Inside & Out: Nomos Club Neomatik
The Club Neomatik is the latest iteration of the Club from Nomos
For years, I've wanted to review a Nomos Club. Out of the entire Nomos range, the Club seems the most playful. A complete antithesis of the stoic German watch. What I'm saying is that it looks fun! So after years of anticipation, how did the new Club Neomatik fare?
The Club was the very first Nomos sports watch and there have been many iterations; a 36mm manual wind, a 38.5mm manual with date and a 40mm self-winding with date. The Club Neomatik is the latest iteration and features the DUW3001 self-winding movement inside of a new case size of 38mm.
The Club has always photographed large because of the thick steel bezel and long lugs but it wears just the right size on the wrist. It's a slim watch at 9.27mm, especially for a sports watch, and is only a millimeter taller than than Minimatik I reviewed back in March. Trying to describe how the Club feels on the wrist is quite difficult. It is smaller than pictures imply, but larger than the measurements suggest. It's an odd experience but an incredibly pleasing one and I wish more brands were able to use case design this effectively. Wearing the Club Neomatik was an active experience. It made me think about design and a case size is just a number, it's how it feels to wear what is important.
As well as a new size, there is an array of new colors as well: a silver dial with either bright blue or muted pink hour markers, a dark blue dial or the electrifying signalrot and signalblau.
My watch which I had for one week had the bright silver dial with baby blue hour markers with orange highlights. Much like the case size, the choice of colors Nomos chose got me thinking about the intricacies of design. On paper, bright orange is not a color that often works for watches but it just works on the Neomatik. Much like the Minimatik, I'm surprised that Nomos have found a hue of orange that is vibrant without being too garish. I'm intrigued to see how the signalrot and signalblau look in real life as I've got the feeling that the photos don't do them justice.
The Club Neomatik is a wonderfully versatile watch to wear during the Summer months.
Not that it has to be relegated to a drawer along with your shorts and sandals come September, but the bright colors suit a Summer outfit the best. Maybe the original 36mm Club on a dark strap would be a better fir for a formal event but any nearly any event Summer can through at you, this watch will be there. 20 meters of water-resistance will be more than enough for when that idiot friend of yours pushes you into the pool as 'a joke'. (Word of advice, stop being friends with that guy).
Nomos' dial printing is once again excellent with the minute hashes, orange digits and brand name being crisp and precise. What was strange, or at least unexpected, was the surrounds on the hour markers themselves. The silvery white outline around the blue markers looked great at a distance, but under close inspection ther were gaps between the blue fill and the silver surround. This is a minor quibble but it is one imperfection in an otherwise perfect jewel.
Inside the watch is the Nomos in-house Caliber 3001.
This is the same movement seen in the Minimatik I reviewed in March. At 3.2mm high, its very thin and finished remarkably well for a watch in this price range. Not only is it thin, but it's actually the right size for the watch. Something that becomes more clear the more watches you see are movements too small for the case. Nomos are smart and know that the aesthetics of the movement are just as impossible as the dial. Tempered blue screws, rhodium plated surfaces with Glashutte ribbing and NOMOS perlage, it's a delight. Not to mention the fact that this watch has the Nomos Swing System inside, their proprietary escapement.
What is strange is that there may be time when I stop being impressed by this. "Oh, another excellently finished, in-house self-winding movement from Nomos. Yaawwwwwn". Serana Williams once said that it's her losses that create more sensations than her wins, and this could be the case for Nomos. They do what they do so damn well that it's almost hard to stay infused about it. Luckily, that isn't the case yet and I'm still impressed at what Nomos is able to offer for just over $3000.
Whilst Nomos don't chronometer test their watches, they do say that they meet chronometer standards. I don't perform any rigorous testing whilst the watch is in my possession (Though I know I should and it's something I'm looking to include in future reviews), my purely subjective analysis was that it was a damn accurate watch.
One thing that disappointed me about the watch is the strap.
Nomos have marketed these new Club Neomatiks as summer watches and chose supply a nylon textile strap. To my touch, the nylon felt very thin and cheap compared to the Horween straps found on other Nomos watches. The seems felt secure and I never felt the watch was in danger of falling off my wrist, but the thickness of the strap was disappointing. It clearly isn't too thin, but it felt too thin for a watch costing over $3000. This is my opinion and another person could easily see a thin strap as a positive, more supply and lightweight etc.
Two more practical concerns about the strap were the color and the length. I worry about how long a light gray strap would last when being used on a sports watch. Like how Land Rover owners like having their cars muddy, maybe owners of the Club Neomatik would desire the muck and grime but I wouldn't be one of them.
Those of large wrist sizes should be wary about the length of these straps.
The watch is sold with Small strap, with the option of exchanging for an Extra-Small or Medium. On my insert inch wrists, the small strap was worn on the penultimate hole, with the keeper sitting there not doing a lot. For most men, of average height and build and purchasing directly from Nomos, I would advise swapping the Small for a Medium. However, I must return to the point I always make when talking about straps; they are quick and easy to change if you don't like them. It is disappointing when part of a $3000 purchase falls short but it shouldn't stop you from enjoying the rest of it.
Compared to the rest of the Nomos' collection, the Club is clearly a sports watch, though its a loose categorization. It lacks many of the features commonly associated with the genre, namely a matte case, steel bracelet, rotating bezel etc. . Yet the benefit of loose categorization is that you can change the definition to suit you, as Nomos have clearly done. I am still excited to think of what Nomos would do when making a more traditional sports watch, but until that day, I'm more than happy with the Club.
It would be foolish of me to say that any mechanical watch for $3040 is a bargain. However, to those in the market for a fun yet refined sports watch for the remaining Summer, the Nomos Club Neomatik is a fantastic choice.