Of all the watches in the NOMOS collection, the Club probably (and unfortunately) garners some of the least adoration from press and collectors. Because it sits alongside watches like the Metro and the Weltzeit, whose designs and insides are all extraordinarily unique and challenging, the Club is sporty and appears–dare I say it–normal. Less distinct in appearance but still “NOMOS” to the core, it’s a versatile and affordable choice for collectors who want a taste of this award-winning Glashutte manufacture without taking an uncomfortable turn away from conventional watch design.
It’s worth noting that the Club comes in five variations–two with manually wound movements and three with automatics. Within the hand-wound category, you have the Club and the Club Datum. In the automatic winding category, you have the Club Automat, the Club Automat Datum and then the Club Automat Datum in black, which is the only model that comes in an alternative color to the off-white used on so many NOMOS pieces. The Datum models are all a couple of millimeters larger in case diameter than the models without a date. Due to the various configurations, nearly all of them including the optional sapphire exhibition case back for an extra charge, pricing for the Club Models ranges from $1,550 to $3,550. All models come on a shell cordovan strap with a pin buckle.
The photos throughout this write-up are of the Club Datum and the Club Automat Datum.
Thing is, when NOMOS makes a dial, it can feel as if there are acres of negative space. I intend that as a high compliment. What that means is, 38-40mm case sizes give way to modestly sized dials that, even with thick Arabic indexes, feel appropriately proportioned instead of crowded. Anything bigger and the design would be too roomy; anything less and it would be too cluttered.
While this is one of NOMOS’s sportier offerings, it’s hardly out of place outside of the board room. NOMOS refers to the splash of color on the black hands and around the dial as red, but in person it appears more like a red orange. The use of color and the fuller Bauhaus-inspired Arabic numerals are the main casual aspects to the design, which is still refined by any definition.
NOMOS does their dates a certain way, and I like it. The trapezoidal aperture is symmetrically positioned and the date wheel’s background color matches that of the dial exactly.
The Club’s silhouette is more traditional that other watches in NOMOS’s lineup. Instead of wire lugs like on the Metro or the sharp geometric lugs of the Tangente, the Club’s 38.5mm (the Automat is 41.5mm) polished steel case features more regularly shaped lugs that enable the watch to sit comfortably on most wrists. Owing to the engineering inside the case, the watch is only 8.25mm thick (you read that correctly–I did not leave out a “1” before the “8”), which puts the finishing touches on this watch being understated and versatile. The added rotor adds about 1.5mm to the case thickness of the Automat. The sportiness of the case stops at its smooth curvatures as the crowns remain unguarded, making it easy to adjust the time and date.
Turn the Club Datum over and you can see its movement through an optional sapphire crystal exhibition case back. This is NOMOS’s caliber Beta, a special 23-jewel manually wound movement. The added date mechanism isn’t an afterthought–it’s an innovation. Remember when I said the case measured 8.25 thick? That’s because the patented date mechanism is wrapped around the movement itself, adding minimal height to the caliber inside of the original Club. The Automat features caliber Zeta, an automatic winding movement with the same date mechanism and a beautifully striped and skeletonized rotor.
Your typical wristwatch from NOMOS displays an original elegance that is bold in its simplicity and stunning to the eyes even from a distance. While the Club embodies simplicity and good watch design, I look at it more as the gateway drug for new collectors, especially when you consider the range of options available for purchase, which can frankly be overwhelming and be the antithesis of all this elegance we’ve been talking about. Nonetheless, with so many options from movement to size to color to price, there’s probably a Club out there for you.
NOMOS watches are available for purchase online at WatchBuys.com or at authorized brick-and-mortars.