With WatchTime New York only days away, taking place October 22 to 24 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall, excitement is building, especially for some of the watchmakers making their debut at the event. Among these is Massena LAB, the horological creative studio founded in 2018, which will be presenting one of its latest timepieces, the vintage-chronograph-inspired Uni-Racer. Here’s a glance at the new watch.
To many aficionados, the look of the Uni-Racer is instantly appealing, drawing its design drawn from some of the most interesting historical chronographs and sporting an aesthetic which is at once both modern and retro. Among its most significant influences is the Universal Genève Uni-Compax, a now cult-classic timepiece produced for two short years starting in 1963, which has come to be known as the “Big Eye” for its oversized right subdial and unusual asymmetrical style. Like that genre-defying vintage model, the modern Uni-Racer remixes the source material and adds some of signature twists for something uniquely its own.
The Uni-Racer is, importantly, Massena LAB’s first non-collaborative timepiece; since its 2018 founding it has publicly partnered with other designers and watchmakers for each previous release, with the “LAB” in the brand’s name standing for both “laboratory” and “collaboration.” This solo release is a watershed moment in the young brand’s development, while also still hinting at its collaborative inclination, as the maker is in a sense “partnering” with the historical and now defunct Universal Genève for the design.
As for specs, the unusual chronograph features a 39 mm by 13 mm steel case, water-resistant to 50 meters and finished primarily in a sporty, brushed style. A pair of proportionally large pump pushers flank the case side, with a sturdy crown between them.
Underneath the vintage-appropriate, domed plexiglass crystal, the idiosyncratically styled dial is on display, executed in either a “panda” or “reverse panda” silver-and-black colorway, each highly striking in their uncommon style and smart accenting.
Both dial versions feature a tachymeter-scale outline and lume-accented hour markers, broken up only at the marker overlapped by the “Big Eye” 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock, which is notably larger than the running seconds scale opposite it at 9 o’clock. Various red cross-hairs are used throughout the subdials and add further flair to the design, while a pair of unusual hands sweep over it all for the running hours and minutes. Inside the chronograph is the Sellita SW510 M, a manually-wound movement capable of a 58-hour power reserve.
The Massena LAB Uni-Racer is available now directly via Massena LAB for $3,495, with both the black- and white-dial options limited to 200 pieces each for a total of 400 watches.
To see this eye-catching, vintage-inspired chronograph in person, in addition to countless other 2021 novelties from more than 25 watchmakers, be sure to get your tickets for WatchTime New York 2021 today!