The Batavi Architect: What Do You Get For $475?
Batavi has been very successful with its Kosmopoliet GMT watch and is now offering a new watch: The Batavi Architect. With just three days left in their Kickstarter project, we thought it’s time to show you what you’ll get for €399 (~ $475).
Batavi’s Kickstarter project already reached beyond its goal to get things started. That means that this watch will happen, but also that you have still three days left to pledge for this Batavi Architect. After the Kickstarter campaign, the price of the watch will go up to €529 (~ $630). What does Batavi have to offer with its Architect watch? Let’s find out.
The founder of the Dutch brand Batavi came by our office to show us the new Architect watches. He left us this “blue steel” version to review, which I happily do. Let me first start by saying that the flow of (new) watches with integrated bracelets has been overwhelming. I like and own (or have owned) the Royal Oak, Ingenieur, Constellation Manhattan, etc., and have a weak spot for watches with integrated bracelets. The Batavi Architect comes on a stainless steel bracelet that looks kind of similar to the Ingenieur reference 3229 I used to have.
Blue Steel dial
The watch I have here comes with a blue dial. There are also other dials available for the Batavi Architect, like the “copper dome”, and “walnut wood”. From these dials, I prefer the “walnut wood”. It reminds me of the interior of my BMW 525i (E34 type) from 1994. Batavi refers on its own Kickstarter page to the Rolex Day-Date with a similar dial, and a Sinn 356 Flieger to show another watch with a copper-colored dial. Anyway, I have the blue dial here, and compared to the “walnut wood” and “copper dome” it looks a bit boring. Perhaps, in the long run, it is the most classic one of the three.
The applied indexes look beautiful and on the minute track you will find markers that have been applied with Super-LumiNova for better readability in low-light conditions. The Dauphin style hands are also lumed and look beautiful. At 12 o’clock, you’ll find the brand name “Batavi Amsterdam” printed. In my opinion, the logo is a bit too loud. At 6 o’clock you’ll find the model name in handwriting-style.
Integrated and interchangeable bracelet
To me, one of the most important things about a watch is the bracelet. I rarely buy watches on a leather strap, but I am also quite finicky when it comes to those. It is such an important part of the watch and the wearing experience, that it requires to be in a perfect balance. Whether it is a €400 watch or a €4000 watch, the bracelet needs to be comfortable and secure. You don’t want to lose your watch because the clasp can unexpectedly fall open, or the quick release system failed, etc. I had a Royal Oak bracelet failing once (screws fell out from this brand new Royal Oak Chronograph) and luckily the watch fell on the carpet in my car. So spending tons of money on a watch is certainly not a guarantee that this will never happen.
Anyway, let’s get back to the Batavi Architect and its bracelet. As you can see in the picture above, it also has a quick-release system. A simple yet effective system. It is actually a bit funny that so many brands are on this “innovation”, as Patek Philippe already had this for its leather straps many moons ago. I don’t have tested the watch long enough to see how sturdy Batavi’s solution is, but the implementation is on par with the price point of this watch. There’s a limitation on what you can do, of course.
The Batavi Architect also looks good on a leather strap. If the Kickstarter project reaches €49K they will include a strap adapter. With this adapter, as shown above, you can fit your favorite leather strap to the watch. The project is about €8,000 left from reaching that goal, so fingers crossed.
Miyota 9039 movement
The Batavi Architect is powered by the Miyota 9039 movement. This self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours and ticks at 28,800vph. It’s a time-only movement (no date) and has 24 jewels. The bridges have a Côtes de Genève decoration and the rotor has this sunburst brushed finishing. Nothing spectacular, but at this price, it is a solid movement and the display back offers some added value for those who are new to mechanical watches and want something to look at.
The Batavi Architect has — besides an attractive price — very attractive features. A 39mm case diameter (47mm lug-to-lug) and a thickness of 10.3mm. Both sides of the watch have a sapphire crystal, the front one double domed. The integrated bracelet tapers from 28mm at the case to 20mm at the clasp. Batavi’s goal to create an affordable and attractive-looking watch with an integrated bracelet has been achieved. Give the great result on Kickstarter, there are more than enough people who already like it without even having try it on.
Needless to say that it is a lot of watch for the money, especially for €399 but also the official retail price of €529 is a sensible amount. Is it all good then? No, there are a couple of things that I would like to see improved. As mentioned, I feel the printing of the brand name is too big on the dial. More important is that I feel the watch is very sharp. With that, I mean that the edges of the case and bracelet are very sharp. I asked Batavi’s founder about it, and he said that this was the intention anyway. To make it sharp. But there’s a fine line between having sharp edges because it looks cool and being comfortable to wear.