UNDONE was born only in 2014 but they’ve been making a name for themselves in providing bespoke watches with functionalities that can go head-to-head with more expensive brands (check out the interview here). The whole production process is done in-house, meaning they have the freedom to do whatever they want with their watches with exception to movements they use in their line of watches.
Last time I reviewed the Urban which was a rendition of my grand fathers old watch before he passed away. This time I wanted to design a more outdoor friendly watch design for hiking and swimming and, this s what happened.
So if you are looking for a highly customisable diving watch for yourself or as a gift. Then check out my review.
The UNDONE Aqua
The UNDONE Aqua measures 43.5mm wide and 16mm thick. It’s just the right size that will fit on any wrist size.
Its case is made of 316L stainless steel which is used in many standard and high-end watch brands you see in todays market. They feature coatings that give their watches an enhanced resistance against abrasion and corrosion. It also has a K1 crystal that’s clear and scratch-resistant for every day and sporting use.
On top of the stainless steel case is a bi-directional rotating bezel with absolutely no back play which higher end brands a run for their money. I chose 12, 6, 9 date matte dial with luminesce minute and number markers and black ceramic bezel to optimal scratch resistances.
The strap size measures 22mm which is just the right size for a sports watch. They’re easily interchangeable thanks to the quick-release springs on the lugs. The color and the material of the watch strap are both customisable. You can choose to have the strap in calfskin, cordura, alligator, or rubber.
Water resistance rating depends on the case back style you choose. If you get an exhibition case back like i did, then you’ll get a watch that’s water resistant up to a depth of 100m. On the other hand, if you choose the one with a solid case back, you’ll get an Aqua with a higher rating that can withstand water pressure up to 200m.
Watches from UNDONE come in a black leather box with soft inside lining and can be easily doubled as a travel case for your Undone time piece.
Design and Movement
The dial pattern of the Aqua is highly customisable with the option to choose between matte, gloss, carbon-fibre, vintage, full lume, sunray, camo, and plain designs. The watch also features a magnified date aperture for better legibility, but you can also choose not to have this on your watch. Even the color of the date disc can be customised to fit the color of your dial from white to black.
The hands can be customised to have either a sword or the Famous Rolex style Mercedes style. Whichever hand style you choose, you’re assured they all have luminous coating for better visibility in low-light conditions.
If you do choose the solid case back, you have the option get a highly personalised engraving, however if you opted for the glass case back then you have the option to get an image printed on the glass for the perfect customised look.
The watch runs Seiko NH35A automatic winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve. It features a smooth sweeping second finished with a magnified glass date window for ultimate visibility. Its based on a screw down crown configuration for optimal water resistance and feels great to the tough.
My ultimate pet peeve with the Aqua diver is that the lack of decorations on the movement for open case back customers. As a watch geek who loves admiring the inner mechanics of automatic movements I find that the Undone watch falls greatly short in this area and can be easily redeemed with some movement decoration and a custom rotor.
Who is it for?
This watch is for those who are looking for a timepiece with trendy, versatile designs they can personalise at one click of a button to really make it their own. The high water resistance rating works best for casual divers and people who love to go to the water while wearing their watches.
For those looking for a functional, high-quality, and easily customisable diver and all around sports watch, you’ll never go wrong in choosing the UNDONE Aqua.
After placing my custom Aqua watch order, I couldn’t help it but feel over run with excitement. It was a special feeling like no other watch purchase I have ever felt before because it was completely personalised to me. After 2 weeks of waiting and growing anticipation, I received the watch in the mail and I felt like it was Christmas morning.
Upon opening the watch I fell in love with highly detailed shape, style and color combination I choose on the Undone customiser page. However my excitement dulled down upon my discovery that the buckle detached itself from the strap, I thought the buckle spring bar was broken. My raging desire to try the watch on remained suspended for a moment in until I was able to fix the buckle. 20 minutes later after some tinkering, I managed muscle the spring bar back into place with a breadknife and finally wear the watch.
Ever since then I have taken the watch on hikes and it recently took a small beating from a fall that I had while I was on a trail. Regardless the watch held up without a single scratch to be found on the glass or body. I am super impressed that this is watch is under $500 dollars.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the UNDONE Aqua:
- Endless option for customisation
- Comes with a 1-year warranty and free shipping worldwide
- Power reserve of up to 42 hours
- Water resistant up to 200m
- Might be a bit large and bulky for some users
- No decoration on the movement and rotor
- Higher attention to minor quality control because mine came in the mail with a detached buckle and had to get it fixed.
- Lume brightness is a dull and doesn’t last long
The UNDONE Aqua can be purchased for around $400, with prices increasing depending on the customisations you select. You’d be hard-pressed to find a watch company that offers the same level of personalisation to their products than UNDONE, especially for their affordable price point. I’m convinced that Undone has the best customisable diving watche on the market.
However while I think Undone is an amazing brand for personalised watches, I cannot help to put forward some of the overarching criticisms with a few things concerning lume, decorated movements and possibly a better eye for quality control.
With that said, I am rooting for Undone, and I would highly recommend anyone who is in the market for a personalised watch to check them out and have a play on their watch customisation tool
Also checkout their newly released Basecamp watch here