Undone Mystique

If you are a watch nerd, you may already be familiar with Undone. Since their 2015 launch, they have released two buyer-configurable watches: the Aqua automatic diving watch and the MechaQuartz Urban Chronograph. Both have proven wildly successful. Today, they add a third series to the collection, the Mystique, which is a variation on the Urban Chronograph design that features "artisan gradient dials."


There are just four versions of the Mystique: Eclipse gray or Mercury blue dials in polished steel cases, or Neptune green or Mars red in PVD rose gold cases, each on a black leather strap. They sent me a Mars for this review. Unlike the fully customizable Aqua, this line is semi-customizable, allowing certain user-selectable options within an otherwise set design.


According to their press material, Undone wants the Mystique to show what they are capable of producing in-house. In doing so, they call out other manufacturers, specifically those who market under the "Swiss Made" banner, to be honest about their outsourcing. (Sorry folks, but "Swiss Made" does not mean what you think it does. See the story of the H. Moser cheese watch for a fabulous example of the inherent absurdity in the law). The Undone gradient dial is an excellent example, as its production is complex and the result is simply lovely. You can see the manufacturing process here.
 

Manufacturing politics aside, the Mystique's dial is a delight, displaying a rich jewel tone color and an ombré effect that shimmers at the center and grows progressively darker at the edges. Gold feuille hands and applied baton markers complete the package, complementing the shiny PVD gold case. I must say, the gold-on-red scheme is not always the easiest to read, especially on the textured subdials, but this is a dress watch, and as such, sometimes practicality must take a back seat to style.

Undone Mystique Mars red wrist shot

In other respects, the Mystique is nearly identical to the other Urban Chronographs. Like the Killy I reviewed earlier this year, it has a 40mm wide, 48mm long, stepped bezel case and a tall K1 mineral dome that raises the overall thickness to 13mm. Inside, you will find the same Seiko VK61 MechaQuartz movement. It is water resistant to just 30m, which is quite enough for a dress watch. The only difference is the angle of lugs, which are slightly steeper on the Mystique for a better fit.

Undone Mystique Mars red

Each Mystique will come with two straps. The sample arrived on buttery soft tapered black leather with minimal stitching, a matte finish, and a signed buckle. Buyers will also receive a gator print strap in a complementary color.

Undone Mystique Mars red

The Mystique is a sharp looking watch. I don't know if it will cause a revolution in watchmaking transparency, but it will find its way onto many a thrifty watch nerd's wrist. Pre-orders will be $260, and full retail will be $325.

For more information or to place an order, go to the Undone Watch Mystique page and also be sure to visit Undone on Instagram (@undonelab) and Facebook (/undonewatch). ◆

Undone Mystique Mars red package


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