Massena LAB, the timepiece creation studio founded by watch industry veteran Wiliam Massena, has teamed up with the contemporary Italian watch manufacturer UNIMATIC on a new limited edition watch, the UNIMATIC x Massena LAB Marine U1-MLM. Inspired by the professional dive watches used by the French Navy in the 1960s, the U1-MLM marks the second time the two brands have come together to collaborate on a timepiece.
The Unimatic X Massena LAB Marine follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the U1-ML6. Unlike its predecessor, the new U1-MLM fast forwards a decade and takes its style cues from the 1960s, specifically dive watches that were issued to the French Navy, hence “Navy” blue. As a final product, the U1-MLM is a synthesis of ideas between two companies on how to create a high-quality wristwatch that feels modern and incorporates vintage touch points, while not relying on nostalgia alone.
Housed inside the 41.5mm stainless steel case of the U1-MLM is the automatic caliber Seiko NH35A 21600bph, with a power reserve of 41 hours, and a hacking second feature. The watch features a marine blue aluminum bezel with off-white 60 minute markings. Turning the 120-click unidirectional bezel is both an audible and tactile treat; the bezel hangs slightly over the diameter of the watch, making it easier to turn as well.
The unique blue coloration of the dial is achieved through a depigmentation process, which in the final product, produces a range of colors from a navy to turquoise. This gives each watch its own sense of individuality. In addition, the Super-LumiNova is applied on each dial by hand on the hour / minute hands and markers.
Turning the watch over, the viewer is treated to a detailed engraving of a marine anchor, which takes up the majority of the case back. It serves as an ode to its aquatic inspiration, an exercise in craftsmanship, and a reminder that this is a tool watch to be used as such. Each caseback is individually numbered.
Fitted with a French Navy style olive and yellow line strap, U1-MLM comes with a blue, heavy-duty UNIMATIC nylon nato strap for added versatility. Each limited edition is housed in a branded UNIMATIC x Massena LAB tough case with a warranty card and unique ID seal.
Launched on 10th December 2020, the U1-MLM (retail price is $895) is produced in a limited run of 200 pieces and sold exclusively at www.massenalab.com.
Hours, minutes, seconds
Material: Stainless steel
Finish: Brushed finish
Glass: 2.5mm double domed sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating
Bezel: 120 clicks mono-directional safety bezel
Crown: Alchemical Sun ☉ 8mm screw-down
Caseback: Closed steel back with special marine anchor engraving, numbered out of 200
Water resistance: 300 meters
“Aged” blue dial
Lume: Hand-applied Super-LumiNova
Caliber Seiko NH35A
Power reserve: 41 hours
Hacking seconds hand and Bi-directional winding
Accuracy: -20/+40 s/day
Power reserve: 41h
Antimagnetic: 4800 A/m
French Navy style olive and yellow line strap; blue heavy-duty UNIMATIC nato strap
Lug Width: 22mm
Limited edition of 200 pieces
Made in Italy
2 years warranty