In early October, Unimatic released two new professional dive watches. That in itself is nothing spectacular because we see brands constantly release professional divers. But for the Italian brand, it was an interesting next step. Over the past couple of years, Unimatic has become known for releasing timepieces that stand out through their great designs, combining various visual concepts with the signature minimalist Unimatic style. With the Modello Uno U1S-PD5, the brand created a dive watch that uses that same style but also means business as a professional dive tool. It’s time for a serious hands-on.

If you are a regular Fratello reader, you know that I am a fan of Unimatic. My fascination with the Milan-based brand started with the seemingly simple design solutions presented with every release. But having worked in design, I know that something seemingly simple often takes time to develop. Unimatic co-founder Giovanni Moro explained in an interview I did with him that this design philosophy begins with removing all the decorative elements on the tool watches that he and fellow co-founder Simone Nunziato create. It’s a philosophy that I love as it serves a clear purpose.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5

From function to aesthetic is a small step

In the next step, we saw many different design executions that played with the functionality of the different Unimatic models. They became interesting minimalist design exercises that gained attention from watch enthusiasts and the more fashion-oriented crowd alike. In particular, the brand’s many collaborations wonderfully displayed the design possibilities. What always stood out was the unique canvas that Moro and Nunziato had created to explore different concepts and designs. The instantly recognizable style ensured that the possibilities were seemingly endless.

But after adding several great GMT versions of the Modello Uno in 2022, it felt like it was time for something new. The collaborations will always be something to look forward to. But many fans, including me, wanted to see something fresh from Unimatic. That wish was granted when the brand introduced the Modello Uno U1S-PD3 and U1S-PD5.

Admittedly, these watches are nothing revolutionary for the industry as a whole. After all, they are still “just” professional divers. But what was surprising was that they showed Unimatic taking a function-first step forward like never before. Could these be the ultimate dive watches for around €1,500?

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5

The Modello Uno U1S-PD5 up close

Based on looks alone, my immediate answer would be a definite “yes.” But that would be way too simple, which is why I wanted to review the seriously cool U1S-PD5. Compared to the regular Modello Uno, it increases the water resistance from 300 to 500 meters, comes with a lume-infused ceramic bezel insert, and adds a new bracelet. The result is a capable modern dive watch that offers the ultimate functionality with Unimatic’s ever-recognizable style as the starting point.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5 dial close-up

If you want a full list of all the different updates, I suggest reading the introduction article I wrote. I want to focus on the different details and the wearing experience in this article. As a reminder, here are a few details about the U1S-PD5. The watch has a 40mm stainless steel case with a bezel measuring 41.5mm in diameter. It is 12mm thick, 49mm long, and 22mm between the lugs.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5

It’s a substantial case that is water resistant up to 500 meters and holds the reliable Sellita SW200-1b that powers the watch. The 12mm thickness, by the way, is without the raised sapphire crystal. The crystal by itself is 3mm thick and, together with the construction of the crown tube, allows the increase in water resistance to 500 meters.

The U1S-PD5 means business

Straight out of the box, the watch feels like a serious piece of kit. Unimatic has had a bracelet on offer in the past, but the brand developed a new one that can be ordered with the two new U1S-PDx models. Additionally, the watches are available with a TPU rubber strap and a NATO strap, both in charcoal gray. We could try the watch on all three, but the bracelet especially caught my interest. I’ve always wanted to know what a Modello Uno would look and feel like on a bracelet, and with the U1S-PD5, I had the chance to find out.

First impressions often last, and the Modello Uno U1S-PD5 looks seriously good out of the box. The fully brushed finish, combined with the balanced design, feels familiar and exciting simultaneously. I love that the black ceramic bezel insert has a matte finish, so it’s in line with the overall looks of a true tool watch.

The overall construction of the case and bracelet feels very solid. I know that the Modello Uno watches can take a beating, so it’s no surprise that this beefed-up version is cut from the same cloth.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5 profile view

The new Unimatic bracelet and clasp

The three-row Oyster-style bracelet is solid and has screw pins, so it’s easy to size. The clasp, however, caused mixed reactions in the Fratello office. It is a rather basic push-button clasp with a standard wetsuit extension. The finishing feels a bit sharp at some points, making it seem less refined than I would have liked to see. We have seen better clasp designs and executions at the same €1,500 price point.

