Photo courtesy of NODUS
NODUS Watches is a new Los Angeles based microbrand that should really be noticed. The company has developed two exquisite lines of watches at this time, the Contrail and the Retrospect. For this review I have a Retrospect in Industrial Brown. The watch is also available in Slate Gray and Frost White. The Retrospect is based on 1960’s watches from Breitling, Rado and Gruen but with performance, quality and value not available until now. In addition, all NODUS watches are designed, assembled, inspected and tested in Los Angeles. The only pre-assembled part of the watch they receive is the movement, which in this watch is the extremely popular Time Module NH35a from Seiko. The movements are calibrated and stress tested in 4 positions by Nodus in Los Angeles, giving the watch superb accuracy. My example does not vary by more than a second a day, and if it is worn daily it is the most accurate automatic movement I have seen to date.
The watch itself is an extremely wearable size of 40.5 mm in diameter, 12.5 mm thick (15 mm with the double domed sapphire crystal), 49 mm lug to lug width (with drilled lugs), 22 mm lug width and has a 7 mm coarse, gear edged polished and signed crown at 3 o’clock. The 200 meter/660 ft W/R rated watch is made of 316L steel and the case is completely polished except for the brushed finish on the top of the lugs. The polished, stainless coarse coin edged, 120 click, unidirectional bezel is extremely solid with no black play at all, something I rarely find. The brushed, inward sloping, stainless steel bezel insert is PVD engraved to be very durable and attractive at the same time. The screw down case back is brushed with etched watch information encircling it’s outer edge. The lugs are steeply angled and drilled. There is no detail on this watch that has been overlooked, in my opinion.
The sandwich dial face uses 11 arrow shaped indices and one four sided index at 6 o’clock. The polished and filled hour, minute blade hands and the arrow head and fan tailed second hand and the indices use superluminova C3 green for excellent night time visibility. In addition, the white on brown 6 o’clock date window gives the face perfect symmetry. Only the brand logo and name are printed on the upper half of the dial and the model name, “Retrospect”, is on the lower half, all in the right size and fonts for this watch. The ⅕ of a second markers have 5 second numerals on the outer edge of the dial, behind each lumed index, which looks great to me. This is the first watch in my experience to have the second hand actually extending out to the outer edge of the second markers. I do not know if this a retro touch, but I really like it combined with the longer than average hour and minute hands. The Industrial Brown finish on the face and bezel of this model Retrospect gives the watch a far more interesting look, in my opinion.
The fully white stitched, quick release, full grain black leather strap tapers from 22 mm to 20 mm and has a perfectly sized, polished and finished 316L buckle with the NODUS name engraved across the buckle. This strap has one fixed and one loose loop. The watch also comes with a NATO strap, watch roll, microfibre cleaning cloth and it has a 24 month warranty. In the not too distant future, NODUS will offer a stainless steel bracelet for this watch, which will really make this watch suitable for diving and other water related activities. In summary, this watch is all hits and no misses in my book and performs perfectly. Unfortunately it is currently out of stock but will be making a return in 2019. NODUS Watches. $399. noduswatches.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.