Nodus Trieste Review:
Just Another Watch or More Than The Sum of Its Parts?
By: Kaz Mirza
Seeing all these watches come and go – all these brands try and grab our attention – it’s really rare when something actually catches my eye. It’s also ever rarer when something stops me dead in my tracks. I was scrolling through the Two Broke Watch Snobs Instagram Feed one evening, fueling the soulless digital dopamine drip that only Social Media can provide, when I spied the Nodus Trieste. I remember hearing about Nodus Watches in passing but I never had the opportunity to actually really get a good look at any of their offerings. First impressions on Instagram was really good. Classic looks, fresh detailing aesthetics, and a unique feel all its own – the trifecta!
A little while after that Mike and I learned that the Nodus Watches brand owners and operators (Wes and Cullen) actually listened to the Two Broke Watch Snobs podcast. Then a little while after reaching out to the brand, they were kind enough to provide a Nodus Trieste for us to review and then giveaway for reaching our 5,000 Follower Instagram Milestone. But as is the case, what’s the reality of seeing a watch online and then actually having it in your hands? All too often I’ve been a victim of falling in love with something when I see it online only to have my love thrown back in my face as soon as I see the watch in person. I’m tired of being hurt, Watchfam! So with a jaded eye but an ever-optimistic heart I want to breakdown my impressions of this piece with this Nodus Trieste review.
There are usually two facets to how I evaluate a case on a watch: design and build quality. More often than not with some of these microbrands there’s a disparity in that one of those criteria will show stronger than the other – great design, weird quality – weird design, great quality. When I first took the Nodus Trieste out of its box and began to give it the old ocular pat-down, it had been about 10 minutes before I realized that I hadn’t tried to evaluate the Nodus Trieste in relation to my design/quality parameters. All I had been doing for 10 minutes was looking at the entire watch holistically. I wasn’t trying to break down the dial in relation to the hands or how the crystal worked against the bezel – I wasn’t doing any of that. I was just looking at the entire watch.
I credit this effect to the case. Good product design isn’t noticeable – if something is done well than you shouldn’t notice its disparate parts. I’ve never met anyone that said “Hmm – you know, I like the new Porche 911’s unique take on the iconic engine hood, but I think the integration of the rear fender is lame.” Good design renders a holistic experience that’s more than just the sum of its parts (or in this case, the sum of its lines and curves).
But to offer a more grounded opinion, what works really well with the Nodus Trieste is that it’s a unique case shape but still very familiar. Looking at it head-on gives the impression that the lugs are made up of straight lines. However as your eye begins to moves towards the side of the case the lines have a very gentle curve to them. While we’re looking at the side, you’ll note that the main center-structure of the case has a substantial belly to it, but as you move towards the lugs some of the visual weight slides away. This results in the case appropriately balancing a substantial look and feel without appearing bulky.
The sides of the case feature brushed detailing and the tops of the lugs feature the same. But in the corner where the two meet the Nodus Trieste features a subtle smooth polished bevel that adds a refreshing note of finesse. The bezel features 120-click action and a sapphire insert. The coin edge of the bezel in conjunction with the width allow for you to get a really good grip on there. Plus the action is smooth and once the bezel-click properly sets in, it’s firm – no play that I could detect. The crown features the same coin edge detail, creating nice visual continuity. The top of the crown also features a really fine bevel detail, which I thought was awesome to see since it added a bit of comfort when gripping the crown in addition to making the piece feel more refined than other ones I’ve handled.
The strongest feature is that the overall curvature of the case is designed to act as a frame or display podium for the dial. Putting the dial forward-facing like this supports legibility and makes sure your eyes go where they’re supposed to go.
The caseback is a screwdown type with a polished beveled edge and the quality of the detailing here is strong. For practicality the Nodus Trieste features a 200M WR rating in addition to drilled through lugs, making strap changes super easy to do. The Nodus Trieste’s case dimensions are 41mm in diameter, 50mm lug to lug, and 13mm thick. The piece is also equipped with an AR-coated double dome sapphire crystal.
As soon as you think you have the dial figured out, the design choices and interior elements will sneak up on you. The Nodus Trieste features applied markers – a mix of circles and what I originally thought were bars for the compass rose positions (12, 3, 6, and 9). However, it would be more accurate to call them elongated isosceles trapezoids (you’re damn right I Googled that shit). Choosing this non-regular marker shape for a watch would have been interesting in and of itself. However, what I’ve learned with the Nodus Trieste is that no design choice exists in a vacuum. The isosceles trapezoid shape of the markers works in tandem with the hands to create really fun visual interest as the hands move around the dial.
The hour and minute hands are also elongated isosceles trapezoids (or as IG user @arrigoj referred to them: lighthouse hands). The seconds hand is definitely among the same family, but it’s a bit less exaggerated. As the hour hands move around the dial it lines up with the isosceles trapezoid markers to create a two-tiered/stacked geometric structure. Where as while the minute and second hands move they line up with the markers to complete one single geometric shape.
The markers and hands feature a high polishing detail, which catches the light really well while the non-beveled chapter ring features contrasting brushed detail. The bezel, markers, and hands feature BGW-9 lume, which has that characteristic blue luminescence. The dial text in the 6 o’clock position reads “TRIESTE – 200M/650FT” with the model name is an interesting yellowish-orange color. This text feels a bit undersized, but the choice of keeping it smaller makes practical sense because it’s not a vital dial element in my opinion – so legibility isn’t a huge concern.
The top of the classic oyster-style links are brushed while the sides are polished. It’s also got screw links – ha! Sizing the bracelet was easy as hell. The end links are solid and are contoured really well to complete the slope of the case shape and its lugs. Overall it helps the bracelet and the timepiece feel like one cohesive unit. The clasp features a traditional flip lock feature along with the Nodus Watches logo. What was a huge surprise for me was the quality of the clasp mechanism. Usually this area here is just a flat piece of stamped metal – it’s one of the areas where brands often try and skim on quality to save cash. But on the Nodus Trieste it appears to be milled and brushed really well, which really supports the overall feeling of cohesion between the watch’s different elements.
The bracelet is 20mm at the lugs and features a slight taper down to 18mm at the clasp. The angle of the taper feels really natural and organic and helps the watch balance the line between tool-diver and desk-diver. The clasp also features micro-adjustments if you’re like me and feel the needs to constantly tinker with bracelet sizes cause your neurotic… also helps to have the micro-adjustments since here in swamp-ass Florida my wrist size can fluctuate with humidity.
