Introducing the UNDONE Urban Vintage Salmon Watch

An old-school salmon dial and Breguet numerals highlight this affordable “classic” from the bespoke watchmaker.


Founded in 2014, UNDONE is an unusual watchmaker that really emphasizes customization. All offerings are affordable with many using hybrid movements that are quartz-powered, but provide smooth-sweeping chronograph hands à la mechanical counterparts. The latest Urban Salmon watch is part of the Urban chronograph collection with 9 levels of customization, from case color, font, sub-dial arrangement, hand style/color and so on. It’s an impressive smorgasbord for any watch, especially one with such an affordable price.

The stock Urban Salmon is already a great piece without additional meddling and recalls classic (and pricey) watches from the past.

Vintage-inspired designs are all the rage these days and salmon dials are definitely surging. UNDONE capitalized on this with a retro aesthetic that goes beyond just the dial color. The bi-compax chronograph layout features recessed sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock with a 24-hour counter and small seconds. It’s a flyback chronograph, allowing the timer to be stopped, reset and restarted with one push.

The brushed dial has a goldish salmon hue that was popular at a time when combined with a matching rose gold case. It’s an old-school color that’s less pink than modern salmon dials and Breguet hour numerals reinforce the look. A tachymeter circles the outermost perimeter to measure speed or distance.

The stainless steel case is polished, but you have the option for black, yellow gold or rose gold coatings at no additional cost. It’s well-sized at 40mm in diameter with a thickness of 12.7mm, and the domed K1 crystal offers retro distortions at angles.

Although the movement is battery powered, there’s an exhibition case back and it’s cool to see the engine. I wish more (higher end) quartz watches displayed their movements.

An oversized crown is flanked by standard pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. Water-resistance is rated at only 30 meters, so anything more than splashes and rain should be avoided. 20mm strap options include the standard brown leather with white stitching and pin buckle, but there’s more than 30 options in multiple materials and styles. A bespoke watch indeed.

The Japanese movement is a TMI VK64 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph, providing quartz accuracy and a mechanical(ish) chronograph seconds hand that seamlessly sweeps like Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive. Of course, this is not at the level of Grand Seiko, but again looks great through the exhibition case back and is very accurate, reliable and virtually maintenance-free. It’s the workhorse for UNDONE’s Urban chronographs.

The watch comes with a 12-month warranty, free worldwide shipping and a price of just USD 349. Not bad at all for such a customizable piece with a retro salmon dial and flyback chronograph. Notwithstanding the lackluster water resistance rating, it’s a very impressive watch by any standard.