Undone — King Of Collaborations Blockbusters and highly respected creators. by Gerard Nijenbrinks June 03, 2020 MIN READUndone — King Of Collaborations
Undone likes to present itself as one of the world’s major custom-watch labels. According to the brand, the team tries to help you find a personalized watch that truly expresses your individuality and taste.
That’s all well and good. However, I don’t consider myself a better designer than people who made it their profession. As a result, I’m not such a fan of custom-made watches by non-professionals. What I do like, however, is that Undone used its ability to customize watches for the production of some excellent collaborations. Therefore, for me, Undone became the King of Collaborations!
Undone — King of Collabs
Established in just 2014, Undone almost immediately started to collaborate with well-known and respected brands, artists, designers, and comic figures. Let’s shed some light on the collaborations we saw in recent years. I’ll start in 2016.
In Japanese, Tokidoki means sometimes. But it’s a Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand — created in 2005 by Italian artist Simone Legno — as well. Tokidoki produces apparel, footwear, accessories, and other products using art, cartoon characters, and the logo designed by Simone Legno. In 2016, Undone produced this collaboration watch with three different dial designs for exclusive sale in Japan.
Two years later, in 2018, we saw a Peanuts collaboration of only 150 pieces. Peanuts, a long-running comic strip, is drawn and authored by Charles M. Schulz. First published on October 2, 1950, it ran until February 13, 2000. It featured a cast of children led by Charlie Brown, Schulz’s alter ego in the strip.
In this first Peanuts collaboration, Undone offered a variety of dials, sporting different Peanuts characters like Charlie Brown, Lucy, Rinus, and Woodstock (pictured above). Later, in 2019, a second collaboration was dedicated exclusively to Snoopy.
In 2019, there was an Undone chronograph too. For this edition, the Ultraman sign popped up on the dial. Around that time, Ultraman’s popularity was receiving a serious boost thanks to Omega and the #SpeedyTuesday community. The year prior had, of course, seen the release of the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman. The Undone Ultraman chronograph was limited to two times 100 pieces, 100 with a bare steel case, and 100 with a black case.
Next up was — unfortunately — another Japan-exclusive collaboration, this time with the Hollywood juggernaut that is Star Wars. The Star Wars saga began in 1977. In the 43 years hence, George Lucas’s generation-spanning Space opera has become a cultural phenomenon. Additionally, the Star Wars Universe has expanded into various movies and other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and pretty much anything else you can think of… Did I mention watchmaking?
Simple Union, the 無(MŪ) Limited Edition
The collaboration with Simple Union is one of a different sort. No blockbuster name, Simple Union is a highly respected Japanese creator of handmade leather products and fabric patchwork. Among the products it produces are custom sneakers and watch straps. It is, of course, the latter which connects the brand to Undone.
The 無(MŪ) watch sports a Simple Union “Katazome” wrist strap sourced from a single piece of 15- year old (Meiji Period) traditional Japanese fabric. Due to the exclusiveness of the straps, the collaboration was limited to only 40 watches.
I’m guessing we’re all pretty familiar with Toy Story. But for those of you who’ve managed to avoid hearing of the exploits of Woody and Buzz, in 1995, it was the first fully computer-animated comedy film. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures.
These watches were supplied to the Japanese market only. The watches were to be composed by order; a case material, dial color, and preferred image had to be chosen by the buyer. My Japanese is a bit rusty, but it seems that these watches can still be ordered (in Japan) here.
Snoopy Lunar Mission
The Undone Snoopy Lunar Mission collaboration was one that raised some eyebrows in the watch collecting community. Omega’s 2003 collaboration with Snoopy has become a highly-regarded, almost iconic moment for the brand. Thanks to its success, a second collab between Beagle and Bienne following in 2015.
Those Omega Speedmasters are highly regarded by watch collectors. Any collaboration by another brand (especially in the same vein) might be seen as bad form (piggy-backing on the Silver Snoopys’ successes). Regardless, the three models in the Undone Snoopy Lunar Mission series are nice watches. However, they might have taken too many details from the earlier mentioned Omega Speedmasters.
At the end of 2019, Undone teamed up with Stephen Bliss. You’ll all know Stephen Bliss. From 2001 until 2016, he was the senior artist at Rockstar Games. There, he helped to establish the highly recognizable illustrative style of Grand Theft Auto. He designed the two limited edition Monopoly models for Undone. The Benjamin (seen here above), and The Godfather, limited to 500 pieces each.
The last Undone collaboration of 2019 was one to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the birth of Batman. His first appearance was on the pages of Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939. After that Batman’s role and look as a crime-fighting cultural icon continues to evolve in our collective consciousness. The Undone × Batman 80th Anniversary Collection pays homage to perhaps two of the most definitive eras in Batman’s evolution — The Caped Crusader and The Dark Knight (as seen here above). It was also the first Undone watch to use Grade II titanium.
Joker & Harley Quinn
The Batman collaboration from 2019 was the first in a three-year global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to see another so soon. Here’s another taste of the DC universe. The Joker Last Love and Harlequin Mad Love, feature the clown prince and princess from the original comic books and embody love and hate. Both watches are limited to 100 pieces. Surprisingly — at the time of writing, at least — both are still available.
Simple Union 2.0
2020 saw a new collaboration with this Japanese creator of hand made leather products and fabric patchwork. Again we see a collaboration based on the ideology on impermanence and imperfection (Wabi-Sabi) with a strap from renowned antique Katazome fabric craft house Simple Union.
For the first time, Undone chose to use Bronze as a case material. As we all know, bronze will actively age. This ever-evolving patina is an expression of the beauty of imperfection. Undone made 300 pieces of this design. They sold like hotcakes. If you want one, you’ll have to find it on the pre-loved market.
I’ll end this write-up with the adorable comic figure of Bugs Bunny. This is the latest addition to Undone’s Warner Bros collection. What a way to celebrate 80 years of Bugs Bunny. Created by legendary illustrator Tex Avery, we’ll find Bugs in all his mischievous, carrot-munching glory in the dial of this chronograph. One hundred pieces of this watch will be made, and there are still some available at the time of writing.
What will the future hold?
Following the Bugs Bunny release, Undone presented a Superman collaboration. And with the three year Warner Bros agreement, we expect more superheroes entering the Undone stage. Already announced to us so far are Batman 2.0, Aquaman, and Wonderwoman. Make sure to visit the Undone Collaborations page to stay up-to-date.
You’ll find me on Instagram at @gerardnijenbrinks.
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About the author
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he… read more
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Even when it’s not Speedy Tuesday.Original Article