces, and will retail for $870. You can learn more here.