It got me thinking, I must admit. I love the cases of these super high-end watches: all boxy and angles where they traditionally would be smooth, all smooth where they traditionally would be hard edged, but if I was to splash out and buy one what on Earth would I do if I grew bored of it? What if it didn’t suit me or raised the same question of my couture as I had of Ibrahim’s? What would my wife say?
In the many times since, when I have been in the same store or similar stores in various airports around the world, I have occasionally spotted the Batwatch again. Darkly shining out in Dubai or pulsating from a cold lit case in Amsterdam.
Could there be an angular cased and skeletal dialled watch for the “normal” man? Someone without neither the reserves (or indeed the reserve) of Keith Richards? Something coming in under £1000, a brazen 14th of the Hublot’s cost, and yet retaining that unique and alluring pull on one’s wrist? Can the insanity of high-end watch prices be defeated by some new manufacturer, some mad, punk, startup outfit – who I imagined must be out there – all design-degreed-up and well in the know, and just as appalled by the wreckage left of the Golden Mean by makers like Hublot?
A humble-priced Batwatch that still “evoked”?
Moving on from the case we come to the strap. Rubber straps, particularly ones built to non-standard fittings, are probably the one thing that will hold this watch back. Some people just don’t like them. I personally wore a rubber strap all around the world on my travels and so know what to expect. Here, of all the elements, the designer left the office on time. Many of us have been totally spoiled by the incredible soft “rubber” straps on Apple Watches and now find that nothing else comes close. The Curv uses EPDM as its base, a well-known and resistant type.
EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber), a type of synthetic rubber, is an elastomer characterized by a wide range of applications. The M refers to its classification in ASTM standard D-1418; the M class includes rubbers having a saturated chain of the polymethylene type.
While this strap is nowhere near as stiff as that found on a Gshock, which became a deal breaker for me on my last purchase, it does require a little breaking in. I will report back after a month on whether it becomes a little less rigid. On the top edge of the strap a series of angular carved embellishments have been cut, like grazes. Running my finger down these I can feel the bumps as they are not simply surface colouring. The effect they provide is to add colourful shading and light-glanced edges to one’s eyes as they play up to the case. I personally would have preferred a solid coloured strap. The clasp is excellent however; thin and customised to match the case, with a brushed body, stamped logo and polished edge. Very fine. If one can put up with a unchangeable strap, for I am personally a rampant strap swapper, then there is nothing to complain about. If you want a steel strap, then there are other models in the range. As the fitting and case are so thin, no third-party straps would work or could be modded to work. I would pay money for that Apple Watch strap though.
Looking into the face one sees the layering at play. At the bottom of this sandwich is the dark movement. Layered over this are the three sub dials that run the chronograph and seconds hand. How the seconds works is neat. In normal use the hand displays the time in seconds. Once one presses the lower “reset” pusher the hand spins to the 12 position and becomes the Chronograph seconds. Stop timing and push again and it jumps directly back to the running time seconds. Exceedingly clever. This means that as one comes up to the skeletal hands, there is no large seconds hand. The hands have lume at the ends and are curved to follow the case crystal above. Their curvation is at the same ratio as the case and this means they don’t look out of place and enhance the experience of looking at the time from an angle.
The indices are polished rose gold on my version and blue on the steel. The warmth of the rose, tastefully not overdone, is welcome and they are cut with multiple polished facets so that they shine merrily whatever the angle. The 12 indicator has been replaced with the “tuning fork” logo of the Bulova brand and it has been done as sensitively as could be wished for.
The text on the face is painted in matt bright white and around the indices is a patterned disk with the same shaved effect as the strap. Thankfully it has no date window and the watche’s fundamental use of looking at the time is simple. It is not, amazingly for a 3D dial, messy in any way. The dial is, together with the curved movement and case, the best feature of the watch and that is 100% as it should be.