In our recent Q&A podcast, a listener asked about trends that we’ve been happy to see take hold. A more adventurous use of color among watch brands was cited as a new development we’d like to see continue, and Blake Malin referenced Nodus specifically. Nodus, in the short time that they’ve existed as a brand, has done a great job of mixing the classic and contemporary into a look that is uniquely theirs, and the way they use color has a lot to do with that. They just released two new watches as part of their great Sector series, the Pilot and the Sport, and both show that they continue to lean in to color in a way that we wish more brands would adopt. Let’s take a closer look.
We’ll examine the Sector Pilot first. This is the brand’s first watch that prominently uses pilot watch design characteristics, but like other watches Nodus has produced it’s not strictly a pilot’s watch, but more a riff on a theme. We have three variants, each with a countdown bezel, a sector layout that’s common to watches in this series, and big Arabic numerals counting off the hours. What sets this watch apart a bit, and is immediately my favorite feature, is the extremely well executed day-date display at 6:00. This is a position we don’t commonly see for this complication – a Seiko style day-date window at 3:00 is much more common, as is the 12:00 arrangement we see in watches from Hamilton – but it’s surprisingly well balanced, legible, and gives this watch a streak of something just a little different, and that’s a very good thing.
There are three colors available at launch. Phantom (blue), Blackbird (black, naturally), and Flyer, which is the standout of the group in my opinion. It’s a very light copper color, and in a year that saw its share of salmon dials, this one finds a way to differentiate itself with a softer tone, and a mix of radial and rougher sand-like finishing from sector to sector (a feature common to all three colorways).
Like all Nodus watches to this point, the Sector Pilot is conservatively sized at 38mm in diameter, 12.75mm thick, and 47mm from lug to lug. These watches are powered by Seiko’s NH36 movement, and come mounted to an H-link style bracelet.
Like the Pilot, the Sector Sport launches in three variants: Rift (black), Peak (white), and Glacial (baby blue). These watches have a traditional 3-6-9 dial layout, which certainly recalls Rolex’s Explorer, but has become shorthand through the decades as a tried and true sports watch, nothing more, nothing less. It seems like that would be a simple enough design brief, but there are so many examples of watches like this that don’t quite work – it speaks to the fickle nature of these things, and the importance of small details.
Nodus once again uses their sector format to great effect on the Sport, dividing the dial into distinct sections and giving it just the right amount of texture. Hour markers and numerals are applied and lume filled, and the circular date window at 4:30 is small enough that you might not notice it on a first pass. Once again, a Seiko movement is used here (this one is the NH35A), and the dimensions are equal to that of the Pilot.
Both the Sector Pilot and Sector Sport are priced at $425, and are expected to ship in mid January. Nodus