Dual-crown “compressor-style” divers have become quite popular in recent years with micro and large brands alike. Los Angeles-based Nodus Watches’ entry into the segment is the Duality. The founder of the brand seemed like a great guy on a podcast interview I listened to, and the watches are assembled in LA. I’ve also always liked the look of their watches in photos, and having briefly tried on a friend’s Retrospect, I was interested to spend more time with one. I didn’t have anything in my collection quite like the Duality “Unity White,” so it was the perfect way to better acquaint myself with the brand.
The Duality line is available with three dial colors, and two choices of bezel insert – a 12 hour travel bezel, or 60 minute dive timer. A year ago I would have gone for the travel watch, but since recently I’ve been timing pizzas more often than I’ve been changing time zones, the dive bezel was the better choice (I actually did this on my first day with the watch). The white dial version also looked the most attractive to me, and I was happy to break up my mostly dark collection.
At first glance, $700 for a microbrand watch with a Miyota movement might not seem like a great value, but upon handling the watch, you’ll find that Nodus puts significant effort into perfecting small details on the watch that give it more value than it would seem on paper.
First, the movement in questions is regulated in four positions to provide an accuracy of +/- 8 seconds per day, which is much better than the +30/-10 that is standard. This example kept time more accurately than that while I was writing the review.
Both crowns feature lumed sapphire glass inlays as well as black PVD knurled grips. They both screw down and are visually just the right size to make the watch stand out. Additionally, two colors of Super-LumiNova are used for the dial and various accents. Even the internal bezel has lumed numerals.
The case finishing is also quite nice for a microbrand, with a pleasing mixture of brushed and polished finishes. At 40mm, the case itself is also a size that most people will find just right. It also provides 300m of water resistance, which is more than the 200m that is to be expected of a diver.
The dial features a sandwich construction with recessed hour markers, and a very well integrated date application at six o’clock with a unique cutout shape (why can’t more brands do this?). Their watches tend to use very pleasing combinations of color, and even the mostly monochrome Duality has hints of light blue to make the dial more interesting. A fully-lumed dial would have been extra cool, but the night time legibility is still good as it is.
The H-link bracelet features a matching finish to the case with polished, chamfered sides, and tapers down to 18mm. Drilled lugs allow it to be easily swapped out for your favorite strap. Some of the photos in this review feature the Duality on StrapHabit straps from my website. Click on the photos to learn more about the straps.
The polished gunmetal PVD hands always stand out against the dial, and match the trim around the hour markers. I would have preferred matte black, to give it that extra pop, but the polished hands give it a more refined look.
The unique looks, and bright white dial make the watch really fun to wear. One small gripe is that the lugs are quite long. It did not affect comfort, or look too big on my 7″ wrist, but aesthetically I think that smaller lugs would have looked better and allowed it to fit well on people with smaller wrists. It would also reduce the gap to the case when wearing it with a strap.
For a market in which it is increasingly difficult for a brand to stand out, Nodus manages to make attractive products that include unique details that give that special something extra. It is clear that a lot of thought goes into their designs. The result is that the Duality is a fun watch to wear and feels a bit more special than other watches in the segment. You can find out more at their website.
What are your thoughts on the Nodus Duality? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
- Name: Nodus Duality (Unity White)
- Price: $700
- Dimensions: 40mm diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, 13mm thick, 20mm lug width
- Movement: Miyota 9015 (regulated in four positions to +/- 8 secs/day)
- Water Resistance: 300m
- Crystal: Double-dome box sapphire, blue anti-reflective coating inside
- Crowns: Screw-down
- Bezel: Bi-directional, lumed