With Windup Watch Fair 2022 kicking off in NYC this weekend, the boys at Nodus took the opportunity to announce a new set of dial colors for their flagship diver. The Retrospect family of watches has at this point served as a longstanding design cornerstone for the LA-based brand. We say it a lot, and this is just one of those watches that really carries the signature Nodus look. While earlier versions of the Retrospect III have been out for a bit (Salmon Sky and Flare Orange dials), this new dial set takes what I consider to be a wider-appealing approach. For those that didn’t exactly feel tempted by the other run, the Nodus Retrospect III is now available with what the brand calls Cosmic Grey and Nebula Blue dials.
The Nodus Retrospect III is Nodus’ latest attempt at tackling a design inspired by an obscure group of vintage divers. Specifically, we’re talking about the old Breitling SuperOcean, the Rado Captain Cook, and the Gruen Ocean Chief. Those watches all share a variety of design traits—and a sloped bezel is one feature Nodus hoped to capture and improve upon. This results in a watch that becomes really hard to pin down as some kind of homage. Rather, it’s the fusion of common design features into a unified product. Thankfully, this is a challenge Nodus has managed to nail time and time again, without turning to the tired microbrand strategy of releasing another sub homage.
Running through the basics, the Nodus Retrospect III case comes in at 42mm. And much like what Tudor attempted with the underside of the Black Bay GMT, Nodus visually slims down the case with an intelligent polished chamfer. Sure, 13mm isn’t all that thick. But I’m down for whatever the brand does to shave off visible case height. The DLC-coated steel bezel still has that modernized, sloped look and over time it’ll be interesting to see just how much that does to protect the insert from damage. My favorite development, however, is the new choice in dial color. These two are almost universally appealing and I can even see myself picking one of these up. (I’m usually a pretty boring black-dial kind of guy.)
Nodus Retrospect III Specs
- Case Diameter: 42mm
- Case Thickness: 13mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 48mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Crystal: Double-dome sapphire
- Bracelet: Stainless steel with proprietary NodeX™ Clasp, 22mm-18mm taper
- Price: $475
All told, I’m happy to see an expansion of the Retrospect III collection. It’s a watch that I have honestly overlooked for a very long time. But I don’t know. Something about the combination of new refinements paired with dial colors I’m excited about and a sub-$500 price point makes this really hard to pass on. Over time I’m sure the design will improve even further. But right now, it’s sitting at one heck of a sweet spot.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.