Plenty of watchmakers describe themselves as ‘quirky’ and ‘unique’ while creating collection after collection of identical timepieces, usually a retro diver. However, one watchmaker that those words unironically apply to is Studio Underd0g. It’s no surprise they’ve become one of our favourite watchmakers as they push off all the stuffy watchmaking stereotypes. Not to mention their previous release, the Watermel0n, was a huge cult success. And their latest release, the Mint Ch0c Chip Chronograph, is more of the delicious same.
Off the bat, this is a watch inspired by mint choc chip ice cream. I mean, come on, you’re going to have a hard time finding a watchmaker as daring as that. Let alone one who can make the concept look as good as this.
The dégradé dial is in that familiar, vibrant shade of green, immediately taking you back to your favourite ice cream parlour. Then, the hour markers are an irregular ‘chip’ shape, making it look like your watch has actual chocolate chips (ch0c chips?) embedded in its surface. Completing the look are a light brown/khaki-ish tachymeter and big eye 30-minute timer. To me, that peripheral ring is a little more coffee than chocolate but either way it still looks great.
Structurally, this design is the same as its predecessors as it’s essentially a recolour of the Watermel0n, which more than earned its place in our list of Best Microbrand Watches in 2021. The stainless steel case has a 38.5mm diameter so it’s very versatile and can be worn by wrists of all shapes and sizes. The crown and pushers are also slim and simple. It’s a clean design that leaves plenty of space to highlight the dial, which is the focal point after all.
Inside is the Seagull Manual Winding ST-1901 movement. It’s a chronograph calibre that has a power reserve of 45-hours with the chronograph running or 50 without. It might be Chinese but that just means you get some serious bang for your buck. It also looks great through the exhibition caseback.
We were lucky enough to see this watch in the metal at Salon Privé when we met up with Studio Underd0g’s Founder, Head of Design and Marketing Manager Richard Benc (a man of many hats and talents). Having seen it up close, all I can say is that at a price of £440 it’s one of the few watches that genuinely everyone in the office has on their next purchase radar.
Price & Specs:
Model: Studio Underd0g Mint Ch0c Chip
Case/Dial: 38.5mm diameter x 13.6mm height, stainless steel case, 2-layer dial with a satin sandblast base and coarse dégradé top
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Seagull ST-1901(with Swan Neck Regulator), manual winding
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 45h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, and tachymeter
Strap: Bespoke Alran Chevre Goatskin made by The Strap Tailor
More details at Studio Underd0g.