Watch Review: Botta Nova Carbon

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Company Name: BOTTA

Website: 

http://www.botta-design.de/en/automatikuhren/one-hand-watch-uno-automatic.html

Company History: Botta-Design has been designing and creating wristwatches for clients like Junghans AG, Bestform and Watch People since 1986. During this time models such as the Junghans-Solar-1, the UNO, the TRES series and others were produced – and some of them still enjoy market success to this day. In the year 2000, Botta-Design itself took over sales of its watch collection, since which time it has been continuously expanding the product range.

Awards

Botta-Design has already received 53 renowned design awards, both in Germany and abroad. Some of the Botta-Designwatches became design icons and are exhibited in museums like the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design or the Museum für angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Art) in Frankfurt.

Nova Carbon:

Botta-Design NOVA Carbon. The Time-Span Watch

Spans of Time, Not Points in Time
The watch face of the new NOVA Carbon comprises two main elements: an hour hand and a 12-hour scale. There are no subscales.
While the hand slowly moves over the dial, it turns one of the 12 segments into a visual representation of the current hour.

Just like an hourglass, the NOVA Carbon shows the course of a precisely defined time period—in this case, one hour—rather than the numerous little points in time that meanwhile pass by.

Back to the Natural Flow of Time
Of course, the NOVA Carbon does not allow for down-to-the-minute indication.
That is why you will never hear wearers tell precise times such as “seven minutes past ten” or “three twenty-three”; to them, it’s just “shortly past ten” or “about half past three”, respectively.
Therefore, the NOVA Carbon is no wristwatch for pedants and sticklers but the perfect companion of those who are open for a relaxed attitude towards time.
Wearers of the NOVA Carbon will more easily get into the flow rather than running after the minutes and seconds.

You may need to decide for yourself whether the NOVA Carbon with its minimal face is the ultimate single-hand watch; in any case, however, it delivers a clear statement for a totally relaxed attitude towards time.

The Movement
The movement of the NOVA Carbon is as important as the face and the design of the watch. Botta-Design opted for a Swiss-made ETA 2824.2 automatic caliber—one of the most reliable mechanical movements on the market.
The patented Incabloc anti-shock system and the 25 ruby bearings ensure stable and wear-free operation for many years. In addition, the movement of each and every NOVA Carbon is carefully adjusted for maximum accuracy by experienced watchmakers during a process spanning several days.

After the assembly, each NOVA Carbon watch is submitted to a multi-stage inspection and several drift checks and will be shipped only after passing all checks and inspections successfully.

Watch Model: Nova Carbon
Diameter 44 mm
Height 8.8 mm
Weight 75 g
Movement ETA 2824-2 Swiss Made, individually adjusted by hand
Case 3-part fully-screwed stainless steel case
Glass type dual-domed sapphire glass with scratchproof antireflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal bottom
Water resistance 3 ATM
Strap finest, vegetable tanned leather wrist strap | rubber strap
Special features one-hand watch, 2 sapphire crystals
Country of manufacture Germany
Warranty 2 years; not applicable to parts subject to wear, or in case of improper use
Price from € 890.00

Packaging:

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The Uno Alpin comes in a nice, clean & simple package yet futuristic cylinder tube. The top of the tube is open and you can see the dial of the watch from the topside view. It gives the appearance of a mini desk clock and one could certainly use it for that purpose, which adds a uniqueness to this watch and its packaging. Sliding off the outter metal tube, reveals the inner foam rubber tube with the watch secured inside. The foam rubber tube splits into two separate pieces which allows you to remove the watch from its secure surroundings.

