Hong Kong-based watchmaker UNDONE has been partnering with Simple Union for quite some time now. In fact, among the ones we already featured include the Vintage Killy: The Designer’s Draft Edition, 無3: Sometsuke, and the highly fashionable collection from UNDONE Lab. Given the success of these collaborations, it was just a matter of time before another was to follow. Dropping now is the Aitoheiwa Automatic and it’s more than just a timepiece.
In the early stages of its development, the UNDONE team assigned it the placeholder “無4 (Project Crane)” and for a good reason. You see, the motto behind this new entry is “LOVE AND PEACE” as noted by the Aitoheiwa Automatic’s promotional materials. Likewise, those with a grasp of Japanese should already know that this is what its namesake means when translated into English.
As such, these are small yet substantial details that showcase the brand’s artistic approach behind their watches. Furthermore, the company is extending a helping hand in these difficult times. Thus, for each purchase of the UNDONE x Simple Union: Aitoheiwa Automatic, buyers also pledge their support for the people affected by the war in Ukraine. More on how this works below.
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UNDONE x Freedom Boxes
As noted earlier, among its recent releases, this is special and for a good reason. In a bid to aid the Ukrainians whose lives have been upended by the ongoing conflict in their country, each Aitoheiwa Automatic sold equates to one Freedom Box. UNDONE is partnering with the Czech-based group to ship out packages that contain emergency goods such as food, medicine, daily hygiene items, clean bedding, infant supplies, and more. A volunteer team in Ukraine is ready to handle the logistics and delivery of these.
A Mix Of Classic, Modern, And The Future
If you’ve seen most of the models we’ve featured before from UNDONE, it’s clear that they’re always eager to explore ideas beyond conventional watchmaking. The Aitoheiwa Automatic is no different as it boasts a striking mix of Sometsuke, Kintsugi, and Katazome.
These are traditional forms of Japanese craftsmanship that are embodied within a contemporary mechanical accessory. One that owners will always want to have on their wrists. UNDONE does not stop there as this snazzy timekeeping instrument includes a Karmic Krane NFT.
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You Could Be A Winner
The digital paper crane is not only for show as it also functions as a raffle ticket. Only the transactions made in the first month of this launch are eligible for the NFT giveaway. Winners will be notified via email on June 25, 2022. Take note the redemption period is only until July 25, 2022.
As for the prizes, it is a great mix of loot from both UNDONE and Simple Union. There are items like a mechanic’s jacket, a koinobori, hoodies, card holders, an airline bag, AirPods Pro cases, a clock, and custom sneakers. This is a great bonus, so better hope that luck is on your side.
UNDONE x Simple Union: Aitoheiwa Automatic
Now that we’ve discussed the fascinating extras you get with the watch, let us check out the nuances that make it another hit. The UNDONE x Simple Union: Aitoheiwa Automatic comes in a 40 mm x 15 mm CuSn8 bronze case, with a bezel and crown of the same material. The rotating bezel holds engravings of the markers while the top of the crown shows the brand’s “U” emblem.
Meanwhile, the exhibition caseback of the Aitoheiwa Automatic is fashioned from 316L stainless steel that holds a blue-tinted window. Printed on the crystal is a white paper crane holding with an olive branch on its beak. Although not immediately noticeable, one of its wings features a “Kintsugi” crack which is a running theme you’ll see on another part of the timepiece.
This is accompanied by Kanji and Hiragana characters (愛と平和) that mean “love and peace” in English. The Simple Union fan logo is visible at 12 o’clock here. For those wondering, Japanese folklore states that folding a thousand of these origami birds will make your wish come true. In this case, UNDONE is hoping for what all of us are collectively longing for – world peace.
Meanwhile, beneath its LEXAN polycarbonate crystal is a Sometsuke-style California dial. Instead of Roman numerals for the top half, it uses the Kanji characters 苦, 空, 無, 常. Also, in place of the 12 o’clock hour marker is the Simple Union fan badge. The minute track, indices, hands, and UNDONE branding are in blue to contrast the white dial.
The Kintsugi element is once again on full display here. The distinctive crack runs along the bottom from 4 o’clock to 9 o’clock. The widest section exposes the inner workings of its Japanese TMI NH70 self-winding movement. Finally, the Aitoheiwa Automatic is bundled with a Katazome fabric classic bund and regular strap. This material is sourced from Simple Union and is apparently more than 150 years old.
- Case Size: 40 mm x 15 mm
- Case Material: CuSn8 Bronze
- Caseback Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Bezel: Rotating
- Crown: Screw-Down
- Dial Style: California
- Movement: Japanese TMI NH70 Automatic
- Strap/Bracelet: Katazome (Classic Bund/Regular)
The UNDONE x Simple Union: Aitoheiwa Automatic is another wonderful addition to its ever-expanding lineup. The fact, that your purchase already includes benefits like the stylish wrist candy, the Karmic Krane NFT, and a chance to win exclusive prizes, it should be enough to convince you of just how awesome this is. Equally notable is the Freedom Box which then ships out to folks who need it in Ukraine.
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Images courtesy of UNDONE