Undone Basecamp Cali

Now that Undone has updated their website and added a graduated bezel option for the popular Basecamp model, they are rolling out a new variant, the Basecamp Cali. The gave me one in exchange for this review, and after wearing it for a couple of days, I've decided this is my favorite of all the Undone watches.  

Undone Basecamp Cali black


Yeah, I know. That is a pretty bold pronouncement, just hear me out. The original Aqua is a fierce brute and makes an excellent canvas for a Pro-custom dial, but it's also huge, and that is not for everyone. The 40mm Urban chronograph and Mystique 3-hander are both quite lovely, but 30m water resistance relegates them go dress or light-duty status. What was missing from the line up was mid-sized all-arounder that clean up with a tailored strap for a week in the office and still mix it up on the weekends. The first Basecamp certainly fits the bill in terms of size (40mm) and water resistance (100M), but the large orange arrow hour hand is bold, sporty, and more than a little polarizing. 

Undone Basecamp Cali black

Enter, the Cali. Like the rest of the Basecamp line, the Cali has a brushed and polished stainless steel case measuring 40mm wide, 48mm long, 12mm thick from the case back to the top of the bezel, over which rises a 3mm tall double-domed Lexan Polycarbonate crystal. These trim proportions are right in the sweet spot for my 6.75" wrist, and that massive retro-style dome just knocks me out. 

Undone Basecamp Cali black

The signed, octagonal crown looks much like that on the Aqua, albeit scaled down and polished. It is a push-pull, offering water-resistance of 100M, which is okay for a diver and right in line for a field watch. Seeing how the Cali straddles the line between the two, I'd say 100m was the right call and likely far more than any buyer will ever need. My sample had a display case back, offering a view of the sturdy (in not exactly pretty) 21.6k bph Seiko NH35 automatic inside. 


Undone Basecamp Cali black


As you might gather from the name, the Cali features the quirky, half-Roman, half-Arabic “California” dial design, and the handset is a classic, polished, "Mercedes" style that reaches right to the hour markers and gold railroad minute track. Add a lollipop second hand, and a dose of mellow (yet still bright) vintage lume, and you've got a combination that sets a distinctly military vibe but is not quite as in-your-face as the first orange-arrow design. It's a good look, particularly when paired with the vintage-lumed graduated bezel as on this watch. Undone has thrown in another treat for us by putting all of this over a waffle-textured dial. Buyers can opt for Olive Green or the Ebony Black shown here. 


Undone Basecamp Cali black


Of course, the Undone customizer contains a wealth of personalization options, including a variety of 20mm straps, K1 glass sterile or graduated bezel inserts, and the addition of your text or logo on the dial. This watch arrived on an olive nylon pass-through with blasted rings. It certainly fir the style of the watch, but I must confess that having matte strap hardware on a brushed and polished watch bugged me. Of course, I freely admit that mismatching hardware finishes bug me in an almost clinical way, but this is an easy fix, either by selecting another option on the Undone strap page or by swapping in one of your own. 


Undone Basecamp Cali black


I am enjoying the heck out of this thing. I kept it on the heavy weave nylon as I handled my weekend chores, but will pair it with a minimally stitched leather strap before heading back to the office tomorrow so I can wear it with a jacket and tie. Really, a watch like this deserves to be shown off. 


The Basecamp Cali launches today and starts at $315 before custom options. Head over to Undone.com and check it out! ⬩


Undone Basecamp Cali black




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