The Case:

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The ultra flat, black stainless steel case has the measurements of 44 mm / 8.8 mm height / 75g in weight. I would classify the overall style of the case to fit into a modern fashion-watch. I could easily see this watch being worn with a jeans and a t-shirt or going out to the club attire but it could also work at the office with business casual attire. One of the first things I noticed is that the case is lugless and the strap connects underneath the case. This keeps the 44mm case on the wears on the wrist smaller side than a 44mm with large lugs kind of watch. It’s rather interesting to me the design choice of the lugless case here. Looking at the back of the case it looks like a case would if it did have lugs looking from the dial side. Almost giving this watch a reversibility factor if one was so inclined to flip the straps, not that you could tell the time that way but it would be a good way to display your watch movement. The case back cuts in with a nice curve cut out on the crown side giving it very sexy line as you can see in the picture above from the side angle. A sexy line that is very comparible to the fender lines of a vintage car. The back of the case has a sapphire crystal for viewing the movement in motion. On watches of this style, I always like the inclusion of the see through caseback, it adds personality to the watch, and I like looking into the soul of a watch. On dive/tool watches the see through caseback doesn’t make sense to me. The caseback also features some info on the water resistance which is 3Bar. There is also the stamped Made in Germany, which Bota watches are one of the few companies that actually assemble the watches right within Germany. The non-screw down crown is easy to grip and pull out to set the one hand for the time thanks to the gear style machining to the edges of the crown. The crown is unsigned which is a little disappointing as I prefer a signed crown as it adds personality to the watch, and elimates that generic feeling when crowns are unsigned. The caseback crystal is sapphire and is known for its resistance to scratches.

The Dial:

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The dial is very minimalistic in design and its the first thing you will notice when you look at it. The single hand is bright green and stands out nicely set against the black and grey dial. The central part of the dial is covered by a opaque black which is applied to the underside of the saphire crystal and  signed with the Botta name. The dial only features the numbers 3 and nine and the other numbers are represented by lines. The 12 and 6 o’clock positions are represents by thick, bold lines and the other hour positions are represented by slightly slimmer lines. It does take some time to get used to telling time on the Nova Carbon, and I will share a trick on how I got used to getting pretty accurate with telling the time. For the first week I wore the Nova Carbon I also wore another watch with the traditional 3 hands style set up. This allowed me to see exactly where the Nova Carbon hand sits when it’s inbetween hours and figuring out the minutes in position when the single hand is inbetween the hour markers. You will be surprised on how accurate you can tell time with a single hand once you get used to it. Though if you picked this watch you are not picking it to use as a precise time measuring device. The dial on the Nova Carbon is so simple in design, but yet it has a ton of character and is a watch that will definitely get noticed when it’s on your wrist.

The Movement:

The workhorse of a movement also know as the ETA 2824-2. This particular movement has a -7/+7 seconds per day allowance. This is a very reliable and well known movement, I don’t think I can say anything new about the movement that hasn’t already been said by many people before me. It’s a very nice looking movement and you get a great view of it from the sapphire crystal case back. It’s nice to see companies still utilizing an ETA movement, because it’s something that’s becoming more and more common for new watches not to feature an ETA movement since ETA cut back on supplying their movements.

The Strap:

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A very comfortable, nicely done rubber strap from Hirsch straps. The rubber strap is soft and contours to the wrist very well. It perfectly matches the overall styling and design of this watch as I think a leather strap would not fit the styling of the Nova Carbon. The strap has a traditional tang stule buckle and has two keepers the hold the excess of the longer part of the strap. The strap is not thick either which helps keep the Nova Carbon’s low profile.

Conclusion:

This is another very nice offering from Botta at a good price point. I like the overall minimalistic and modern look of the watch. I would definitely wear this watch to go out to the club or out on a casual date night. It wouldn’t be my first choice for my weekend adventures if you are looking for a rugged, beater watch. You get a hand adjusted ETA movement inside of an ultra modern, unique case.  I like the uniqueness of the single hand dial and I love the black dial. The Nova Carbon is very light and extremely comfortable on the wrist. I would have like to see a signed crown as that is my only design suggestion for this watch. I think it very well done and has some good quality in terms of overall design. I would definitely recommend this watch to someone looking for a unique modern watch that can work for going out and to business casual office days. This watch is such a departure from what I usually wear and I really, really like it. The Nova Carbon would definitely go into my watch rotation for sure and I love the departure from the traditional.

