There are lot of people who would love to create their “superband” watch. A watch that takes the best things from 3 or 4 watches and combine them all into one really great watch. I talked about how the next release was going to be even more interesting when I reviewed the Contrail. This is it, the Nodus Avalon. I always like to look at the textbook definition of the words watch companies use to describe their watches. I like to pretend these definitions played a role in their naming conventions. Avalon isn’t a word used in every day language, but it does represent something. It was the island King Arthur and his men were brought to upon their death. It represented a paradise. The Avalon is most certainly paradise for Nodus.
The guys as Nodus did what we all, as watch lovers, want to do. They created a watch based loosely on some of their favorite designs and added their own California style to it. Examining the case shape and other aspects of the Avalon you will see hints of Doxas and Seiko divers like the Turtle and Marine Master. A culmination of all their work and lessons learned put into a watch that is paradise to wear, the Avalon is their cap-stone watch.
Cut that Case!
One of the most impressive things Nodus accomplished with the Avalon is the manufacturing process used in making the case. Each 42mm case is engineering using CNC, giving it extremely high tolerances and unique shapes and curves not seen on other microbrand divers at this price point. You may look at the watch from the top down and think it looks squat and stubby, but the look changes dramatically once it is on your wrist. The undercut of the case sides is pure beauty. It slopes down toward the wrist and then angles to a curve toward the lugs. The case of the Avalon hugs your wrist as if it was custom made for you. It feels as if the fit is truly universal, a hard task to accomplish for any watchmaker.
The bezel is easy to grip and reminiscent of Seiko bezels when turning. Satisfying clicks are met with precise stops on the 120 click bezel. You will be met with a wall of lume, applied to all the markers on the bezel if you opt for one of the colored bezels. Every dial is also generously filled with extremely bright lume.
Details, details, details
The dial layout of the Avalon is no surprise here. Nodus excels at dials. The applied markers of the Avalon are nested neatly into the chapter ring. This detail is not apparent on first glance, but is a wonderful surprise upon closer inspection. Details like this, the ones you don’t notice right away are what make Nodus watches special.
I also found it refreshing to see a higher grade Miyota movement (9039) used in the Avalon. Branching away from the more common 8000 series Miyotas or Seiko NH movements, Nodus used a 28.8k vph movement with no date. This avoids the phantom position a lot of no date watches microbrand watches have. 1 position to set the time and 1 position to wind the watch. This was my first experience with a 9000 series Miyota and I loved winding it. It is super smooth and the size of the crown on the Avalon makes it extremely easy to unwind and set the time.
If green isn’t your thing, Nodus have you covered. There are 5 dial color and each color has a choice of a colored ceramic bezel or a steel bezel. The steel bezels lack the amount of lume in the ceramic bezels but give a more utilitarian look the watch.
Nodus has once again built a watch that differs from the crowded microbrand diver market. They continue to find ways to be different and evoke the feeling of this being a watch you always wanted. If you haven’t tried on a Nodus yet, this could easily be the perfect starting point. The Avalon is the culmination of Wes and Cullen’s dive watch brilliance. What makes me even more excited is to see what they have brewing for us in 2019.
More images of the Nodus Avalon
Check out the Nodus website