Nodus, based in Los Angeles, is back with the long awaited release of the Contrail II, an update to their popular all purpose tool watch. We’ve covered Nodus on Worn & Wound from the very beginning, and are always keen to check out new releases from the brand. While not a dramatic update, the new version of the Contrail features a handful of small, incremental updates that reflect the brand’s attention to detail and drive to constantly improve their product. Let’s take a look.
The Contrail II is made in the mold of the classic sports watch, designed to be easily worn by anyone and largely forgotten about while on the wrist, but smile-inducing when you check the time. And, of course, built with a focus on reliability and toughness. It’s 39mm in diameter, and 47.5mm from lug to lug, but the key dimension here is the case thickness, which measures 12.6mm and represents a small improvement over the original Contrail. The previous version wore easily at 13mm thick, so we’re expecting the new one to be even more enjoyable on the wrist when combined with other improvements, which include a slightly altered bezel assembly (the bezel now sits on ceramic ball bearings and has gently sloped sapphire or steel inserts), and an upgraded bracelet with a more robust clasp.
Technically speaking, the watch presents a lot of value in its price point. Notable features include 200 meters of water resistance, a screw down crown, and a sapphire crystal. The Contrail II is powered by a Miyota 9015 movement with a 40 hour power reserve. It’s known to be a reliable caliber, even if it’s not winning chronometry competitions. Importantly, it’s priced right, and thin enough to allow Nodus to achieve their vision of a relatively slim everyday wearer with superior water resistance and overall robustness.
The Contrail II draws an aesthetic link to some of our favorite tool watches from the past. The case is simple in its construction with sturdy lugs that curve downward, another small detail that makes wearing a watch like this a breeze. Finishing is mostly brushed, but there are thin polished bevels running down the caseband (and bracelet) that give the watch an enhanced and refined look, that is once again drawing on sports watches of the past in a pleasing way.
As with other Nodus watches, while case dimensions and features veer toward vintage inspired, the dials are considerably more contemporary. They are generally stark and minimal in tone, with the Nodus logo near 12:00 and a “Contrail” signature near 6:00, just above a rather well implemented date window. Hour markers are applied and lume filled, and accentuate the symmetry of the dial.
Five variants will be available at launch, each with your choice of a rotating 12 hour bezel in the aforementioned stainless steel or sapphire configuration. The Laguna Sand dial immediately stands out, as it’s been given a rough texture, while the white, blue, and black (with or without gilt accents) versions have a “glossy enamel” finish. The full retail price is $675, but the Contrail II will be discounted during a pre-order period that will last until the watch begins shipping at the end of September. Nodus