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The Redesigned Nomos Club 701 Takes us Back to the Original

Refreshed and revitalised, one of the most popular models by Nomos makes a fitting return.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

Even though Nomos Glashütte was founded in 1991 and presented its inaugural Tangente, Orion, Ludwig and Tetra a year later, the Club remains one of its most popular watches. Introduced in 2007, it’s the clear-cut and simple style that captured the hearts and minds of enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. The very first model, ref. 701 was discontinued in 2017, but it has always interested people. So much so that today, Nomos is bringing it back to life with a slightly redesigned and refreshed dial. However,  you’ll be glad to know that this updated generation of the brand’s entry-level collection is a true Club from head to toe.

Although the portfolio has expanded quite a bit in more than 30 years of watchmaking, the Club has become a genuine cornerstone model for Nomos. The Club was intended as an entry-level mechanical watch, originally priced at around EUR 1,000. And despite prices increasing over the years, it remains true to the initial strategy of positioning it as a relatively affordable collection. Its minimalist design has stood the test of time and has spawned two spin-off collections: Club Campus and Club Sport. The Club Campus is the funky one thanks to its California-style dial and bold colours, and the Club Sport is a more robust version thanks to its steel bracelet and upgraded 200m water resistance.

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So, if nothing has really changed with this new Club 701 (or 703, for that matter, which has an open caseback), you’d think there’s not much to talk about. And in part, that would be true, as you still get a 36mm wide and 8.2mm thin stainless steel case that’s polished throughout and fitted with a sapphire crystal on top. It’s a smart move not to update the case, as it is very much part of the Club’s DNA. And yes, some people gripe about the elongated lugs, but it’s a Nomos thing, and they’re sticking to it.

The update of the Club comes down to the dial, although at first sight, it seems nothing has changed. Don’t be fooled, though, as the entire design of the dial has been refreshed, giving it a more pronounced vibe. It’s incredibly challenging to update such an icon and remain faithful to the original concept and not take away its lustre, but Nomos has nailed it with this one. The general design remains the same, but for starters, the white silver-plated dial is now brighter, giving it more ‘pop’.

The lacquered numerals now have a bit of height, have increased in size, received a black outline, and, best of all, Super-LumiNova. The small seconds dial is larger, snailed and has numerals for a more dynamic look. The minute track is refined and pushed further to the edge of the dial. The hour and minute hands are made longer and wider, with a thicker red (luminous) insert. The final touches concern the brand’s logo and the “Made in Germany” script at the bottom of the dial, both now in a crisper print. Overall, the changes might be incremental, but in reality, the dial has matured a great deal. Putting the two generations side by side reveals just how much has changed.

The original Club ref. 701 is on the left, with the new Club 701.1 on the right.

Nomos still uses its hand-wound Alpha movement for the Club, which is covered by a solid caseback in reference 701.1. A sapphire crystal is available as well, though, turning the 701.1 into the 703.1 (just as the original, which came as ref. 701 or ref. 703 depending on the caseback). The Alpha calibre is part of the reason the Club is such an extremely wearable piece: it measures just 2.6mm in height. There’s no need for a case of 10mm or more with such a movement, which is excellent! The finishing is good, with Glashütte ribbing, blued screws and gold-coloured engravings. The in-house built movement runs at a rate of 21,600vph and has a power reserve of up to 43 hours.

Like the original, the ‘new’ Nomos Club 701.1 comes on a similar brown Horween leather strap with red stitching and a stainless steel pin buckle. It is not limited in any way and becomes part of the permanent collection. The new Club will retail for EUR 1,300 with the closed caseback or EUR 1,500 with an open one.

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7 responses

  1. Prefer the original in every way except one, but that could be due to the “endowment effect.”  

    One preferred update:  the raised height of the numerals.

    Other than that, the older dial is a warmer color, the small seconds are now too busy, the outline of the numbers has become juvenile.  

  2. Almost all the updates are spot on and give the dial more breathing room, but they should have left the seconds dial alone: it looks pushed too far up and has upset the overall balance IMO.

  3. I have the original (datum) model and it’s my watch to wear when I don’t want it to be noticed by casual observers. The new model is fine but don’t think any of the changes are hands-down winners, except for the lume. The absence of lume on the orange strips in the hands is a welcome addition. May see about buying some new hands as an upgrade!

  4. The new design is more like the Club Campus. Not bad, but as a result the Club lost some of its character. Luckily i’ve got the old one.

  5. I’ve gone out of my way to get the 703. Updates so often detract from ideas that were already complete. Mine arrives very soon.

  6. The 703 is now mine and I am very happy with my decision to buy the earlier model. Even the most gradual “improvements” can end up detracting from the clarity of an original design.
    Nomos is a design savvy company and should consider carefully employing so called improvements and how they ultimately, for better or worse, effect design language.

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