Introducing the Nodus Duality, a Vintage-Inspired Dual Crown Diver

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Nodus, based in Los Angeles, has returned with the Duality, their long awaited homage to classic dual-crown divers. In the growing world of enthusiast-focused brands, Nodus occupies a space that honors real, heartfelt enthusiasm. The brand is run by Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen, childhood friends who developed a shared love of watches and entrepreneurism, and started Nodus only two years ago with a focus on deliberate design, great value for money, and building a strong community around their brand. They tell their whole story on a recent episode of The Worn & Wound Podcast, and more than most small brands, understanding their philosophy and where they came from really helps in appreciating the end product, so that episode from August is definitely worth a listen if you’ve fallen behind on your podcast feed.


Nodus Duality

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Unity White, Chasm Black
  • Dimensions: 40 x 48 x 13mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters 
  • Crown: Screw down 
  • Movement: Miyota 9015
  • Strap/bracelet: H-link stainless steel bracelet  
  • Price: $600 until November 1, $700 thereafter 
  • Expected Release: Available for pre-order 10/4/2019 at 12pm EST

So, on to the watch at hand. The Duality, as mentioned, takes inspiration from classic dual-crown dive watches of the ’60s and ’70s. Many of these were Super Compressors produced by case-maker EPSA, and for the uninitiated, a Super Compressor is a very specific type of case design that allows the watch to become more water tight and pressure resistant as it is submerged deeper and deeper and pressure on the caseback grows. Very often, a spring mechanism was used on these watches to keep them sealed sufficiently when they were not at depth. The dual crown design (one being used to turn an internal rotating dive bezel, the other for winding and setting the time) became a distinctive hallmark of Super Compressor divers, which were sold by literally dozens of different brands, all using cases supplied by EPSA, which held the patent for the unique design.

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While the Duality uses a crown decoupling method that is similar to what was employed on vintage EPSA cases, this new watch isn’t a true Super Compressor, which is completely understandable. While EPSA’s design was ingenious and effective, modern manufacturing methods and technology have made the more complex Super Compressor somewhat obsolete in terms of making a watch that is reliably watertight. The Duality achieves an impressive 300 meters of water resistance using all the trappings of modern watchmaking: namely a high-grade stainless steel case, screw down crown and gasket system, and a sapphire crystal.

Aesthetically, however, the Duality hits all the right notes for fans of this particular niche of old school dive watches, while offering some distinctive modern touches that are very much in line with the design language that Nodus carved out for itself in just a few short years. The dial, available in white or black, uses a hybrid construction that employs both sandwich construction and applied markers, giving it a unique sense of depth. Nodus also lean in a bit to the prevalence of the large crowns that are an inherent attribute for a watch of this type by adding luminescent material to each of them. While certainly not traditional in terms of style, those of us who walk around with little UV flashlights and enjoy seeing the Super-LumiNova really pop (raising my own hand here) are definitely going to enjoy this.

Nodus’ case design is a highlight here, with gently curving lugs that look like they are sure to hug the wrist incredibly comfortably. Multiple finishing techniques are used to create a dramatic and sharp transitions between brushed and polished surfaces. The attention to detail extends to the bracelet as well, which has been designed with thinness and comfort in mind, and features the same brushed to polished transitions as seen on the caseband and lugs.

Also notable is that in addition to the expected dive bezel, Nodus is offering the Duality with a super convenient 12-hour bezel, perfect for travelers who want to track multiple time zones in a non-mechanical way. Flexibility and an option oriented buying experience are central to what Nodus does, so it’s nice to see the brand continue down this path.

The Duality is will be available on the Nodus website with a pre-order price of $600 later today at 12pm EST. That shoots up to $700 once the watch is officially released on November 1. Nodus

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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