In case you didn’t know, July 20th marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. My weekly newsletter was basically moon themed, I’ve covered results from Sotheby’s special Speedmaster auction, and I’m sure everyone is tired of the Speemaster wrist shots everyone else is posting on Instagram.
I’ve got one more (I promise) moon-themed post, and it’s just to highlight an awesome watch Unimatic released that sold out almost instantly. I’ve highlighted the Italian brand before, as I’ve long loved their classic Italian-inspired dive watches (think Panerai, kind of, but not really), but with a modern, minimalist twist.
To celebrate the moon landing, Unimatic released a special limited edition of its Modello Uno, calling it the Unamtic U1-SP (SP for “Space Program”). Production was limited to just 50 pieces, and it sold out almost as soon as Unimatic announced it.
The watch is an example of Unimatic’s design-forward take on dive watches, featuring an all-white matte dial with nothing but the NASA worm logo at 6 o’clock. You’ve got to have a lot of confidence in your brand to be able to say “fuck it, let’s do it with no logo,” but Unimatic is doing just that here, letting its unique aesthetic do the heavy lifting. If you know, you know. The Super-LumiNova on the hands and hour markers has a warm tint to it, mimicking the patina of a much older watch and providing a contrast against the crisp white dial. Flip it over, and you’ll see a case back engraved with the solar system around your watch’s number.
Does it make any sense at all that an Italian microbrand is making a special limited edition watch to honor NASA? No, not really. I suppose it’s a reminder that landing on the moon was not an American achievement, but a human one, but that’s mostly rhetorical fluff.
NASA and the NASA logo has been having a bit of a moment. Maybe it’s that Disney’s Tomorrowland retro-future vibe that everyone is in to, but all kinds of companies, celebrities, and youths are riding the trend. And given that Europe (especially Italy) tends to be a bit more fashion-forward than us Yankees, it’s no surprise that an Italian brand like Unimatic would have seen this trend and thought to take advantage of it at on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, right as the trend may be reaching its apogee.
If the watch were a bit uglier, I might begrudge them for this blatant trend exploiting, but damn it if I don’t love this Modello Uno.
As a side note, are white watches also having a moment? I swear I’ve seen them everywhere lately: from $30 white Casio G-Shocks on the street to the $200k white ceramic Audemars Piguet John Mayer showed off in his recent talking watches episode. They’ve kind of got this 90s/ early-2000s “I don’t give a fuck but really I do” vibe that everyone from Post Malone to Ariana Grande is trying to pull off, and seem to provide a nice complement to so much of the streetwear that is in right now
Unimatic Modello Uno ‘Space Program’ Specs:
Water resistance: 300m
Movement: Seiko NH 35A (automatic, 41hr power reserve)
Domed sapphire crystal
120 click mono-directional rotating bezel
Stainless steel case with Cerakote white case coating
White nylon Nato strop