Undone Urban Tropical Amazon (Review)

Ever since I discovered this company I wanted to review one of their watches as the background behind the company and the idea that you customize your watch how you want is super cool. The company is called Undone. Established in 2014 they now have become the leading microbrand company when it comes to customized watches. They have divers, chronographs in many different variations and all they are customizable. Also, a fun fact is that Undone makes everything except movement in-house so they control the part manufacturing and assembly and everything.

The guy behind everything is Michael Young who in watch world is called “Bracelet Magician” because he repairs broken, worn out watch bracelets from Rolex. Plus he also repairs vintage Rolex watches in general. He owns the classicwatchrepair.com where they offer everything from dials restoration, movement service, case restoration, crystal replacement to the diamond setting. And also probably he owns the coolest vintage Rolexes ever produced.

In 2018 end of summer Undone released one of their new models called Urban Tropical Amazon. This timepiece is a part of the newly aged vintage chronographs from the Undone which also features a sailing watch called Regatta and some Limited Editions with Snoopy and others. The two other editions from Tropical collection of this timepiece are the aged versions but the piece that I got my hands on is the Amazon which has a subtle patina only on the hands and hour markers. The patina found on the other pieces is not so good looking in my opinion, it is faux, but I’m ok with that, I just think it is overdone on the other two. Other than the dials all of these pieces have the same functionality and meca-quartz movement.

The watch came in a standard Undone rectangular box in grey colour with leather accent. The bo is pretty cool looking. Inside the box, you will find the watch, warranty card and instructions. The first impressions were good. You all probably see a lot of similarities with the Omega Speedmaster and I see them too, but that doesn’t bother me much, I like when big watches are inspirations for something like this. I also customized mine with the “Kiriku” name on the dial which is my dog’s name.

The case is made of 316L stainless steel and comes in at a comfortable 41.8mm due to the tachymeter being included with this model. The tachymeter was crucial in driver or pilot timepieces in the past and makes the vintage style more genuine in my opinion. The thickness is 13,3mm with the crystal and from lug to lug it measures at 47,6mm. The case is round with very small lugs and it has a 3 piece construction (case back, the middle case with lugs and bezel). The case has a mix of finishes brushed and polished. The machine work and finishing are done quite good. I have heard a lot of problems from many customers that they have a lot of quality control issues when it comes to the case and finishing, but on mine, I can’t see any defects. You can customize the case colour, crown, bezel colour, case back and many other things. I chose the all stainless steel look as it I like it more, the black, gold or rose gold colours don’t attract me as it usually comes off after many years. The chronograph pushers are at 2 and 4 o’clock and there is a push-pull vintage looking crown placed between them. The crown almost looks like an onion crown. The protruding lugs are relatively thin coming in at 20mm. The watch customization extends to the case back where you can to engrave something to the solid case back or print a tet or picture on the glass of the exhibition case back. I chose the exhibition case back as it is a unique thing on a quartz watch. The water resistance is 3ATM (30m), so no swimming guys! On top of the dial sits a domed hardened K1 crystal. I wish they chose the acrylic as it would give a more vintage vibe to the watch.

The matte black dial is very simple and functional. You have lumed bars as the hour markers and a small date window at 6 o’clock. I like the placement of the date window, but it is a shame that they didn’t match the date wheel. There are two sub-dials either side of the sword watch hands. The right subdial has a 24-hour counter and the left subdial is 60min counter. The other dial variants that come on this model are made to resemble old Rolex and Omega dials that fell victim to a manufacturing error that caused the dials to take on a weathered look due to climate and UV exposure, this is usually called patina. And I like that brands actually try to make the dial or even the whole watch look age, I recently reviewed WMT which had a patina look on the dial an bezel insert and it looked crazy.

The movement that is inside the watch is the Seiko VK64. The VK64 movement has a fly-back feature and a non-running second hand to make the tachymeter more effective. This movement I think is one of the best affordable quartz movements in the market. I have it in a couple of my watches and it works perfectly. I chose the see-through case back so you can see the movement. I know it is a strange thing to choose as it isn’t interesting looking movement in any sense, but why not? right? The battery life on these is somewhere between 2-3 years, but some of my other examples are 4 years old and still are running with the same battery that they came with.

The straps that came with Tropical are good looking and I like that racing strap look with perforated holes, but I went with a simple tan vintage style stitched strap. I think it suits the watch and the matte black dial very good. All the straps are hand made in-house and have great quality. Mine strap is made of leather suede material. To the touch, it is very soft and wears super comfy on the wrist. The signed tang-style buckle is made of stainless steel and has a brushed finishing. The strap has a nice taper from 20mm to 16mm. Also what makes this strap great os that it has the built-in quick release spring bars which make strap changing very fast.

Overall I think this is one of the best looking vintage style chronographs on the market. Design wise I think it is perfect, I was always wondering when will a microbrand do the Speedmaster homage or at least try to make the dial in that style. The proportions of the watch and dial are great also, on the wrist it wears actually a bit smaller. When it comes to comfort, it feels great on the wrist, it isn’t too big or heavy and on daily use, you don’t even feel it on the wrist. Is it worth buying? Yes, definitely!

Price: From 345$ @ undone.com

 

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