Undone has got to be one of the best in the business when it comes to making uber-affordable, attractive, quality timepieces for the enthusiast. We’ve spent a lot of time with quite a few of their watches now, and given the amount they offer, for such a low RRP, they’re pretty much in a class of one.
Spend even a modicum of time with any of the Hong Kong watchmaker’s offerings, and it also becomes immediately apparent that the team behind the brand really cares about the history of horology, and they want to celebrate it.
The latest incarnation of their now-established ethos is this – the Undone Aero. Paying homage to Philip Van Horn Weems (better known as P.V.H. Weems), the man responsible for the first-ever rotating bezel on a wristwatch, the Aero offers a charming blend of Art Deco and contemporary design cues.
Available in two distinct models – the “Scientific” and the “Commando” – both iterations promise to get the heart pumping for just about any watch aficionado with a pulse. We are proud to globally launch these models, and can also promise that any Undone Aero watches bought from Time+Tide will come with an extra Undone strap, worth $40USD. Hit this link for the Undone Aero Scientific, and this link for the Undone Aero Command.
Like most of Undone’s timepieces, the Aero’s case is 316L stainless steel, which, as always, is a welcome boon. The case’s styling and dimensions are also something we’ve become accustomed to with Undone watches – a classically rounded shape with short, stout lugs, 40mm sizing and a moderately thick profile (15mm in this instance). Finishing is an attractive blend of brushed and polished elements that see the stubby lugs brushed on top and chamfered along their edges.
The centrepiece of the new watch – its bi-directional rotating bezel – also features concentric brush work, as well as an engraved 60-minute scale and a polished “coin” edging that offers good tactility. There’s a screw-down octagonal-shaped crown located at three o’clock, as well as a knurled secondary crown at two o’clock, which screws down and acts as a lock to keep the bezel fixed to the wearer’s desired position. Sitting atop the case is a double-domed Lexan Polycarbonate crystal that sits proud of the case by a few mill and offers old-school lure.
Whether you go for the Scientific or the Commando, both dials are appealing and, more importantly, legible. The Scientific features a creamy white base that’s adorned with a blued steel syringe-style handset, fauxtina lumed Arabic numerals and indices, contrasting silver minute track and more Art Deco flair than the Chrysler Building.
The Commando, as the name suggests, is a much more macho proposition, with a black, granular base festooned with creamy fauxtina lumed Arabic numerals, military-esque orientation arrow located at the 12 o’clock position and baton-style handset. There’s also a diminutive set of 24-hour markers painted in a dark red that sit beneath each cream-coloured numeral, which are complemented by the matching red second hand and aid in the masculine nature of the watch.
As is the way with nigh-on all of Undone’s watches, the watchmaker has gone with Seiko’s trusty NH35A movement to power the new Aeros … and we’re not unhappy. The dependable self-winding calibre offers 21,600 vph, 24 jewels and a decent 41 hours of power reserve. Owners can also witness the hard-working movement ticking away, as the Aeros have been fitted with a display caseback.
Undone have been adopters of a quick-release spring bar system for quite some time now, and we were delighted to see that the straps for both watches feature this exceedingly handy piece of equipment. To complement its more vintage aesthetic, the Scientific Aero comes equipped with a chocolate brown leather band with contrasting cream stitching, and it looks really good. The Commando, on the other hand, has gone for more of a Rambo option and it scores a black, textured textile band that looks as utilitarian as the rest of the watch.
On the wrist
Both of these new watches look great on the wrist – they’re fun, comfortable, and as a weekend beater, they’re hard to beat. The 40mm case will look good on just about anyone, and the shorter style lugs ensure that whether you’ve got small or XXL wrists, the watch is never going to look out of place.
Undone is well into their stride now, and nothing — global pandemic or otherwise — is going to slow them down. The new Aero is yet another great addition to their ever-growing collection of fun, frugal and fetching timepieces.