Back in May, Timeless Luxury Watches of Texas announced a limited edition Nomos Club Datum in blue. Restricted to a minute 100 pieces, they sold out fast and for good reason; they were ridiculously gorgeous. With inky blue dials off set with a cherry red seconds hand, they were an exciting riff on an already fantastic watch. Now, I’m a bit biased as I own a Club (not this one, but the cream dial 36mm non-date version), but having had a couple of weeks to spend with the Timeless Club I can easily say it’s a winner, and a great example of how to use color on a dial. We reviewed the manual wound Nomos Club before, which you can read here, and since many of the details are the same this is going to be more of a hands-on with a lot of photos.
The case design is essentially the same as that of the Club manual, but it comes in a bit larger at 38.5 x 48.75 x 8.45mm. In a very uncommon move, all 4 of the different Club models have different case sizes, starting at 36mm and ending at a surprisingly large 41.5mm (large for Nomos at least). This makes each model wear a bit differently. I love the 36mm case, but after wearing the 38.5 for a bit, I think it might just hit that sweet spot.
The Club’s design features very long lugs, which is a point of contention for some people. Honestly, it’s something I only notice in photos. On the wrist, it’s a very well balanced watch. Their length makes the watch sit well, and they space the strap away from the central case, creating a sort of frame for the watch.
On the slightly larger case, the “bi-partite” design, meaning two-piece, really comes through. Basically, the bezel, mid-case and lugs are all one piece, the case back is then the second. This creates a very seamless and smooth bezel, with a gorgeous broad radius. It’s very simple, as per Nomos’ style, but has a robustness that gives the Club a pleasantly sporty edge.
Flipping the watch over, you are presented with a nice view of their in-house DUW4101 movement, behind a sapphire display. It’s beautifully decorated with Cote De Geneve, star-bursting and perlage under the balance. When it catches the light, it really comes alive. It’s worth noting that this is the first and currently only Club that has one of Nomos’ new DUW movements, which are distinguished by their inclusion of the Nomos Swing System, aka their in-house escapement. Around the edge of the display the words “Nomos Glashutte Limited Edition Club for Timeless” are etched as well as the edition number out of 100.
The surface of the Timeless club is the same deep, matte blue lacquer Nomos used on their blue Lambda watches, and likely on their gorgeous blue Zurich Worldtimer. It’s an ideal blue for a dial, neither being too bright, which could scream blue or color, or too dark, which could end up sort of pointless, not adding anything unique. This is the blue of a nice wool suit. It’s handsome and reserved but different from black, white, gray or cream.
To accentuate the blue a bit, the primary index is a light gray/lavender color. This is different than what we saw on the rendering a couple of months, which was cream colored, but a smart improvement. It compliments the dial, adding a subtle play of cool tones. The minute index on the edge of dial features orange/red numerals and light gray/lavender hash marks. The contrasting numerals are a signature of the Club line, and look great on the blue dial. They add some contrast and give the watch an energetic feel.
At 6 is the sub-seconds dial, which is also in blue with a simple index. It’s in character with the rest of the watch/series, but to make it special for the Timeless edition, the hand is a cherry lacquer red. It’s bright and bold, but small enough to not overtake the dial, so much as to be a fun quirk. The red is actually brighter than the orange on the index, so they don’t contrast the blue equally, which might have been too much.
The hour and minute hands are the same slender swords found on the other models. Despite being very thin, they are pleasantly aggressive, and very well executed. They aren’t just flat, punched pieces of steel, rather they have a slight crest to them, making them reflect light in a more dramatic way. I will say though, while it might have been overkill, I do slightly miss the color fill from the hands on the cream dial version.
At 6 is a small date window, hence the “Datum” portion of the name. One of the great things about brands with manufacture movements, is that customizing the date wheel to fit each watch is a given. Nomos seems to do a better job than most with this, as is exemplified in their Orion 38 Datum. On the Club, the date disk’s background perfectly matches the blue of the dial, while the date numeral matches the hour index. It just makes the dial flow so much better and feel complete.
Straps and Wearability
If you’ve ever tried on a Nomos, you know that their straps are great. Simple, tapering cut Horween Shell Cordovan, they are understated and luxurious. The Timeless Club comes on a black 20mm variety. As expected, it’s a beautiful strap, but I wonder if black was the right choice. It doesn’t look bad, nothing would, but a brown or burgundy (Color 8 in Horween’s parlance), would have brought out the blue more, and felt more casual. As such, I through it on a worn&wound burgundy Shell Cordovan Model 2 to see what it would look like. The burgundy, by having a subtle purple tone, really picks up both the blue and red elements in the dial, creating a very nice harmony of colors.
On the wrist, as mentioned, the 38.5mm case wears very well. It is a long watch, but the shape of the lugs fits the wrist, and the overall size is still on the small, but ideal, side. What’s most important, however, is the look. The Club’s dial has a pleasantly familiar feel. It’s a touch field, a touch automotive, sporty yet refined and elegant. It’s lacking the austere Germanic lines of the Tangente or Tangomat, or the modern quirkiness of the Metro, and in some ways is the oddball in Nomos’ line up. And, that just makes me like it all the more. It’s very wearable. It’s not as striking, but it’s possibly more well rounded.
Throw in the blue color, and you have something very interesting. Unlike most blue watches, I think this is one you could wear daily. The blue adds a dimension to the dial, a depth and warmth, that the other colors lack. I say this as an owner of the cream dial, which I adore, there is something just engrossing about the blue. And, that’s true with their other blue watches as well, especially the Worldtimer, which is one of the most attractive watches out there, ever, end of sentence (well, maybe not, but it’s really something special). More over, the blue will pair beautifully with colors from clothing and straps in a different way. Sometimes become brighter, sometimes darker. Wear it with gray for a cool, somber look. Blue for some tonal nuance. Or brown/khakis for contrast. Wear it on leather, cordovan or a pass-through. The long lugs actually take very well to nylon for a much more casual look.
Alas, ravings aside, the Nomos Glashutte Limited Edition Club for Timeless is long gone. They sold out rather quickly. That’s not surprising considering the quantity, growing popularity of Nomos and the sheer sexiness of the watch, but it is certainly disappointing for those of us who are aching for it now. To the wise ladies and gentlemen who picked one up during pre-sale, well done. To those of us who didn’t, I suppose we’ll just have to keep our eyes on the forums, though I somehow doubt these will be let loose.
Regardless, The Club Datum is very worth consideration if you’re in the market for a Nomos. The slightly larger size over the non-date manual makes a big difference. The watch just feels more pronounced. That said, they go for $2260 with a solid case-back or $2560 with a display, making them considerably more money than the remarkably well-priced $1550 for the 36mm manual model. Still a great price in the scheme of manufacture watches, but the differential feels a bit odd considering the watches themselves are so similar. Now, if only they’d add some more colors to the mix as the Timeless club proved how well they could work.
Oh, and a big thanks to Timeless Luxury for lending us this piece for review!