For Batman’s 80th Anniversary, UNDONE has designed a duo of Batman-inspired watches, the Caped Crusader (shown above) and the Dark Knight. The watches were immensely popular upon release, being the brand’s first collaboration with DC (there has since been quite a few more). After being out of stock for a short while, the UNDONE Batman watches are now available once again on their web-store. Let’s see if it’s any good!
UNDONE – the Brand
I have previously covered UNDONE as a brand here. In that article, I covered UNDONE’s philosophy, as well as my opinion on the customisation process, though the customiser has been significantly upgraded over the years. If you’re interested in the UNDONE brand story, do check out the above article!
In addition, I’ve also reviewed multiple UNDONE watches in the past. For those interested, you can read my review of the Aqua here, the Urban Vintage (one of my favourites) here, the Urban Tropical here, the UNDONE X ULTRAMAN here, the UNDONE Peanuts here, the Basecamp here, the Type XX (another of my favourites) here, the UNDONE Monopoly here, and the UNDONE Zen Cartograph here.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the review!
UNDONE Batman – Video Review
If you would like to see some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of the UNDONE Batman below!
UNDONE Batman – Build Quality
In terms of build quality, the UNDONE Batman is near identical to the previous UNDONE Urban watches I’ve reviewed.
Firstly, the UNDONE Batman watch uses a hardened domed K1 crystal. As mentioned in my previous reviews, I’ve always felt that the usage of a domed K1 hardened mineral glass – instead of sapphire crystal – is one of the weaknesses of the UNDONE mecha-quartz series. That being said, any brands (such as Seiko) don’t use sapphire crystal on watches of this price point as well, so I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker by any means. Elsewhere, the WR rating of the UNDONE Batman watch is stated at 50M, so you don’t have to worry about the watch coming into contact with water!
Secondly, the Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement (found on some of the other UNDONE Urban watches) powers the UNDONE Batman watch. For those uninitiated with mecha-quartz movements, a mecha-quartz movement basically allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds – the accuracy (and affordability) of a quartz movement (which also negates the need to wind the watch), and also the sweeping second hand that’s characteristic of a mechanical chronograph. With the Seiko VK64 movement, you get the capability to instantly reset the chronograph by pressing the bottom pusher. However, despite UNDONE’s claims otherwise, the Seiko VK64 is not a flyback chronograph movement. I have consistently pointed this out in numerous of my previous reviews, but unfortunately UNDONE continues to advertise the movements as such. While the second hand can be instantly reset (without needing to be paused first), the second hand does not continue timing thereafter like a true flyback chronograph movement would. However, if you’re looking for a fully mechanical flyback chronograph, you will need to look at 4 figure price-points, probably something from Longines or Baume & Mercier – timepieces that are at least quadruple the price of the one we have here!
The UNDONE Batman was sent to me on a black cordura strap, which is the default strap on this model. As I’ve stated in some of my previous reviews, cordura straps are one of my favourite straps due to their lightweight yet sturdy properties, as well as their breathability. In addition, I really liked the signed titanium buckle, which matches the titanium case perfectly.
A unique aspect of the UNDONE Batman is its Grade 2 Titanium case, which (unlike the commonly seen Grade 5 Titanium) is crafted from pure titanium, not an alloy. Its titanium case also makes the watch light as a feather, whilst not compromising on sturdiness – titanium is stronger than steel. Combined with its mecha-quartz movement, the UNDONE Batman is almost imperceptible on the wrist. Furthermore, titanium is also hypoallergenic, thus unlikely to cause an allergic reaction on the skin. A lot of brands talk about making luxury accessible – and while that is usually marketing fluff, it might actually be true here in this case (no pun intended). UNDONE took a material commonly associated with 5-6 figure Richard Mille/Hublot watches, and offered it in a ~$300 USD (after promo code below) package.
The UNDONE Batman: Caped Crusader also comes with lume! UNDONE doesn’t state specifically what kind of lume it uses, but one can clearly see two different types of lume applied here. For the hands and the indices, it’s an ice blue hue, reminiscent of BGW9 lume. In contrast, the Batman sub-dial and the radar motif features a greenish hue, much like Superluminova C3. It’s pretty cool to see the Batman sub-dial and the radar motif lumed – I must admit I was quite impressed.
All in all, I would say that the specifications of the UNDONE Batman is decent for the price. The lack of sapphire crystal is a bummer, but otherwise, it’s pretty impressive – there’s a Grade 2 Titanium Case, a mecha-quartz Seiko VK64 movement, a great cordura strap, and two different types of lume.
UNDONE Batman – Design
Of course, the calling card of the UNDONE Batman is certainly its design.
Let’s start off by talking about the dial. Fans of DC would know that the iconic colourway of The Dark Knight is black and yellow, and UNDONE has kept to that colour scheme with the dial. The dial is mainly black, but with certain yellow accents smartly integrated into its design. In particular, I love how the tachymetre scale and the 24 hour sub-dial has a yellow outline to it. There’s also a yellow second hand, and a yellow chrongoraph sub-dial. Those who are sharp-eyed would also notice that the numeral 80 of the tachymetre scale is in yellow as well – a tribute to Batman’s 80th birthday.