Botta is a great company with great customer service. They were an absolute pleasure to deal with and to communicate with. I want to thank Botta for this opportunity to do this review, it has been an honor and a privilege. This is my second review of one of their watches and I can honestly say that I am a huge fan of what they do. 

THANKS FOR READING!

 

Watch Review: Lum-tec Combat B-23 LE Carbon

Company: Lum-Tec

From the Lum-Tec website:

We are a family run, USA based company devoted to bringing you the best quality watches on the market. Our parent company Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC. has built watches for thousands of customers around the world as well as designed, improved, and built watches for many other well known brands. The LÜM-TEC brand is the showcase brand for Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC, demonstrating what we are capable of producing. LÜM-TEC watches are made with only the best available materials and components and are all hand crafted by our team of professional watchmakers.

Chris Wiegand – President, takes extreme pride in every watch we produce. He is always available to answer questions, and help the customers out with anything he can. He can be emailed directly at chris@lum-tec.com.
We take pride in our service. With service points around the globe, you can be assured that for any repair you will have an unheard of fast turnaround time, so you can get your watch back on your wrist fast and enjoy it.

LÜM-TEC® takes watch manufacturing and design to a personal level. We freely communicate with our customers through email, phone, and on web forums daily about design input, suggestions, and any way to constantly improve our business and final product. Our customers make LÜM-TEC what we are. Without you, we would be just another watch company.

Overview:

Combat B23 featuring the all new carbon composite case with a titanium core and caseback. Super precision 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 movement visible through a sapphire caseback. Includes a top grade leather strap and a premium molded rubber strap. 200 meters/660 ft. water resistance.
Product Description
Specs:

43mm width excluding crown
22mm lug width
12.5mm thick
Weight on leather strap: 74 gram/2.61oz
Carbon composite case with a titanium core and caseback
200 meters/660 ft. water resistance
LUM-TEC MDV Technology®
Ultra precision tuned 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japan automatic movement with hand winding and hack feature
Calendar
Thick sapphire crystal
Clear anti-reflective coating
Threaded sapphire caseback
Screw-lock crown with double diamond sealing system
High tech Viton® gaskets
Top grade studded leather strap included
Molded rubber strap included
1 year limited warranty
Limited numbered series of 199
Free lifetime timing adjustments and pressure testing

Packaging:

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The straight forward packaging is well done and simple with a hidden surprise that took me about a week to discover. The B-23 comes in a white Lum-Tec outter cardboard box which is labeled with the Lum-Tec name and inside the cardboard box is a nice blonde wood box. The wood box is nicely done with thick wood and a extremely smooth finish.  The wood box has a small metal Lum-Tec sign on the hinged lid. Inside the boxes is the B-23 watch, the papers, warranty card and the hidden surprise that was an awesome surprise I had no idea about. On either side of the watch is two hidden departments that are designed to hold extra straps, and inside the one is an extra rubber strap. I was really blown away by this small, but amazing detail.

The Watch:

Case speciations:

43mm width excluding crown
22mm lug width
12.5mm thick
Weight on leather strap: 74 gram/2.61oz
Carbon composite case with a titanium core and caseback
200 meters/660 ft. water resistance

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The first thing you will notice when handling the B-23 is how light it is. The outter part of the case is a gun metal carbon composite material and the carbon almost has a stone look to it. It is a very cool case that has to be seen in person to truly appreciate. I really like the color of the case and how smooth the carbon is. It gives the watch a great military feel to it. Underneath the carbon shell is a titanium case which adds to the overall durability of this tool watch. The signed crown features Screw-lock with double diamond sealing system which is very easy to grip and operate with the gear like edges, and makes setting the time and date very easy. The coin edged bezel is fixed which means no rotation. I personally would have liked to see a lumed triangle at the 12 o’clock position on the bezel and had the bezel itself unilaterally rotating. I use timing things quite a bit in my everyday work and personal life so that always comes in handy. The lugs are curved to perfection allowing the watch to hug the wrist very comfortably. The exhibition case back allows you to view the automatic movement inside the case and features the text Lum-Tec, Carbon Titanium, Sapphire, the production number, 200m.

