If you are looking for something distinctly vintage, hold the phone, the Undone release of their Tropical Amazon watch is here. This timepiece is a part of the new aged vintage chronographs from the Undone watchmakers. The two other editions of this timepiece are the aged versions but the piece that I got my hands on is the Amazon. The patina found on the other pieces is not through natural aging, which is what made the style popular to begin with, so I am happy with the Amazon model with a regular black dial. Other than the dials all of these pieces have the same functionality and an uncommon mechanical quartz hybrid driving the movement.
The case size come in at a comfortable 41.8mm due to the tachymeter being included with this model. The tachymeter was crucial in driver or pilot timepieces in the past and makes the vintage style more genuine.
Over and above the three different dials you will be able to customise your timepiece from a variety of watch straps and case colours. Personalisation should never be underestimated because the feeling of having a piece that has the features you have chosen has a large impact on the pieces attractiveness. The chronograph buttons are at 2 and 4 o’clock and there is a handsome antique crown placed between them. The protruding lugs are relatively thin coming in at 20mm.
The watch customization extends to the back of the case where you are able to engrave artwork to the solid caseback or print a picture on the transparent glass exhibition caseback. This has the potential to add a lot of value to the sentiment or originality of the watch but it a fine line between class, excessive decoration and cheesy quotes so tread carefully!
I love the dial. Simple and multifunctional. You have lumed bars as the hour markers and a small date aperture at 6 o’clock. There are two sub-dials either side of the sword watch hands. The right hand sub-dial has a 24 hour feature and the left hand sub-dial is for timing up to an hour.
The glass is a hardened K1 crystal, which gives the Undone Amazon a beautiful vintage touch that looks shockingly like the real thing, very similar to the domed crystal on an Omega Speedmaster.
The other dials are made to resemble the old Rolex and Omega timepieces that fell victim to a manufacturing error that caused the dials to take on a weathered look due to climate and UV exposure, this is usually called patina. Not many of these pieces are still in circulation and since genuinely getting watches to look that way is a ridiculous idea Undone has made it possible to own the next best thing.
The movement in the Tropical is an exquisite touch for an affordable piece (automatic would have been too good to be true). The VK64 movement has a fly-back feature and a non-running second hand to make the tachymeter more effective. The jury is still out on mecha-quartz and I am not sure just how I feel yet but I think everything should be taken on its own merits.
The movement provides you with a reliable hybrid quartz movement controlling the timekeeping feature with the chronograph being controlled by the mechanical movement. This gives you a chance to have the mechanical feel of the classic timepieces without hurting your pocket too much. The saving carries over to servicing because the mecha-quartz will need far less attention over the life of the timepiece.
As we see the technological advances coming in fast I am sure we will see constant improvement in the mecha-quartz line and it will probably feature more in the future in a variety of applications.
I like the idea that Seiko has been working on the mecha-quartz movement for some time so they have the experience to create something reliable, and you get some Seiko technology with a fairly low cost in an original timepiece. The black dial that I have is going to have wider functionality due to the colours it can accompany and more formal occasions you can wear it to. The faux patina looks genuine but the fact is you still know deep down that it is pretending to be something it isn’t.
You could probably get your hands on an originally weathered piece for a small fortune so if that isn’t an option, as is the case with many of us watch lovers who’s pockets aren’t big enough to support our obsession, then the Tropical will make a good addition to your collection.
This piece would also make a memorable gift due to the widely customizable nature of the piece. I just beg you, as mentioned earlier, if you are going to get it as a gift please, please be original!
To have a look at Undone’s entire Amazon collection click here.