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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Long time reader, and for my first post I thought I'd do a mini review of the Botta I just received today as a 30th birthday present for myself. Before this, I didn't have a working watch (my only other watch - my father's Seiko 5 - needs restoring).

I'd been itching to get a Botta Uno for years, and now had an excuse to pull the trigger.

Vital statistics:
Ronda 1063 quartz movement
Sapphire glass
35mm x 5.9mm case
30g weight
Vegetable tanned leather strap
3 ATM water resistance

Aesthetics
The 35mm sits quite nicely on my small 17cm (6.5") wrist.
I love the way it looks - the clean Bauhaus inspired lines, the fine filigree hour hand, the hidden lugs which present a purely circular dial. This is well executed minimalist design.

_CPX2952.jpg

Legibility
For those sceptical about accuracy on a one hand watch, it is surprisingly usable - more than I had first envisaged. The markers are positioned at the dial extremity, maximising the resolution.
Markers are at the hour, sub markers every half hour, and minor markers at five minute intervals. In real world terms, it is readable to +/- 2 minutes of accuracy.

However - the sapphire crystal is not AR coated. The flat plane crystal reflects everything; it is rare to catch the full deep blackness of the dial, and outdoors it reflects the sky and makes reading a real challenge. It's a shame for such a beautiful watch. I would gladly pay the extra it would have cost to have AR coating.
_CPX2948.jpg _CPX2960.jpg

Fit
As the watch is less than 6mm thin, it will sit beneath just about any shirt cuff. Very suitable as an understated, elegant dress watch.
_CPX2942.jpg

Finish
I was a little let down here. The dial is over-rotated clockwise by about one degree. See the image to show a line drawn between the 12 and 6 o'clock markers. I admire German precision, and was surprised to see this.
Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 10.52.36 PM.jpg

The embossing on the band was also inconsistent. I purchased another two bands, and all three exhibited the same issue. This is admittedly minor, but IMHO, good workmanship should extend through to the unseen.
_CPX2955.jpg

Customer service
Anke Botta was a pleasure to deal with, and she even wrote a happy birthday message on the warranty card. A nice touch which I appreciated. Packaged was shipped via Deutsche Post and arrived in nine days to Sydney, Australia.
_CPX2964.jpg _CPX2959.jpg

Summary

Pros
An affordable one hand watch
Sapphire crystal
German made
Excellent design
Thinness and lightness

Cons
Non AR coated
My dial was slightly over-rotated
Strap embossing partially illegible

Final Thoughts
To be completely honest - this is rather bittersweet. I love Botta's design philosophy, and the execution of the Uno in particular. But I feel somewhat deflated by the lack of AR - I would gladly pay the extra to fully appreciate the beautiful dial. The over-rotation of the dial is also an unexpected annoyance.
However seeing as it is my only working watch, and would I feel bad in sending it halfway around the world back to Königstein, I shall keep it and learn to live with it.

P.S. Question to the forum - does aftermarket AR coating deliver an acceptable result, and roughly what is the cost?
 

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Lovely watch and a great review. I'm surprised to hear about the quality control issues.
 

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Moderator German Watches Forum
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6,031 Posts
Hello,

Welcome to the German watch forum, and thank you for posting the
review.

It may be that the dial is not mounted straight, but I can't tell that
from your photo. What are you using for a reference? In your photo
the two strap ends are clearly misaligned, while it appears the 9 to 3
line aligns with the middle of the crown. Frankly, I don't see a
mis-alignment of the dial.

It may be possible to have an anti-reflective coating applied to the
crystal. Some eye glass lens shops may have that capability. I am
pretty sure you would have to remove the crystal from the watch
to allow the application. Though some watches have a coating only
on the inside of the crystal, to be effective the coating needs to be
applied to both sides of the crystal. Anti-reflective coatings need to
be adjusted to the material. The lens shop would need to know the
crystal is sapphire or measure it. If you get that to work let us know.
It may be easier to buy a replacement after market crystal that comes
with anti-reflective coating.

The key feature of the Uno is displaying the time with only the hour
hand. Does your camera focus close enough that you can zoom in
to illustrate that for us?


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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It may be that the dial is not mounted straight, but I can't tell that
from your photo. What are you using for a reference? In your photo
the two strap ends are clearly misaligned, while it appears the 9 to 3
line aligns with the middle of the crown. Frankly, I don't see a
mis-alignment of the dial.
This ^
:think:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Rationaltime for the response.

It sounds like it may not be a cheap or straightforward task to have AR coated on the existing crystal, especially if there isn't anyone who can do the work in Sydney.

I have not yet visited a watch servicer - would a good watch repairer be able to source and fit an AR coated sapphire crystal?

I immediately noticed the misalignment when I opened the box and my wife commented on it also when i put it on.

However I take your point about the straps being misaligned. As there is some play between the strap and the case it, would be challenging to get them perfectly lined up. I will take your suggestion about measuring against the crown, as this is a fixed point on the case and would be the most accurate reference point.

I will take a closer shot of the hand against the dial and markers. I won't finish work until after sunset so the pictures will be up tomorrow morning my time (GMT +10).
 

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Thanks for the review.
It is unfortunate that small things in a watch will mar our appreciation of them.
However you have a lovely minimalist watch there.
Depending on how much you paid for it, I would raise your concerns with Anke.
She may even attend to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the welcomes guys.

Thanks for the advice Unifex. I paid 200 EUR (ex VAT and shipping); Botta seem to be clearing out their 35mm models. I suppose big dials are here to stay.

Given that this was on discount and I've worn the watch for three days already, I will hang on to it.
 

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Moderator German Watches Forum
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6,031 Posts
I think your photos provide a good illustration of the Uno
providing enough resolution to allow reading the time to
within a couple minutes using just the hour hand.

A good watchmaker could install a new sapphire crystal.
I thought I had seen at least one source for sapphire
crystals with anti-reflective coating, but now I can't
find one. The watchmaker may be more familiar with
the sources. Another possibility is a domed sapphire
crystal. That would reduce the amount of reflection,
but you would always get a little bit.


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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It's a very inexpensive watch inside and out. Not surprised the quality is not superlative. It's nice in it's design at least. A Defakto one-hand would be a great alternative.
 
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