The inventor Klaus Botta from Königstein successfully supports a reduced design and deceleration. His clients include important names.
The rapper and social media Kanye West and the former Pope Benedict XVI would not have too many similarities. However, they seem to agree on the taste of the watch: both have already been spotted in the arm with creations of the manufacturer of Königstein, Klaus Botta.
He wants to appeal to people who do not chase all fashions and want to establish a "declaration of serenity" with their watch, Botta describes his words. It is simplification, reduction in the essential. "Less is more."
This is Botta's best-known invention: the UNO one-handed watch. He was inspired by the success of flashy, colorful and increasingly complicated Swatch watches in the 80s. He wanted to oppose something.
Even with a single pointer, you can ensure a minute-by-minute display, says Botta. This is ensured by a dial with a special scale. "There are only a few situations in which we look closely at the moment."
Botta seems to have hit a nerve with his unusual invention. Although he does not serve a mass market, in 33 years he has sold at least 100,000 of his one-handed watches. There are also other innovations such as the 24-hour clock – with a dial that covers all day – but also watches with a "normal" display, but only in a significantly reduced design.
Even as a student at Offenbach's Hochschule für Gestaltung, Klaus Botta came into contact with the minimalist Bauhaus tradition. He continues to feel connected to this, as does Braun's design philosophy, created by Dieter Rams in neighboring Kronberg.
First of all, he's been busy designing and implementing the technical watches, but has worked with another company on production and sales, Botta says. When this company was sold, the licenses returned to him in 1999. Since then, he has taken care of everything himself with his company Botta Design.
He employs six people in the well-groomed offices of Königstein. He is mainly dedicated to the design and construction of new models. His wife Anke is responsible for quality control, customer service and international sales.
Only Botta's actual production continues to be carried out by two partner companies. But it is not the cheapest conditions possible, says Klaus Botta. Both companies are in Germany; This guarantees shorter distances, but also for better quality. "We live sustainability," Botta insists. So, repairs are usually possible, clocks are often held 25 to 30 years.
This is why it is important for him to use especially high quality components. Klaus Botta is turning more and more towards titanium for the case. "It's an exceptional material," congratulates the designer. Lighter but more stable than steel. However, production also has drawbacks. "Titanium is more expensive and harder to work."
The cheapest watch offered by Botta Design costs 400 euros, the most expensive 1500 euros. His clients include many artists. It happened that at the office of the Königsteiner Stadtgalerie, a musician from New York came in person to seek advice, said the 60-year-old young man.
Klaus Botta founded his company in 1986 in Offenbach. He moved to Königstein 16 years ago with Botta Design and his family. "The location is optimal," he says. Although there is still a proximity to the city, the Taunus offers however better opportunities for recreation and sport. One hour and two hours of exercise per day are mandatory for Botta.
In general, the watch industry is in decline, but he could not see that for Botta Design, he says. "We have constant growth." He sells 5,000 to 6,000 watches a year. About half of the company leaves the company in Germany, the rest goes around the world.
Klaus Botta is also counting on "solid growth" for the future. He does not see smart watches as competitors. Some customers have installed such a mini-computer for their "business". In private, however, they adopted the decelerating one-handed watch.