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A Giveaway, and the Very Green Undone Basecamp 420. Would you Puff it, or Pass?

Introduction
When the Undone team suggested that I review this watch, I'll admit I was a bit surprised. I was familiar with their collaboration watches such as the new Superman and Simple Union watches. I even knew that (unlike Rolex and Omega) Undone actually has Batman and Ultraman watches in stock to sell you.

I also posted this article with our friends at WatchCharts.com.

Looks like I forgot to set it to 10:10 ;-)

But this was something COMPLETELY different! Undone is also giving away TWO of the 420 special edition watches for you and a friend. Keep reading, we'll be your dispensary for information about the watch, and pass along instructions to enter the giveaway.

The Basecamp 420 is only available the month of April. If you would like to buy one, this link has them available for purchase.

The Brand
Started in 2014, Undone offers watches from three main collections in addition to the unique collaboration pieces. That may not sound like a lot, but each collection allows the customer to completely customize the watch to their preference, from the dial and hands, to the color of the date wheel, and even the case. You can also spec out text on the dial and photos on the case-back.


I love that you can choose the color of the date wheel.

Before Undone came along, if you wanted a custom watch, your choices were fashion brands with cheap quartz movements, spending 4 to 5 figures on a Bamford, or spending countless hours picking out parts and teaching yourself how to build a custom Seiko. Undone takes away the guess work, and provides a custom watch that is affordable, yet still has a quality set of components.


The Undone Customiser tool allows near-infinite possibilities. The Aqua model even offers four standard and six Cerakote case colors.

Their site even has an interactive customiser tool that (unlike ordering parts to build a custom Seiko) ensures you will know exactly what your watch will look like before you hit that order button.

The result is thousands of possibilities (and extremely low chance that you will see someone with the same Undone that you have).

The Basecamp
Undone lets Basecamp buyers choose from the Sandblast, Classic, and Cali models. They also offer a new Basecamp Bronze, which I am hoping to review in the future! Not surprisingly, the Cali is the base for the 420 model.

Because we have not reviewed Undone on WatchCharts before, I'll first share my impressions as they relate to all Cali Basecamp models. Then I will toke, I mean talk, about what makes the 420 edition so unique.


Three of the thousands of possibilities that Undone offers. Notice how different that the "same" watch can look with a few changes.

The Basecamp is the most affordable automatic watch in Undone's lineup, starting at $315. Undone refers to it as their "quintessential 40mm tool watch." Depending on the options that you select, the Basecamp can take on the look of a hardcore dive watch, or more of an adventure watch vibe.

Packaging
The watch arrived from Undone in a basic, but tasteful heather gray box with date of purchase and specifications of the watch on the outside.


The basecamp arrives in a tasteful box covered with gray cloth.

The inside of the box is foam-padded, and holds the watch and instruction manual. I prefer a smaller box like this, as it is one less bulky thing to store.

The Case
The Basecamp features a 316L stainless steel case. It is 40mm wide excluding the crown, and 15mm thick with its domed crystal. It is rated to 100m of water resistance, and has a 20mm lug width..

The cases of the Classic and Cali models feature a mix of brushed and polished surfaces (you guess how the Sandblast model is finished). The tops of the lugs have radial brushing with polished edges and sides of the lugs and case. The finishing is basic, but appropriate for a watch in this price range.


The case has polished sides.

The case-back is screw-down, has a unique octagonal pattern, and features a transparent window showing off the automatic movement.


The octagon screw-down case-back.

The lugs curve down to help the watch wrap around the wrist. The area between the lugs is almost straight, with just the slightest curve. This is a nice touch, as it fills the gaps between the strap and case.


Curved lugs aid comfort.

Because of the curved lugs and relatively light weight of the watch, it is quite comfortable on the wrist. The crystal adds a lot of thickness, but it is curved, and the bezel is sloped. Thus it does not feel as thick as the measurements would indicate.

Bezel
The bezel on this model has a K1 mineral glass insert with green fill and luminous numbering (a sterile bezel is also available on the standard Basecamp). K1 glass will not be as scratch-resistant as sapphire, but should resist most damage and will be less likely to shatter from an impact.


The K1 mineral glass bezel with lumed numerals.

The edges of the bezel are ridged, making it very easy to grip. Unlike a true dive watch, the bezel is bidirectional. It does not have clicks, but rather a smooth turn. The amount of friction is appropriate. It is not difficult to turn, but has enough resistance not to turn accidentally.


The ridged edge of the smooth-turning bi-directional bezel.

Because I am not diving with this watch, I actually prefer this type of bezel action. It makes it easier to time my pizza, and then return the bezel back to 12 without spinning it all the way around. I'm not sure if you are anal like I am, but I ALWAYS have to return my bezel to twelve. You also avoid the issue of some lower-priced watches where the bezel click does not line up with the markers.

Crystal
The Basecamp features a highly domed, almost boxed crystal (I'm a sucker for domed/boxed crystals).


The highly domed plexi crystal.

Interestingly, the crystal is made from Lexan polycarbonate (a.k.a. really strong plastic). In the under $500 range, you would usually not see sapphire, but at least a mineral crystal is typical.

At first I thought it was a strange choice, but I actually prefer it over mineral in this application. I don't believe that the fantastic dome could have been achieved with mineral. Also the plastic gives the edges a soft distortion that I found charming, rather than the milky rink typical of many boxed sapphire crystals (just ask the Speedmaster Professional crowd)

Lexan is more likely to scratch than mineral, but it should be extremely resistant to shattering. Readers from the vintage watch crowd will also know that (unlike with mineral or sapphire) minor scratches can easily be polished out of plastic crystals with a tube of Polywatch!

Crown
The screw-down crown is brushed and polished, and is an octagon shape signed with Undone's "U" logo.