In terms of overall feel, the bracelet is of really good quality. It’s rare to find a microbrand pull off a bracelet so well, so seeing the solid execution here in Nodus Trieste is refreshing.
Powering the Nodus Trieste is the ever-reliable but seldom seen NH35 (a non-branded version of the 4R35 that Seiko offers for other brands to use). The NH35 hand winds, hacks, and features approx. 40 hours of power reserve. The guys at Nodus Watches regulate these movements as well and do so in 4 different positions in order to ensure consistent accuracy (-10/+10 seconds per day). The Nodus Trieste was actually originally offered with both the STP1-11 Swiss Movement and this NH35. However, all the NH35 models have sold out (pssst – Nodus Trieste Giveaway details below).
My experience with this Trieste featuring the NH35 has been good. I love how smooth the movement winds. Although technically I don’t have to hand wind it because it has an automatic rotor. Also with 21,600 VPH the second hand has a moderatly consistent sweep, which is about what you’d expect with a movement like this. Overall the NH35 has a history of reliability and robustness that watch collecting folks have been enjoying for some time now. Truthfully I wish the NH35 was featured in more pieces – the value and quality it offers generally translates to a more affordable price point for end-users/consumers, which is certainly the case here with the Nodus Trieste.
The truth here is that the Nodus Trieste isn’t really a microbrand diver for everyone. I say that because the current state of microbrands has a large segment of folks who come to expect “new” iterations on basically the same handful of options in an attempt at creating something unique. But that’s not what’s happening here with the Nodus Trieste.
It’s the difference between a restaurant with incredible ambiance but predictable food and that hole-in-the-wall sushi joint that smelled like tile grout and Windex where you enjoyed the best $5 Spicy Tuna Roll you’ve ever had in your life (#neverforgetdatroll). I don’t necessarily mean to shed light on this dichotomy to disparage one segment in relation to the other. The reality of the modern microbrand is that the market should be structured to offer consumers the choice of what they want to add in their collection. What I want to point out is that the reality is modern microbrand offers are skewed in the direction of watches looking different, but more or less being the same once you get past the surface.
I can think of maybe 3 microbrands that utilize the manufacturing means available to them to create a unique piece that’s truly representative of their design perspective and expression. Based off what I’ve seen while writing this Nodus Trieste review I would count Nodus Watches among one of these brands. The Nodus Trieste is but one iteration in a design perspective that’s representative of the brand’s overall expression (to see what I mean, just check out their latest offering, The Nodus Retrospect). As such, there are no gimmicks with the Nodus Trieste – what you’re getting is an affordable microbrand diver with high build quality, attention to detail, and a very unique look.
The Nodus Trieste is currently only available with the STP1-11 movement and starts at approx. $500 USD with a rubber strap or $550 USD with the bracelet.
5,000 Follower Giveaway Contest!
As I mentioned earlier Nodus Watches submitted the Trieste for review with the ultimate purpose of providing it as a prize for our 5,000 Follower Giveaway – so here we are! To enter for a chance to win this Nodus Trieste all you have to do is leave a comment below in regards to your thoughts on the piece, this review, or Nodus Watches in general. Please refrain from single world comments. All comments that come in will be subject to manual approval by me personally. As such, if you leave a comment and don’t see if populate here on the page after 24 hours please feel free to reach out at [email protected] or throw us a DM on Instagram. Thank you again to each and every one of you who’ve been a part of our growth – and a huge thank you to the guys at Nodus Watches.
PLEASE NOTE: the TBWS 5k Follower Giveaway is now CLOSED – thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winner – be sure to follow and subscribe for future giveaways!
Kaz has been collecting watches since 2015, but he’s been fascinated by product design, the Collector’s psychology, and brand marketing his whole life. While sharing the same strong fondness for all things horologically-affordable as Mike (his TBWS partner in crime), Kaz’s collection niche is also focused on vintage Soviet watches as well as watches that feature a unique, but well-designed quirk or visual hook.
164 thoughts on “Nodus Trieste Review: Just Another Watch or More Than The Sum of Its Parts?”
Great review. I’m hoping to get some first hand experience with what Nodus is doing very soon with the Retrospect I will arriving in the next couple weeks. One thing I really appreciate about Nodus is their transparency. They are always up front and forward about what is going on with the brand and the watches as they are being assembled. Very cool to see. Thanks guys!
Ah, that’s so cool you got the Retrospect coming in soon – totally let us know your thoughts on the piece!
And totally – transparency from Nodus Watches in regards to the industry as a whole and their specific business practices is something that I’ve seriously come to respect from them. That’s why what they’re doing is truly noteworthy in my opinion.
I absolutely will! I’ll make sure to tag you guys on IG
That’s a really great looking watch, especially for the price
Oh hell yea
Overall from the pics, I like the watch. And I’ve read some good things about it. There’s just something about the dial that bugs me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t think it’s the indices, I think it’s the shade of the black. Like I almost feel that it’s too stark.
There an effect on the Nodus Trieste dial that’s kinda created by the hands. The hands are thinly tapered towards the center pinion and wider towards the indices – usually it’s reversed. My theory is that this may make the dial look “off” because you’re seeing more of the dial than you normally would and in an areas you’re not used to seeing it in. Also I noted in the review that the text at 6 o’clock was a bit undersized, which may make the dial feel a bit stark as well.
I did see that in the review. And you talked about the shape of the hands playing off the indices, which I really love and find intriguing.
It’s refreshing to see a no date diver. Brands are obsessed with including a date and I don’t get it! Excited to see Nodus went with the STP movement. Really enjoyed accuracy in my other watch.
Great job and fun review!
Ah thanks! Yea What’s cool is that the Nodus Trieste comes with the option of having a date window or not. So for folks like us who are kinda tired of date windows everywhere having the choice is nice lol.
I’ll say that a lot of other divers offer them because the movements available to a lot of microbrands already have the date wheel in there. So from a business decision most brands are probably thinking “more stuff on the dial – better watch!” – that’s just my cynical opinion though lol.
I also think date windows sell to the general public, non “watch guy”. I assume that is why they are included in so many watches. It’s nice to see micro brands (and some established brands) make watches for the watchfam!
I just need a couple watches in my collection that don’t have a date window, over and above the vintage pieces that don’t have quickset date and never get set!
