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It is all about the choices with the UNDONE Aqua. Customizable magic to make this watch as personal as possible. It is a truly unique process that I can honestly say one that I have never experienced before. You get to pic how you want your watch to look. Every detail is for you to decide. Have this many choices was something that I thought that I would struggle with. But to my pleasant surprise I found it quite fun and actually very easy to choose what I wanted. Even picking what I wanted on the exhibition crystal, I knew right away. Speaking of the exhibition crystal, it is by far the coolest feature of the UNDONE experience. I was blown away by it when I first laid eyes upon it when I received this watch.
You pick the bezel, dial, hands, case color, strap, case back, case back graphic if you choose the exhibition case back which I don’t know why you wouldn’t choose this awesome feature. I will show you through pictures your choices and how I chose the design of the Aqua I reviewed. Then I will breakdown the watch in the traditional review process.
What UNDONE has done here is given you the power to design a watch but has given you a path to start with. You have the main power to choose, but they haven’t dropped you in the middle of nowhere without a map leaving you to find your own way home. Think of this like a choose you own adventure book, one that leads to only awesomeness, with no wrong ending. From start to finish it was a great and rewarding experience and believe it or not a relatively quick experience by the time the watch was in my hand.
Dealing with the UNDONE team was a wonderful experience as well. They are a team of professionals and their enthusiasm is infectious. I was very excited by this opportunity of designing my own watch and then having the honor to review it. A completely personal and unique journey that I can’t wait to share with you.
The UNDONE website is very easy and simple to navigate on both a computer or hand held device. I did it on both and I can report that both were very simple to do. It took me about 5 minutes to design my watch. I know what I want and UNDONE’s interface made it simple to do.
-43mm stainless steel case
-52mm lug to lug
-22mm lug width
-quick release strap pins
The Aqua comes in the choices of Black PVD, Brushed Stainless Steel, Gold PVD, Rose Gold PVD, Gun Metal, Silver and Light Brown PVD. For the review I choose the Gun Metal.
Next you can choose your bezel. The materials of choice are ceramic or K1 glass. For the ceramic bezel the indices are polished on a matte background. The K1 glass is hardened K1 glass insert reversed printed with several color variations. For the review piece I choose the ceramic black.
Next on the block of design choice is the Dial. It’s all about the choice when it comes to the dial. You have matte, gloss, carbon, full lume, sun ray, and camo. The matte black has white luminous indices that have a blue glow.
The hands are your next choice. There are sword hands, mercedes style hands, rounded style. Some of the hand choices are luminous and others are not. For the review piece I picked the luminous sword hands with a red seconds hand for a splash of color.
The movement is next for your picking pleasure. You have the NH35A black date disc and the NH35A white date disc. For the review piece I picked the black date disc.
One of my personal favorite choices for picking is the straps and UNDONE doesn’t disappoint in terms of the choices. I picked the US Horween with white stitches. The choices are US Horween oiled tanned, Italian Leather, Military Bund, Rubber, Suede, Alligator.
Your final choice in terms of customizing is the case back. You can pick between a exhibition clear case back, an exhibition case back with a custom graphic of your choice or a solid casebook. For the review piece I choose to illustrate the awesome graphic exhibition case back. You will see my choice in the review section below. Now shall we breakdown the Aqua in review style now that we have explored all the amazing options you have when you customize your piece?
The UNDONE Aqua comes in a rather large box. It was quite heavy and I was impressed and taken by surprise because of the size of it. The outer box is made of hardened cardboard with the UNDONE name and logo on the lid. Inside the outer box is a hinged style watch box. The cool thing is when you lift the inner box out, underneath is cutouts for the straps to fit in. A feature that I really like. The lid of the inner box has a screwed in place metal plate that has the Undone name and logo on it. Opening the hinged lid reveals the Aqua watch.
It is protected by a plastic ring that has the UNDONE U logo on it. I have not seen a protective plastic ring like this before. Its a nice addition to watch packaging.
The case of the Aqua is even better than I expected. The blasted finish of the Gun Metal is absolutely beautiful. This case just screams stealth. Running my finger across the blasted finish case is something truly magical, it’s incredibly smooth yet has nice texture feel to it. The finishing of the case is the first thing that I noticed when unpacking the Aqua. There are several small details that are quite impressive. The polished indices on the bezel match the finish on the crown. This is a small detail but one that I can really appreciate. When details can tie pieces together on a watch, it adds to the overall pleasing aesthetics.
The uni-rotating bezel is easy to grasp due to the gear style edges. The bezel rotates pretty smooth. As you know, there are a few things that I am very nit picky about in terms of function and design on watches. One is the play in the bezel, not so much in the rotation, but in terms of the play between the bezel and the case itself. This can be tested by lightly tapping on the top of the bezel. If you don’t hear a sound then the bezel is fitted tightly in place. If you hear the sound of metal tapping against itself, then there is play/space in between the case and bezel. Unfortunately the Aqua’s bezel has that play. It is a little disappointing. Having said that, it’s the only thing that I found to nit pick about on the Aqua.
The polished indices on the bezel are something that I really enjoy. I chose the ceramic matte bezel with the black indices. What is really cool about this choice is that it makes it very stealthy/military looking. But when the indices catch the light they are extremely readable and pleasing to the eye.
There is nothing on the non crown side of the case, but on the crown side you have some great stuff. The crown guards are so stylish, and have the sleek curves of a jet airplane. The crown guards angle up to a point, not a sharp point because they are flat at the top of the guards. The angles are well done and they tie in perfect with the angles of the crown itself. The crown is signed with a U for UNDONE. My other nit picky obsessiveness is when a crown is signed, I think that when the crown in screwed all the way down, the signed crown logo should line up perfectly. It bothers me when I look at a signed crown and the logo is turned on an angle. UNDONE does not disappoint me. The U is perfectly lined up as you can see in the pictures. The crown is very easy to operate because of its octagon shape and angles. Definitely a hit in my book.
