Undone Watches Review: Part 1 –
Customizing the Urban Chronograph

By: Kaz Mirza

Undone Watches has been catching people’s attention for a while now. Whether it’s their catalog of interesting designs or fun options for customizing pieces, most folks are curious about Undone – especially the latest Undone Watches Urban Chronograph. Count me among those curious about the piece. Plus as a lot of you know I’m a sucker for a reliable quartz chronograph.

That’s why I wanted to create this 2-part series about my experience designing and reviewing the Undone Watches Urban Chronograph. This first part will breakdown my experience ordering the piece and then I’ll do a hands-on review once it arrives (NOTE: Part 2 of the Undone Watches Review is here!).

Let’s jump right into the Undone Watches Urban Chrono Customizer.

Start With a Preset…

Instead of making users start from scratch (which can honestly be daunting), Undone Watches offers 11 customizable Preset Urban Chronographs for you to use as your inspiration. You’ll find these inspiration pieces in a slider beneath the customizer when it first opens. However you’ll also see some of these design inspirations on the Urban Vintage Presets page as well.

Urban Vintage Presets

For me with all the options above I think it makes sense to really choose a preset that has a dial you like. I’m really feeling the super legible, vintage vibes of the “Navi” preset in the Urban Vintage lot. So that’s the one I’m gonna click.

Undone Watches Urban Chrono Case Options

First order of business, choosing your case finish. You can pick from 4 finishes, each with a bright polish top and brushed sides:

  • Rose gold PVD coating
  • Gold PVD coating
  • Stainless steel
  • Black PVD coating

Even though I like the dial, I’m not a huge fan of yellow gold. Of all the options I really like the Stainless steel, plus I’m really starting to like the direction that the design is taking with the black dial and stainless steel case – feels old-school vintage and military-esque to me.

You’ll also notice in the upper left hand corner of Undone Watches Urban Chronograph Customizer is your navigation. Clicking on these tabs will guide you through the customization process, tab by tab. So after you click the case finish you want for your Undone Urban Chronograph just click on the next tab.

Dial Choices…and There Are A lot of Them

Since I chose a preset based on the dial type, I’m already pretty happy with how this looks. But let’s say I wanted to mix it up. There are four different categories of Undone Watches Urban dials each with their own unique and fun offerings. Take your time and click around because there are so many dial varieties offered – you have a lot of options to really create something special.

  • Vintage: 8 classic retro inspired dial designs
  • Modern: 11 color-centric, almost pop art dial designs
  • Classic: 5 very clean and subtle, but bold dress dials
  • Limited: 2 unique dial designs – blue/off-white and silver/black

Here are some examples I was going back and forth with just for fun.

Vintage Dial: Navi (Black Registers)

 

Vintage Dial: Killy

 

Modern Dial: Matte Light Blue with Vintage Luminous 

 

Modern Dial: Matte Black Tone

 

Classic Dial: Blue Sunray with Vintage Luminous


 
 

 

Classic Dial: Gray Sunray with Vintage Luminous

 

Limited Dial: Blue/Off White

 

Limited Dial: Silver/Black

You also have the option of adding a little custom flair here with some text on the dial. At the time while I was on this step I couldn’t think of anything to put. So I left this blank… for the moment.

Hand Options for the Undone Watches Chrono

Next is the hands – the one part of the process I actually spent the most time going back and forth on. Everything ended up just looking so good, which made it hard to decide. Hand selection is segmented into two areas: hour/minute hands and second hand.

There are three types of styles offered for the hour and minute hands. All three are quite clean in appearance. I decided to go with the Leaf Style here because I really liked the way they emphasized the retro features of the direction my design was heading.

Hour and Minute Hands: 3 Styles – (1) Leaf, (2) Lume, (3) Bars

 

Second Hand: 2 Styles

In addition to that you’ll also be able to choose from 9 finishes. So it was at this point where I realized where my design perspective was taking me – after clicking all over the place, back and forth… color to color. I settled on the silver leaf hands and blue second hand pictured below.

Why?

Because I decided to start designing a TBWS Undone Watches Urban Chronograph!

Now once I realized I wanted to make a TBWS watch I wanted to go back and personalize the dial somehow. Easy as pie – clicking back through the design interface on the Undone Watches site is seamless.

I used the navigation bar in the upper left corner and clicked back to the dial design tab where I could add some text. You can position the dial text on either the right side or the left side of the watch and you can even choose black or white text. Plus you have some font options too.

I added the date “9.6.16” in white text on the left side of the dial (right side facing the user).

This is the exact day that Mike and I decided to start Two Broke Watch Snobs – date of conception I suppose you could call it.

Movement Specs

The Undone Watches Urban chronograph comes with the hugely reliable Seiko Mechaquartz VK61A – specs below.

  • +/- 20 Seconds per month
  • 3-year battery life
  • Date wheel (please note not all dial types will have a window for the date to display)
  • Chronograph Usage: 2 o’clock button starts and stops chronograph – 4 o’clock button resets complication (reset is only possible when the chronograph has been stopped)

The Seiko Mechaquartz is a hybrid movement where an electronic (battery) power source controls the mechanically functional chronograph complication. That’s why when you reset a mechaquartz movement the chronograph hand mechanically resets and snaps back in an instant, offering a good tactile feel when the reset button is pressed.

Undone Urban Chrono Straps

The strap choice is an important one. Designing the actual timepiece can go incredibly smoothly but choosing a strap that doesn’t really articulate your vision could throw the whole thing off kilter (think Ace Ventura with his Hawaiian shirt and tutu). There are 6 styles offered in over 30 combined finishes – a lot of fun options to play with. Below are some examples I’ve highlighted as I was choosing my strap design. Please note these are all super convenient, quick-change straps.

Alligator Print Leather: Baby Blue

 

Caviar: Caviar Brown

 

Rally: Rally Blue

 

Calf: Vintage Brown

 

Perlon: Olive Green

 

Perlon: Blue/Black/Grey

 

Perlon: Grey

 

Cordura: Army Green

Yes – boom. I clicked the Army Green Cordura and fell in love. This is the piece I want – it has a cool vintage military-vibe but with the fun added TBWS twist of a blue chronograph seconds hand and the special text on the dial.

Personalizing The Undone Watches Urban Chrono Caseback

The final option for customization – Undone Watches lets you upload an image of your choosing to feature on the caseback. It will be printed on the exhibition glass. Here I decided to add the last piece of TBWS flair with our beloved logo. Now I chose to have the glass also print the white from my image file. But folks will have the option for putting a logo or image on the caseback while still having the mechaquartz movement visible. You’ll just need to directly communicate that to the Undone Watches support crew after your order is placed.

And that’s it – bam. Placed the order and now I wait for the chronograph to come in. Part 2 of this series will be my hands on review of my custom Undone Watches Urban Chrono. Overall I can say that the actual process of using the site’s design interface was super fun! If you’re at all interested in just experimenting and seeing what type of fun designs you can come up with, check out the Undone Watches Urban Chronograph Customizer.

Being able to see how small choices could have a big impact on the overall design of the watch was very interesting to me, and the whole experience made me feel like I was in the driver’s seat. I also enjoy the fact that you could click on the Undone Watches Customizer and discover a design you weren’t expecting – that’s exactly what happened with the idea for my TBWS Urban Chrono. Also please note that depending on your design and any additional accessories you add on, your order will run anywhere from $300-$400.

Be sure to check out PART 2 of our Undone Watches Review – Urban Chronograph on the Wrist!

If you have any questions about my experience going through the design process totally feel free to hit me in the comments below or via email!


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