I really love this watch. One of a few affordable AFFORDABLE watches that has come out recently, that really made me want to cop.
And I’m totally with you: it’s super refreshing to see something different while still being classic and modest.
Thanks for the review.
Yea, man when I first saw the Nodus Trieste price I was immediately intrigued because my brain has become conditioned to all microbrand divers costing like $900 lol
Ohhh griiiilll! It’s here!
I have been looking at nodus for a while and love their design. My favorite would be this blue bezel and the silver bezel version. The dial is clean and hands look bery unique.
As much as I would love to purchase ASAP, the wife and I are looking to move so I’ll have to hold off a while. Till then, I appreciate your detailed review so I know what I am to expect from the watch itself.
Ha – yup – finally here!
Super happy you enjoyed the review and thank you for taking the time to enter the giveaway!
Reading some of the other comments it’s nice to hear there is a date option. I personally like having the date option, so nice to know it’s offered! I thought it was a good review and gave me a better insight to this brand and these two guys offering this great new diver! Also good to hear about the adjust options on the band, I don’t like a band being too tight! Thanks for the insight guys!
Totally, man – glad to know I’m not alone with getting gitty for bracelet micro-adjustments lol
Fantastic review of a beautiful work of art! Thanks for the hand nickname shoutout, my man. Loved the sushi restaurant comparison too hahaha!
Totally, dude – best description of those hands I’ve seen. Also I’ll never forget that sushi joint… place closed down and the bulldozed the building to the ground – metaphor for life lol
Hahah! Total metaphor. Dayum…
Great review as always!
Like the watch, LOVE the case design. Understated, timeless, classic. Coin edge bezel and sapphire with AR coating are great crowd-pleasing additions.
Still not convinced on the handset. I’m sure I’d understand it more in person, but it just doesn’t resonate with me. Although, I understand making a design that is unique in a saturated market.
Very cool piece. Wish I saw more of them. Will keep tabs on Nodus in the future for sure!
I like that this watch draws from and nods to classic dive watch stylings without going far (if at all) into homage territory. You may pick up vibes from vintage subs or other classics if that’s the itch you’re trying to scratch, but it definitely has its own modern thing going on too.
Also I like the writing style in these reviews. The reviews stay down to earth and fun, which should be the point of this ridiculous hobby. Plus after listening to the podcast I can pretty much hear Kaz’s voice reading them.
That blue sapphire bezel with the black dial — perfection.
Wow! Great review Kaz!
Honestly, I had just seen Nodus in passing on IG. But then the #retrospectrelay came about and I loved their idea of passing one watch around to different IG users. Been following it for a while now and the Retrospect has really been intriguing.
But your review of this watch has got me REALLY interested in the Trieste. It shed some light on some of the aspects I had initially found off-putting (dial color vs. bezel color, the hands, etc.). The way everything works together makes it a timepiece and brand I would like to look into more and seek out. #datbracelet – 20mm tapered to 18mm…PERFECT!
Great, in-depth and thoughtful review as always Kaz. I really like what the Nodus brand are doing and have had several chats with with Wes via DM. Very approachable and happy to answer questions. I’m yet to get my hands on one but would love the chance to experience one of their pieces. PS Sushi comparison was frickin hilarious!
Really sharp looking watch. I’m happy to hear it’s a good bracelet. Too many brands don’t put enough $ into the bracelets
Congrats on the 5k dudes.
Like a lot of micros, this Nodus nails the specs (41mm, NH35, 20mm – 18mm) but it’s one of the few that I actually like the look of. That polished bevel on the lugs is brilliant – my ChronOris has a similar transition from bezel to sides and it works so well. I like the stark dial too.
My only hesitation is the 50mm L2L which is right on my limit. With the case curve it looks like it might be ok though.
I’ve been about to pull the trigger on an SKX009, but maybe I’ll give this a look instead.
You hit the nail on the head about what I find so appealing for this watch. The hand/indicies symmetry is super compelling. I’ve got a retrospect incoming, but wish I had one of these babies too!
Excellent review as always. Some of the comments have talked about the date / no date. The only thing I’d mention about that, is my understanding is that even if you pick the no date option, it will still have the crown position for it (a.k.a. “Ghost date”) which I’m not super fond of. However, I like it too much for something like that to keep me from getting one someday haa haa. I’ve personally had my eye on the Trieste PVD version. Mostly cause it already comes with some extra straps. Would love to win this one though!!! Oh and congrats on the 5k followers 🙂
Great review Kaz! Very balanced viewpoints. I am a fan of this Nodus model – might just be the least expensive watch with a sapphire bezel insert, and I love the unique hands!
Thanks for this great review. I really like this Trieste which is a perfect all-round-chic-classical diver but without being an hommage to anything. What is even more enjoyable is the effort Nodus put into QC and movement regulation which seems quite unique in the microbrands world at this price point. And their blog is always a pleasure to read.
Always great to see a no date diver! Nodus looks like a no bullshit, straightforward and reliable brand which is refreshing to see. Also, I love how they made the dial pop even with such simple design. It’s a simple dial, surrounded by a simple bezel and for some reason it makes that dial just jump out. Beautiful piece. Also, can’t go wrong with a 4R35!
I’m not too sure about the hands to be honest but the rest looks really good!
Great size, nice vintage skin diver looks, the combination of colors looks very good.
Thanks for the review and the giveaway guys!
Absolutely love that this one is coming in with a double-domed sapphire and AR. The difference in legibility for a watch with AR vs without is night and day to me. Hopefully I’ll get a little hands on with this bad boy to appreciate it in person.
Very cool watch. I’d love to see it in person as well. I find the widening hands with a syringe tip to be very interesting and think the blue bezel with a black dial is an interesting choice.
Glad to hear the bracelet is of good quality! The hands rubbed me the wrong way the first time I looked at this watch, but they’ve grown in me. Would like to see how they play well with the 3-6-9-12-markers, as you say.
Got the Retrospect in the mail now, and can’t wait to get that on my wrist! Have already ordered a canvas strap to put on it as well 🙂 Wes was very accommodating with changing the shipping at no added cost also.
Wish all the best for Nodus, as they seem to be very genuine about building a strong brand with great products. And that’s something I don’t mind spending money on.
