Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better for Nodus after the TrailTrekker I reviewed this year, they go and do this. Recently, Nodus announced the latest iteration of the Contrail—one of their long-standing aviation/travel-focused pieces and a watch that I reviewed on this site a while ago. As an owner of the original Contrail, I was eager to see what they’d come up with for the latest refresh. Nodus went all out, with a new triple time-zone variant featuring the Miyota 9075 “true” flyer GMT movement and a bunch of colors that are sure to drive enthusiasts nuts this year. It’s the new Nodus Contrail GMT and we were able to go hands-on with the textured “Laguna” dial variant.

Off the bat, it seems like the new Nodus Contrail GMT utilizes the same platform we got with the TrailTrekker. This time, however, we get a bi-directional rotating 24-hour bezel with smooth action for some added functionality. Honestly, this may be the best fit, finishing, and functionality I’ve experienced on a Nodus so far. I felt tempted to pull out my wallet with the TrailTrekker and the feeling is even stronger with this new GMT. Also, I’m hoping that Nodus will continue to iterate on this platform to bring us new colors and even new bezel combinations like a GMT with a dive bezel.


Nodus claims that this watch offers “one of the thinnest profiles for a Miyota 9075 watch on the market today.” At 11.8mm, I can see that, and the watch wears nice and close to the wrist. We get a set of twisted lugs along with alternating brushed and polished case finishing. It’s 40.5mm in diameter and 46.6mm lug-to-lug. The bezel insert is sapphire and has smooth bi-directional action with 48 clicks. The finish looks stunning alongside the box sapphire crystal and all of the numerals on the insert are lumed.

Water resistance is 200m, which is helped by a beefy and knurled screw-down crown. Using the crown was a great experience, by the way. I think a big part of that is due to the size and texturing. On the caseback we get a cool aviation-inspired engraving with a jet roaring across the sky blasting out contrails. Together with the bracelet, the entire case and wearing experience felt beefy but not in a bad way. One of my other favorite features is dual color scheme on the bezel insert, featuring black and a very subtle grey that splits between AM and PM on the scale.


Like other versions of the Contrail, Nodus went with a textured dial on this specific model. I wanted to test this one out specifically because it reminded me of an earlier version I tested. Named Laguna, this dial version has a subtle gold/sandy color to it, which matches along with the roulette date wheel as well. It’s a nice touch together with the very minimal dial text. After doing it for so long, I think Nodus is just getting better and better at designing and executing their dials.

The handset is bold and nearly impossible to mix up. Tracking three time zones between the bezel, the internal 24-hour scale, and the primary readout was a breeze. Only thing I would have hoped for was larger numerals on the internal 24-hour scale but maybe that’s just because of my crappy eyes at this point. The lume is also fantastic and Nodus applies the Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 Grade A generously along all the markers and even that charming little GMT hand. I think some folks were unsure of it when we saw the press photos but I just love the GMT hand design. Overall, while this particular dial design looks great for my money I’d go with the all white Polaris version.


The watch is accompanied by a relatively simple H-link style bracelet. Not unlike what we’ve seen on other Nodus watches, I found it to get the job done with no issue. While it does taper from 20mm down to 16mm, part of me hoped that the slope down to that 16mm point was a little more aggressive. But that’s just a minor preference thing and I’m not even sure many other enthusiasts would worry about that. We also get quick-release spring bars, which are always a treat.

The clasp is where the magic happens and this new Contrail goes fancy with some polished edges. The dual push button format was easy to use and the same goes for the proprietary NodeX™ Clasp for quick on-the-fly adjustments. For me, I found that I was able to size the bracelet easily with the screw links and dialing in the fit perfectly with a few notches on the NodeX™ Clasp. It is a little chunky but I found that it didn’t really negatively affect the wearing experience. As time goes on, Nodus will continue to refine this clasp and I’m all on board for it.


Believe it or not, this Contrail and the TrailTrekker mark the first time I’ve ever experienced the Miyota 9075 GMT movement. Maybe it’s because my expectations were so low but I think I’m all in on this movement now. It beats at 28,800vph, has 24 jewels, and pumps out a 42-hour power reserve. Jumping the local hour hand doesn’t feel crude or cheap in any way and at this point I’m beginning to wonder why a brand would choose anything else if they wanted to offer an affordable GMT with a Japanese movement. I also didn’t have a problem with accuracy and it’s my understanding that these movements are still regulated in-house when the watches are assembled in LA. No complaints here. I’m just really curious to see how these new 9075 movements hold out in the long run.

Final Thoughts

I love how this release came with so much variety. The different dial colors and lume patterns on the bezel are all just fun. And on top of that, this new Contrail looks like the fanciest sports watch Nodus has released yet. There’s a lot of sapphire, a lot of shiny polished surfaces, and some other elements that maybe don’t align 100% with my usual tastes. But this new Contrail has been the hardest watch for me to resist this year so far. Like I mentioned before, it’s a great platform and I only hope that Nodus continues to build upon it in the future. I’m sure we’ll see something wild come out as a special edition or limited run from the Design Lab. To learn more about the new Contrail, visit the official Nodus website.


4 thoughts on “Nodus Contrail GMT Laguna Hands-On”

  1. The first information I look for when a watch is presented is price. After that, I can start making my judgment about the value for the given price. It would be nice if you could include that in your future reviews. Thank you.

    • Hi, Günther

      Totally understand and absolutely agree – that’s actually something that the team here has been having internal discussions about in regard to how we format reviews. For me personally, I always try and figure out how much a watch costs before I even think about considering it further – so it makes sense for us to present that info first and foremost in our pieces.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts!


  2. Hi Miachael,

    I have been a long time podcast listener. You guys, always makes me laugh.
    Thanks for you review on the Contrail. I also wanted one but I was undecided between the CW The Twelve and this Contrail GMT watch. Both for me are on my list for this year, however which one to buy first is the question.
    In your final thoughts paragraph, “Contrail looks like the fanciest spots watch Nodus has released yet”. The word is suppost to be “sports” rather than “spots”.
    I think “sports” makes more sense.
    Thank you.


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