Undone Watches Review: Part 2 –
Urban Chronograph On The Wrist

By: Kaz Mirza

After designing my own custom Undone Chronograph online in Part 1 of this review, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the watch. But in the back of my mind the doubt and fear lingered – “Is this thing going to be as cool as I’m anticipating?” – “Am I going to regret this?” – after about two weeks my Undone Urban Chronograph landed on my doorstep.

I removed the Undone Watches Chronograph from its packaging and gave it a good once over before I made any judgements. Then it hit me – this is the watch I designed. This is my Undone Urban Chronograph. The experience of seeing it on the Undone Customizer and then actually seeing it in person is something really special, and a great selling point of Undone Watches. However, what’s the substance behind the customization experience? As a consumer, are you really getting a solid watch for your money? That’s what I wanted to find out with this Undone Watches Review, so let’s dive in!

The Case:

The Undone Watches Urban case is very reminiscent of clean, vintage chronographs, which is really the point with these pieces. In doing so the watch offers the fun proposition of a vintage-inspired piece created with modern manufacturing practices. This vintage presentation is really supported by the case diameter at 40mm and a lug-to-lug width of approx. 47mm. Plus, the overall profile of the case is very radial in nature. The Undone Watches Urban Chronograph’s round shape is formed by the transition of the smooth fixed bezel and the hardened mineral crystal dome. Plus, the caseback is a screw down type and features a rounded bevel transition on it outside perimeter. Both the fixed bezel and caseback are polished and both affix to the actual “body” of the case, which is brushed. It’s a nuance that creates a fun interplay between vintage features (rounded Chronograph cases) and modern flair (a mix of brushed and polished surfaces).

Mmmm – let’s talk about pushers, #watchfam. All I want to do is manipulate the chronograph buttons (that’s what she said). Their clean but confident protrusion breaks up the potential monotony of the round case. At the end of the day the Undone Urban Chronograph’s pushers themselves are quite simple, but it’s how they impact your perspective of the entire watch that makes a difference. They’re begging to be pushed! The simple nature of the Undone Watches Urban’s pushers also adds to the utility-focused nature that most oldschool chronographs were designed to fulfill.

The lugs of the are far more angled in nature compared to the case’s body. Plus they feature a slight downwards slope to help the watch conform to the wearer’s wrist. The lugs are polished on all surfaces, but they’re also super small in terms of profile, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. The smaller lugs help bring balance to the polished surfaces – plus they also help keep the overall focus of your eye on the dial by not hogging the spotlight.

The Caseback

This is one of the elements I was fretting about the most while I waited for the Undone Urban Chronograph to make its way to me. During the design process I opted for an extra fee to feature a custom caseback that brandished our beloved Two Broke watch Snobs logo. The exhibition caseback of the Undone Watches Chronograph can have a design or image of your choosing printed directly on the glass. The final look is great and I don’t get the feeling that the printing will chip, fade, and peel away. I’ve worn the Undone Watches Urban Chronograph is some really hot & humid weather here in Florida and I’ve schvitzed something wicked all over the watch – no signs of the glass caseback printing going away.


 

The Dial

I chose the Navi dial version of the Undone Watches Urban Chronograph as my design template. But I was able to swap out a few key elements and put my own design choices into play. Overall, the quality is there – I can’t notice anything that stuck out to me as something that was a QC issue or anything like that. The dial presets templates that Undone Watches offers are all really balanced and super unique.

One of the biggest changes I made to the Undone Navi template was changing the color of the hands from gold to silver. The finished product is great and exactly what you’d expect – the hands are leaf shaped and features the type of straight surfaced roofing bevel that you’d see on a leaf (or sword). So what happens is that light tends to catch the hands in such a way that it makes the watch feel dynamic and fun.

The chronograph seconds hand is one of the elements that I customized to evoke our TBWS branding. The hand is cool! It appears to be plastic (which is totally fine) and has a mate finish, which plays really well off the polished surfaces of the other hands. Also, the beloved date of TBWS’s inception was included on the dial “9.6.16” and the quality is great on that. It doesn’t look rushed or half-assed – it looks like time and care was put into the finishing details to create a really cool presentation.

The Strap

The Undone Watches Urban Chronograph features 20mm quick-change straps. For my design I chose the Green Cordura strap. The quality is there – strap doesn’t feel too flimsy or too thick – good Goldilocks balance. For me the Undone Watches Cordura is a great choice because there is something about the material that really responds well to securely strapping the Undone Watch to your wrist. Plus, the underside of the Cordura material is sewn with leather. So you can get the comfort of soft leather against your wrist with the killer texture of the canvas material on top. Also, the strap tapers a bit towards the ends which helps give it’s overall profile a nice dynamic curve/shape (as opposed to a static shape profile).

In my opinion normal wear will occur on the strap, but by no means will that wear occur prematurely as a result of poor QC or lacked crafting practices. The strap will last.

The Movement

The Undone Watches Urban Chronograph features the Seiko VK61A. The Seiko-based meca-quartz movement has been hugely reliable and just a pleasure to actually use. Though powered by a quartz battery, the meca-quartz’s chronograph complication is mechanical, which means that when you press the chronograph’s buttons you’ll get that satisfying click and resulting snap back of the chronograph hand on the reset.

Meca-Quartz VK61A Specs:

  • Battery life: Three Years
  • +/- per month: 20 seconds
  • Date wheel (although not all dial templates will feature a date window)
  • Chronograph Function: top pusher starts chronograph seconds hand while the bottom button resets the function (only possible after stopping the seconds by pressing the top button again)

Final Thoughts

Love – #watchfam. I’m in love. All doubts, fears, uncertainties, and clawing insecurities melted away when I put the Undone Watches Urban Chronograph on my wrist and spent a few days with it. The weight is great – the comfort is there – and you can actually get a sense for the quality of the piece when you wear it. For me there is something about the approach and design aesthetics offered that transcends biases and appeals to all types of watch collectors. From seasoned collectors to those just starting out, the Undone Watches Urban Chrono can be catered to fit your taste and offer you something really fun.

But more than that, what Undone Watches is doing is also game-changing. Today horology sales are still generally functioning off the traditional retail structure of “(1) Manufacturer creates an entire design and offers it to (2) Retailer/Vendor and then they sell it (3) to the consumer.” But the process of visiting the Undone Watches site, interacting with the customizer, and purchasing your piece basically works against that traditional horology retail structure, which is awesome!

It’s putting power and control in your hands – not just as a consumer, but an informed consumer who knows what they want as opposed to being told what they want. This type of interaction puts you in touch with yourself as a watch collector in a way that’s honestly not very familiar to people. It’s the notion of taking an active part in how your collection can evolve as opposed to forcing your collection to conform to the selection offered to you.

So for me personally the experience of creating my Undone Watches Urban Chronograph is something I’ll never forget and every time I look down at my wrist and see our TBWS Undone, it’ll be all the more badass. If you’re at all even remotely interested, you have to give it a shot go and check out the Undone Watches website – depending on your choices (including if you order extra straps) the watch will run between $300-400 USD.

Be sure to check out Part 1 of this review where I breakdown the process of personalizing my Undone Watches Chrono!


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