It has been a while since I was planning to buy this watch. I came across it for the first time when I was doing my research on which watches are made in Germany these days.
It got me fascinated because in addition to the unique design, that many other watches have, it also makes a statement about your view of life.
With one hand watch you are no longer focused on a specific moment, but more on wider periods of time. Hence the division to day and night and then splitting the hour to intuitive halves and quarters.
So, after using it for six months, I finally want to share my personal impressions about this one-hand watch.
It definitely stands out. But in a different way from oversized or flashy watches. It is more subtle, but not any less impactful. I end up having conversations with random people in a queue because I get asked questions about it.
Once, I even find found myself chatting about it for the whole 10 minutes during a job interview. Despite the initial reservations I had, I find it very easy to read. In fact, in the second half of the day, I do not need to uncover my watch fully out of a sleeve of my shirt – I can see the time at the glance. However, it is clear that in darker conditions this watch is much harder to read. Also, if you have eyesight problems that might not be the watch for you either. I like the ability to add a touch of colour to the watch. This new range comes with quarterly separations in green or orange. It is not much but still gives a new angle to my watch collection.
If you are Dutch, for example, who is passionate about wearing national orange colour. This would be a subtle way to do it.
This watch has a very interesting leather strap. It is seamless and stitch-free. Almost as it has just organically grown to this shape. I only saw it done by high-end Italian leather makers before. Hence, it is of unquestionable quality and it is the first time when I see the anti-allergic statement for the leather. If you are allergic to it you just go for other strap options available – natural rubber or Milanese (an impressive metal mesh).
Another unusual design feature is where the strap meets the watch. There is simply no gap between the leather and the watch. That would definitely pose some challenges if you wanted to change the strap yourself. But from a design perspective, it looks really smooth and seamless.
Without going too much technical it is interesting to see what makes this watch tick. Quartz watches, like the one I have, run on Swiss movement called RONDA 1062, which is known for its reliability.
Other features include that it is very slim and easy on battery consumption – it is expected to last 6 years.
There is also a mechanical movement in the pricier Botta range, but I won’t go into detail on that.
The casing is made from 100% titanium alloy mix using a proprietary methodology. It ensures the strength of the watch and also helps to deliver waterproofness of up to 3 BAR.
The name Botta comes from its founder Klauss Botta. A passionate German who during his studies on industrial design has ignited his passion for watch designs. He came up with this groundbreaking design idea as part of his strive for simplifying things in life.
The idea is later adopted by a number of other watchmakers, but there is an interesting link to some of them. For example, Klauss Botta actually also owned a Slow Watch company, which he acquired in 1989 with Manfred Bassler who later founded MeisterSinger.
Although their ways parted, MasterSinger did later adopt one-hand watch design to many of their watches. Botta Design is located just outside Frankfurt and you can even visit it, with a pre-arranged appointment.
Interestingly, I also want to add about my experience when buying this watch. I found the experience sprinkled with what I call “Botta touch”. Funny, I do feel more connected and more appreciative of this watch because the people I dealt with were really nice and friendly. I ordered my watch on the website but had a few questions about their mechanical watch option. The call went directly to a person, without the music or endless options. That was nice. But what really surprised me was a handwritten note in the box. Sweet.
Also, delivery was executed with German precision. I had my watch dispatched the same day with very clear tracking options. And it reached me in Belgium the following day. I wish every online purchase I make was so efficient.
And lastly, I really like simple and reasonable priced servicing options available. I can send the watch for battery replacement for just 19 EUR, and there are three clear pricing tiers for additional service. I am unlikely to use it any time soon as the watch comes with a 2-year warranty, but if I do I it is great to know that I have reasonable options available, with no hidden surprises.
Initially, I got a surprise to see the plastic pebbles in the box which are designed to prevent damage to the watch but are notorious for long-lasting damage to the Earth. But it seems that Botta guys found an eco-friendly option that does the same and degrades quickly.
The watch box has a really nice and minimalistic design that is just perfect to present as a gift. And as an ode to Botta’s simplistic approach, there are no endless instruction booklets, adverts and etc. Just a personalised note wishing you to enjoy your purchase.
Although Botta watches use Swiss quartz and mechanical movements the rest of the watchmaking happens in south Germany.
All watches are hand-assembled, in bright and contemporary facilities near Frankfurt. It is a well known and accepted fact that German companies are exceptional at making quality products.
But, for me, “made in Germany” goes further than just the location of the assembly line. It is about the quality of every aspect of the watch, it is about the quality of working conditions, fair pay as well as adapting the earth-friendly eco approach. Here is an interesting interview article with Klauss Botta by EcoMogulMagazine.
I do enjoy this watch.
I appreciate the concept behind it, love the design, I enjoyed my purchasing process and I do tend to reach out for it more often than my other watches.
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