Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hands-on with the Botta MONDO dual time zone

Sometimes, you end up with a watch unexpectedly. The Black Edition Botta Mondo Dual Timer is one of those watches. The reasons why it turned out to be unsuitable for its original owner (and thus how I became its new owner) were a classic example of how a watch can appear to be what you wish for in pictures, but turn out to be something quite different ‘in the metal’.

With a design ethos claimed by Botta to be rooted in the simple lines of 1970s Braun watches, this is a fairly inexpensive good looking dual time zone watch. The typeface, clarity and minimalist approach is very appealing in photos.

Although it is not anything new, one of th aethetically pleasing things about this watch is its use of angles. It is not just about the way the 24-hour second time zone outer ring slopes quite sharply downwards towards the time indices, but also about the use of contrasting grey and black that gives it a stylish edge. You’ll also notice the artificial ‘horizon’ that divides the 24-hour ring into two differently coloured halves, one for day and one for night. Exactitude isn’t the key point here with this feature, but it is useful at a glance if you want to quickly ascertain whether it’s day or night in your second time zone.

At a comfortable 40mm, this is a slim (7.5mm) stainless steel watch that weighs only 43g. Inside is a Ronda 515.24H quartz movement. The strap is a vegetable tanned leather strap (available in three lengths), but there are bracelet and rubber strap options available as well for the Black Edition. The regular edition only offers leather and bracelet options.

As an inexpensive dual timer, if you’re not bothered by quartz, this is a pretty good option from an aesthetic point of view, so what were problems that came up for its original owner which lead to its transfer to me?

The first issue was that of size. Although it’s a decent 40mm, it’s a slim watch, and not for those who are used to wearing something with more heft.

The second problem was that of clarity.

One of the very things that appealed about this watch turned out to be one of its shortcomings for the original owner. The slim markers and hands were not a problem, but the second time zone marker, with a very discreet orange tip, is not as legible at first glance as it could be. If you wish to be able to rapidly identify your second time zone, this is not the watch for you. It’s not illegible, but it’s not recommended for people who need something bold and clear, and the photos on the Botta website don’t really give a good ‘working’ level indication of this hand’s legibility.

I like this watch and am happy to be its new owner but even for me, there is one small problem – the strap. It creases and marks easily, and doesn’t feel very sturdy.

The Mondo is priced from € 348.00 and you can order it direct from Botta here.

Oh and if you visit their website you'll notie that Botta have a single-handed watch called the Uno which is remarkably similar to MeisterSinger ... as is their wall clock.



Thomas said...

Hi there,

just to let you know: Klaus Botta invented his single-handed UNO watch long before MeisterSinger even existed:


Cedric Chan Studio said...


Thanks for sharing about the details. Great watch you have there!
Would like to ask...from the last pic you posted the black area on the 12 hour zone seems not as solid black as it is shown in their official website, is it the lighting that make it looks grayish or?
Thanks and much appreciated.