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In Review: UNDONE X STAPLE

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Early last month, we brought you word of a collaboration between UNDONE and STAPLE. On paper, it seems to make sense, as UNDONE is all about customized watches, and Jeff Staple got his start customizing sneakers. Not being a sneakerhead myself, I was still intrigued by the design. As we do, we got a sample in of the UNDONE X STAPLE, and have been spending time with it.

If you’re wanting a dive into why there are pigeons all over this design or even what the words on the bezel mean, I’ll point you back to our initial article which drills into all of that. On the exhibition caseback, the pigeon is just a bit of odd visual interest. On the dial side, though, that’s where it gets very, very interesting.

Of course, most eyes are going to be drawn to the very yin-and-yang, and that’s understandable. For being just two colors, it really jumps out at you. Then, taking a closer look, you’ve got even more pigeon influence, with the pink paint (like a pigeon’s legs) on the handset and printing at the lower portion of the dial. It looks cool in the day, but when it gets dark, you’ve got another dimension of cool unleashed.

Since it seems to be the summer of cool luminous dials, having this sort of light show on the dial of the UNDONE X STAPLE is a treat. On one hand, the glow on the dial is lovely, and points to some rather precise printing there engaged in here, with no bleed at the edges. Then, of course, you’ve got the contrasting luminous color coming off of the main handset (not the seconds hand) for another pop of color. Which, along with upping the design, also helps legibility, as the hands stand out from the dial.

In the midst of all of this, it’s easy to miss that the UNDONE X STAPLE has a form of a California dial. Rather than being split north-south (as we’re used to), it’s the east-west sides that have the different indices. Even there – you’ve got the Arabic numerals on the right, but pips and a bar (instead of Roman numerals) over on the left.

In terms of fit on the wrist, the UNDONE X STAPLE uses the same case that we saw in the Arabian Nights, and the 40mm looks fairly compact when viewed from directly on. Viewed from the side, you will notice the 15mm thickness. To be fair, a lot of that comes from the double-domed Lexan crystal. I found – given it’s fitment – the NATO-style strap also contributes a bit, allowing the watch to stand off from the wrist a bit. However, as the strap is so thin, it definitely slims down the feel on the wrist as compared to what leather or a steel bracelet would have.

That means it’s a good thing with the UNDONE X STAPLE. If you’ve experienced other Undone watches, you likely already know how this case is going to fit onto your wrist (and you’ve also likely dealt with nylon straps as well, and how those change things). So, really, the UNDONE X STAPLE is a question of just how much of a fan of the brand (Staple, that is) you are, or maybe you just really like birds. I’m not going to judge your reasons. It’s a striking look, whether you’re into streetwear or birding. The UNDONE X STAPLE on the NATO strap (as we reviewed here) can be had for $519 directly from undone.com

Tech Specs from Undone

  • Case: 40mm, steel, black PVD coating; 48mm lug-to-lug; 15mm thickness
  • Crystal: double-domed Lexan
  • Movement: NH35A automatic
  • WR: 100m
  • Versions
    • UNDONE x STAPLE Yin-Yang Limited Edition: 300 pieces, PVD bracelet plus Pigeon-branded NATO; $649
    • UNDONE x STAPLE Yin-Yang Leather: black leather rally strap with Pigeon Pink stitching; $519
    • UNDONE x STAPLE Yin-Yang Nato: black nylon NATO; $519

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