The Dial:

Dial specifications:

LUM-TEC MDV Technology®
Calendar
Thick sapphire crystal
Clear anti-reflective coating
High tech Viton® gaskets

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The dial is beautifully executed in every detail, it is what really makes the B-23 stand out when on the wrist. Working from the top down, the first thing you will meet is the AR treated thick sapphire crystal. Not only is it nice and clear, but the thickness helps maintain the 200m water resistance. The dial itself is matte black with green tinted printed numersls that are extremely easy to read in the day and night as you can see by the lume shot.(which is not altered in anyway, it’s that bright) All the numbers are represented here 1-12 with a date window off to the side of the 4 o’clock position. I like this feature that they chose to keep the numeral 4 inplace and offset the date window. It really maintains the balance of the dial. The date is printed in white set on a black date wheel. The 12,3,6, and 9 are larger that the rest of the numerals a little added detail that really works here and gives that pilots instument feel to this watch. Works perfectly with the overall theme of the watch. Speaking of pilot instrument panel, the hands on the B-23 are the traditional pilot style shaped hands and when you set the time the seconds hand is hacking which allows a more precise time setting. The numerals, hands and numeral circle markers are all coated with lume. And with the name Lum-Tec, it surely does not disappoint. It’s bright, lasts a long time and is evenly coated with perfect application. The text on the dial is minimal and it doesn’t over crowd the dial, it includes the text Lum-tec MDV technology below the 12 o’clock marker and combat B just below the hands peg. The seconds hash marks align with the hands, and to note the hash marks are not lume coated. Which is a good thing, because I think it would be overkill with the hands, the numbers and the number circle markers being lumed. I charged the lume for about 10 minutes and it stayed pretty bright for 8 hours though the night.

The Straps:

Straps specifications:

Top grade studded leather strap
Molded rubber strap

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Both of the included straps do not disappoint at all. I am all about custom watch straps, it is almost a sick obsession. But any case  I am very critical of the straps companies include with their watches. They are sometimes cheap feeling and fall apart pretty quickly, not very well constructed in the least bit. Lum-Tec doesn’t disappoint. The leather pilots strap with rivets is thick leather with even stitches throughout. The rivets and buckle color match the case color very nicely. Both straps are signed with Lum-Tec as are both the buckles. It’s nice to see that Lum-Tec included 2 buckles with the straps, therefore you don’t have to interchange the buckles at all. The rubber strap is smooth rubber and is also well done, seems to be pretty thick well molded rubber. Both straps are extremely comfortable and very easy to change out. The buckles both work as they should without any difficulty fitting into the holes. The holes are all cut even and are uniform in size throughout with no jagged edges.

The Movement:

Movement specifications:

Ultra precision tuned 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japan automatic movement with hand windingimage image image

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The movement inside the B-23 is very comparable to the ETA 2824 movement. The Miyota 9015 is very reliable movement and has a power reserve of 42 hours. It has a accuracy rate of -10 to plus 30 seconds per day. Lum-Tec does modify the movement which adds even more relaiability to the movement. The weighted rotar for the automatic winding moves very smooth, with very little noise. The above pictures(click on the picture to enlarge) gives all the technical details about the movement.

Closing Thoughts:

The B-23 LE is a very well done pilot themed watch with a nice vintage feel with all the modern technology that one looks for in a modern day watch. Everything about the watch is well thought out and well executed.  I absolutely love the design of this watch. From the dial layout to the carbon case, it’s all done with the percision one would hope for at a watch in the price point. I would only make one suggestion and that is to include a rotating bezel with a lume triangle. Speaking of price you get a lot of watch for under $1000 USD and its limited edition as well. I believe it’s a great value at what you get. Lum-Tec does the lume on many other watches besides their own, they are experts in the field. I love this watch as its my first experience with Lum-Tec. I want to personally thank Chris from Lum-Tec for allowing me to do this review. It was an absolute honor and I hope that I am able to do more reviews of Lum-Tec watches in the future. I’m hooked.

Wrist shots, wrist is 7 1/2″ for reference

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