Dutch microbrand Batavi is a relative newcomer with a couple of watches under its belt. We looked at the colourful Kosmopoliet GMT a year ago and were impressed with the vintage diver aesthetic and accessible price. That model followed another diver, Batavi’s inaugural Noordzee, but the brand’s latest watch takes a different, perhaps more sophisticated approach – or let’s say more in the current mood. The diver design makes way for a slick sports watch with an integrated bracelet and multiple dial materials, and at a price point rarely seen in the space. We’ve seen a small handful of brands release comparable sports watches recently, but Batavi’s Architect might be the most intriguing.
The closest thing I can think of to this is Tissot’s upcoming PRX Powermatic 80, although it comes in at almost twice the price (from an early bird Kickstarter perspective, but it’s made by an established brand). The Batavi features a classic tonneau-shaped case and textured dial, and I find what the brand has done to be visually interesting. The stainless steel case is very wearable at 39mm in diameter and 10.6mm in height (46mm lug to lug), and it features a double domed sapphire crystal and exhibition caseback. The majority of the case and integrated bracelet is brushed with polished accents providing some contrast, and it has an understated and stealthy vibe. There’s a quick-release system to allow for a leather strap option, which is a nice touch, and water resistance is rated at 100 metres. It has that classic 1970s luxury sports watch style that should appeal to many without an AP Royal Oak budget.
There are a few dials to choose from, starting with a copper dial sporting a nice hobnail-ish pattern within the indices. Those indices are applied steel with brushed surfaces and polished bevels, and an angled minute track features raised marks of blue Super-LumiNova C1. The steel hands also have Super-LumiNova inserts. There’s a deep blue steel dial option without the pattern that has a Royal Oak vibe and contrasts well with the silver indices and hands. Arguably the most interesting dial is a medium walnut, bringing a rustic and unexpected visual. It sounds like it would be out of place on such a piece, but it works surprisingly well. The hands and indices remain the same for all dial options and each provides a unique personality.
Powering the watch is the always reliable yet accessible Miyota 9039 automatic. It has 24 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 44-hour power reserve. Functions are time-only with central hours, minutes and seconds. The 9039 is a new movement introduced in 2018, although very similar to the Miyota 9015 without a date complication and it’s more cost-effective compared to Swiss counterparts. Seen from the exhibition case back, it’s partially decorated with Côtes de Genève.
The Batavi Architect sports watch launches on Kickstarter today, with an early bird price of only EUR 349. That’s very accessible for such a nicely designed sports watch with an integrated bracelet and multiple dial designs, not to mention a premium Miyota automatic with the 9039.