The new Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide Hand Delivered turns our pizza prank into reality

The new Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide Hand Delivered turns our pizza prank into reality

Zach Blass

Let’s be very clear, this watch was never supposed to happen. Most watches are born from a romantic heritage tale, or the beauty of the nature surrounding a manufacture. Our new Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide Hand Delivered only exists as a result of an April Fool’s prank team-up between our very own Andrew McUtchen and Studio Underd0g founder Richard Benc. A few days ahead of April Fool’s Day, a teaser was dropped which had Richard revealing a pizza within a pizza box teasing a launch date of April 1, 2023. An elaborate prank, the faux-landing page for the seemingly arriving watch, in the wake of the teaser reveal, would get over 20,000 clicks and 800 people registering their interest and adding the ‘to-come’ watch to their carts. What was originally a lighthearted prank unexpectedly became a bit of a cruel joke to an extent, actually angering some who were let down this Studio Underd0g Pizza watch was not actually real. Who would have ever anticipated or expected such a level of interest? Armed with the data of clicks and registrations, it became clear this concept deserved to be more than a prank – it needed to be a real product. Rectifying the false frenzy the duo stirred up last year, our two new Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide Hand Delivered watches turn our pizza watch prank into reality.

You might be wondering why the name ‘Hand Delivered’. It is because the watch will be exclusively available for purchase at our Time+Tide Studio, but for those who are not in the Melbourne area, you will actually need to receive a QR code hand-delivered by either Richard or Andrew to be able to get in on this exclusive horological pizza party. Without further ado, let’s get hands-on with these two new pizza-flavoured pieces: the Studio Underdog x Time+Tide Hand Delivered ‘Pepper0ni’ and ‘Hawaiian’.

The case

Studio Underd0g Hand Delivered case

The stainless steel case continues to utilise the comfortable dimensions of its predecessors, with a modern sweet spot diameter of 38.5mm, a reasonable 13.6mm thickness, and a vintage-like compact lug-to-lug span of 44.5mm. It may be a pizza watch, but it definitely does not wear like a pizza pie on the wrist. Small, average, or large, the case suits wrists of all sizes very well. Playing in a lower price tier, Studio Underd0g has always impressed me with the quality mixed finishes applied to its case – rich brushing complimented by polished accents and the right balance and placement of each finish as well. In particular, I really enjoy the squared and polished pushers against the horizontally brushed mid-case. Being both a chronograph and 50 metres water-resistant, it is by no means a first choice should you go for a swim. But it is an ample rating for a chronograph that will largely find itself on land.

The dials

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Studio Underd0g has undoubtedly generated their initial buzz and found notoriety through their flavourful dials: watermelon, berries and cream, mint chocolate chip, eggplant, and more. While such a tongue-in-cheek approach to dial aesthetics runs the risk of being toy-ish, it is clear in a marketplace largely dictated by conservative aesthetics and Swiss tradition that the growing community of enthusiasts has started to welcome a more playful take on design. Sure, having a pizza dial seems rather wacky at first glance. But, let’s look past the toppings for a second. Richard and his team really have achieved the perfect gradient here, exponentially shifting from red, to burnt orange, and then bright orange. It is executed so well, in my opinion, that I find the hue reminiscent of Glashütte Original’s smoked burnt orange dials – a brand that plays at a much higher price point. You also have a twist on a sector dial, with the central dial utilising channeled line breaks in the pebbled texture to create the image of the six slices of the pizza. And of course, aptly, the outer minutes and tachymeter scale find themselves with black printing against a hued backdrop colour-matched to a pizza crust.

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There are two flavours of pizza to play with here, and as an NYC native I am very partial to one and horrified by the other – but I will try not to yuck anyone’s yum. The first, ‘Pepper0ni’, is a more traditional pepperoni, mushroom, basil, and olive, and is more my flavour. The second, a blasphemous order in my neck of the woods, has its dial sprinkled with ham and pineapple – dubbed the ‘Hawaiian’. I can roast Hawaiian pizza lovers all day, but this dial flavour is ultimately fitting when you consider Studio Underd0g’s rebellious and cheeky nature. And rumour has it Australians do love their pineapple on pizza.

The straps

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Studio Underd0g has once again turned to The Strap Tailor to source their straps, made of Epsom leather with a buttery vachetta under that feels great on the wrist. Sturdy, yet supple, the strap has been cut a bit thicker this time around to better meet and merge with the presence of the 13.6mm thick case. For the peperroni model, Studio Underd0g has elected to opt for a dark tan leather upper while the ham and pineapple is paired with a brighter tan leather upper. Ultimately, with a 20mm lug width and quick-release tabs you can play strap monster to your heart’s content.

The movement

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A Chinese-produced calibre may elicit scoffs from pinky-up watch snobs, but the Seagull ST-1901’s origin story is a bit fascinating. After acquiring the original tooling from celebrated Swiss movement maker Venus, the 50-hour manually-wound Seagull ST-1901 is a Chinese-manufactured Venus 175 column-wheel chronograph calibre that is nearly identical in architecture to the original. With only a Y-shaped bridge in play, very little of the movement is obstructed from view. This allows you to really see a lateral clutch column wheel movement in action, but at a much lower price point. Perhaps snobbish, I sometimes question the value of exhibiting entry-level movements. This Seagull, however, is irrefutably worthy of exhibition. It would be a major shame if this calibre was hidden from view. Industrially striped on the few bridge surfaces and blued for the screws, this is by no means a haute horology level of finish. But being able to watch this mechanism in action is a huge bonus for those who are horologically curious and want to see, in full, how a chronograph operates.

The verdict

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Flavour tastes and preferences aside, Studio Underd0g once again has exhibited their mastery of exploring playful design elements while still utilising sensible and harmonious design layouts to balance the proposition out. The toppings may polarise some, and I certainly would have welcomed a third ‘Margherita’ configuration. But this is ultimately an exclusive pizza party, only available at our Time+Tide Studio in Melbourne or ‘hand-delivered’ via a QR code should you encounter Andrew or Richard ‘in the metal’.

Studio Underd0g Hand Delivered pricing and availability

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The Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide Hand Delivered is a Time+Tide Studio exclusive, or hand-delivered by Andrew or Richard. Price: A$1,150

Brand Studio Underd0g x Time+Tide
Model Hand Delivered
Reference Number 01PIT
01HPBE
Case Dimensions 38.5mm (D) x 13.6mm (T) x 44.5mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dials Pepperoni, mushroom, basil, and olive or ham and pineapple
Lug Width 20mm
Bracelet Epsom calfskin strap, steel pin buckle
Movement Seagull ST-1901, manual winding, column wheel chronograph
Power Reserve 50 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Availability T+T Studio exclusive, or hand-delivered by Andrew or Richard
Price A$1,150