Just in time for the Windup Watch Fair, Nodus has unveiled two new colorways for the Retrospect, their popular dive watch. The new dials are part of what is officially known as the Retrospect III collection, which is a new take on the brand’s longest tenured model that maintains many of the vintage design cues that enthusiasts loved about prior versions of the watch, but includes several key refinements and adjustments that Nodus believes make this the best Retrospect yet. Nodus had previously released the Retrospect III with salmon and orange colored dials, so these new variants fill out the growing lineup.
Nodus has always done a great job when it comes to including vintage design elements without going completely overboard. Their watches use time tested tropes that we know just “work” in a watch design, but don’t veer into homage territory. The Retrospect III has a case shape that’s generally familiar but not ripped from any particular watch or brand from the past, and features an oversized crown with no crown guards and a bezel that’s relatively narrow. These elements make you think of vintage watches almost subconsciously, which is the right way to do it in my opinion. It leaves Nodus a lot of freedom to play with the details and not be beholden to a particular style from any specific era.
One aspect of the Retrospect that has always been appreciated is a highly legible dial. As with prior versions, this new watch features a sandwich dial with triangular cutouts at each hour marker, under which you’ll find plenty of lume for easy legibility in the dark. For the Retrospect III, Nodus has gone with a sunburst fumé effect in colors they’re calling Slate Grey and Nebula Blue. You’ll find a trapezoidal date window at 6:00, a holdover from the previous version of the Retrospect, and a particularly seamless way to execute a date complication. Fans of previous versions will also be pleased to know that the sloped bezel hasn’t gone anywhere.
That bezel, though, does feature one of a handful of small changes that gives the Retrospect III a slightly different flavor. Earlier Retrospects used a ceramic insert, but for the III Nodus has elected to use steel with a black DLC coating. The reasoning provided is to improve durability and match the watch’s toolish nature.
Another small change is the polished bevel that can now be found on the underside of the watch’s midcase. This is a very small change that goes a long way in accentuating the fluid lines of the case, and also makes the watch appear thinner (the actual measurement is 13mm, and the diameter is 42mm). This bevel also serves to highlight the transitions in finishing techniques across the rest of the case, which is almost entirely brushed with the exception of thin chamfers at the lugs.
The Retrospect III ships on Nodus’s excellent Oyster style bracelet, which includes their proprietary NodeX module on the clasp. This is Nodus’s own micro-adjustment system for fine tuning bracelet fit at the push of a button, and allows the wearer to adjust the length of the bracelet up to 10mm through five positions.
Nodus really pays attention to the little details in a way that few small brands can compete with, and the Retrospect III is every bit as feature packed and well considered as earlier Retrospects. When you consider the price, which is $475, it makes the continued improvement of a watch like the Retrospect all the more impressive. The Retrospect III in Slate Grey and Nebula Blue are both available to order now, and expected to begin shipping next week. Nodus