Looks great! I’ve been on a microbrand hunt for a mid size diver, and this is ticking a lot of boxes! It seems like everyone is jumping on the 44mm+ train, so it’s been harder to find something that my wrist can handle that is still high quality. This has made the short list. I’d love to win. Keep up with the great reviews!
Congrats on the 5k followers! I’m excited to check out Nodus’s Retrospect—should be here soon.
Quality review! I already own a version of this watch and I think the review really gave a good “feel” for the watch.
Nodus is a great Microbrand, regarding quality controll, customer service, case finishing, design&price and I am really looking forward to the soon to follow releases.
You don’t mention the Bathyscaphe homage angle. I think that part of the appeal of this watch is the way that it takes the classic design from Blancpain and makes it distinctive through the playful umbrella hands.
Well, here i come with my (not perfect, swiss-) english.
What i like is that the watch‘s a toolwatch. I‘m an almost everyday strapchanger. I like the case materials and the signed crown.
The colors (dial/hands and case) are matching great with eachother.
Last but not least the movement. Hacking second!! Hell yeah.
Love to set my watches with the atomic click time.
Forgot to say that they produce a lot of watch for this price! Great work and great quality
Love Nodus! I owned the PVD version of the Trieste and sold it now because of the watch – all you say about dial and case finishing is spot-on – but because I decided black PVD isn’t for me. I’m actually considering buying a Trieste as a gift but would love to win one.
Bill and Ted would say excellent in union, and maybe throw in a “bodacious” for good measure. Me? I call it revolutionary, in the sense that here we have a two guys who just want to make a d*mn fine watch, where the details stand as lighthouses (hehe) marking their identity (I mean man, the Nodus team’s careful creation of the hands of both the Trieste and the Retrospect is awe-inspiring). Which is to say it’s revolutionary because it doesn’t try to be: It’s just an excellent watch.
Great review of an excellent watch. Never had the chance of seing one in the flesh, but would really love to. Nodus seems like such a great microbrand that goes their own way. Kinda reminds me of Halios back in the day.
Also Thank you for the podcast, it’s what getting me through some days at work.
Very nice review! This kind of a watch reminds me of a Halios Seaforth if they decreased the price and included a bracelet. I agree that a lot of micro brands out there are either a complete homage of a watch at a good value (Tisell), are looking for inspiration from the past without being a complete homage (Nodus/NTH), or are too unique and weird for their own good sometimes. I feel like micro brands need to be boring enough in their design to be successful to a wider audience, but to also introduce a few new ideas in conjunction with a standard dial design and I think this Nodus demonstrates that perfectly.
I love the sharp it feels like a modern skin diver to me
Nice piece from great company!
Well i do own seiko skx009 with 7s26 but never had experience of 4r36 or nh35 movements. Thats gonna be a hella an experience. In my opinion, this nodus trieste have it own style, as we know like tisell,ginault,steinhart and i guess many more that do homages version of the Rolex. But Nodus, they are on their own ways. I never seen light house hands before this. Its so unique. Nodus really have their own characteristics on their watches. Also the lume on the bezel one of the bonus point for me since im a lume guy hahaha. Others than that is the regulation of the movement. 4 ways of regulation. That is one of the way you want to make your customers trust in your brands. I guess nodus really have my trust with all these regulation, cranftmentship and QC.
Cheers to the winner!!
I love the modern spin on a classic dive watch. Hands, inducue and slim bezel all are integrated very well in this order. Looks amazing on the bracelet and nice job with the taper!
Great write up and review. I was looking at these not too long ago when my dad mentioned that he was wanting a diver. I was hoping to sway him from the Citizens he likes (partly so I could see something different in the metal). The hands and indices stand out to me most of all. Would love to get my hands on one in the future!
What I like about Nodus is that they really seem to strive to deliver good quality watches. I don’t know how many watch companies at this price point inspect the movements so thoroughly as to deliver your watch with +/- 10 seconds accuracy. The NH35 comes with -20/+40 seconds accuracy (please correct me if I’m wrong) so they could just deliver your watch as it is and when you notice your new watch gains 40 seconds a they they could say “well, it’s in the specs”. So really appreciate that about them.
That looks like a really decent watch. The hands do take a while to get used to, but the longer you look at the dial, the more interesting they get. I dig it.
Good review. Very interesting watch – those lighthouse hands are growing on me, they look really interesting.
I like that it looks like a modern interpretation of a classic dive watch! It also helps that the brand name itself is a pretty cool word. What I like the most is the unique handset; I have not seen that handset on any watch before.
Great writeup! awesome watch with neat features: cool crown, looks like a great size… and yeah, I can see “lighthouse hands”
Great to see someone not afraid of negative space on the dial. Looking at you Christopher Ward! Thanks for the review. Oh, I don’t have instagram, maybe because I’m old, but I do enjoy your podcasts! So I’m not sure I qualify for the watch giveaway…just full disclosure.
This watch checks a lot of boxes for me: 41mm diameter, 20mm bracelet, and drilled lugs. I also really like the all-blue bezel with black dial—a combo I don’t feel like I see that often. Great looking piece!
Nodus is a brand that I hadn’t heard of before this review but after seeing it here, this is a watch i could see myself wearing.
It’s about “time” for this guy to step past my Casio MRW-200H and get a real timepiece.
Interesting watch. It looks to be catered to the watch person. Unique hands, drilled lugs, coin edge bezel, etc. A lot of things only watch guys would notice.
After participating in the relay for the Retrospect, you can view pictures via my IG feed @timewithpop, I am still at a loss for how Nodus is able to deliver such quality and unique design for the cost.
These watches carry so much value in them. Having them assembled and QC in LA even adds the the personal touch of the brand.
I love the tapering bracelet option on this watch and the no date option is very cool as well. The winner of the GAW is going to receive one heck a watch assembled but one of the coolest brands I have ever come across.
Cannot wait to see what they cook up next!
“Less is more” is attributed to Ludwig Miess Van de Rohe. I appreciate minimalism that applies to this time piece to a pleasing extent. The hands are not so minimal, however their unusual shape aid easy reading and works well enough aesthetically for my palette.
The coin edge adds to the robust but fine look. Is robust! Is good!
I really like the blue bezel with black dial a combo. Great looking piece!
Replying to myself is one way to have an intelligent conversation… seriously; I’ve come back and reread my
comment. I feel it is too… for want of a better word,”general”.
So I’m compelled to add what the specific components are of this unit that really grab me.
