As we are in the middle of the summer holiday period, with the back-to-work or back-to-school moment approaching faster than we’d like, we take a closer at the Nomos Club Campus collection. The slightly more relaxed look of the Club Campus is perfectly catered to celebrate momentous occasions like a graduation. Presented in both 36mm and 38,5mm (marketed as 38), it receives fresh new colors for its “California” style dials. The mix-and-match look of the two novelties works rather well, even if it reminds us Dutchies of our country’s stereotypical love for all things orange.
And while the love for orange does run deep within Dutch history – our Royal Family is named “of Orange” – it’s not necessarily that team MONOCHROME is “on board” with all things orange just because two of our members are Dutch. I’m joking a little of course, but from time to time we do hear that we should like certain things just because they’re orange.
That said, the Nomos Club Campus Absolute Grey and Future Orange were presented earlier this year, during Watches & Wonders 2021, as the brand was one of the participating brands. The Club Campus has always been the more playful, less serious side of Nomos. That is mostly down to the choice of the California-style dial, mixing both Arabic and Roman numerals, but also due to the choice of colors, shapes, and sizes, which I’ll get to in a minute.
Available in a 36mm or 38,5mm diameter, which Nomos markets as 38 actually, the Club Campus is on the smaller side of the spectrum. The 36mm might be too small for most, but the 38,5mm one is right on the money in terms of size and proportion for just about anyone. It is also a rather slim watch as both sizes come in at less than 9mm in height. The stainless steel case is fully polished from top to bottom, giving it a soft, sleek profile in the process.
The Club Campus, regardless of the size at hand, offers a robust look and feel without ever giving off tool-ish vibes. The solidly built case has an enclosed steel case-back and a domed sapphire crystal for a worry-free experience on the wrist. The size of the watch is visually enhanced by the slightly wider bezel (compared to the Tangente for instance) and elongated lugs, something that is especially noticeable in the smaller of the two.
The California dial now comes in two new colors; Absolute Grey or Future Orange. The two couldn’t be further apart really, despite sharing a similar design. The absolute grey version is restrained, with just a touch of bright orange, making it quite playful and enjoyable to look at without being over intrusive or in-your-face. The Future Orange more than makes up for it with its bright orange dial. Handling both watches, in both sizes though, I must say that leaned more towards the orange dialed Club Campus. It just pops on the wrist thanks to that vibrant hue.
The numerals for the dials are a mix of both Arabic and Roman digits, not something that will please everyone. I feel it is perfectly in line with the more fun, carefree vibe of the Club Campus though. The Future Orange dial has grey outlined numerals and markers with white Super LumiNova, the Absolute Grey reverses this with orange outlined ones. Both models come with a neon orange small seconds hand, and a pair of steel sword-shaped hour and minute hand with again white Super LumiNova inserts. On the outside edge is a minute track in black with small white double digits at every 5-minute increment.
The Club Campus relies on Nomos’ in-house developed hand-wound Alpha caliber. It has been in the Nomos portfolio for quite some years now and is a reliable movement. The small dimensions of the movement (23,3mm diameter and 2,6mm in height) means it can be used in many of Nomos’ collections, which it is. You can find it in several other Nomos watches like the Metro, Tangente and Tetra for instance. While it uses a geartrain similar to a Pesseux 7001 movement, the Nomos Alpha is constructed largely in-house. It has a stop-seconds mechanism and a Glashütte three-quarter plate. It runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3Hz) and has a total of 43 hours of power reserve. Even though you cannot see it due to the solid caseback, it features Glashütte ribbing and perlage decorations.
The Nomos Club Campus comes on a velour leather strap, either in grey (36mm) or anthracite (38,5mm). Nomos keeps the price for the Club Campus collection very competitive, at EUR 1,100 for the 36mm one and Eur 1,200 for its bigger brother. As an option, both can be ordered with metal bracelets (at a premium). Prices for these, range from EUR 70 for a standard steel bracelet (38,5mm only) and EUR 310 for the metal sports bracelet which is available for both sizes. And lastly, Nomos also offers the possibility to engrave a personal message on the case-back, with up to 88 characters, in honor of a key moment in life.
Rounding up this review, the Nomos Club Campus remains a well-built, affordable watch, perfectly catered towards a younger crowd who are just venturing into the world of mechanical watches. On the other hand, it would also look right at home on the wrist of a more seasoned enthusiast looking for a carefree and fun watch for those more laidback situations.
For more information, please visit Nomos-Glashuette.com