‘Games without frontiers, war without tears’: With the new Nomos Ahoi Doctors Without Borders Limited Edition watches, ‘if looks could kill, they probably will’
Back in 1980, Peter Gabriel released ‘Games without Frontiers’ as a social commentary portraying war and international diplomacy like children’s games. In the midst of current global pandemic and social distancing and whatnot, Nomos’ new Ahoi releases in partnership with Doctors Without Borders made us think of the lyrics to the song: “If looks could kill, they probably will; In games without frontiers, war without tears”.
Technically the song has nothing to do with the release but there are times when a song reference just pops in your head. This is one of those cases.
Games Without Frontiers – The Charity Part
This new limited edition release, marking the brand’s 8th year of partnership with Doctors Without Borders Germany is worth commending.
Released at a time such as the current world state, the releases seem to work in the same way the song came to be inspired by the Europe-wide television show promoting series of funny games to reinforce the friendship between nations.
With other brands like IWC with initiatives like ‘Time To Share’ and Oris with ‘Local Heroes’, the world does need these gestures.
Nomos’ ‘clocks that tick for a good cause’ is another such gesture.
The two limited-edition versions — neomatik and Date — are being released in 250 pieces each, with each sale giving 250 euros directly to the charity.
Looks Could Kill – The Design Part
Introduced for the first time in a metal sports bracelet, the new Ahoi Limited Editions are the definition of minimalistic elegance. Add to this the subtle touches of a sports watch architecture and what you get is a handsome set of new watches.
Since 2013, the owner-operated German watch manufacturer is known for producing minimalist dress watches than have a certain sporty cum dive watch flair in their Ahoi collection.
These technically fall under the ‘yet another dive watch’ category, but thankfully they do not follow the design principles set by Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms. It is refreshing to see a release that is not a homage to those beautiful but copied-to-death watches.
Full of vintage charm, the Ahoi neomatik works amazingly well in incorporating Doctors Without Borders in the colour scheme they have decided to go with: white, black and red. They have also included a distinctive identifying feature on these new models: the red twelve on the dial representing unlimited use around the clock.
The watches are being released in two variations: a 40mm date versions and a 36mm no date version. Given these wear large, we would go with the 36mm no date version as our favourite of the two.
Both feature the steel metal bracelet.
Ahoi neomatik – the no date version
The reference 560.S1 comes with a stainless steel case covered by a sapphire crystal, and a steel case back screwed six times.
The heart used — DUW 3001 neomatik — is an in-house automatic movement. The 12 ¾ lignes or 12 ¾‴(28.8 mm) x 3.2mm movement comprises of 27 jewels and offers an okay 43-hour power reserve. The movement is adjusted in six positions and features stop-seconds mechanism; NOMOS swing system tempered blue balance spring; temperature blued screw; Glashütte three-quarter plate; and rhodium-plated surfaces with Glashütte stripes and NOMOS perlage.
It is cased inside a 36.3mm diameter and 9.6mm thick stainless steel case that offers an excellent 200m (20 ATM) water resistance owing to a screw-down crown with crown protection.
The reference 551.S2 comes with a stainless steel case covered by a sapphire crystal, and a steel case back screwed six times.
The heart used — DUW 5101 — is an in-house automatic movement with a date display. The slightly larger 13 ¾ lignes or 13 ¾‴(31 mm) x 4.3mm movement comprises of 26 jewels and offers a similar but lesser 42-hour power reserve.
It is cased inside a 40.3mm diameter and 10.6mm thick stainless steel case that offers an excellent 200m (20 ATM) water resistance owing to a screw-down crown with crown protection.
The watch face of reference 560.S1 shows the traditional functions of central hours, minutes and small seconds in a sub-dial at 6’o clock. The watch face of reference 551.S2 shows the above functions but with an added date at 6’o clock.
The elegant white silver-plated galvanised dial is clean as a whistle and preserves the brand’s DNA of purity. The alternating printed black Arabic hour markers and baton indexes are simple and legible. The outer minute track features another row of additional indexes in white Superluminova infill that provide green luminescence. On this white dial, the black oxidised hands infilled with white Superluminova (again providing green luminescence) compliment the watch face perfectly and are simply a pleasure to read under any lighting conditions.
Minimalistic embellishments on the dial include the concentric circles of the sub-dial at 6’o clock; lettering ‘Doctors Without Borders’ (in German) at 6’o clock; orange ‘neomatik’ under the branding; and the use of the colour red at 12’o clock.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It
The new Nomos Ahoi Doctors Without Borders Limited Edition watches come in a daily wearable size, and we are pleasantly surprised at the slim thickness for a dive watch coming in at only 9.6mm or 10.6mm.
But just a tip; even though they feature an ultra-thin movement, they usually end up wearing large owing to the peculiar crown guards and arched lugs.
The brand has been around for only two decades but has established a following for its Bauhaus inspired watches featuring clean, simple, and elegant dials.
Another key aspect working in their favour is that these watches do not look like a typical dive watch, and in an overcrowded dive watch market, that’s a welcome relief.
And if you take into consideration the limited edition nature, the steel bracelet, the partnership for a good cause and sturdy Nomos craftsmanship, the watches are a steal at 3’440 euros (neomatik) or 3’780 euros (date).
With or without a date function, they are understated yet bold. Legibility reigning key, the Ahoi range has always been a quiet show-stealer.
We don’t know if Peter Gabriel’s song has gotten stuck in your head or not, but we can’t seem to get rid of it. So while I hum it for the hundredth time, why don’t you head to the Nomos website for more information on these and other Nomos watches.