March 28, 2023

2017 is a big year for Nomos as they added numerous new beach-friendly options, known as Aqua, as well as an entire new collection within Club, named Campus, aimed at younger collectors.

The Ahoi has been a runaway hit for Nomos, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they expanded their lineup for 2017. These are part of a sort of meta-collection, joined by Club, fittingly called “Aqua.” Like pretty much every other Nomos for this year, it has a much more vibrant and youthful feel than the austere and ultra-modern aesthetics Nomos is known for. Here we’re looking at the new Ahoi neomatik signalblau (and yes, that’s supposed to be lower case).

But I suppose I’m hiding the lead: just like in the last blue watch, this Ahoi neomatik signalrot is powered by a Neomatik ultra-thin automatic movement. These new watches are not only much thinner than previous Ahois, they’re quite a bit smaller, as well, at 36.3mm.

Despite its diminutive size, it remains certified for 200 meters of water resistance, and Nomos explicitly claims that they are “suitable for diving.” None of these stats, are their own, is that remarkable, but consider: this automatic is under 10mm thick and yet is capable of 200 meters of water resistance. Kind of makes you wonder why the market is saturated with 16mm thick, or even thicker, dive watches.

Not crazy about the wild new colors? The original two colors, like this Atlantik, are also available as Neomatik versions.

The full-sized Ahois also received a new model in the Aqua color scheme, the Ahoi Datum signalblau. It uses the DUW 5101 as opposed to the DUW 3001, but currently there is no Neomatik movement with a date complication, so this was entirely fitting.

The Club is the other half of the new Aqua collection, receiving similar colors and movements. The transformation is a bit more radical than in the Ahoi, however.

And that’s because these new Clubs, like this neomatik signalblau, are now water resistent for 200 meters, and again, Nomos explicitly claims that these are “suitable for diving,” so feel free to swim, or more, in Clubs now.

Also like the new Aqua Ahois, it features four Neomatik-styled and powered watches. These are actually a bit thinner than the Ahoi at 9.27mm, but also slightly larger at 37mm across.

The last of the Neomatik Clubs also happens to be my favorite new Nomos of 2017, this aptly-named Club neomatik Atlantik. This is probably not coincidental, as it reminds me quite a bit of our own Timeless Club.

The Aqua line continues to full-sized Clubs as well, albeit non-Neomatik ones. This Club Automat Datum is probably my second favorite new Nomos of 2017.

The wild color scheme is also offered here. The non-Neomatik clubs are among the largest new Nomoses at 41.5mm, although, despite not using the ultra-thin movement, it still manages to be under 10 millimeters thick. Very impressive.

Naturally, the Atlantik dial is available here as well in the Club Automat Datum Atlantik. All three of these use the DUW 5101, the second-generation in-house Nomos automatic movement that features the swing system.

Surprisingly, the Club line received even more love in 2017, which is probably a good idea since it had shrunk to one of the smallest groups within Nomos. By far the most talked about new release from Nomos is the Club Campus, a series of three (so far) Clubs that are aimed at younger collectors.

The most remarkable thing about the Campus, of course, is its California dial. Interestingly, this is actually inverted compared to the “normal” California dial layout. I’m very intrigued by this choice, both for the extreme rarity of German watches being associated with mixing Roman and Arabic numerals but also for the fact that Nomos ostensibly thinks that California dials will appeal to people in their early 20s more than conventional dials.

While the other two Clubs are 38.5mm, this one, likely aimed at female collectors, is slightly smaller at 36mm, but all of them use the venerable Alpha hand wound movement. I haven’t received the finalized US pricing yet, but the Club Campus models ought to be among the most affordable watches Nomos makes, so this is a great gift choice or a good weekend alternate pick.

This has been a very interesting Baselworld for Nomos. They’ve built so much horological capital over the years, due to creating new in-house movements, improving old ones, or just outright good design that I think that they wanted to focus on filling some niches. These have been quite controversial models, due to their bold colors, but it’s important to remember that the Nomos watches you know and love are still there. Nomos design was brilliant, yet largely one-dimensional, until Metro, and since the original Metro’s release, we can observe a trend of Nomos experimenting with more colorful, more playful and more youthful designs. It makes sense to me even though I find myself drawn more to the classics. There’s no reason to release yet another version of the original Tangente–the Tangente is already great. Tangente fans, like myself, are appeased. But not everyone in the world wants an extraordinarily sober watch, and Nomos, like other very focused brands (Grand Seiko, for instance), needed to expand to new audiences, and that meant creating designs that the core audience may not relate to as much. This is all a natural part of a watch company growing and maturing. If this means that a greater number of young people are brought into watch collecting, then we’re all the beneficiaries of Aqua and Campus.