UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Marine U1-MLM
The second collaboration of both brands with design cues from 1960s French Navy dive watches.
Massena LAB, the timepiece creation studio created by industry veteran William Massena, is slowly making a name for itself with an ever-growing collection of special watches created with renowned or accessible watchmakers. Think about the bronze Habring² or the Jurassic-like MB&F clock. For its latest creation, Massena LAB joins forces again with UNIMATIC following up on the brown Modello Uno here. This time, the inspiration comes from Massena’s country of origin; the UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Marine U1-MLM is inspired by the dive watches used by the French Navy in the 1960s – think Tudor Marine Nationale.
Just like its predecessor, the U1-ML6, this new take on UNIMATIC’s Modello Uno is an ode to the past. However, it fast-forwards a decade and takes its style cues from the 1960s, specifically the professional dive watches used by French military frogmen – a navy-blue diving instrument with a typical olive green strap. All of these elements have been adapted in the well-established Modello Uno, a dive watch known for its cool, understated styling and its solid specifications.
The 41.5mm case is made of brushed stainless steel with a classic tool, no-fuss style. Robust but not exaggerated, the case is protected by robust shoulders and a squarish crown guard module. The crown screws down and the watch is protected by a thick 2.5mm sapphire crystal. Water-resistance is rated at 300m. It features a notched unidirectional bezel, slightly larger than the case for better ease of use, which is fitted with a marine-inspired blue aluminium bezel insert with clean off-white 60-minute markings.
The style of the aged dial pays tribute to the vintage Marine Nationale watches too. The faded colouration of the dial is achieved through a depigmentation process, which in the final product produces a range of colours from a navy to turquoise. This will give each watch its own sense of individuality. The dial features oversized painted markers and bold hands, all filled with Super-LumiNova. As always with UNIMATIC, the dial looks ultra-clean and the brand’s logo and the “Made in Italy” mentions are unusually placed at 6 o’clock.
Under a closed caseback decorated with a detailed engraving of a marine anchor is a reliable automatic Seiko movement, the calibre NH35A. Beating at 3Hz and boasting 41h of power reserve, it will ensure accuracy and durability. Each caseback is individually numbered.
The UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Marine U1-MLM is delivered in a tough case with two straps: a classic blue heavy-duty NATO strap and, to consolidate the Marine Nationale look, a French Navy-style olive strap with a yellow stripe.
Availability & Price
This new UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Marine will be limited to 200 pieces and is available today at www.massenalab.com, for USD 895.
The prices of their releases are rising, for a watch with an inexpensive seiko movement ($35) the value is slipping, a lot !