Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

Review and photos by Mike Razak

Batavi Watches is a new brand from Amsterdam. Well, new isn't totally right. The brand had a few false starts: a quartz chrono and a diver in the same vein as the present watch. Both fell short of launching, but the company and its owner, Ugur Mamak, are back with a wham-bang third effort. The Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT takes the DNA of the brand's diver and amps it up with a GMT function and a host of flashy color combos. A Kickstarter campaign for the watch launched on March 26 and has already surpassed its goal, which means that if you end up backing the campaign, your risk is substantially reduced. All you have to do is sit and wait. Read on to find out if the watch is worth your investment.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

This is an unapologetically shiny watch. It's not Patek on a polished bracelet shiny, but it's a leap beyond what many watches of the Kosmopoliet's style feature. The 39mm case sits only 12.5mm tall and wears wonderfully (Happily, 39mm seems to be an emerging favorite as brands recognize the luster of jumbo sizes is waning rapidly). While the case has a gentle contour, it lacks any substantial curve, but with its dimensions, the overall result is a watch that sat perfectly and looked perfect on my 7-inch wrist.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

As you can plainly see, the watch features a good amount of polished surfaces; essentially, the entire case (bezel and crown included) features a shiny, high-polish finish. The angles are sharp, and finish is well done, and there's a gradual brushed chamfer along the lugs, but it does little to break things up. Altogether, the finishing gives this watch a decidedly dressy feel, which belies the functionality and silhouette of the case, both of which suggest a more practical aesthetic. High polish isn't my preference for any but the most formal of watches. With all the surfaces on the Kosmopoliet, there's a good chance for this watch to become visibly nicked rather quickly for those who fail to baby our watches.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

The 3 o'clock ridged screw-down crown is functional, though, as happens with GMT movements, setting the GMT hand can be a bit jerky (Note that the crown will just have "B" instead of "BA"). Matching the ridges on the crown is the stainless steel bezel with a two-tone sapphire insert. The fully lumed bezel features intentional fading, which contrasts with the high polish case and brightness of the dial colors. The bezel itself is a bit stiff, requiring some effort to set (the prototype was 60 clicks, but the production will be an improved 120 clicks). This would be a huge issue on a dive watch that needs to be used underwater or just to quickly time something. But given that tracking a third time zone is usually a set it and forget it task, I'll allow a bit of stiffness.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

Beneath a domed sapphire crystal, the watch's brilliant dial awaits. My review piece was the Amsterdam colorway, with a striking blue dial that occasionally played deep purple. The bottom layer of the dial is pure lume and shows up as a brownish-yellow, which is far more appealing than it sounds. An unnumbered minute track in the same color sits at the dial's periphery. The watch is available in six dial/bezel colorways, but the rest of the details remain constant: Super-LumiNova C3 shines adequately on all apparent surfaces, including the rounded sandwich indices, the obelisk hands, and the big arrow GMT hand. The GMT hand will be a bright red on all models, and offers excellent legibility for tracking a second time zone. The dial is highly engaging and delightful to gaze at and would be more so if the case around it were slightly more subdued. While I found the lume perfectly adequate, Batavi says it will be even better for production.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT lume

The Kosmopoliet GMT features a top-notch Swiss ETA 2893-2 movement. Its visible thru a sapphire crystal caseback, which screws down to allow for 200M water resistance, as clearly stated right there on the caseback (along with some other details for your reading pleasure). This movement is the and industry standard for GMTs, and features 21 jewels and a claimed 50-hour power reserve. While it features a date, and the dial does not, the crown position is not dead as it accommodates the GMT adjustment. The watch will also be available with a Swiss Soprod GMT movement, to allow for a slightly cheaper option. I simply don't see the logic, as you're getting into decision fatigue. I can understand doing a quartz option? Maybe? But I've seen before and continue to dislike the two-tiered movement approach.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

The Batavi features 20mm drilled lugs for easy strap swaps. The lug holes, however, seem an afterthought, as they are right up against the chamfer. Structurally this shouldn't be an issue, but it looks a bit haphazard. The included bracelet is exceptionally comfortable, owing to its articulating links, their smaller size, and three micro adjustments on the folding clasp; this bracelet will conform nicely to just about any wrist topography. But with that comfort comes even more high polished surfaces, even the sides of the links. As if that weren't enough, the Kosmopoliet also comes with a seatbelt NATO, which, as you may have guessed, has quite the sheen to it.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

In the form of heaven-sent reprieve, the included orange rubber strap is excellent (see the top photo). By some combination of alchemy and sorcery, it doesn't attract any dust, is rugged yet flexible, and thickens towards the lugs, creating a pleasant fit. With three strap options included for review, I didn't even bother to equip any of my own straps, and frankly, the amalgam of colors on the watch itself makes pairing it a bit of a challenge.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT

The Kosmpoliet is an undeniably fun watch. It's got a pop of color, a lot of shine, and wears great. That said, it can come off as a bit too much, which is how I experienced it. The polishing and sunburst dial were aesthetically overwhelming for me. The watch is available in all the colors of the rainbow (or 6 of them) and will come with all three strap options (and a fourth leather option is available). The campaign ends April 20, but until then, you can get the Kosmopoliet for as low as $616 with the Soprod movement, or $702 with the ETA. And my gripes aside, it's a fine watch, and if you were swayed to back the campaign, you certainly wouldn't be alone.

Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT
Batavi Kosmopoliet GMT


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