The clasp has no micro-adjustment option, and the bracelet does not come with half links, which might keep you from sizing the watch perfectly. I must admit that I found the sweet spot by removing three links, but I can understand that it may be challenging for others. These seemingly small but important details can make a good watch into a great one, and this Modello Uno U1S-PD5 has that potential.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5 on wrist

Wearing the Modello Uno U1S-PD5

Once on the wrist, the watch oozes confidence. I love that the matte black dial feels balanced and familiar. But there are some nice details too. One of them is the set of hour markers, each with a slim outline, which adds some refinement to the dial. The font on the bezel is modern and easy to read thanks to the boldness of the numerals. Compared to the Modello Uno U1-F that I own, the watch feels like a serious step up in all aspects.

The exaggerated, raised look of the 3mm-thick sapphire crystal is a great detail. It adds to the drama of the design along with having a functional purpose. The large crown is protected by rather large guards that look great but, unfortunately, feel quite sharp. While they don’t make operating the crown impossible, they were too sharp for my liking. With a slightly better finish, it would be easy to remedy this and improve the comfort of using the watch immediately.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5 pocket shot

A watch of many different details

Thanks to the drilled lug holes, it was easy to swap the bracelet for the sturdy gray TPU strap, which proved to be a perfect second option. It looks great with its ribbed texture and perfectly balances the watch on the wrist. While the greatest excitement came from wearing the watch on the bracelet, I loved switching it up, both because of the looks and the reduced weight. Lastly, Unimatic delivers its watches with high-quality NATO straps, making for a great third option.

One of the biggest new things for Unimatic is using a lume-infused ceramic bezel insert. White Super-LumiNova BGW9 is used on the bezel and minute hand, which both light up bright turquoise in the dark. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the orange-glowing white Super-LumiNova on the indices, the hour hand, and the tip of the seconds hand. I had hoped for a bright contrast of colors, but the effect of the orange glow is pretty weak. The colorful combination of turquoise and orange deserves better.

Final thoughts on the Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5

Despite some shortcomings, after a week on the wrist, I found the Modello Uno U1S-PD5 impressive. The watch is not only a serious step in creating a modern dive watch that can compete with the best-in-class divers under €2K, but it also shows that there is room for Unimatic to create watches that are a step up from its previous offerings. We have seen the same with some of the other releases in titanium and even forged carbon. But this U1S-PD5 shows that the same progress can be made with a stainless steel Modello Uno, which is great to see.

The charm of the minimalist design approach is always present, which once again proves that it’s the perfect canvas for a dive watch. It made the wearing experience an absolute joy. That said, some details could be improved to make this watch even better. The most important ones are the clasp quality and the brightness of the orange lume.

If those were addressed, this Modello Uno U1S-PD5 would be hard to beat at its pre-tax price of €1,200 on the strap or €1,300 on the bracelet. Including VAT here in the Netherlands, that would be approximately €1,450 on the strap and €1,575 on the bracelet.

While there is fierce competition at this price point, to me, no other contenders look as striking as this Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5. And with the Italian brand’s technical improvements, this is a great first step into the future of serious dive watches. I would love to see more of those after this 500-piece limited edition sells out. That should only be a matter of time…

For more information on this watch, please visit the official Unimatic website. In the comments section, let us know your thoughts on the new Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-PD5.

Watch specifications

Modello Uno
Matte black with white Super-LumiNova indices
Case Material
Stainless steel with matte black ceramic bezel insert with Super-LumiNova markings
Case Dimensions
41.5mm (bezel diameter) × 49mm (lug-to-lug length) × 12mm (thickness without crystal) × 22mm (lug spacing)
Double-domed sapphire (3mm thick)
Case Back
Stainless steel with Unimatic conversion scale, screw-in
Sellita SW200-1b — automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
Charcoal-gray TPU two-piece strap and additional charcoal-gray seatbelt NATO strap, both with brushed stainless steel Unimatic-signed hardware. Optional brushed stainless steel three-row bracelet available for €100.
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) and 60-minute unidirectional dive bezel
€1,200 (strap) / €1,300 (bracelet) — prices excluding VAT
Two years
Special Note(s)
Limited edition of 500 pieces