Introducing the Unimatic U1-SP Limited Edition

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As we are all pretty well aware of by now, this summer marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. We’ve covered this previously with announcements of special edition Speedmasters meant to mark the occasion (like the 321-powered LE that dropped this weekend), but Omega doesn’t have a monopoly on celebrating this historic event. While the Speedmaster has a unique place in space exploration history, to be sure, the Apollo missions were, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong himself, a giant step for all of mankind, so it’s no wonder that other brands want to pay tribute to one of the great accomplishments in all of human history in their own unique way. To that end, here we have a new special edition from Unimatic. Known for their minimalist, design-forward tool watches, their newest limited edition piece is an attractive take on their Modello Uno, and a genuine tribute to NASA from a far flung European admirer. Let’s take a closer look.


Unimatic U1-SP

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Matte white with NASA logo
  • Dimensions: 41.5mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Movement: Seiko NH35A
  • Strap/bracelet: White Unimatic nylon one piece strap
  • Price: $732
  • Expected Release: Currently sold out

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The U1-SP takes the now familiar Modello Uno case shape and dial layout and gives it a unique, retro-NASA inspired twist. Most notably, the white matte dial features the old school NASA “worm” logo, a truly iconic bit of design that evokes the era Unimatic is celebrating with this release. It will please NASA nerds in a way that the official NASA seal just can’t replicate. 

Hour markers are large and arranged in the typical Unimatic mix of circular and rectangular shapes. The lume is a creamy faux-patina, a love it or hate it proposition for many. On a release like this, specifically designed to evoke a particular era, I think it makes sense. It’s just another color choice, after all, and it complements the stark white dial and bare black bezel insert nicely.

The case of the U1-SP is stainless steel, but finished in a white Cerakote treatment and then stonewashed, giving each of the 50 watches in this limited run a unique look. We’ve seen this before from Unimatic in their similarly limited U1-MY, and the effect is just as striking now as it was then. The U1-MY was meant to evoke a watch that had been left at the bottom of the ocean, and this could just as easily be said to evoke a watch that was left on the moon. Cerakote, you may recall, is a ceramic coating that is commonly used to protect firearms and other high grade steel products from corroding. As watches made out of ceramic compounds become more popular, but still command relatively high prices, the use of a coating like this presents an interesting middle ground, as it gives a steel watch some of the scratch protection and durability associated with ceramics (and a unique aesthetic), without the high cost or fear of a watch case literally cracking apart if it’s dropped.

The limited edition U1-SP is currently sold out, with Unimatic having only produced 50 units. If you’re interested in landing one, then be sure to keep an eye out on the secondary market. Unimatic

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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