Last year we covered the release of the Nodus Duality, a sleek, sexy sports watch with all of the typical design cues we’ve been enjoying from the LA-based brand. Based on the concept of duality, the watch was made available with two bezel options, two dial colors, and two prominent crowns that riff off the old-school super compressor design. Not long after the release, I got the chance to spend some time with the ‘chasm black’ dial variant with an internal rotating dive bezel.
As the proud owner of a Nodus Contrail, I can tell you that Nodus took things to a whole new level with this watch and I actually think it offers the greatest value and feature set for individuals seeking their very first Nodus. Interestingly, this might be the one watch that leads me to break some of my own watch purchasing rules that I’ve set for myself in 2020. Let’s get into it.
Folks will notice the dual screw-down crowns above all else. They’ve got a nice, grippy pattern, protrude significantly from the side of the case, and offer an excellent degree of positive control over the movement and internal bezel mechanism. The cherry on top; luminous signatures on each crown that display the Nodus logo, and the Duality logo. It’s a cool design move like this that helps me keep my faith in Nodus at a time when watch brands are popping up left and right across the Kickstarter and micro-brand world.
Here are some of the neckbeard-y specs… The case is 40mm in diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, 13mm thick, and has a lug width of 20mm. The 316L surgical-grade stainless steel case provides 300m of water resistance and we get a nice double-dome box sapphire crystal with blue anti-reflective coating on the underside. Finishing is also about as top-notch as it gets for $700, with detailed polishing and bevelling along the crisp corners of the watch. Overall, it’s a chunky-feeling case that provides its wearer with a premium experience far above what this price point might dictate.
This is where things get fun – if you look closely. On the dial side, we see the duality concept driven further, with two dial layers arranged in a “sandwich” configuration. But, Nodus went a step further. At first glance, it may look like the markers are simply applied. But no – we get all the depth of a sandwich dial with the premium look of applied indices. That’s because Nodus managed to frame each hour “aperture” (in addition to the date window at 6 o’clock) with a thin metallic layer. All situated on top of a deep, inky black dial – this combo makes for a seriously dynamic dial that just pops.
The handset is also incredibly legible and easy to follow. You get a broadsword minute and hour hand with a sort of paddle seconds hand – all with a serious application of lume. Finally, we come to the internal rotating bezel. Now, while it does its job, I just find internal dive bezels to be a little finicky – especially if I’m using it to time stuff several times a day. You kind of have to remove the watch from your wrist to use it, it often moves a hair when screwing the crown back in, and I just found it to be my least favorite part about the watch. That’s not to say it’s totally a bummer. I’d personally opt for the 12-hour bezel configuration, set it to a different time-zone, and forget it.
Inside the Nodus Duality is the Japanese Miyota 9015 automatic movement. It’s been regulated in four positions by Nodus in LA and operates at +/- 8 seconds/day. We love this movement here at TBWS, and the extra work Nodus puts into regulating these stateside is always appreciated. No complaints here – this sample operated beautifully.
With a 20mm-18mm taper, the Nodus Duality’s bracelet was also a pleasure to wear. I’m not sure, but it almost feels like there’s a little bit more of a drastic taper when compared to my personal Nodus Contrail. The sides are fully chamfered as well – giving it more of a premium look overall. I had no issues with the clasp, there are plenty of micro-adjustments, and the entire structure fits well with the watch. I bet the Duality can handle a ton of straps, but this is just one of those watches I’d leave on the bracelet. It’s just such a complete package.
There are some incredibly lazy brands competing in this space, and I can tell you – you’ll never get that kind of attitude from Wes and Cullen over at Nodus. Looking at the Duality, it feels like they really maxed out everything they could. So far, this is the most premium Nodus I’ve ever handled and I can’t wait to see them top themselves again in the future. Currently, these are all out of stock. But you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next run set for April 2020.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.