Disclosure: The Watch Clicker is an affiliate partner of Nodus Watches, and we do receive compensation from Nodus when people use the discount codes provided on this website. With that said, we received no compensation or products in exchange for this review, and Nodus does not have or ask for any editorial control of our reviews. This review is separate from any affiliate relationship, and (entirely) the unadulterated opinion of the reviewer.
For me, Nodus represents something of a watershed for the Microbrand watch movement. Although they are arguably not alone in this, Nodus has managed to marry the quirk and enthusiast focus that we love microbrands for, with the accessibility and availability (or at least approaching that) of a legacy brand. I suspect it is a matter of time before “we” are musing whether Nodus is “really even a microbrand.”
It’s in this context that I am enamored by what Nodus has managed to do with the Sector Series. I cannot think of another brand, at any price or segment, doing anything quite like the Sector series. Cincinnati Watch company has its Time Hill collection, which is similar but perhaps less fleshed-out, and Tudor has the Black Bay, but that is an entirely different thing altogether. That is basically it. There are probably a few other notable analogs in the long history of watches, but I can’t find anything quite like the Sector series. The Sector Series was not an accident, as is evidenced by the overlapping 4-circle logo on the very first “skin divers” of the series; from day one, the Sector series has been intended to be exactly what it is right now: 4 separate watches, with a shared case, but discrete dials, hands, bezels, and styles. As it stands, the series currently includes the Skin Diver, the Pilot, the Sport, and the Field, the latter of which I will be reviewing today.
On the Wrist
Perhaps the most compelling thing about the Sector Series is the consistency of the case. At 38mm x 47mm, Nodus has gone with immanently wearable dimensions, and if you have worn any of the watches from the collection, you will have a very good idea of how the rest of them will wear. I can think of potential limitations for that one-size scheme, but they do not present here. The Sector case sits well on the wrist and never threatens to get outside of the plot of wrist-land I have attributed to it. The lugs curve downwards to mask the case back gut (often caused by long nights shot-gunning Seiko movements), and the female end link allows the bracelet to do almost anything you need it to. While it is not slight or delicate, and it does not threaten to “disappear,” I am very satisfied with how this watch wears.
To be frank, before receiving this review model, the Sector Field dial did not call out to me. I am generally a less-is-more kind of guy when it comes to dials, and this dial represents the opposite of that philosophy. A lot is going on here: multi-tiered dial, recessed dashes, sector, crosshair, gradient, outlined and lumed Arabic numerals, etc. I wouldn’t say that I “hated it” based on photos, but it’s not a watch that makes me impulsively “place in cart.”
This is why I was shocked to, almost immediately, fall in love with the Sector Field dial. Even with the much-maligned tiny porthole date window, everything on the Sector dial is done so well, it just… works. Every element is well proportioned and manufactured, and the final product is just incredibly stunning – even when viewed from normal watch viewing distances. The not-so-subtle dial gradient adds an incredible amount of depth to the dial, and the large white hands and markers make the watch ridiculously legible despite its complexity. I initially guffawed at the idea that Nodus would make its field watch so… sexy. Mil-specs are notoriously utilitarian and stoic. This is not that. And yet it manages to still be all the things you want a field watch to be, both elementally and in practice.
I honestly don’t have a single objective criticism of the dial. The date is optional, so don’t @ me. If I could change a thing, it would be to make the accent color a bit less cute. The cornflower blue seconds hand and line detail works well with the overall tone and feel of the dial, but I would probably prefer a more stoic accent color.
Case, Movement, and Bracelet
The case on the Sector series manages to be both traditional, and interesting. There are a few details that separate it from the cookie-cutter watches we often see in this price range, but nothing that is overdone or even polarizing. I get the feeling that every bit of this watch is purposefully (and masterfully) designed to accommodate the delightfully affordable, but notoriously chunky NH movement. The very slightly twisted, and downwards sloping lugs add some illusory dimension to the case, but also (more importantly) allow the bracelet to ride at a more natural position than most watches with an NH booty; by dropping the end-link toward the wrist, the bracelet projects naturally along the surface of the wrist. The twisted lugs also serve to create a segue from case to end-link, which is something that is often neglected or just poorly done.
By my math, the NH35 is the perfect movement for this watch. Even if Nodus were to use a (still affordable) Miyota 9 movement, this watch would jump in price to over $500. By committing to the Seiko/Sii NH movement, Nodus can offer these watches at an incredible $450. That is an admirable feat.
The vast majority of the Sector Field is a silky bead-blast texture. The blasting is consistent across all surfaces (which we shouldn’t have to point out, but sadly do), and reflects a diffuse soft light along with its various angles. The bezel is mirror polished on its topmost surface, which, in certain lights almost makes it disappear into the crystal chamfers. Harder to see, the horizontal portions of the bezel are also polished, which is the kind of barely-there detail that always tickles me.
The case has a single prominent polished chamfer running along the tops of the case sides, which provides a nice balance (away) from the tough-guy rugged aesthetic that many companies attempt with “field” watches. I’m here for it.
The oversize crown looks great, and, along with the super usable NH movement, gets perfect marks for winding and setting. The h-link bracelet is fantastic and comfortable, and vibes with the rest of the watch.
The taper, at 2mm, is fine, though I generally prefer a 4mm drop. Besides that, the bracelet does everything I want, and nothing I don’t. The clasp itself is similarly completely effective. Further, in terms of the visual design, I think Nodus does more with its clasp than any other company I can think of in this price range.
This is the part of the review where I am always tempted to gush. My experience reviewing and talking about watches has taught me that that is neither helpful nor (usually) all that well received. With that said, I just really like the Nodus Sector series, and (surprisingly to me) this Field entry. The bulk of my revelation comes regarding the dial, which I did not expect to like, and then immediately fell in love with.
Further, I just love what Nodus is doing with this affordable, consistent, consistently well-done, and diverse Sector series. I’m high on the Sector Field, and I (strongly) recommend it.
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Nodus Sector Field Specs