Watches & Thoughts: Nomos Club Campus 736 - The Ultimate Value Proposition

Fresh from Baselworld 2017 is the new Nomos Club Campus 38 Nacht model, reference 736.

Here are some general specs and features...

It's 38.5mm, height is 8.45mm, weight is 60 grams.

The case and caseback are stainless steel, the crystal is sapphire glass.  The caseback is mostly blank, and according to Nomos, leaving lots of room for an engraving.

The California dial, featuring a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals, is the best design feature of this watch.  Being from California, getting a watch with the California dial is a must have.

The dial indexes and hands have a nice blue lume.

The movement is Nomos' own Alpha manual wind caliber with 17 jewels and 43 hours of power reserve.

On the wrist, the Club Campus at 38.5mm is perfectly sized.  And it's really thin, so fitting it under a shirt sleeve is not an issue.  Unfortunately I can't say the same of most of my other watches.

Finally, no review of the Nomos Club Campus is complete without mentioning the price.  At $1,650 MSRP, this watch is extremely affordable.  I really can't think of a better watch, with an in-house movement, and so nicely designed for less.  This is my favorite watch release from Basel, and it's the ultimate value proposition.

What I love...

  • Properly sized at 38.5mm
  • Art deco style California dial
  • In-house movement
  • Extremely affordable

Not so much...

  • Lugs are a bit long, typical of all Club's
  • Wish there was an upgrade option for an exhibition caseback


Watches & Thoughts: Tudor Pelagos 25500TN 2-Liner, The Ultimate Modern Toolwatch

Today I'm sharing some thoughts on the original, first generation Tudor Pelagos 25500TN 2-Liner from probably the worst place to perform a watch review but most appropriate one for this specific watch - Big Bear Mountain.

This is the first generation Pelagos, with the ETA 2824 movement and two lines of text on the dial.  Design-wise, I prefer this over the more recent generation with the essay written on the dial.  It has a fully brushed titanium case with pointed crown guards.  It doesn't have a single polished surface, indicative of its toolwatch nature.

One initial concern that I had was the titanium case and how scratch resistant it is.  Generally speaking, while titanium is a stronger metal than stainless steel, it is softer and can be more easily scratched.  I'm happy to say that after a full year of ownership, it's just as scratch resistant, if not more, than stainless steel.

Beautiful, bright and blue lume!

The matte black ceramic bezel is easily my favorite part of this watch.  The markers on the bezel also lumes at night time.

Tudor Pelagos on the wrist.

On the wrist, the Pelagos is pretty light due to its case material but still has a good, substantial feel to it that you know it’s a quality watch.

Some of you are probably thinking - this guy is crazy for taking such a watch snowboarding.

If you take away the brand, take away the price, by definition, these watches are functional tools that tell time.  And the Tudor Pelagos is the ultimate embodiment of that.  Yeah it's expensive but at the end of the day, it's a toolwatch and wearing it while snowboarding, doing whatever, it'll be just fine. 


Watches & Thoughts: My IWC Big Pilot, a Personal Story

Ever since IWC announced the new Big Pilot 5009-12 during SIHH 2016, it quickly went to the top of my must-have list.  While I performed an unboxing and thoughts video on my YouTube VLOG below, there's a personal story associated with this acquisition that I would like to share.

By June 2016, I had 19 watches, nineteen!  I didn't really wear several of them, so I thought about potentially downsizing or maybe, how about trading some in for the Big Pilot?  Having worked with Govberg Jewelers, from Philadelphia, before on other pieces, I knew they were an IWC authorized dealer and they also deal quite a bit with trade-ins.  

So I reached out to my contact there and after a few emails and phone calls, we worked out a fair deal.

Gone but never forgotten.

The red eye flight from LA to Philly.

On 6/10/2016, I boarded a red eye flight from LA to Philly with a carry-on full of watches, boxes and papers. This was arguably the craziest thing I've ever done!

I landed at 6AM ET, rented a car shortly there after and drove out to Walnut St.  Since I arrived a few hours before opening, I hung out at the Starbucks around the corner until 10AM.

Mission accomplished!

Having tried on the Big Pilot, albeit the previous generation, at the IWC Boutique in Beverly Hills, several times, I knew what to expect.  It's a massive, disgustingly huge watch and it's perfect in every way possible.

The new Big Pilot fixes all of the relatively minor design issues of the previous generation - the most obvious is that the "9" is back on the dial, the two dots / triangle symbol is moved back down below the 12 o'clock index markers, the font used for the numerals are slightly enlarged and bolded and they replaced the alligator strap with a high quality Santoni strap, that better compliments the original toolwatch design of the Big Pilot.

Now with the Big Pilot on my wrist and my return flight later in the day, it's time to explore the City of Brotherly Love - visited Rocky, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and enjoyed a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

First flight.

Thank you Michele, Govberg and Philly for the hospitality!

So beautiful and perfect!

Now better with the buffalo strap from the original BP-5002.