Celebrating 30 years of German hand-made engineering, Swiss movement and the original, yet still contemporary, one hand watch innovation, Botta Design are marking this milestone with three anniversary edition timepieces, and we have one of three hundred sumptuous €498 Anniversary UNO+ watches to tell you about.
Botta Design make sure that their Anniversary UNO+ timepiece entrance will be one you never forget; arriving in what appears to be a science-fiction like airtight steel tube with a middle insert that, as it slides out, displays the contrasting subtle timepiece that won’t fail to gain immediate attention. The marriage between the white dial, double domed sapphire crystal and silver stainless steel on ours is an edge to edge stylistic triumph, but a pearl black dial can also be an option if preferred. This is a timepiece that exemplifies tidy and neat attributes, such as a nimble crown, a watch hand that is etched to be as small and minute in detail as visually possible and, around the edge, the series of lines on the face needed to highlight the position of time are trimmed in length, leaving a distinctive airiness exuding from the display. Interestingly the 3 bar (30 metre) water resistant construction doesn’t let on how exactly it's put together, with not a single tiny screw in sight. Our UNO+ features a fairly standard 44mm face, although a 40mm version in a titanium case is also available.
Smooth is the appropriate word to use. Our black anti-allergic German made vegetable tanned leather strap has a soft brushed underside that feels immediately 'at home' on the wrist. There’s no need to break this Botta Design strap in, because it arrives with a supple property, making its comfort level more in line with that of a sports-watch or fitness tracker. We also noted that the Anniversary UNO+ main body doesn’t cut into the top of the wrist when worn, and this we credited to the smooth cutaways, left and right, which result in the back of the watch naturally rising its body above the wrist, making the total contact area less tight and far more breathable as well. We have been wearing the Anniversary UNO+ from morning to night without any irritation from everyday tasks like typing, or even some furniture assembly that happened to be embarked upon recently.
Telling the time between the lines
UNO has been telling the time with one hand for three decades and we can see why the design has stuck around and found a following. Fundamentally, and most importantly, the Botta Design Anniversary UNO+ Watch is not a novelty, but is undoubtedly a serious time keeping piece that can be relied upon for accuracy with its RONDA 704 Swiss movement. Its face is crystal clear and has been crafted with many brilliant qualities, one example being that the printed lines displaying the 12hr time aren’t shadowed by the bezel or the anti-reflective glass in either bright sunlight or duller artificially lit environments. Furthermore, the spacing in between each line, along with the length of them, is very precise and satisfactory to view. Our previous experiences with one hand watch designs came with those such as the numerical Slow Jo, which we had hesitations about, but here the elegance and practical charm of the UNO+ face is that the bold longer lines represent hourly chunks, the semi-bold lines each quarter hour, and the remaining smaller lines represent intervals of five minutes. Married with the slim hand, the companionship of the clear lines take all the angst from accurately glancing at the face and getting a position of where you are in the day. In all honesty, it puts this watch immediately on a par with two-hand watches for ease of reading and is simply the best one hand watch design we’ve had in the studio to date.
Included on the face, but carefully designed not to interfere with the time-telling process, is a subtle date readout which, along with the time, can be adjusted in the traditional way by protruding the crown out of the body and twisting. The mechanism for this is smooth and precise.
Botta Design certainly know how to make a loud entrance with their product packaging, but the truth is that the Anniversary UNO+, once unwrapped from that packaging, is itself a harmonious example of getting the design right whilst also focusing on the essential legibility necessary for a one hand watch. The UNO+ is a timepiece you’ll want on your wrist from the early sunlit morning through to the late starlit night.