Editor’s note: On surface the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue may just be their existing timepiece with an added steel bracelet. But dig deeper, and it opens up a whole new world for watch enthusiasts to appreciate the beauty that Nomos watches truly stand for. If you’re strapped for time, here’s the link to our shorter review of this watch. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. Please note that this is not a sponsored post.
Never Break Character
When you study to be an architect, one of the names that no matter your personal style you can’t ignore is Walter Gropius. He was an architect and the founder of the Bauhaus school of thought and design. Gropius along with Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright has defined modernist design language, with the design philosophies of ‘less is more’ and ‘form follows function’ reigning supreme.
Nomos’ design DNA seems to be deeply embedded with the genetic codes of these modernist and minimalistic schools of thinking. On paper, watches like the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue are simple 2-handed timepieces with an added basic date complication (and a small seconds counter thrown in for good measure).
There is no fancy layering, no dramatic three-dimensional play of surfaces or polishes or textures on the dial, and no grand internal and external bezel.
But put the Club Sport Neomatik on your wrist, and none of that seems to matter. It’s like they have done away with all the unnecessary, provided less than more, and executed to perfection an object that like form following function, tells time without any frivolous distractions.
The brushed sun-ray effect raises the bar of a ‘plain’ blue dial thanks to its changing shades of blue as the light caresses its body. The sub-dial is only very slightly sunken, but thanks to the azurage treatment, it forms its own sun-ray effect and adds another shade of blue. Not to break character, the lume in the oversized and legible to death numerals is again in blue, but this time offering yet another fourth shade of blue.
“The Bauhaus fights imitation, inferior craftsmanship and artistic dilettantism,” said Walter Gropius.
The new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue sticks true to Nomos’ own non-imitated design roots, comprises of fine watchmaking craftsmanship with a very decently decorated in-house movement to boot, and thanks to the inclusion of both the self-winding DUW 6101 Calibre and a very comfortable bracelet with no-gap end links & micro-adjust clasp that are all designed specifically for the case, it fights artistic dilettantism by removing any argument that it has been designed without any real commitment or knowledge.
An All-Out Week Long Thriller
There is a term that gets thrown around loosely called ‘GADA’. For anyone who may not be familiar with the acronym, GADA stands for ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’. True GADA watches are rare and far in between. Another way of describing these is the term ‘beater’ timepieces. The latter as the name suggests, are great watches that can take the brunt of everyday life. To make it simpler, these are watches that can be worn everyday, and can break through the social divides of dress, work, casual, and active wear appropriateness.
So what would I construe to be a great daily wearable watch?
For starters, let’s take Monday. The need to be professional is always paramount. One needs a watch that is slim enough to fit under the cuff. Enter the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik with its only 10.2mm thickness.
Form in pursuit of function.
Tuesday it’s work, work and more work. With busy meetings and networking, there is always the need to sport a timepiece that looks elegant, and gives a short summary of your exceptional personal tastes. The charming, kind of a glossy blue dial colour of the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue along with the polished surfaces and a common but still stylish bracelet lend to the timepiece a vibe that’s punches well above it’s price mark.
I am going to ignore Wednesday as it’s too much of a blah day for any watch to work its wiles on me.
Then, Thursday. Work-load piling, eyes tired, one needs a watch that can quickly just at a glance tell the time. This would mean that one needs thick, oversized numerals (and date). The new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik has you covered with the printed & lumed Arabic markers.
Next up Friday. After work drinks. Sleeves rolled up. One needs a watch that can effortlessly fit in the environment of jeans, and unbridled fun. The various shaded blue dial, and the highly polished case of the Nomos Club Sport Neomatik can command any room.
Then, it’s the weekend. One needs a watch that can be taken for a swim with the mates. Or on a fishing trip without worrying about your kids accidentally knocking you over in the lake and with you, your timepiece. The bracelet that’s got end-links that actually extend to the end of the case unlike their previous bracelet feels sturdy yet comfortable. And is very welcome from a practical standpoint (though it is also a scratch magnet but hey, what’s a timepiece that doesn’t tell the story of your experiences).
And talking about rendezvous with water, not only does the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue comes super-packed with 300m water resistance, but also features a cute little red anodised aluminium ring on the extended crown to ensure that you don’t accidentally submerge it in water when its not ready.
Even besides the red marker, that crown and winding stem feel really sturdy and purpose built for use.
Form follows function.
Finally, the week’s about to end. You drive back say from a vacation at night. You want to tell the time but not hassle with a phone. You need a watch whose lume just keeps on lighting up the night. Nomos has definitely got you covered here; it’s got one of the longest lasting lume we have reviewed.