1. The shape of the case. Simplicity can be great, but only when the proportions are right.
And the proportions here are superlative.
2. All of (1.) applies to the bracelet. The way the bracelet integrates with the case is good too.
3. The design of the bezel rocks my boat in the best way. It works so well with the rest of the watch.
Black would be ok. Imho looking deadly is a positive in a mans watch, however the blue offsets the black
face and says I can be friendly too,which is nice.
4. How the “brushed finish” has been executed. The look of an exquisite tool.
Robust but refined. What a sensational combination.
Really interesting review that put words to a feeling that I often get when looking at watches–something about the whole thing just works. The team at Nodus obviously have a knack for design, and it shows here. Love what y’all are doing with the podcast, it gets me through my drive to work every Monday morning. Keep up the good work!
I totally get the lighthouse hands comment now. Great looking watch, and great write up.
Enjoyed the review, Kaz.
It has a lot of nice features for a watch that hits at this price point, and I’m super curious about the finishing. The watch as a whole is a real thoughtful design, and I’m glad you poured over the math/geometry to look into it for us math plebs!
More watches should embrace the no date dial, I personally love it. Has anyone ever read that article that writes about what defines a good watch? One of the features it says a good watch ‘must’ have, is the date…You can bet I closed that article pretty quickly! That being said, I assume the no date version will have the phantom click on the crown for the quick-set date? Also enjoyed the photography on this piece.
Thanks for all the hard work you guys put in for all of watchfam!
I think this is a really REALLY well thought out and executed watch. With so many microbrands out there trying too hard to stand out and make their mark with gimmicky designs Nodus knocked it outta the park with an understated sophistication. Well done Nodus and well done Kaz on the review!
Great review. I’ve seen a bunch of wrist shots on the forums of the different iterations of this watch. Love that it’s got a little bit of tool watch vibe, but looks like it would be great dressed up a little too. Live the show, keep up the good work!
That specific shade of blue on the bezel combined with the well sized crown makes me like this watch more and more as I keep looking at it.
Also, y’all are badass. Keep on keeping on with your great content.
I’m all about the isosceles trapezoids.
The specific shade of blue on the bezel combined with the well proportioned crown makes me like this watch more and more as I keep looking at it.
Y’all are badass. Keep on keeping on.
I like the choice of the NH35, as I love my Seiko with the 4R. I presume more micro-brands don’t use it because then they cant flaunt the ‘Swiss movement’ to people? Just a thought. Great take on the Nodus Kaz.
It’s refreshing to see a micro brand make a watch which is not only original in design but still affordable. The added regulation of the movement is a great bonus. I have a few friends that own the Trieste. They all praise the build quality and finish. This same attention to detail can be found in the Retrospect from what I’ve seen and heard. I have also hear good thing about the transparency and how the guys at Nodus are very approachable. Yet another perk of buying from a micro brand.
Great review as always Kaz. I dig the angles on the pictures showing the side of the case. Gives an idea on how the watch will fix on wrist. Oh and check out the PVD revision of the Trieste. It looks pretty fucking cool on the tropic rubber. https://www.noduswatches.com/trieste-pvd/black-bezel-tropic-rubber-strap
What a great looking watch for the price. This is a watch that might tempt me to refocus my dreams of a high end diver (well it might keep me satisfied for a bit). Amazing photography and great review. Thanks Kas
Honestly, I think their design language is spot-on. I’ve liked all of their designs so far, and the blue bezel/black dial is by far my favorite variant (and one that not enough other brands do.) For me the iffy thing is the size for a diver– 40-41mm is not my sweet spot for a diver and I have to hope that like Raven they’ll start offering options in Small, Medium and Large. The longer lugs help a lot here, though. I know that’s a tough sell to people who really need small watches, but if you’re gonna shrink the case, the lugs have to carry more visual weight.
I’m just sad that I’m too late to make a “Gnarly” joke. 🙁
Gnarly… wait I screwed that up. In all seriousness I wasn’t sure about the lighthouse hands, but the review makes sure you take a second look. The details coming together that you miss the first time looking at it makes me totally understand why you wouldn’t give it up.
Very interesting review, the Nodus just feels so well put together, any chance of a lume shot because I have a feeling that hands would look absolutely amazing with its lume on!
The entire piece in totality just looks so well made as a whole.
The brushed looks perfect and I really like the lug and case lines.
I think Nodus really hit it out of the park for this model – detailed and sharp edges, very balanced overall look. There’s also something very bathyscaphe about the Trieste.. Easily a strong offering coming out from their diver lineup alongside the Retrospect. A real contender in that price bracket as well.
Cheers guys, way to go for 5k!
I’m really starting to be attracted to Watches that tell just time. I use the date window quite a bit on my main watch, but my other automatic ones, it’s nice to be able to pull out set the time and roll on into life. The face of the Trieste really screams a quiet scream. So simple, elegant, and not trying to be the hot chick in the room, but is the hot chick. And the size seems perfect from the listed specs, nice thickness and perfect diameter. Very cool piece. Thanks Kaz for keeping us informed of these horology pieces.
gnarly. just kidding! Great review. I’ve been following Nodus AND Cullen on IG for months now. As others above note, you didn’t get a lume shot in. The lumed bezel doesn’t look to be the brightest (based on pictures, I’d guess Helson does it pretty well) but then I haven’t handled one in the metal.
One of the things I like about microbrands are all the small details. I can’t tell if the regular Triestes(Triesti? what is the plural?) but the LE has circular brushing around the dial. Amazing.
They verdict is still out on the “lighthouse” hands. Props for not using merc hands. It would have been cool to have a sweeping lighthouse hand on the seconds hand over a ringed dial, like a WWII sonar display. Imagine that lumed!!!!
I really like the crown and lug designs. I’m a sucker for the blue bezel / black dial combo.
Great review Kaz!
I really love the looks of the Trieste. So simple and classic. I think my favorite things about This piece is the bezel, hands and colors.
Superb watch that I wouldn’t mind owning!
I bet it can handle the cold climate here in Norway!
tomsortolini @ Instagram
The more I look at this watch, the more I like it. As a whole, the watch just works. It’s simplistic and functional. It pays homage, without actually copying. Very well nice watch, especially for a micro brand.
The review was like the watch, well done. I really enjoyed all the pictures — the different angles help gauge how the watch actualy looks.
