Admittedly, we have a soft spot for Dutch watchmakers and brands. However, that doesn’t mean we blindly publish any watch-related product coming from our small country. We still have a standard to uphold, but sometimes we see things through somewhat of an orange-toned perspective. One of the latest watches to emerge from the Netherlands is the very compelling Batavi Geograaf. Available as a Worldtimer or a GMT model, it’s a fun and affordable alternative making good use of Batavi’s love for colour.
Batavi Watches is founded and run by Ugur Mamak, a dutchman who ventured into the watchmaking business just a couple of years ago. He made quite the splash with the Kosmopoliet, the first collection we’ve seen. This was followed up by the Architect, an affordable luxury sports watch with an integrated design. This was presented just before the hype for this type of watch took off and you can say Batavi’s timing was quite right. Lightning struck twice as he launched a light-blue coloured version of that, moments after a certain tiffany-blue watch “broke the internet”. (See below for the Kosmopoliet and Architect).
The Geograaf collection is the next chapter for this young and upcoming Dutch microbrand. It comes in at a very reasonable 39mm in diameter, with a height of 13mm. The case is stainless steel and given a brushed and polished finish. On the right-hand side, we find the crown to set the watch, and a second crown at 10 o’clock to adjust the internal rotatable bezel. The two work in conjunction and setting the GMT or Worldtimer indication is quite easy. You adjust the 24-hour disc through the main crown and align the 12-hour rotatable ring or city ring through the other.
Available as a Worldtimer or GMT, the Geograaf plays with Batavi’s signature element: colour! Throughout all collections, colour has played an important part for Batavi. The Kosmopoliet was a fine example already, with colourful two-tone bezels and dial options and the Geograaf is no exception. Split into two pairs, it comes with a salmon-pink or white dial for the GMT (with two-tone blue or pink 24-hour rings) or blue and grey dials for the Worldtimer (with two-tone grey and green or orange and teal 24-hour rings).
Each of the dials has a slightly grained texture, applied indices with Super-LumiNova and printed markings. The sloped ring shows either a 12-hour scale (GMT) or 24 reference cities (Worldtimer). The two-tone 24-hour ring functions as a day/night indicator. Time is indicated with the syringe-shaped hour and minute hands and a sleek central seconds hand, all with a dose of Super-LumiNova.
Power comes from an automatic movement made by Soprod. The Calibre C125 is a good alternative to the ETA 2893-2 and it works the same. It features 25 jewels and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph. Next to the central hours, minutes and seconds, it would normally sport a GMT hand but this has been exchanged for the 24-hour rings. A clever trick to mix up the dial a bit and set it apart from most GMT-style watches. With a total of 42 hours of power reserve, it’s a dependable companion on your travels. A sapphire crystal caseback gives you a view of the winding rotor, finished with Côtes de Genève.
The Batavi Geograaf is presented on a solid stainless steel bracelet with H-shaped links. It is finished with brushed outer links and polished centre links. You can easily swap it out thanks to the integrated quick-release system and the provided end-links to convert to alternative straps. Launching on Kickstarter on the 12th of July at 6PM CET, the Batavi Geograaf Worldtimer (and GMT for that matter) will be priced at EUR 649 during the Kickstarter campaign (EUR 849 afterwards).
All in all the Batavi Geograaf is quite a complete and fun watch. It’s well built, shows some interesting details, has real-world practicality (even though it’s no True-GMT watch) and looks and feels quite robust. Add in the 200m water resistance, and the interchangeability for the strap and you have a perfect all-seasons watch at a very competitive price point. Do take into account that we had the chance to handle a pre-production prototype for this hands-on, so expect some minor changes to be made before final production.
For more information, and to put in an order, please visit the Kickstarter page right here.