What qualifies as a good surf watch? It could be a timepiece with a durable case, hefty waterproofing, and maybe even some high-tech swell tracking (like this G-Shock). But it could also be a watch that celebrates surf culture, and a new collaboration between watchmaker Undone and surf brand Birdwell does exactly that. The Undone x Birdwell “Birdie” watch, which debuted in December, honors the 60th anniversary of the surf apparel company Birdwell and features the brand’s mascot, Birdie, prominently on the dial.
The Birdie is a limited-edition watch (just 800 individually numbered examples will be made), and like any good character watch, the Birdie mascot is the star of the show—and an essential part of the watch’s functionality. Birdie, an anthropomorphized surfboard wearing a pair of board shorts, has been around for nearly as long as Birdwell: According to Undone, the logo was designed in 1964 by graphic artist Mike Salisbury while he was working at Surfer magazine. On the Undone x Birdwell watch, Birdie stands at the center of the dial and he’s kept busy displaying the hours and minutes with his two hands. As a perpetual reminder to take it easy, he also throws a hang loose sign with his “hour” hand.
While Birdie is the main event, the rest of the watch is well-crafted and stylish, too. It features a 43mm stainless steel case with a black bezel, pale yellow indices, and a rich black dial with a dark finish reminiscent of metallic flake paint—a retro touch that really elevates the Birdie beyond gimmicky territory. In another nod to Birdwell, the company’s logo is stamped on the case back.
Better yet, this watch is built to be dependable. The dial is capped with durable sapphire crystal, it’s water-resistant to 300 meters, and it’s powered by a Seiko automatic movement for reliable timekeeping. You can choose between two NATO-style straps in grey or beige, but no matter which one you opt for, you’ll get a rugged, handsome timepiece that celebrates a piece of surfing history, too.
[Grey: $500; undone.com]
[Beige: $500; undone.com]
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