In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a festival that celebrates life and death. UNDONE presents the Calavera Neón timepiece to mark this vibrant celebration.
The Day of the Dead is a festival that originated several thousands of years ago. It was considered disrespectful to mourn the dead, who would still be regarded as members of the community. Dia de Los Muertos is a 2-day festivity, with families coming together to honor and remember the lives of their loved ones who have passed through prayer, dance, feasts, and rituals.
Altars and gravestones are decorated in vibrant orange and purple offerings, covered in Marigold flowers and personal possession, encouraging the deceased to return home and hear the prayers of their loved ones. It is also a time for spiritual reflection, to honor ancestors, and to celebrate the lives that they have lived, rather than to mourn their loss.
One of the central symbols we often see in the depictions of the Day of the Dead is the Calavera, meaning “Skull”. These are ornate skulls with vibrant colors, beautifully adorned with designs and flowers. Some are edible while others are purely decorative.
They are made usually by hand from either sugar (called Alfeñiques / Calavera de Azucar) or clay, and sometimes referred to as a “sugar skull”. This is a key inspiration for the dial design – a colourful skull that truly reflects the spirit of the festival.
Mexican printmaker and political cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada, hugely influential across Latin America and amongst artists for his satirical acuteness and social engagement, created an etching of a skull with an accompanying phrase “todos somos calaveras,” translated to “we are all skulls.” It has given a deeper meaning to the way that life should be lived – underneath the surface of all our faults and differences, roles, and social status, we are but mortal living skeletons.
The Calavera Neón brings together the influences of José Guadalupe Posada’s legendary phrase and the deeply historical Mexican celebration. The watch design reflects the vibrant colors on the ornate skulls seen displayed on the days of the celebration.
The striking dial is printed with fluorescent paint (as a reflection of the bright colors of the festivities), which is a first in UNDONE watches’ history, and is creatively designed with multiple colors that glow under black / UV light.
The watch caseback is engraved with a guitar-strumming skeleton coupled with Posada’s famous quote, “Todos Somos Calaveras.”
As a little something extra, UNDONE has decided to include a UV Light Keychain with every watch to show off the Calavera Neón in all its fluorescent brilliance, anywhere.
The “Calavera Neón” is housed in a stainless steel case; PVD coated in satin black with a glossy finish. The case measures 40mm in diameter (excl. crown) and is 47.6mm lug to lug, with the height coming in at 12mm from the case back to the top of the domed K1 crystal lens.
Driving this electric celebration is a Japanese TMI VK61 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph (supplied by SEIKO Manufacturing (H.K.) Limited).
Recommended Retail Price: $365 USD