The lugs have enough of a curving to allow the Aqua to sit nice on the wrist. It also allows the watch to wear smaller that it’s dimensions. The lugs are solid with no holes on the outside, the set pins for the strap attach on the inside of the lugs. The holes are in line and changing the strap is very easily done.
The case back is what blew me away. I was hesitant on picking a custom graphic because I did not know how it was going to turn out. When I fist turned over the Aqua to see the exhibition case back with the graphic, I was speechless. It is so well done, by far the coolest case back I have ever seen on a watch.
I HIGHLY recommend that when you customize your Aqua, you pick this option. You will not be disappointed and it is one of the highlights of the Aqua. I can’t express this enough. Like I mentioned earlier the little details are very pleasing on the Aqua. Another one of these pleasing details is the the octagon shape of the outer ring of the case back. This perfectly ties in with the octagon shape of the crown. These details are extremely rare on watches in this price point. The case back also features some information that is engraved along the edges. 316L stainless steel, pressure tested to 100 meters, UNDONE.
The sapphire crystal of the is AR treated. The crystal is slightly domed and features a cyclops magnifier for the date window at the 3 o’clock hour marker. The crystal is very cleat and is very easy to read from all angles, under water as well.
The dial on the Aqua does not disappoint. It is simple, easy to read and beautiful. I like the fact that the only text on the dial is UNDONE located under the 6 o’clock hour marker. I spoke with UNDONE and they have some nice surprises that are do out that involve the dial. I am very excited by this and you will have to stay tuned for more details.
I chose the matte black dial for the review piece. There is something very classic and very beautiful about a matte black dial. The hour and minute markers are printed in white and coated with lume. The lume has a nice blue glow to it. I am becoming a fan of the blue glow on lume. The minute and second markers are hash marks, larger hash marks at the hours and numerals at 12, 6, 9. The 3 o’clock marker was removed for the date window and cyclops magnifier on the crystal. I personally find enjoyment in the magnifier, some purists argue that it disrupts the flow, but I rather like it. It works well on the Aqua.
The date wheel is black with numbers printed in white. I thought this would work nicer on the overall military/stealth feel I was going for when I was picking during the customizing process. The sword hands are killer. They are wide and long and are sized correctly for the size of the dial. They are not lost in the least bit. Thanks to the lume coating, you can see them with ease at night. The hour and minute hands are black and white while the second hand is red. I chose red to add a tiny splash detail of color. It doesn’t get much better than when you have black and red together. The hour and minute hands have thick black gloss outlines. I like that there is a black line through the hands. Why do I like this? Well I think it adds a small amount of detail to the dial/hands without distracting or messing with the overall symmetry of the dial. The dial on the Aqua is well done and a nice focal point. Duh, right? The dial is after all what you look at to tell the time. I understand this, but I wanted to express that the Aqua has a beautiful symmetrical dial, that is pleasing to look at even when not looking at it just for the time.
This strap is smooth as butter. There is nothing that compares to running your finger across Chromexcel US Horween. It feels so nice. The chromexcel allows the strap an added amount of water resistance/proof. With the name Aqua, one would imagine that this watch will see some water action so it made sense to have the strap have some added insurance against getting wet. Another nice thing about the strap is that it has quick release strap pins which make changing the strap easy and there is no need for tools.
The black strap is well done indeed. From the uniform white stitching to the smooth finish of the edges, the US horn strap is quality for sure. The underneath of the strap is stamped with genuine leather handmade and UNDONE with the UNDONE logo.
The tang style buckle is engraved with the UNDONE name and logo. The buckle is thick and features some nice angle cuts that ties it back to the case. The buckle has blasted finishing again those small details that tie everything together.
The Aqua has ticking away inside the Seiko NH35A. The specifications of this reliable movement are as follows:
|Seiko NH35A||24 jewels, 21,600 bph vibrations per hour, 41 hour power reserve, diameter of 27.40mm and height of 5.32mm.|
The movement is very reliable and manufactured by a company that has been in the watch industry for a very long time.
Wrist Shot: Refernce 7 1/2″ wrist
CUSTOMIZE to your hearts content. That is what the Aqua is all about. If you are looking for a watch that can be as personal as possible without manufacturing it yourself, then UNDONE’s Aqua is the watch for you. With the base price point of $450, you can’t go wrong. The custom case back graphic is worth it enough, let along the nice quality watch that you get as well. You also get a very nice quality hand made horween strap. I was blown away by the Aqua. The only thing that I am nit picking about is the bezel play, other than that the Aqua did not disappoint me at all. The watch wears very comfortable on the wrist. So comfortable that you forget its on your wrist, but the complements that I received when it was on my wrist wouldn’t allow me to forget.
There are so many watches to chose from and where to start can be overwhelming. Especially if you want a dive style watch. But if you want something that you can truly make your own, UNDONE has done it for you. Yes you have a lot of customizing choices to chose from, but their website is so user friendly it not only makes it fun, but it is also easy to do. Like I mentioned earlier, it took me about 5 minutes from start to finish. The waiting for the watch to arrive to see what your choices materialized to is part of the fun. UNDONE has something very special here and it is definitely an experience that you won’t forget.
I want to personally thank UNDONE and Barry for the honor of allowing me to do this review. The customer service of UNDONE is something special to and worth mentioning. I highly recommend the UNDONE experience. It is fun and something that is truly unforgettable.