Unimatic’s tough Italian exterior gets the touch of Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro in a marriage of crisp white Cerakote™ and extreme minimalism. Unimatic, based in Milan, has a strong reputation for their no-nonsense tough 40mm tool watches, with their bold cases and stubby-perfect 49mm lug-to-lug length. With the Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhiro they have managed to bridge the divide between horology and Hypebeast. This is their second collaborative project this year, with the previous project being the instantly sold out Unimatic x Massena Lab neo-vintage version of this same U1.
This time they’re back with a focus on purity, both in terms of aesthetic and shade, cranking the minimalist Unimatic design language up a notch – or a calm downturn, depending on your point of view. One thing is certain, in a world of lookalike vintage divers, this is a super-fresh ticket to a proper summer watch, not just in name but in nature, disguising what is a solid 300m Goldilocks-sized diver. Apparently stealth no longer comes only in black or grey, as a crisp white case can conceal a bulletproof tool watch.
Upon closer inspection you will recognise the Unimatic language of the dial – highly legible round applied indices and rectangles mixed with the classic triangle at 12 and a lume pip on the bezel. So the vintage classic diver clues are present and correct – albeit in a zen-infused sharp suit of Japanese origin. Legibility when the light fades is ensured by C1 Super-LumiNova on both indices and the sword-shaped hands.
The best details, however, emerge upon closer inspection – this is where we see the thread linking Unimatic to the designs of Mihara Yasuhiro. His aesthetic is centred around a whitewashed, worn yet sharp look, noticeable on the outer edges of the watch. The Cerakote ™ white has been hand-stonewashed, creating a slightly different result on each case.
The lugs, case corners and crown have a gently weathered look where a darker steel peers through the acute angles of the clean white surface, having the effect of sharpening the outline of the watch, creating a new code of case design in the process. Futuristic patina, anyone? The movement is the rock solid Seiko NH35A automatic, having a decent power reserve and low servicing costs, making this the undisputed king of microbrands and, if you’re lucky, close to COSC-spec accuracy.
So, if you fancy a tough tool watch with the crispest case this side of a $10,000+ ceramic or polymer, with a sub $1500AUD price tag, it’s a winner. But it’s severely limited, so you’ll have to have your hand on the buzzer in a few hours when it drops. The watch also comes with two straps, a white calf leather, and a fresh white nylon 2-piece, both with a matching Cerakote™ white buckle.
The Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhiro, price and availability
The Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhito is limited to just 100 pieces and will be priced at circa $1300AUD, and is available on September 19 from Unimatic Watches