Single-handed watches aren’t anything new, but from a modern standpoint, probably one of the most important brands to know about in regard to single-hand watches with contemporary designs is Botta Design, by German Klaus Botta. I believe it was 1986 that he first released his modern collection of single-handed “Uno” watches. In fact, according to Botta Design, it was Klaus Botta himself who produced the first ever wrist watch with a single-hand.
Botta Design single-handed watches (as is the case with most) come in two forms. All of them have one hand, but some display the time in a 24 hour format, and some in a 12 hour format. The wearing experience between the two is very different. Botta Design Uno watches indicate the time with one hand in a 12 hour format, whereas Botta Design Uno 24 watches indicate the time in a 24 hour format, meaning the hand goes around the dial one time each day.
Over the years, Botta Design Uno watches have (and continue to) come in many forms with both automatic mechanical and quartz varieties. In fact, if you want a quartz watch that doesn’t look like a quartz watch, a single-handed design is a good option, because there is no ticking seconds hand. The new Botta Design Uno 24 Neo is a new collection of Swiss quartz movement based Botta Design watches which have an attractive look and decent price. If you can’t stomach the idea of a quartz-movement based watch there are other options from Botta Design available.
Inside the Botta Design UNO 24 Neo timepieces are Swiss Ronda 515.24H movements with a single hand and the date. The hand moves around the dial once each 24 hours, and allows you to read the time precisely to within a few minutes. All the companies who currently produce single-handed watches seem to reiterate the notion that these timepieces are all about “simplicity.” Well, that sounds pretty obvious, but the question is, “what does that really mean?” I think the real idea at play is the notion of reading the time in a more simple manner. Trying to ease off the idea of to-the-minute precision, and understanding the day more like a cycle of gradually changing periods. Maybe this is good for some people who are quite addicted to the idea of being everywhere exactly on time.
Having lived with single-handed watches in the past, I can say that they do indeed shift your perception of the passing of the day. 24 hour single-hand dials are perhaps even more interesting because of the way they force you to see the entire day at a glance. What I like about Botta Design timepieces is their focus on legibility as well as modern design, and the Botta Design UNO 24 Neo collection really celebrates that concept. The steel cases are available in brushed or PVD black steel, and are a moderate 40mm wide. Some other Botta Design Uno watches go up to 42mm in width.
The Botta Design UNO 24 Neo watches also have sapphire crystals, but a scant 30 meters of water resistance. They are, however, really thin, at just 7.5mm. There are white and black dials available, which each have two colors to signify day and night. Further offered are the Botta Design UNO 24 Neo watches on either black leather straps or single-link-style steel bracelets. With a good look and interesting wearing experience (while not being too much money) Botta Design Uno watches are a safe bet for those already into the single-handed watch experience or for those who are curious about it. Prices for the Botta Design Uno 24 Neo watches range from 348 Euros (about $438 USD) to 468 Euros (about $589 USD) depending on the version and they are available direct from Botta Design. botta-design.de