The Zen Cartograph is a collection of watches that combines watchmaking with a celebration of Chinese culture. The watch has been designed to implement elements of traditional feng shui practices with the iconography of pop culture for good measure. This is a very special collection recently released by the Hong-Kong brand Undone, and here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Undone Zen Cartograph for your enjoyment and consideration of a new collectible line that is worthy of further exploration.
1. The Zen Cartograph is inspired by Chinese Geomancy philosophy
At first glance, the face of the Zen Cartograph has little similarity to a traditional timepiece. The initial gaze falls upon a series of concentric lines that have the look of a compass more than a wristwatch. Those familiar with Feng shui and the Luopan will immediately get the connection as it determines the appropriate arrangements of objects in any given space. This is how the Undone Zen Cartograph watch dial is orchestrated. Geomantic inscriptions in Chinese print further enhance the cultural nod made by the timepiece.
2. It’s heavy with symbolism
The symbol of yin/yang is placed in the center of the sapphire crystal lens that covers the dial. skeletonized simple hands protrude from the symbol to point to the hours and minutes, in a red color that stands out against the darker background of the dial beneath. Once you get used to the layout of the elements, this enhances its legibility and makes it easy to tell the time.
3. Undone has added a new case design
The case of the Undone Zen Carograph is a new and fresh design that has not previously been produced by the watchmaker. It measures 40 mm in width and 12 mm in thickness for a bolder profile. the case is made of stainless steel which has been polished and sculpted with a unique placement of the crown at the 12 o’clock position.
4. It’s a symbol of luck
When one delves more deeply into the inspiration of the Undone Zen Carograph, there is a philosophy behind the inspiration. In the practice of the traditional philosophy as Chinese geomancy or Feng shui, wind and water are featured elements because of their constant shaping of other natural elements that produce nature’s balance of light and dark in the shaping which is symbolized through yin and yang. It is believed that it is within these elements that the luck of a person is painstakingly shaped, hence, the symbolism of luckiness and auspiciousness of space within its environment is fully embodied in this symbolic timepiece.
5. The Undone Zen Cartograph is a good value but has its weaknesses
Undone is a micro brand that has been making steady improvements in the quality and innovations of its timepieces. The Zen Cartograph is a piece that showcases some of its more recent improvements. The dial glass in not made of sapphire, which is a weakness. Instead, it uses a hardened domed K1 crystal which could be improved. It offers decent resistance to scratches as it is perhaps only a step below the sapphire crystal, but it helps to keep the consumer price lower. Previous Undone watches only offered a water-resistance up to 30 meters. The Zen Cartograph has been improved to be resistant to water up to 50 meters enhancing its overall value for the cost and improving the craftsmanship.
6. It’s a chronograph
The Undone Zen Cartograph is a timepiece that features a chronograph complication. it is powered by a Seiko VH31 Sweeping Quartz movement. the movement is battery operated with four beats per second for a sweeping seconds function. the rotating Yin and Yang symbol on the face of the dial depicts the passing of the seconds. This is an accurate and precise movement.
7. It features a premium strap
Continuing with the development of value for the cost, Undone also took this line to a higher level with the use of a more premium quality strap. The sturdy Cordura material is lightweight for the ultimate in comfort for the wearer and the material is although breathable. The application of black coloring ties it in nicely with the overall them of the strap. This is the only color option that is currently available in this model but who knows what the future may bring. Customization is not a strength of the relatively small brand yet.
8. The Undone Zen Cartograph can transport you to a different time
Upon research of the inspiration for this timepiece, we discovered that it has its roots in a 3,000-year-old practice. There is something novel about the backstory of the inspiration. It involves the creation of a culture and its evolution over time. The practices of ancient philosophy and their infusion into a modern time.
9. Undone offers a unique introductory classification
The brand has provided a unique manner of packaging this novel nod to Chinese culture and philosophy. The boxtops of every unit sold are sealed with labels that feature a futuristic lab aesthetic. How quaintly the design team has infused the ancient with future impressions. It also comes with a field operator’s manual and Undone has introduced the piece as a “research-grade Feng shui mapping instrument.”
10. Fashion and novelty collide
The Undone Zen Cartograph is perhaps one of the most unique new timepieces we’ve seen in the novelty category. the brand seems to have gone all out to create a unique persona for the line and if all goes well with the marketing it should find a place as a novel fashion accessory as well as becoming a collector’s piece once we get a grasp on the full intention of the theme. It isn’t often that a timepiece emerges that requires such a detailed explanation of its purpose, intent, and history that has influenced its creation, but once you know, it makes the watch a lot cooler to own.