Great job on 5,000 followers!
Love the podcast.
Thanks for the review Kas!
It looks really good and a great price too. The case design and the nice big crown is what I like most about it. But it takes courage to jump on a microbrand watch?
Very nice review, and the watch is certainly a very solid piece. I’m a big fan of the indices and how they did the contrasting circular/isosceles trapezoids with the lume on top of the raised surface. I love that they are including a sapphire insert.
My one concern with this, and pretty much all micro-brand divers, is that they are all starting to look similar to each other. I suppose this is indicative of a good design that is well received, and it makes sense to make “your” version of that design. I’d personally like to see brands take more chances, and really push the envelope a bit with what we’ve come to expect from divers.
There is something to be said for adding one or two quirky design details to a watch that add to its character and make it stand out. The interestingly shaped markers are mentioned in the review. I think the elongated twelve o’clock marker is another such detail. Using yellow for the model name also stands out, as that color is the complimentary color of the blue used for the bezel. I think they overdid it a bit with the hands – the seconds hand has a few nice touches to it but the ‘lightbeam’ hour and minute hands will take some getting used to. I’ll let you know what I think of them after wearing the watch for a few weeks. 🙂
Overall it is a very clean and great looking design. I am curious what else these guys will come up with.
Honestly, when I first heard about this company, I thought “another micro brand diver” – then I checked it out after the last episode. It’s a hell of a watch for the money. I love the that the bracelet wasn’t an afterthought and quality attention to detail. Great review Kaz and great job to both of you on the 5k milestone.
The podcast is one of the best and how I start my week on Monday morning. I think this watch needs a video review.
I’ve been kicking the tires on this one for a while and keep coming back to it. Blue / black combo is fantastic. The LE Polar White version is badass too. As a very recent (as in binged 10 episodes in the last week) listener of the podcast, keep up the great work!
Wes and Cullen offer the final intangible bonus to owning a Nodus watch: incredible customer service from two bright young individuals who have more than enough horological passion and technical know-how to match their unparalleled levels of customer satisfaction. Buying a Nodus brings with it an invitation to a caring family of fellow watch enthusiasts. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about these folks and their brand.
This is how you do a bezel with a proper edge! Unlike the BlackBay, which is too thin for grip!
The minimalist dial feels calming even meditative…
Lovey watch, and at 41mm a diver that can fit my wrist!! Really loving this hand style Nodus choose with this one as well as that awesome bezel. I’ll be honest, before seeing an Instagram pic, I’d never heard of Nodus and after reading this review I’ll have to pay more attention to what they put out there for sure. A lot of divers don’t won’t well on a ladies wrist (due to all the manly colors) but I feel this one’s so neutral, I could rock it easily!
I really love the overall aesthetic of the watch. Think it has a premium look to it which is really nice at its price point. However, one thing that bugs me is the amount of wasted space on the dial. Wish the markers were a little larger to fill up the watch face more. However, that’s a pretty nitpicky criticism. Overall, it looks like a great watch!
Great review Kaz!
The case design and angular qualities give hints of Grand Seiko. Just like you said, “unique yet familiar”. I’m also a big fan of the black and blue color combo, I’ve always thought those two go well together to make a masculine looking watch.
With the quality and design on point and the reliable NH35 movement under the hood, all for around $500 bucks this seems like a great bang for the buck.
Congrats to TBWS on 5K!
– Bobby (absolut_bd on IG)
Thanks for the great review!
Really digging this watch, the size is great (big fan of 49/50ish lug to lug), and find myself drawn to the dial, the Nodus logo and font Text look awesome on that dial.
The only thing I’m not a fan of is the fact it’s not a domed crystal……..I’m a sucker for dem domes….. 😛
Looking forward to what Nodus does next.
Interesting looking piece and could be a very strong option to add to my modest collection that includes Mercer, Melbourne, etc. I just admit it strikes a nerve with me and I’m usually not a fan of bracelets or diver styles. Keep up the good work guys!
Love all the little details that make this watch special (e.g., coin edge bezel, signed crown, shape of the hour/minute hands, milled clasp, tapered bracelet, etc.). Sure, other watches have some of these features, but this one seems to be firing on all cylinders at this price point. Beautiful piece and nice thorough review. Thanks!
Great looking watch! I really like the contrast of black and blue. You don’t see that often.
Your review tipped me from indifferent to admiration for the Nodus Trieste. It was your description of the unique design elements and noticing how the indices and hands complement each other. It’s a special watch.
I enjoyed reading your review, Kaz. I didn’t know about Nodus watches before but really like what I see here. Very clean design and I love the color scheme, maybe even more if the dial was blue too. At first I wasn’t sure about the shapes of the hands but after scrolling through the pics again I think it works. Pretty sharp. I think I’d always opt for a date window though…just a personal preference.
Great write up!
My first ‘yeiii’ is the drilled lugs – just perfect for a strap nerd. The pillow-ish case shape looks to be hugging the wrist just great, and the details all in all is well done.
Congrats on the 5k mark!
this looks an awsome diver, nice case finishing, very familiar and welcome overall design, that blue, nice case back details and bracelet
I love this watch, and I hope that watch companies are going to move back towards this direction of simple watches that aren’t just sub rip offs.
What a great review! I love how clear Nodus is as a brand when it comes to manufacturing and distribution through social media! Wes and Callum are a couple of great guys that I’ve personally talked to on Instagram. In regards to the products themselves; manufacturing phenomenal pieces that punch above their weight is no easy task, but these two make it happen in a very tasteful and practical way.
Nodus has recently popped up on my radar. I can’t believe the value they offer. I started watching reviews of the trieste recently. I think pictures don’t do it justice. Really good looking watch. I also love the fact Nodus is located here in my really crowded backyard of LA. Good Review.
Seriously, looks like a winner at this price!
Everything about this watch looks pretty cool but the hands kind of ruin it for me
I was lucky enough to checkout both the Trieste and their new model the Retrospect. Both represent a great value, and I foolishly waited too long and missed out on the LE brown gilt Trieste. Looking forward to see what comes next from this brand!
I was initially unsure of this watch. But after all this time seeing it in IG posts I’ve developed a love for the dial design and size it is on wrists shown.
Reading your post on it helped me to understand and appreciate what I’ve been feeling about its design all along. This is also one of my first forays into your reviews… I’ll be back.
