Nodus Duality Featured

Nodus Duality Review

A feature packed dual crown diver from the California microbrand

There are few brands that have released watches in which you can see their design language evolve and improve as quickly as Nodus. I’ve handled every Nodus watch and have been able to see their releases get better and more refined over time.

Looking at the Duality on its surface, you can see Nodus stepped up their game and took a risk with the design and execution of the watch. Introducing a sandwich dial with applied markers, this is the first time they have executed this type of layout. Can this new design introduce something new to the market and does it work with the watch as a whole? Let’s find out.

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On the Wrist

Occasionally, I put a watch on that fits my wrist perfectly. The Nodus Duality is one of those watches. I realize this isn’t going to be the case for every person who wears this watch, but it plays a role in how the Duality will fit others’ wrists. The lugs slope down dramatically at the tips, giving the wearer’s wrist a gentle hug as opposed to digging in like other lug shapes that slope down the entire lug length.

Nodus Duality 1

The Duality is a great-looking watch and maintains readability even with the heavily domed crystal. Because of the inner bezel, most of the crystal distortion occurs on the bezel markings, rather than the main dial. However, when viewed straight on, the crystal is clear and distortion-free enough to not hinder reading the bezel.

The dual crowns on the Duality are a point of contention for this watch. I will discuss them in further detail later, but when the watch is being worn the longer crown length is not a problem. I specifically moved my wrist in multiple directions to see if the crowns would dig into my wrist and was not able to make them do so. The positions of the crowns assist with this and the wearer should not be concerned with the crowns digging into their wrist.

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Nodus has included a new bracelet design with the Duality. While it is still an H-link style bracelet like their previous releases, the links now articulate more fluidly, giving a better drape around the wrist. The polished chamfers on each link also look fantastic. Thankfully, the end links have the female style center link so the bracelet does not protrude past the lugs of the watch.

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This is a fun watch to wear. The various brushed and polished surfaces, especially the polished bezel, all play with the light in different ways, creating some interesting effects. An added element that also plays into this is the dial markers. The applied markers over the sandwich dial cutouts create depth not seen on other watches.

Dial Details

As I discussed earlier, the dial on the Duality is unique. Nodus used a sandwich dial before on the Retrospect, but they took it a step further with the Duality. The polished applied markers create a dramatic effect. The dial color seen here is called Chasm Black and the markers and sandwich dial echo that; they look like a deep chasm.

Nodus Duality 5

The inner bezel on the Duality is offered in two flavors: a dive time bezel and a 12-hour time scale. Seen here is the dive time bezel. Simple markings with subtle green accents make for a readable bezel with easy orientation thanks to the different lume color on the triangle.

Nodus Duality

One of the main benefits of a sandwich dial is the heavy-handed application of lume. Without the worry of spilling lume onto the markers and dial as it is concealed under the main part of the dial, sandwich dials often have an abundance of lume. This is true of the Duality. Nodus often applied a ton of lume as it is on their other watches so expect even more here.

There are a few nice touches on the dial, my favorite of which is the date window. Nodus has been getting more creative with date windows on their past few releases, and the Duality is no exception. A pentagonal cutout frames the date at 6 o’clock. The shape resembles a wider, upside down version of the markers used on the rest of the dial.

Nodus Duality 6

Case, Bracelet & Movement

The Duality has the most complete and well executed case design from Nodus. Heavy, polished chamfers with various brushing patterns decorate the case. The polished chamfer that runs down the length of the case breaks up the case from the bezel, giving the case a slimmer appearance than its 13mm height would suggest. The Duality is a tall watch, but it doesn’t feel tall thanks to these design choices.  With that said, I still would have liked to see the case fall between 11.5-12mm if possible.

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The polished bezel is a nice touch as it allows the Duality to be dressed up a little more than if it had been brushed. It gives the watch some elegance and versatility, like the Hamilton Khaki Field which can transition from pure tool watch to a dressy sport watch easily.

Staring at the watch straight on, the wearer will notice the long, thin lugs. The shape of the lugs reminds me of a pilot’s watch rather than a chunky dive watch. Intentional or not, it further enhances the versatility of the Duality. The lug holes are set back far enough in the lugs that the wearer won’t run into any strap gap problems.

Nodus Duality 9

My only major gripe with the Duality has to do with the crowns. However, I’ll start by giving credit where it is due. Nodus added decoupling to both crowns, something exceedingly rare with microbrand watches. The main crown will not wind as it is screwed in and the crown for the internal bezel will not rotate it as it is being screwed in. This is not where my gripe lies. I would have liked to see the crowns designed a little differently. I feel they are about 1mm too long and the black PVD grip is in the wrong place. They can difficult to grip due to the polishing being on the top of the crown. If the PVD had gone all the way up the crown, this issue would have been solved.

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The dual crowns also feature a party trick that the wearer will notice in the dark. Both crowns have lumed logos. The main crown features a lumed Nodus logo and the secondary crown contains a lumed logo for the Duality itself.

The redesigned bracelet for the Duality is fantastic. I discussed it previously, but it is worth mentioning again as I feel bracelets can often be an overlooked part of the overall design. A comfortable bracelet that looks good can elevate a watch; such is the case with the Duality. If bracelets aren’t your thing, the Duality also looks great on almost any strap you can throw on it.

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Housed underneath the screw-in caseback is the Miyota 9015, a movement Nodus has used frequently. There isn’t much to cover on this movement that hasn’t been covered by many of my other reviews, but I will note that the case of the Duality heavily suppresses the rotor noise of the movement.

Nodus Duality 2

Final Thoughts

The Avalon was previously the watch from the brand that I thought was the most complete and best-fitting watch they had produced. This is no longer the case after experiencing the Duality. It’s obvious that everything the brand has learned over the course of their releases has made its way into the Duality.

There is no perfect watch. There are things I would change about the Duality. With that said, this watch is going to make a lot of people happy and can convert those who previously may not have been fans of dual crowns and internal bezel watches. The evolution Nodus has accomplished as they have released new watches has made me even more excited to see what they do next.

Case Width40mmThickness13mm
Lug-to-lug Height48mmLug Width20mm
CrystalBox SapphireStrapH-Link Bracelet
Water Resistance300 metersLumeSuper-LumiNova® BGW9
MovementMiyota 9015Price$700

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