The octagon crown matches the caseback, and features the Undone logo.

The large, flat sides and lack of crown guards make it very easy to grip.

Movement
Unscrew that crown, and you'll be winding and hacking the Seiko NH35A movement ticking away inside at 6 beats per second.


The transparent case-back allows you to see the Seiko NH35A beating away.

The NH35 (and Seiko's internal 4R equivalent) is a workhorse movement with basic finishing, but it is completely appropriate for a watch in this price range. It should provide years of trouble-free use for the owner. Seiko and other companies use this movement in much more expensive watches than the Basecamp.


The finishing is basic, but appropriate for this price range.

The finishing on the movement is fairly rough, but it is the same level that you would see on a Seiko 5 in this price range.

Strap
The Classic Basecamp lets the buyer choose between 7 different types of strap materials in a variety of colors.


Undone offers a large variety of strap options for your Basecamp.

Choosing the 420 edition means that you'll receive an exclusive Cordura strap that is, naturally, green in color.


The Cordura fabic strap slims down at the signed buckle.

The color and texture of the strap compliment the dial well, and I actually wish that this color was a standard offering.


The green Cordura strap is not available on the standard Basecamp.

The strap is not padded, but it's still very comfortable (plus the whole watch is kush enough already). It also has quick-release springbars!

Hands
The hands feature a diamond-shaped hour hand, straight minute hand, and a pointer-style second hand. These hands are unique to the 420 watch, but multiple hand styles are available on the standard Basecamp.


The 420 also features unique hands not available on other Basecamp models.

The hour and minute hands angle down on either edge, which gives a more expensive look and helps them to reflect light better. The second hand reaches to the outer edge of the railroad style minute track, but the minute hand falls just short. I would prefer to see it a few mm longer, but it is not something that I would notice in daily wear as I do on other watches.

The hands (and markers) feature an off-white lume. The lume on the hands is green and fairly bright, but I would not describe the lume on the dial and bezel as blazing.


The twelve and four hour markers are not lumed. you will see why later!

The 420 Dial
The 420 edition starts with the fantastic olive green "Cali" dial. For those who are not familiar, a California dial has Roman numerals on the top half, and Arabic on the bottom. They also typically have a triangle in place of the 12, but this watch...doesn't...

The dial has a diamond pattern on it, which gives nice texture, and matches well with the strap's pattern. The Cali dial omits the date window, which I think is a good design choice, as I can't think of a way that they could have implemented it without disturbing the look of the dial. The crown still has an additional position, and it feels as if the date mechanism is still present. Other Basecamp dials offer the option of a date function if preferred.


The texture of the dial adds visual interest without affecting time-telling, and I like that the dial features minimal text.

It also has a minimal two lines of text describing the water resistance and the fact that it is an automatic. The only branding on the dial is a subtle Undone logo at the 6 o'clock position where you would often see the country of origin on other watches.

This is where the 420 stops being subtle!


It's almost time!

The second thing that you'll notice is that the 4 marker is green in color, to signify that this is the 420 edition.


The leaf and 4 markers are not lumed, but feature a vibrant green color with interesting texture.

You could be forgiven for missing that small detail though, as your eyes were probably drawn immediately to the unique marijuana leaf 12 marker on this watch (no, that is not typical of a Cali dial)!


Very realistic!

This logo is a very...blunt...way to signify to others that you support the movement to legalize. It also shows off Undone's capability of building you a completely unique watch if you are interested in a collaboration.

Final Impressions
To roll up my final thoughts, I am more of a passer than a puffer, so I felt like a bit of a ppser wearing the 420 edition! This watch came while I was on furlough from work under Coronavirus, so I didn't get to experience the reaction from anyone out in public while wearing it. I did, however get to enjoy wearing a really cool watch around my house and while mowing the grass (no, that is not another euphemism)!


The texture of the dial looks fantastic in the sunlight.

Should you buy one?
The regular (sober?) Basecamp is a great value for the price. For only $315, you're getting a completely custom watch with a Seiko automatic movement. It's a great watch, especially if you're looking for something more unique than the typical SKX007 that you'll see at your next watch meet-up.


The 420 in action.

On top of all of that, the 420 is a limited edition, only made for one month, and Undone is not charging extra for all of the unique nuggets. If you love watches, and support the legalization movement, I'd recommend picking one up before time runs out!


The highly domed crystal creates some interesting reflections without affecting time-telling.

The Basecamp 420 is only available the month of April. If you would like to buy one, this link has them available for purchase.

Giveaway
Undone is also giving away TWO of the 420 special edition watches for you and a friend.


Enter now!

"Forget these low times with a watch that reminds you of those high times. 2020 marks the only time this century, where it will be 420 for a whole month. As our corporate responsibility, UNDONE wants you to stay green; as a nod and reminder to this year’s special month and date. So we’re giving away TWO 420 watches for you and a friend to puff out in style."

To Enter, visit this link: UNDONE.420 GIVEAWAY
Then:
1. Enter your name and email address.
2. Share a photo of a high time on Instagram and tag UNDONE watches. Use the hashtag: #UNDONE420.
3. That's it! The lucky winner will be picked at random on 30th April 2020 to mark the end of this special month.

Comments
Would you give this watch a puff, or a pass? If you'd pass on the 420, how would you spec out your Basecamp? Please let us know in the comments!

4 comments

  • Rafael, I agree. Even if you are not into the pot leaf, the plain green Cali dial Basecamp is a great option!

    Nick
  • Thanks Michael, they are great value for money!

    Nick
  • Great looking watch!!

    Rafael Pagán
  • Thoughtful, smart review. Definitely gonna check out Undone’s offerings.

    Michael Creadon

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