Nodus is doing a great job of producing a micro brand watch for watch lovers, not just jumping on the bandwagon. I already ordered a Retrospect, and look forward to seeing what other pieces the guys put out!
Love the hands man! I like the lugs a lot. A good contender in the micro brand realm!
I like that the case is a classic size…not too big and not too small. Just right. And it also has a classic looking dial that will last through the time, yet is modernized and differentiated vs other watches.
I think offering the watch with two different movements is crazy. On one hand you can choose what you believe is the better of the two, but on the other hand i feel like it takes away from the watch.
I’m VERY new to the hobby but i feel like the movement is the heart of the watch. It’s like picking your favorite twin; they both look the same but one is an up tight snob and the other is just there to get the job done.
great written review of a very cool watch from a sympathetic brand!
Well done 🙂
Cherrs from Germany
Daniel / @daniels_watches
The Nodus watches look amazing and Wes seems like a real upstanding fellow. I have a Retrospect on the way, but wouldn’t mind a Trieste too! Really well priced. Now if only I wasn’t in South Africa…
Would like to get into a microbrand. Maybe this is the chance. Blue and Black looks good on this.
Definitely something unique – kudos to Nodus for having the confidence to make it! The design is also very well done IMO – it’s not an obvious clone of another watch, definitely its own thing.
Fit and finish looks very nice in the photos but obviously being able to see it in person would be the best way yo judge…
Really nice comprehensive review. That dime side bezel is fantastic, and I have read a lot of excellent material on the NH; sounds like a nice compliment to sound, but elegant, design.
Definitely agree with the review. The watch seems to be a cohesive unit which is impressive for a microbrand. The fonts used on the dial along with the numerals and hand-shapes combine to create a really compelling piece with its own allure and doesn’t leave you drawing comparisons to other divers. Above all, I think it hits the sweet spot for size in a diver. Cheers!
There is something about the font used for the numerals on the bezel that makes it playful (not in a bad way).
Wonderful review. I like the watch quite a bit. Like the unique hands and specs. Would love it to be a few mm bigger tho.
I’ve never seen hands like these! The more I look, the more I like them!
Nodus is making waves in the watch world. The Trieste looks like an awesome watch. Had I not just pre ordered another microbrand, I would’ve hopped right on the Retrospect when first announced.
Keep up the great work guys I enjoy your posts and your podcasts keep me company on long drives.
The entire podcast I thought you guys were saying “nomos” although the price point (and watch description) was clearly not a fit. I think this watch is great. I’d love to know more about the company behind it, I don’t see much on their website. Congratulations on the 5k instagram followers!
Is the crown unscrewed in these pictures? I think the coin edge bezel looks great!
Yea I’m experimenting with my photo setup – in the middle of this shoot I realized my lighting was insufficient so I had to mess with my shutter speed, which was then causing the long exposure to make the seconds hand look blurry because it was still moving while the shutter was open. So in order to stop that second hand from moving I pulled the crown – sorry if it’s weird. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
41mm in diameter, 50mm lug to lug, and 13mm thick. Literally sounds like a dream. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!
Wow this thing looks sweet! For some reason, the curvature of the case really draws attention to the dial. I like how the bezel seems thinner and also exposing more of the dial. Keep it up guys!
Really like the writing! Those baton (?) hands are pretty sweet. Also that hint of yellow is awesome. I think yellow is a color I don’t see a lot in the watch world. If you want yellow you can either have no yellow or a SHIT TON OF YELLOW.
Beautiful watch. Even better on my wrist.
This watch exemplifies what I love about micro brands. The sure fire way to make money is to play it safe with designs and sizing yet this piece is a great size rather than a dinner plate, and the handset really sets the watch apart without having to use bold colors to scream for attention. It’s both understated and interesting all at once, which are always my favorite kinds of watches. Great review guys!
I really enjoyed reading this review! I’m currently on episode 40 and decided to come to this site to see what’s new and immediately saw the image for this watch. Its a very nice looking watch. Very simple and straightforward. THEN I noticed there’s a 5k giveaway?! That actually ends on my BIRTHDAY?! (thanks for the telling me about this giveaway on IG DM, Kaz!). The only diver I currently have is the SRP775 and its HUGE! I really enjoy it and sometimes I don’t (due to the size). This Nodus is the perfect size. I’ve actually considered trading my SRP775 for an SKX, but seeing this watch (and hopefully winning this giveaway) will stop me from doing that and have the best of both worlds.
I really like the fact that the bracelet has screw links. Dealing with the Seiko’s pin and collar/tubes is a pain sometimes.
Anyways, hope you select me!
Great review! I was wondering if the watch was prone to sliding on the wrist. You mention in the review–and show quite nicely in a photo–that the lugs are straight. I see in the photo that there is a slight gap between the side of the wrist and the lugs, which leads me to think that the watch slides. Is this the case? I have a Orient Nami, which I absolutely adore. (And thank you for your review of that watch. I ended up picking it up after reading your post.) I think the curved lugs add a bit stability to a dive watch. Was just wondering what you thought about it. Also, I think it’d be nice to see a photo of watch with your arm next to the side of your body. I it would give a nice perspective of how the watch would look in the wild. Or maybe an action shot with your arms propped up on a desk–in full desk diving mode.
Thanks for everything! I really enjoy listening to the podcast each week.
Thanks for the great review. I’ve communicated with the guys at Nodus and they are very responsive. Gotta Retrospect on order with them.
Awesome watch. Would love to add it to my collection
After reading your review and taking a closer look at this watch, I can really appreciate the holistic first impression. I’ve seen some watches that appear to have been designed one component at a time. The Nodus Trieste has a wonderful flow from one component to the next. I love the smooth taper to the lugs and their downward flow to the wrist. It is a timeless design, it would be amazing to see all the varieties of dial, hand, and sweep combinations that are possible with this movement and case. From their price point, I don’t think there are many other options available that can compare to the amount of thought, time, and neck cramps it took to deliver a timepiece of this caliber.
I still have a few questions about the watch. One measurement that I have found helpful to include in reviews is your personal wrist size. It helps me understand the proportion; whether the watch may look bigger or smaller whilst looking at the watch on your wrist. How did the weight of the watch feel on your wrist? Was it like swinging a sledgehammer or did you forget about it being on your wrist?
On a completely unrelated topic, have you thought about selling miniature pitchforks as TBWS swag? I love the podcast, you guys are really able to paint a word salad for my ears to see.
