Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue
The Nomos Glashütte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue features a bold, fun dial, yet harnesses serious watchmaking craftsmanship while representing incredible value for money.
This detailed review of the Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue includes live images, specification details and pricing.
When large organisations unveil new products they have invariably already been exhaustively appraised by ‘focus groups’. The focus groups consist of a collection of individuals who are representative of the target audience. Each member of the group is canvassed for their opinion on a potential new product. Sadly, one downside of this approach is that ingenious designs and adventurous specifications are often ‘dumbed down’, resulting in commercially safe, mediocre products.
It is clear the German watch company did not subscribe to a focus group approach when it unveiled the Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue. Its vivid blue dial is unlike no other and does not conform to the conservative, safe colour schemes typically found in the windows of many watch retailers. It was with a sense of intrigue that I requested a sample of this cheerful timepiece, eager to ascertain whether there was any substance behind its notable style.
The silver toned hour and minute hands are lined with luminescent fill. They are bold and highly legible. The even-numbered hour markers are denoted with plump, Arabic numerals, while the odd-numbered hours are marked with simple batons. Again, the hour markers are luminescent making the watch simple to read in dim light. Both the numerals and hour markers reveal a green emission in restricted light.
Within the lower portion of the dial is a snailed subdial. The subdial displays the running seconds and employs a vivid orange hand. The seconds hand is luminous in restricted light and emits a vibrant orange shade. The scale on the subdial combines both Arabic numerals, at each 20-second integer, and simple strokes in between.
At 6 o’clock, a trapezoidal-shaped aperture reveals the date disc. The date display consists of white numerals in clean, modern font presented on a ‘signal blue background’.
Encircling the dial is a chapter ring featuring Arabic numerals at 5-minute integers and crisp white strokes.
Despite the intense shade of the dial, it does not impair ease of use. Indeed, the blue provides a wonderful foil for the hands to enunciate time. Furthermore, the extensive use of luminous material ensures that the dial remains highly visible, even in dark conditions.
This dial delivers peerless legibility as well as a high quotient of style.
The steel ‘bi-partite’ case measures 41.5mm in diameter. All surfaces are highly polished, underscoring the extrovert character of the dial. The case features long lugs bestowing a sense of elegance.
The case thickness is 9.78mm, but in reality the watch looks and feels much slimmer. This timepiece has a wonderfully graceful aesthetic appearance. The crown is neatly knurled and simple to adjust, but does seem to protrude a tad too much from the case-band for my liking.
Gracing the rear of the case is an exhibition case-back. The case-back is curved and readily nuzzles the wrist conferring a comfortable union with the arm.
Also on the rear of the case is a ‘little whale engraved next to “20 atm”’, indicating the watch has superior water resistance compared to some of its siblings.
The Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue is supplied on a blue-black textile strap paired with a steel pin buckle.
The self-winding DUW 5101 is an ‘in-house built’ Nomos caliber. It incorporates the brand’s own assortiment or, as Nomos refers to it, ‘Swing system’ and it includes a tempered blue balance spring. I have waxed-lyrical about the vertical integration of Nomos before. It is rare for a company to be able to craft a movement in-house, especially when that company is as comparatively small as Nomos. Nevertheless, Nomos shows that anything is possible with sufficient will on the part of a company’s stakeholders.
The slender movement, measuring a mere 4.3mm in height, is beautifully appointed. The three-quarter plate is adorned with Glashütte ribbing. The oscillating mass is open-worked, affording impressive views of the finishing beneath.
The duplex and ratchet wheels are wonderfully appointed with solarisation. Numerous blued screws populate the movement. Perlage can be seen on both the mainplate and the three-quarter plate. The level of finishing is exceptional on a watch at this price point. Indeed, Nomos is adept at showing other brands the way, delivering a level of finissage which surpasses watches costing substantially more.
The movement is equipped with a hacking seconds. The rotor provides bi-directional winding.
Nomos Glashütte has not played it safe, choosing to embrace a bold colour which many watch brands would not wish to risk. However, by holding its nerve, the German watch brand has delivered a sublime timepiece which stands out from the crowd.
The ‘signal blue’ colour scheme may not be to everyone’s taste but for those individuals who do appreciate the shade employed on the Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue, the courage of the German brand will be much appreciated.
Despite the bold use of colour, the dial remains simple to read. Indeed, functionality has not been sacrificed in the pursuit of eye-appeal. This is a highly practical ownership proposition.
The 41.5mm case should suit the majority of wrists and the 9.78mm thickness confers a relatively slender profile to the watch, proffering an unobtrusive fit.
However, beyond the beauty of the dial is the movement. It is magnificently appointed and shows an impressive level of finishing, all delivered at a comparatively modest asking price.
• Model: Nomos Glashutte Club Automat Datum Signal Blue
• Reference: 777
• Case: Stainless-steel; diameter 41.5mm; height 9.78mm; water resistant to 20 bar (200 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
• Movement: Caliber DUW 5101; self-winding movement; 26 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
• Strap: Blue-black textile strap with winged clasp, lug width 20mm
• Price: £2,660 (RRP as at 16.5.2017)