Botta Design: A man and a horological vision

By Montredo in Lifestyle
November 20, 2020
Botta Design: A man and a horological vision

The year is 2020. The entire watch industry is longing for more and more precision. Well not entirely! One German brand of indomitable watch enthusiasts still holds out against the prevailing watchmaking maxim.

Klaus Botta has set himself the goal in Königstein im Taunus, Hesse, of taking his watches in exactly the opposite direction. His credo: a decelerated reading of the time as well as a timeless design instead of chasing after trends and capturing fractions of a second.

From physicist to design pioneer

Botta Design is the brainchild of the jack-of-all-trades Klaus Botta. Born in Bamberg, he studied technical physics and industrial design in his twenties. At first glance, this may not sound like a stereotypical watchmaker, but on closer inspection it is a perfect combination: Botta knows a wide range of materials and production techniques like the back of his hand and, as a creative mind, has the necessary eye for detail.

Klaus Botta
Inventor of the single-hand watch and the brain behind Botta Design: Klaus Botta.

The concept of a single-hand watch (or rather clock) is already many hundreds of years old, as still today church tower clocks from the 17th century testify. However, it was not until the end of the 20th century that Klaus Botta reinterpreted it and thus placed it in a new temporal context.

It all started in 1986

Klaus Botta has had a penchant for wrist watches since his adolescence already. However, especially in the 1980s when Swatch celebrated huge successes with shrill and colorful plastic watches, an idea of an an alternative approach grew in Botta: no complicated, disposable products, but timeless classics that would give a lifetime of pleasure. This idea also coincided with the founding of Botta’s own design studio in 1985, which gave life to the UNO model (see below) just one year later. Shortly afterwards, the first design commissions from well-known clients in the watch industry followed, most notably Bestform, Watch People and, in the 1990s, also Junghans.

Over the years, Botta has thereby won 60 renowned design awards, such as the Red Dot Design Award and the Good Design Award.

Botta Design Uhren
Serenity on the wrist anno 1986.

Incidentally, to this day all watches (with the exception of the high-quality Swiss movements) are manufactured entirely in Germany, and this in a pleasingly affordable price range between €400 and €1,500. Even though Botta is well aware of its niche existence, his success proves him right: According to its own information, more than 100,000 watches have been shipped all over the world already since the company was founded.

Reading a single-hand watch, using the UNO collection as an example

The name UNO already expresses it: the first. In 1986, the watches in the UNO collection were not only the world’s first single-handed watches, but they still best represent the brand DNA to this day. In concrete terms, this means: maximally minimal and an intuitively logical structure.

Botta Design Uhren

Each of the 144 indices of the 12-hour circle stands for 5 minutes. In order to ensure that the hair-thin needle hand can always be read with ease, however, the quarter, half and hour indices are drawn more prominently.

UNO 24

In addition to the classic UNO watches, i.e. the typical representatives of the single-hand watch with 12-hour display, Botta Design also carries the UNO 24 series, the world’s first single-hand watches with a 24-hour display. This is also the most natural way of reading the time, as – just like the earth around the sun – the hand circles the dial only once a day. Deceleration at its best!

Botta Design Uhren

Even at first glance, the color differentiation, namely between light and dark, can be seen in the two halves of the dial. The reason for this is actually very simple: the hours from 6:00 to 18:00 represent the day, while the hours between 18:00 and 6:00 of the following day represent the night.

Botta Watches at Montredo

As an authorized Botta dealer, we are pleased to be able to offer the world’s first single-hand watches in our shop. Enjoy scrolling through our great selection of Botta Design watches.

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Previous comments (2)

  1. He should’ve patentend that 😁 A lot of copy-cats these days…

    November 24, 2020
  2. It seems to me that especially Germany is the country of single-hand watch brands, or is it just me?

    December 9, 2020