Another superb review Kaz! From the case details to font color, the Nodus Trieste does a great job of synthesizing modern and vintage design cues. We are in a new golden age of sports watches. I see this class of micro brand divers as a real throwback to the skin divers of the 60’s and 70’s only with much better tech/materials to match the diversity of designs. What I like most about this watch is the proportions. The core watch in my collection is a SARB017. In the two years I’ve owned it I’ve found hard to put down. The Trieste’s proportions would make it a perfect complement to my collection and many others. When you talk about the value proposition of a micro brand watch, how it harmonizes in a collection is an important and sometimes overlooked consideration. Thanks so much and keep up the great work.
I really like this brand. I don’t personally own any of their watches, but I think they occupy a fairly unique place in the market. I feel like most micro brands who are producing unique pieces generally come in at a higher price point. Nodus seems to be able to produce that uniqueness at a price I would tend to associate with more homage based brands (Nothing against homages). I am really excited to see what they do next.
Gorgeous though it is, the Trieste didn’t quite speak to me but the reviews brought me to the Nodus web site where I discovered the Retrospect. Exactly what I’ve been waiting for. I ordered it. I have a good feeling about this company.
That’s a pretty cool looking watch. I actually really like the watch! The name is special to me becubec my grandfather is from Trieste!! The pop of yellow is pure class!! The case shape is classic and those hands are absolutely unique! I think they mailed the hands. They have gone with something completely unique which is fresh and good to see from a company. This would be a cool piece for anyone to have. Thanks for all the work you guys do.
I really like the shape of the hands and the blue bezel. The dial, as has been noted above, does feel a bit stark. I think you’re right about the text size. That would probably fix it. But overall a very nice looking watch for the money.
I really like those unique hands, the blue bezel and the yellow font used for Trieste on the dial. This is a fun looking diver that definitely has it’s own character which I appreciate. Great to see a milled clasp. Would love to see this in 39mm. Also, checked out their site, and the restrospect looks amazing, especially the white dial! Thanks for the review Kaz 🙂
Not sure if this makes sense, but Nodus really acts like a minimalist diver. Most diver’s markers are bold on the dial and bezel. However on the Nodus, we see smaller markers/numerals allowing for the contours of the watch case to take center stage, Interesting watch.
Dammit, Kaz…The last thing I need is another dive watch, but I can’t really seem to find anything to dislike about the Trieste so far. Luckily, the lack of availability of the NH35 version may temporarily help me show some restraint…but those hands are just so damn cool! The overall design has managed to find a way to be different while still staying on the safe/classic end of the continuum and refraining from doing anything weird that will stick out and seem gimmicky after a while.
I guess if I’m really reaching, the one thing I’d love to see in the under $1000 micro brands camp would be some decent quality bracelets like this one, except with a tool-free “ratcheting” micro-adjust clasp. Screw down links are nice, but honestly, if it’s a question of cost, I’d rather see a quick-adjust clasp since I only do the main resizing of the bracelet once. It looks like the new Monta has something like this now, but the dream is to somehow find similar functionality at half the price. Maybe you guys can keep your eyes peeled in Hong Kong to see if it exists…?
Great looking watch.
This is a simple yet elegant looking hand wound watch. Kindly forget your contest and simply deliver the watch to me so that I can comment further. I enjoyed the review and your podcasts. I am interested to know what equipment you use to record your podcast in terms of both software and microphones. How do you link up from different places? Thanks for answering!
I’m a little worried about the small nips, er, pips. Curious to see it in person, but that’s always the problem with these micros, unless you happen to know someone in possession, you’ll have to internet stalk it and hope there’s enough content out there to make up your mind. Solid review, though, good place to start! (Obligatory “gnarly”)
Really nice looking watch, love the hands.
Great review guys?
Love this Nodus Triestre. I think that the dial is very clean and that is fantastic, because so, enhance that stunning hands and the mixture between grey dial and blue bezel works perfectly.
The Nh35 mechanism is great. I own several pieces with it inside and are greatly reliable.
Looks like a beautiful and very well made watch that I’d love to have in the collection!
I’ve got a few things to say after reading through both the review and all the interesting comments. 1: I like how the design is along the traditional side but with build quality being the company’s focus. 2: A new company does need to have something to stand out and I like the implementation of the elongated isosceles trapezoid hands. It’s the one minor “what the” detail that draws you in making you want to look closer at all the details. 3: lastly I can see what people mean by the no date option actually marketed towards the general public. When I first really started into watches I had that mindset of the more the merrier. Now the date is something I just have to set every time I wear a watch but then never actually refer to it. Keep the dial clean which Nodus has done here! Excellent review and I hope to hold one of these in person one day so I can appreciate the details like you have!
I just realized you posted this on my birthday. Could that be a sign? Hmmm
The guys at Noduss really know their stuff – My Retrospect just came in and their design chops are on point!
Probably among the best bang for your buck micro brands out there .. original design that stands on its own and a workhorse movement regulated to multiple positions. Can’t really ask for more at this price point.
Great review. One hallmark of a great watch design is when it looks good in different dial and bezel colors. And the Trieste certainly shines here. I really liked their special edition Polar White version. I’ve been watching Nodus for some time and have had the pleasure of trading emails with Wes. They’re open and refreshingly honest about their views on watches and the industry. I would also encourage everyone to checkout their massively insightful blog posts. I think Nodus has a bright future and I’m looking forward to seeing their next models.
Kaz, I think you should wear the Trieste when you’re in Hong Kong getting a Seiko tattoo while eating beans from a can after a robust day of birdwatching. Just sayin’…
Thanks for the review! Really enjoyed it! I first heard about Nodus through instagram and was captivated by the Retrospect, it’s Stadium dial is beautiful!
I really like Nodus. I also really appreciate the blog on their website. Very insightful stuff that I look forward to reading every time it’s updated. Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on 5k followers
Nice write up. I really wanted the polar limited Edition they did for this one, but I was too slow. Hoping they bring that one back.
A good detailed review is always appreciated when deciding on watch purchases where the watch can’t be physically inspected, cheers. Nodus appear to have some real finesse when making decisions on the smallest of details.
I find the colour of the bezel just amazing. I don’t recall seeing anything similar recently. The hands are just as special too. This is exactly what a microbrand should be. Just unique.
Great review and a awesome looking piece ?.