March 27, 2020
One of the great powers of a fine timepiece, especially a vintage one, is its ability to evoke a different time or place. A great vintage chronograph can stir up feelings of piloting a race car through sweeping bends, a great diver can invoke the wonder of exploring the beauty of an unspoiled coral reef, but few watch styles are as effective at this inspiring quality as GMT watches and their connection to world travel. Dutch startup brand Batavi has captured the feel of old-school jet travel with its latest release, the Kosmopoliet GMT, in four styles inspired by some of the world’s great travel destinations. These variants, the Medina, the Amsterdam, the Hong Kong, and the Los Angeles, go beyond simple color swapping to reference the unique flavor of the cities themselves in a classically inspired, midcentury sports watch pattern.
Each Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT begins with a 39 mm stainless steel case that takes some of the best elements of ‘60s sports watch design without becoming derivative of any one watch. The case profile is dominated by long, tapering straight lugs, polished slab case sides, and an oversized unguarded crown at 3 o’clock. Around back, a sapphire display caseback offers an unimpeded view of the Swiss automatic movement within, while still maintaining a dive-worthy 200 meters of water resistance. The real star of the show, however, is the 24-hour sapphire rotating bezel. Each version of the Kosmopoliet GMT offers this vintage-inspired element in its own unique colorway, inspired by their namesake cities.
The Medina is the most immediately arresting, with a heavily faded blue and red “Pepsi” two-tone color scheme and a set of unique traditional Arabic numerals (not what we usually associate as Arabic numerals, but the way numbers are written in the Arabic language) to add a touch of Middle Eastern flair. The Amsterdam, taking its inspiration from that famous city on the water, adds a muted aquatic flair with a blue and sky gray two tone. Hong Kong is a city of contrasts, combining Eastern and Western influences into a wholly unique pairing, represented on its namesake model by a warm and cool dichotomy between soft brown and light seafoam. The Los Angeles, like the city that shares its name, is warm, eclectic, and fashionable. The bezel here reflects this with a warm gray and arresting faded violet combination.
Like the case, the dial of the Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT interprets the best elements of classic ‘60s sports GMT watches in a uniquely Batavi fashion. Each of the four variants starts with a multilayer sandwich dial, with cutouts exposing plots of khaki patina Super-LumiNova beneath the dynamic sunburst of the main dial surface. The tapering hands also offer a generous fill of khaki lume, while the red arrow of the GMT hand offers a punch of vibrant color against the mostly faded color palettes of the four variants. The Medina opts for a black sunburst finish, as does the more reserved and delicate Hong Kong. The Amsterdam, continuing its maritime theme, offers a deep blue dial color that picks up the romantic hues of the ocean. In keeping with the warm, faded color scheme of the bezel, the dial of the Los Angeles is finished in a tropical chocolate brown sunburst.
Batavi offers buyers a choice of two Swiss automatic movements in the Kosmopoliet GMT. The first of these, the Soprod C125, offers owners reliable performance with a 42 hour power reserve. More premium minded buyers can opt for the élaboré grade ETA 2893-2 automatic movement, providing 50 hours of power reserve and an intricately designed rotor.
Each Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT comes included with three unique strap options. These include a vintage inspired flat link bracelet, a nylon NATO strap, and a rubber sports strap. For super early bird backers, a unique leather strap is also included, available for purchase at an additional cost for later backers. Each of the four variants offers straps in unique and distinctive color combinations, complementing the dials and bezels in stylish and dramatic ways.
With the Kosmopoliet GMT, Batavi has done more than capture the ethos of classic ‘60s sports GMT watches, the brand has deftly expressed the spirit of travel to some of the world’s most far flung and evocative locales. The Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT is currently available for purchase through Kickstarter, with super early bird pricing beginning at $628. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.
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