German manufacturer Nomos might not have the ancestry of the big brands on the Glashütte block, but since its foundation in 1990 it has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of mechanical timepieces in Germany. Founded by Roland Schwertner in 1990, months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nomos has forged a strong visual identity that, judging by its output, has found a very receptive audience. The Club family, with its more robust build designed to engage with a younger crowd, introduced its Sport neomatik 42 Date in 2019. One of the largest watches at Nomos, the 42mm Club Sport neomatik date stands out from Nomos’s more urbanite models with its generous 300m water-resistance, bold luminous treatment and steel bracelet. Today, the Club Sport welcomes two models with smaller 37mm diameters, attractive Petrol Green and Polar Blue dials without the date, and a reduced but still comfy water-resistance of 200m. Stylish and rugged at the same time, could the Club Sport be the perfect all-rounder from Nomos?
Design, design, design
With its 300m water-resistance, the Club Sport 42 is often touted as a dive watch but is, in fact, about as far as you can get from the traditional identikit of a dive watch. You can forget about the classic burly diver with a rotating bezel, rugged crown guards and a case size that could double up as a hockey puck. The Club Sport is unquestionably a competent dive watch, but it is dressier, leaner and more versatile than your conventional diver. The reason for this is that Nomos is, and always has been, about design. And to prove it, the brand has clocked up more than 160 international prizes for design.
The Bauhaus movement is always the term that gets associated with Nomos’s minimalist, pragmatic designs where superfluous elements are anathema. However, the design tenets of the Deutscher Werkbund association, founded in 1907, resonate deeply at Nomos as well. Even before the Bauhaus school of design was established, the Werkbund believed that architects, designers and traditional craftsmen could and should be a part of mass production techniques.
Nomos’s watches are the epitome of understated design and a certain urbanite flair. So much so that it would be hard to single out a watch in the brand’s portfolio that could be considered an outsider. Even the Club collection, clearly geared at a younger crowd with models like the Club Campus, follows the brand’s design language, albeit with a bolder personality, trendy vibrant dials and increased resilience for everyday wear and tear.
Smaller and slimmer
The Club Sport neomatik 42 appeared with a black dial in 2020 and a blue dial in 2021. Both models shared the 42mm case size with a (still reasonable) height of 10.2mm and 300m water-resistance, sunray-brushed dials, stainless steel bracelets and a date window at 3 o’clock. Now, the same watch returns in a more compact 37mm stainless steel case with a height of 8.4mm. This combination of thinness and robustness has been made possible thanks to a 2-part case where the bezel and the central case are a single part. The caseback, with a sapphire crystal revealing the movement, is screwed just like the crown. Powered by the smaller and slimmer neomatik calibre DUW 3001, there are a couple of differences between the 42 and 37mm models.
One of the changes regards the water-resistance, which has been lowered from 300 to 200m; not a big deal in the grand scheme of things since most recreational scuba divers rarely dive beyond 130 feet/40m. Another change that will be applauded by many is the removal of the date window that appeared on the 42mm models at 3 o’clock.
Fun details like the red ring around the screw-down crown to remind you to insert the crown (no crown guards) after setting the time are maintained, and the case is polished throughout. Combining the polished case, bevel and lugs with the new slim profile add an extra dose of casual elegance to the watch.
Polar Blue & Petrol Green
You can feel the hand of the designers at work here in selecting names for the colours used on the dials. Described as Petrol Green and Polar Blue, as soon as we have a hands-on session, we will be able to report back to you on the real-life colour of the dials. Treated to an elegant sunburst finish, the galvanised dials feature thicker versions of the brand’s characteristic font for numerals in a combination of Arabic numerals and baton indices.
As you can see from the lume shot below, the hour markers and pencil-style hands are slightly recessed to hold more Super-LumiNova that glows blue in the dark. The small seconds counter, with a snailed background, sits at 6 o’clock, and the golden inscription ‘1000 ft’ appearing on the 42mm models has been removed.
The outer links of the Nomos Club Sport stainless steel bracelet are brushed and far more practical for the inevitable scratches that come with everyday wear and tear. Well-designed with rounded ends and a bright polished central link, the quick-change spring bars on the back mean that the bracelet can be swapped for textile straps or even another steel bracelet with sleek, horizontally brushed links.
Extra-thin calibre DUW3001
Visible through the sapphire caseback – again, an unusual feature in a sports/dive watch – is Nomos’s thin automatic movement with a height of just 3.2mm. Equipped with the brand’s proprietary escapement, known as the Swing System, the calibre is highly precise and efficient. It’s easy to mention the Swing System in passing, but it took Nomos seven years of R&D, and a lot of money to develop this escapement that appeared in 2014, followed a year later by the very, very slim DUW 3001 automatic powering countless Nomos models and this watch. Finishings that honour the Glashütte watchmaking tradition include the three-quarter plate with Glashütte ribbing (also used on the openworked rotor) along with the tempered blue screws and Nomos perlage on the mainplate. Beating at 21,600vph, the movement delivers a 42-hour power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Nomos Club Sport neomatik polar and petrol 37mm models will sit alongside the 42mm models. The price will be EUR 2,780 (incl. taxes). For more information, please visit Nomos-glashuette.com.