Custom watch brand UNDONE has a way with mascots. Relatively recent, relics of the past, it doesn’t matter; it they have a habit of making old-school icons cool. And there’s none more old-school than the spinach-huffing sailor that is Popeye.
Popeye’s been around longer than any of us. He was first created in the 20s and is still one of the most famous 2D stars in the world. Sure Olive Oil may be singularly frustrating, but the main muscle-bound man (and healthy eating advocate) has barely aged a day. Now he’s back from shore-leave aboard the dial of not one, but two UNDONE watches.
The first of the pair is “El Capitan” a fitting diving watch with Popeye himself at its centre, pointing out the time with his… worryingly-muscled arms. It’s not subtle, but it’s quirky enough to work, particularly as the base watch itself – and it’s Oyster-style bracelet – are perfect 60s throwbacks.
With its blue dial and blocky, beige indexes and matching diving scale, El Capitan is pure nautical nostalgia. Measuring in at 40mm across and powered by a NH35A automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, it’s reliable too. Just don’t go diving with it; despite the bezel and seafaring theme, it’s only water resistant to 100m, despite an anchor-tattooed solid caseback.
“The Sailorman” is similar in a lot of respects to El Capitan, but with a much more modern twist. Popeye’s once again front and centre, but on a California dial instead. The dial’s been given a black PVD makeover and the scale has been stripped from the bezel giving the whole thing a stealthier look; if it weren’t for a brightly-coloured sailor at the centre, obviously.
It has the same case size and movement as the El Capitan too (40mm and the NH35A) but the strap is completely different. The parachute braided strap imitates vintage Marine National numbers, slanted towards Popeye’s black and red signature colours.
I think you can probably guess what kind of packaging these watches come in. Go on, I’ll give you a second. Got it? Yep, spinach cans. Well, there wasn’t going to be another option, was there? Whoever came up with that probably even uttered a yuk-yuk-yuk when they thought of it.
As ever with Undone, these limited editions are priced for accessibility. El Capitan will set you back $479, while The Sailorman is even more affordably at $399. Both are limited to 300 pieces and both are available now.
Price & Specs:
Model: UNDONE Popeye “El Capitan” and “The Sailorman”
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 15mm height, 316L stainless steel, satin black PVD-coated (“The Sailorman”)
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre NH35A, automatic, +/-15 secs p/day accuracy
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: 316L flat 3-link “Oyster” style stainless steel bracelet (“El Capitan”) or parachute braided fabric (“The Sailorman”)
Price/availability: $479 USD (“El Capitan”) and $399 USD (“The Sailorman”)
More details at UNDONE.