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Nomos Club Campus

When Bauhaus Meets Life

When we think about dress and cocktail watches, our mind would most likely beeline for Cartier, Patek Philippe, or Rolex. All three being classified in the “Swiss Luxury” category. So when we think “dress” and “cocktail,” we mean elegant timepieces that we only wear on special occasions. Though, this correlation doesn’t apply to all watch enthusiasts since I know of a few who walk their dogs pairing a Cartier Tank to shorts and a t-shirt. (And there is nothing wrong with that!) However one wears a dress watch, we more or less all have an idea of what this kind of timepiece is: thin, small, time-only and ones that has a je-ne-sais-quoi that certainly excludes it from the beater and tool watch categories. For one reason or another, Bauhaus-style watches are not automatically added to the categories “dress” and “cocktail” although they should be, at least in my humble opinion.

This brings us to Nomos and the latest addition to the Club Campus collection: four bright colors that come in 36mm and 38mm cases. Nomos is a brand I reviewed once before and which I’m delighted to get my hands on again. The Club Campus collection is the German brand’s sporty and “casual” collection which even includes models made for diving. (I put quotation marks around the word “casual” as it only refers to the urban models in the brand’s catalog.) What I absolutely adore about Nomos is the fact that they adapted a classic and time-tested design to genres that one wouldn’t have expected. Because I don’t know of any other Bauhaus-style timepiece that sports a Cream Coral dial—perfect for long chair-potatoing—or 200 meters of water resistance—enough to be worn by 99.99% of recreational divers.  

This is what James Bond should have been wearing all along.


If I’m getting this right, Nomos recently released eight new models with the following colors: Future Orange, Cream Coral, Deep Pink and Electric Green. And each color variant comes in two sizes, 36 and 38mm. The 36mm version has a lug-to-lug of 47.5mm and a thickness of 8.2mm, while the 38mm version has a lug-to-lug of 48.9mm and a thickness of 8.5mm. While many give Nomos a hard time for making long-lugged watches, let me tell you this: a 36mm diameter watch with a thickness below 10mm needs longer lugs, otherwise it would feel dainty. But yes, I get why someone would complain about a 42mm diameter watch that would come with longer lugs. To be fair, watches of this diameter do often come with greater lug-to-lug distances. Either way, the 36 and 38mm Club Campus are outstanding to wear. 

All models are powered by the in-house caliber Alpha which measures a mere 2.6mm in thickness and comes with 43 hours of power reserve. Before we go any further, let’s discuss the price of these new Club Campus models. They retail for roughly $1,500-$1,600 depending on which color/size you choose. Alright? A few hundred dollars below the $2,000 trauma-inducing price line and—I repeat—an in-house caliber. Once I’ve told you how good the fit and finish on these models is, you will most likely agree with the following statement: the Club Campus offers outstanding value. Because in addition to the in-house caliber, these watches are equipped with a sapphire crystal, rhodium-plated hands, and 100 meters of water resistance. 

I beg your pardon?

Yes indeed, you can technically swim and do some shallow diving with a 36mm Club Campus. This is incredible and a reality that I’m still struggling to grasp. Because although I haven’t handled many Swiss luxury dress watches in the past—and I won’t in the near future either—, I’m pretty sure that none come with these kinds of specs at this price. (If I’m wrong, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Although I hate to be wrong, I need to be corrected.) To complete the spec sheet, you should know that high polished surfaces adorn the cases and that all printed hour markers as well as the hands are endowed with BGW9 lume. It isn’t the brightest lume application, however it is pretty good given what type of watch this is—not professional tool watches.


A Club Campus Nomos more or less looks the same as many other Nomos models. The precept of their design philosophy is to make the dials as legible as possible whilst using a minimal amount of stuff. Hands long enough to be legible, hour markers large enough to be visible from a normal viewing distance, and enough of a minute track to make setting the time something of a precise operation. These new Club Campus follow that ethos and remain, as all other Nomos models do, legible watches. This minimalistic approach to designing the dial is also present in the case profile: a perfectly circular case with an integrated fixed bezel, long and thin lugs which turn down toward the wrist. The simple elegance of the case is made possible by being thin and by being made of only two parts. (The case-back being the second one.) 

Looking more closely at the dial we can see what has become a staple of Nomos design: Arabic numerals at the 12, 2, and 10, Roman numerals at the four and eight, and batons everywhere else. Regardless of which dial color you choose, the hour markers are white and come with what looks like silver surrounds (I really need to buy myself a loupe.) The white color comes from the lume, and although Nomos doesn’t specify which blend of SuperLuminova it uses, I guessed its BGW9 based on the fact that the markers are white and glow blue when charged. Below the pinion we find a running seconds sub-register with a neon orange seconds hand. (Its color is the same on all variants.) Furthermore, each five-minute increment on the minute track is indicated by Arabic numerals.

The small crown showcases deep knurling so that its operation is not hindered by its modest size. (Which is a great analogy for the how mighty of a package the Club Campus is despite its modest dimensions.) The crown also showcases a minuscule engraved version of the brand’s logo. The case-back is plain so that one can engrave something on it, perhaps an ode to Nomos or words that would commemorate a special occasion. I do wish Nomos would offer the possibility to have a see-through case-back so that we could see the in-house caliber, however that would mean lowering the water resistance to, probably, 30 meters like it is on the 35mm Tangente I reviewed last year.

At Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Nomos continues to please, marvel, and impress. Knowing that the brand has only been around for 30 years, it is rather mind-boggling to know how much it has accomplished thus far. From what I could tell, the brand manufactures most of the parts that make up their watches in addition to making their own movements. I read somewhere—and I wish I could remember where it was—that a brand needs to invest at least one million dollars to create an in-house caliber, to account for the design of the parts, the acquisition of the appropriate machinery, and well, making and assembling the movements. This fact is even more impressive given that the Club Campus in 36 and 38mm retail for well below $2,000.

I know, how much something is worth is highly subjective. However, we can agree that a watch that retails for that much and that comes with that much stuff inside is rather impressive. It is objectively an impressive feat. Because Nomos doesn’t stop at making good-looking watches, but it goes to the extent of making well-made watches. As we saw above, the Club campus, even in its smallest version, comes with impressive specifications that truly make it an everyday timepiece. And, I would add, a sporty everyday one. With a sapphire crystal, 100 meters of water resistance, and a robust caliber, there is little one cannot do with a Club Campus. Add to that bright and joy-inducing colors and you have a unique mix of things—something that only Nomos knows how to do. 


Are you into brands that make solid, inconspicuous watches? Are you into classic designs that have been rejuvenated to fit the taste of watch collectors of the 21st century? Or are you interested in being “in” before that most aren’t? If you have answered yes to at least one of these questions, then you must go and take a closer look at Nomos and the Club Campus collection. Honestly, I was skeptical when I reviewed the 35mm Tangente because it looked “too classic” to me. But I loved the watch as soon as I opened the box. And I felt the same enthusiasm about the brand when I opened the four boxes they sent over a couple of weeks ago. Nomos is, to me, the kind of brand that forces us to question our deepest-rooted beliefs about horology. And boy, I need to get my hands on more Nomos models. 

Thanks for reading.


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