UNDONE x Simple Union Watches Reflect on Ancient Japanese Crafts

The watches come with straps made from 150-year-old Japanese fabric.

Watches
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UNDONE and Simple Union are back with a third collaboration in a series celebrating the “Japanese ideology of impermanence and imperfection,” known as Wabi-Sabi.

UNDONE and Simple Union first collaborated in 2019, while their second, 300-piece watch project last year sold out in just 48 hours.

The project has resulted in UNDONE x Simple Union: Sometsuke, a 300-piece limited edition focusing on the Japanese porcelain craft of blue painted designs on a white background.

Sometsuke’s white “porcelain-looking dial” has been achieved by polishing a painted cold enamel surface to a glossy finish and is completed with UNDONE’s own take on the California Dial layout, the Kyoto Dial, which is a mix of blue batons, Arabic numerals and Kanji calligraphy indices, here also featuring with the Simple Union logo at the 12 o’clock position.

UNDONE and Simple Union Watches Reflect on Ancient Japanese Crafts

The watch also references the Kintsugi craft of repairing broken objects, usually porcelain, with gold by “splitting” the dial to  reveal its golden skeleton automatic movement beneath.

Not finished there, the watch is paired with indigo, quick release watch straps made from unique pieces of antique Katazome-dyed fabric, which are 150-year-old or more, from Simple Union’s own collection. The random nature of the collection means that no two straps will be the same.

A second, unlimited piece called UNDONE Urushi, is being released alongside as a companion piece and is inspired by the traditional Japanese lacquerware.

UNDONE and Simple Union Watches Reflect on Ancient Japanese Crafts

Here UNDONE imitates the Urushi technique of Maki-e, which sees precious metal flecks set in Urushi lacquer. As with the Sometsuke watch, UNDONE seeks to achieve the finished look, rather than the technique itself to allow them sell the pieces at a certain price point.

UNDONE x Simple Union: Sometsuke uses a Seiko TMI NH71 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve and -20/+40 seconds per day accuracy while the UNDONE: Urushi uses a Seiko NH35A automatic with 42-hour power reserve and +/-15 seconds a day accuracy.

UNDONE x Simple Union: Sometsuke is limited to 300 pieces and priced $488 USD while the UNDONE: Urushi is priced $445 USD. Both are available via UNDONE.

Elsewhere in watches, Ateliers de Genève builds a moonphase into a Rolex Submariner for Sea Shepherd founder.

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