It all started as a joke, a concept watch released on Instagram by Studio Underd0g on April 1st last year. The watch in question was named the Aubergine and featured (at least on paper) a thin slice of genuine eggplant/aubergine skin on the dial that would have naturally aged. Of course, considering the date of publication, many quickly figured out the prank, yet the photoshopped image showed up by the brand created the envy. Based on that, our friends and colleagues at Fratello decided to release the watch, this time for real, without a genuine slice of aubergine on the dial (no need to store it in the fridge) but with the same colour scheme. And to make it even better, the Studio Underd0g x Fratello Aubergine Watch will benefit a cause that will certainly talk to many men.
The watch, this aubergine-inspired chronograph, couldn’t be more vibrant. I mean, look at this purple dégradé and textured dial, framed by a light green tachymeter scale, with a tri-green oversized counter… That’s a new definition of colourful watchmaking. But considering the fact that the watch will be fairly affordable and that we’re surrounded by black and blue watches all over the place, it’s actually quite refreshing to see something that bold created in the metal! Congrats RJ and the team for having the balls to do it – pardon my French, but this silly expression will actually make sense later.
The watch; the Studio Underd0g x Fratello Aubergine Watch is based on an existing model, the classic, slightly vintage-inspired chronograph of the brand. While the design, with a 38.5mm steel case, and the bicompax layout, as well as the hand-wound Seagull movement (based on a Venus construction) are all about the 1950s, the main cool factor comes from the colours. Indeed, most of the creations of Studio Underd0g are using vibrant colour pallets, and the Aubergine Watch might well be the most daring of them all.
What makes it special is this combination of a refreshingly modern dial with a classic case and movement. The dial is purple in the centre with a satin sandblast base and coarse dégradé texture on top. The periphery hosts a light green tachymeter scale, a colour that’s also found on the 30-minute counter. It’s paired with a relatively discreet strap, a handmade Epsom calfskin strap courtesy of The Strap Tailor. Under the hood is the hand-wound Seagull ST-1901, a movement that started life as a Swiss Venus Cal.175 before the tooling and technical drawings were sold to the Chinese Airforce in the early 1960s.
What’s more? Well, you’ll have to spend £500 to get this watch, which is fair and reasonable for what you’ll get. But actually, there’s more. As I’ve said, I didn’t put the topic of balls just to make you think I was cool and relaxed. In fact, this collaborative project between Studio Underd0g and Fratello aims to raise funds towards testicular cancer research. All profits of the sales will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
How to get the Studio Underd0g x Fratello Aubergine Watch? There’s a little trick, as the project will be shared exclusively with the Fratello community via the Fratello newsletter. 50 pieces will be made available for purchase at 3pm GMT on the 1st of April 2022. Orders will be processed on a first come first serve basis and limited to 1 watch per order, at a price of GBP 500 including worldwide shipping. So now, all you have to do is to check www.fratellowatches.com for all the details!