In short, what I had on me to successfully master my week and what you need is the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue ref. 782 (retailing for 5’580 AUD). The true GADA watch.
Test-drive Through The Landscape
The new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue is presented in a mirror polished 42mm diameter and 10.2mm thick stainless steel case with a rather large lug-to-lug spacing of 52.3mm.
The lugs may be long, but the way they are slenderly shaped and curved actually helps the watch to sit well and low on the wrist. On my ~16cm wrist, the watch sits ever faintly large but when wearing it out and about, it didn’t feel or look awkward. It is one of those timepieces that you should test drive yourself and not simply be governed by the measurements.
I even compared it to another 42mm diameter watch that I own, the now discontinued Cartier Ronde De Croisière. The Cartier version does sit marginally better on my slim ~16mm wrist, thanks to the various layered dial and a thick external bezel.
But that’s when both are worn on a leather strap.
Pair the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue with the original bracelet it comes on, and the difference aesthetically vanishes.
One watch that I would definitely pitch it against is the Longines Spirit Prestige Edition ref. L3.810.4.93.9.
Both the timepieces feature a sun-ray blue dial, lumed Arabic numerals, and a steel bracelet. In person though, the aesthetics of both these watches is very different. In my opinion, the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue manages to work with it, rather than against it.
If one does the pilot’s watch job well, the other is more of a dress-meets-causal watch.
The Longines version features a lower 100m of water-resistance but a higher 72-hour power-reserve, similar screw-in crown but without the warning, and an officially COSC-certified movement with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring. Even though it measures at a smaller 40mm diameter and 49.4mm lug-to-lug, it is thicker at 12.20mm. The 21mm lug interhorn spacing is kind of a bummer.
The Longines version that we haven’t gone hands-on with personally but will be a closer hit is the 42mm diameter version of the same watch. It does feature an even greater thickness of 13mm, but the similar 52mm lug-to-lug spacing.
No doubt, both the Nomos and Longines timepieces feature a whole lotta punch. If you want a more pilot’s style watch, the Longines is a fantastic buy.
But for those who want a slimmer case, more water-resistance, more dial space with a date wheel colour that exactly matches that of the dial, bigger date, and a welcome display case-back, the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue lights the way with a lume that seems to last forever.
Form is definitely following function.
Pop The Hood
The in-house movement’s display is welcome, thanks to its decent treatment that features a micro perlage underneath the balance, bidirectional winding rotor with gold-plated embossing, tempered blue screws, rhodium-plated surfaces with Glashütte ribbing, and Nomos perlage golden engravings.
This NOMOS neomatik caliber with automatic winding, neomatik date mechanism, and bidirectional quick correction feature measures 35.2 x 3.6mm. It offers a 42-hour power reserve, is adjusted in six positions even though not officially COSC-certified, features 27 jewels, and and the NOMOS swing system.
Just like the red ring on the crown prevents the user from making a water-related mishap, internally, Nomos’ patented date mechanism prevents the user from damaging the calendar complication.
Form and function rendezvous.
Aspects That I Love
2019 saw the brand dipping its toes in the steel bracelet market. It’s no secret that Nomos watches generally tend to ‘wear big’. And the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue is no different; with an almost non-existent outer bezel, slim case, it really opens up the dial, with the watch face staring at you with full intensity.
Only in this case, the sun-ray blue dial is a welcome beauty, one that can be stared at for long intervals of time should one desire to do so. It’s like a little pup, looking at you with big eyes. With the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue you just can’t help but fall in love with it.
It’s that extremely clear legibility that does it for me. And that blue lume when lighting conditions get poorer is very desirable. Even in middling light when one is not completely in the dark the lume is visible; honestly, this timepiece has much more ‘effective’ lume even under decent lighting conditions than most watches have in the dark.
That’s All Folks!
Allow me to wrap up with another Walter Gropius quote: “Limitation makes the creative mind inventive”.
The creative minds at Nomos take a large clean blue slate, introduce to it a mesmerising sun-ray effect, limit the inclusion of anything not useful, and in the end give the watch community an inventive timepiece that charters its own course.
Form has followed function.
As for the question ‘Is The New Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue So Good That It Can Be Your Only Watch?‘, the answer is straightforward: if you are someone who can pull-off the 52.3mm lug-to-lug on your wrists and don’t mind a bit of character courtesy scratch marks on polished surfaces on your timepieces, it is in my mind without a doubt one of the best daily wear watches around the 5k AUD in the market today.
Being an architect, and a pursuer of practicality, I admire most of the work by Nomos. The new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue is no different; the restrained Bauhaus aesthetic is executed to perfection.
It is a masterclass in understated elegance, held-back nuances, and superb practical functionality.
To find out more about the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue and other NOMOS timepieces, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.