Perhaps the most obvious tribute to the Guardian of Gotham city – apart from the text at 12 o’clock – is the chronograph sub-dial on the left. There, UNDONE has designed the sub-dial to resemble the Batman logo of old. As a big fan of Batman (I watched the entire Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan, and till this day I’ll still think it is the best comic book movie series ever made) this warms the cockles of my heart, to borrow a phrase from one of my favourite politicians. I think the subtle radar patterning is pretty smart too, and pays homage to one of Batman’s most iconic gadgets. Elsewhere, applied indices gives the dial some depth, with the dial exuding a stealthy, sporty vibe overall – just like Batman himself.
Unlike their previous collaborative watches, UNDONE decided to design a new case design just for the UNDONE Batman! The round case is gone, replaced by a square case that reminds me of vintage chronographs, such as this one by Girard Perreguax. I like that UNDONE has decided to innovate in terms of case design, and wouldn’t be surprised to see more square chronographs from them in the future. In addition, the watch features a blasted titanium case. It’s important to note that blasted titanium isn’t an easy thing to achieve – it’s a finishing that’s only commonly seen in rather expensive watches, such as the BVLGARI Octo Finnissimo.
It’s nice to see a signed crown – something that isn’t always the case on sub-S$500 watches. In particular, I like the jagged edges of the crown, which resembles a gear. Furthermore, the chronograph pushers have a firm response to them, thus making it satisfying to activate the chronograph function.
The UNDONE Batman features an exhibition caseback, through which one can glimpse the mecha-quartz within. As the Seiko VK64 actually uses a cam and lever to operate the chronograph, one can view those parts in motion when activating the chronograph function. In addition, a commemorative logo celebrating Batman’s 80th birthday is applied, rendering the watch a nice collector’s piece for any comic book fan.
On my 7 inch wrist, the 40mm dimensions of the UNDONE Batman wears perfectly. As I mentioned in previous reviews, I find 39-40mm watches to wear the best on my wrist, and the UNDONE Batman is right there at that sweet spot. With a case thickness of 13.3mm – a significant part of which is the domed crystal – the watch should fit under a shirt cuff as well, and feels thin on the wrist.
Ultimately, the UNDONE Batman is the dream watch of any Batman fan. The dial is full of references to the comic book hero, from its black/yellow colour scheme to the Batman chronograph sub-dial, “Guardian of Gotham City” text, and the subtle radar motif. I’m also impressed with the blasted titanium finish of the case, which is reminiscent of watches at a much higher price point. A well-executed tribute to one of DC’s most beloved heroes!
Shootout: UNDONE Batman “Caped Crusader” vs UNDONE Batman “Dark Knight”
If you’re considering the UNDONE Batman “Caped Crusader”, you’re probably looking at the UNDONE Batman “Dark Knight” as well. There aren’t really any other official Batman watches out there (that’s authorized by DC Comics themselves), so I’ll just be comparing these two watches against each other today!
In terms of specifications, both watches are almost identical, with only minor differences. Firstly, the Caped Crusader comes on a black cordura strap, while the Dark Knight features a dressier alligator embossed strap. Secondly, the Caped Crusader features two different types of lume, while the Dark Knight only uses one.
The real differences between the two watches lies in their aesthetics. The Dark Knight has a more monochrome design, one that is more low-key. In contrast, the Caped Crusader has a more striking appearance that possesses more contrast in its design. To put it in comic book terms, the Dark Knight is more Bruce Wayne, while the Caped Crusader is more Batman. If you prefer a more subtle design (one that doesn’t conjure Batman right off the bat), then the Dark Knight will be better for you. If the point of purchasing a commemorative Batman watch is for it to scream Batman, then the Caped Crusader will be the right pick. Personally, my preference leans more towards the Caped Crusader. I find its dial to be more detailed, and I love the title “Guardian of Gotham City”. In comparison, the “Wayne Industries” text of the Dark Knight just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
That being said, I genuinely don’t think you can go wrong with either. They are both great watches that will make any fan of Batman happy!
Conclusion – so the UNDONE Batman “shiok” or not?
For fans of Batman, the UNDONE Batman watches will definitely be shiok. It has a wonderfully executed design that pays tribute to the hero of Gotham City, yet done in a tasteful manner that isn’t gaudy or childish. The specifications of the watch are good too, and I’m particularly impressed by the UNDONE Batman’s Grade 2 Titanium case, as well as the usage of two different types of lume. All in all, the UNDONE Batman is a great commemorative watch that will please both fans of the superhero, as well as watch enthusiasts.
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant you 10% off most purchases from UNDONE! After the discount, the UNDONE Batman can be had for just 323 USD/ ~S$443, which I think is a great price given its specifications and well-executed design. Collaborative watches don’t always turn out well, but I’m glad it did here!
View the UNDONE Batman here.
View UNDONE’s other offerings here.
Check out other reviews of the UNDONE Batman here!
MOVEMENT: Japanese TMI VK64 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph (supplied by SEIKO Manufacturing (H.K.) Limited)
WARRANTY: 12 Month Warranty from purchase date
DIMENSIONS: Case Width – 40mm excl. crown Case Thickness – 13.3mm incl. crystal
MATERIALS: Case – Grade 2 Titanium Lens – Hardened Domed K1 Crystal
WATER_RESSISTANCE: 5 ATM / 50 Meters
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.