Review: Undone Basecamp Bronze Classic
In a watch market that is saturated by so many brands, how does one stand out? Undone Watches has answered this question by doing something a little different – let you be in charge of the design. For those unfamiliar with the brand, let me fill you in a little bit
Undone Watches is a relatively young company which has been making custom timepieces for its customers for over 5 years. Blending of current shopping trends with traditional watchmaking allows each customer to create their own unique timepiece without breaking the bank. It’s as simple as going online and choosing the different features of your watch. The details aren’t limited to just what type of strap you want, it includes things such as the colour of the dial, the type of numerals on the dial, whether you want a date window, the shape of the hands and more! The Undone website has pre-designed configurations to take the guess work out, if you are so inclined, but it’s so simple to alter aspects of the watch online. The end result is that you can have a very personalized self-designed watch for under $500.
Inevitably there will be a question on the quality – will it turn out looking cheap or what edges are being cut to keep prices low? My understanding is that the company uses stainless steel in most of its watches and utilizes Seiko purchased movements. Can’t really fault them on these, so let’s move on to the hands on review to see if it feels any different in real life.
This review is based on the Basecamp Bronze Classic on Nato Strap. It arrived 10 days after the order was placed – which is pretty phenomenal considering COVID slowing down postage.
Opening my delivery, inside was a plain brown cardboard box with the words #UNDONEbasecamp stamped on one end – pretty plain looking to be honest and I was getting a bit worried. Fortunately, that is only an outer box and once you open it up, inside is a stylish slim line grey fabric watch box which looks pretty good and is highly portable. Nestled securely inside with foam cushioning was the Basecamp Bronze. The only other thing inside is a small piece of paper describing how to set your watch and noting the 1 year warranty.
At first glance the Basecamp Bronze channels simplicity. Its earthy golden brown case juxtaposed with a deep yet vibrant blue dial. A pop of orange on the large arrow hour hand completes the look. The use of bronze in watches has been a growing trend and fits well with Undone’s ethos of making personalized watches. Bronze as a material is subject to oxidation (more elegantly known as patina) giving each piece its own unique pattern and colourisation. There’s something very rustic about bronze – conjuring imagery of fiery metal work or ancient deep sea exploration. Simply put, the Basecamp which is associated with mountaineering and outdoor activity, is perfectly suited to bronze. It’s not a large watch by today’s standards as the case measures 40mm across and has tapered lugs which creates a slimmer looking front profile. Inside the bronze case is the beating heart of a Seiko manufacture NH35A automatic movement which should give you about 41 hours of power reserve. It is a great and reliable movement with around -/+20 seconds accuracy per day. As a bonus the movement is visible via a clear case back. It is a reasonably solid feeling watch and features a domed plexiglass crystal.
Its side profile is considerably higher than I was expecting. In part due to the double looped Nato strap but generally, I find the watch sitting a little high on my wrist. It is not a watch designed to match a formal shirt and you probably wouldn’t get it to fit under the cuff. However, if you are planning to wear it casually or while off trekking, there’s no issue with it at all. The Nato strap in blue matches well with the dial however a little thin and light feeling for my liking. That being said, it is a very practical strap for this watch. The idea of a bronze watch is for it to get out there and get dirty, touch salt water, weather the elements and develop its personal patina. These are things that aren’t easily done on a leather strap and a bronze case on a steel bracelet… not sure about that, no one needs a Frankenstein watch. If you’re in the market for a unique watch which doesn’t cost a small fortune and it’s worth checking out Undone Watches. Don’t expect the same quality you’d get with a watch that you spend $1000 on, but it’s a decent quality watch for the price – and it’s customisable! We are not sponsored and don’t earn anything from them, but we have negotiated a discount for our readers. Use coupon code “SONNYDICKSON” to get 10% off (excluding new releases, already reduced items, limited editions and accessories) on your next purchase.