Nomos Goes Back to School with the Club Campus

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Nomos is a favorite here at worn&wound with good reason. Their design, quality, and strong value for money have consistently impressed us over the past few years, and they remain a perfect entry point to German watchmaking. Their new addition for Basel 2017, the Campus series, takes the entry point idea to its logical conclusion. Targeted at “those looking forward to a bright future”- read recent college grads and young professionals- the Campus offers three variants on the proven Club formula at a new, accessible price point.

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The Campus series, comprised of the Club Campus, Club 38 Campus and Club 38 Campus Nacht, are as one might expect heavily based in existing Club models. This new line shares cases (36mm for the Club Campus and 38mm for the Club 38 Campus and Club 38 Campus Nacht), hands, and general dial layout with the Club, along with the excellent in-house Alpha movement. In addition, each of the three features an almost-California dial layout, with clean Arabic numerals at 12, 10, and 2 o’clock, contrasted with Roman numerals for 4 and 8 o’clock. Simple lumed indices complete the dials.

In terms of differences between the three, the most striking is obviously the size of the Club Campus between the other two, but each also has its own unique colorway. For the Club Campus, the dial is silver-plated with gray SuperLuminova indices outlined in red, giving an almost pinkish appearance at first glance. Finishing off the look is a gray 18mm velour strap. Its larger brother, the Club 38 Campus, also includes the same stunning silver plating on the dial but opts for blue SuperLuminova with a red outline for its markers. The overall effect here is a bit bolder, more masculine, and the charcoal gray velour strap solidifies this.

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The last of the three, the Club 38 Campus Nacht, ditches the silver plating for a dark ruthenium-coated dial. Contrasting this darker finish is off-white lume with a teal outline, creating a striking contrast with the bright orange sub seconds common across the Campus line. The Club 38 Campus Nacht is finished with the same charcoal velour strap as the standard Club 38 Campus for a clean, coordinated appearance.

One of the biggest selling points for the Campus line is Nomos’ efforts to attract younger, less affluent buyers. While exact prices have not yet been announced, Nomos CEO Uwe Ahrendt claims they’ve been “subsidized…a little,” and that he’s excited to welcome new buyers into the Nomos brand who’ve never had a chance to purchase Nomos before. This is an interesting marketing strategy, and one that could pay dividends moving forward. With both mainstream interest in watches and average prices climbing higher, there’s a large segment of new, young enthusiasts who love the idea of a mechanical timepiece, especially in-house ones, but find it more and more difficult to buy into the hobby.

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Perhaps speaking to this lower price point is one odd aspect of the Club Campus, they use the older Alpha caliber. Still an in-house movement, the Alpha does not feature their “swing-system” or in-house escapement, rather using a sourced component. This doesn’t effect the accuracy, precision of functionality of the watch, but seems like an strange decision for a new line.

If Nomos can successfully bring these young enthusiasts into the fold and allow them to grow with the brand as their income increases, they could reap a generation of brand-loyal consumers. What really drives this home is the Campus’ other special feature- a free caseback engraving service. By offering a custom caseback on each and every Campus, Nomos is sending a clear statement that the Campus is a commemorative piece. The Campus, this seems to suggest, is the perfect gift for graduations, first jobs, and the like. Only time will tell if it catches on, but on paper the Campus is not only another attractive offering from Nomos but a canny piece of long-term brand strategy. The Campus series is expected to go on sale at the end of this month at all Nomos retailers.


Check out Nomos’ website for more watches

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Hailing from Redondo Beach, California, Sean’s passion for design and all things mechanical started at birth. Having grown up at race tracks, hot rod shops and car shows, he brings old-school motoring style and a lifestyle bent to his mostly vintage watch collection.
seanpaullorentzen
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  • Trevor Boyson

    Oh man this is very exciting news! I wonder how much “a little” subsidization will actually be.

    • Zanpa

      Not actually much compared to the regular Club. 1000 and 1100€.

  • epps720

    Any idea why they would go with a mix of Arabic and Roman numerals? I can’t seem to figure out the logic behind it and it’s driving my OCD haywire.

    • Porter Hudson

      I’ve always thought those mixed up dials a bit gimmicky. Maybe a good design if you’re bipolar. XD

    • R Khalifa

      I think the California dial was chosen just to keep it kind of fun and casual. Not having the VI to offset the 12 is a bit disconcerting to me.

      • epps720

        Thanks, had no idea that was referred to as a California dial. Agree with the missing VI as well.

        • egznyc

          I think the subdial takes care of the missing VI; it gives the dial enough balance without squeezing in the missing numeral. Of course, using a central seconds hand would also allow for the VI …

  • Zanpa

    They’re available on Nomos’ online store, 1000€ for the 36mm and 1100€ for the 38mm. Free engraving on the caseback.

    • Anthony Dimaano

      Wait, where are you seeing 1100 Euros for the 38mm? I’m seeing $1650 USD in cart (however it does say included taxes). Does the price I am seeing include VAT. I am in the USA

      • Zanpa

        This is when shipping to France. I didn’t expect there would be that big of a difference when shipping to the US… But there is.
        The most basic Club is 1080€ on their store when buying in Europe.

  • egznyc

    I’m guessing they don’t offer this with an exhibition case back. Maybe because there isn’t any real decoration of the movement? They have to find ways to keep costs down after all. Wish we had some lume shots.

  • Colton Miles

    I really wish they’ve put interesting lume colours on the hands themselves like the orange lume they used on the original club.

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