ACE × NOMOS Glashütte Club 36 Blue Limited Edition Watch Is A Dutch Dream
Talk about coincidences… On the same day last week, both Fratello and our good friends at Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam announced NOMOS collaboration watches. For Fratello, it was the first attempt; for Ace, it was their sixth in five years. That’s no mean feat given the notoriously exacting standards of NOMOS Glashütte collectors, but Ace has managed to pivot and push ahead in new directions with every subsequent release. So how does the ACE × NOMOS Club 36 Blue Limited Edition stack up next to its five older siblings?
Time really does fly when you’re having fun. This five-year anniversary is actually quite special to me personally. Half a decade ago, at Baselworld 2016, I was sitting across from Alon Ben Joseph and Dale Vito Boom as the NOMOS brand representative for the Netherlands. Those handshakes — remember handshakes? — kicked off a new era for both brand and retailer. But even we, as confident as we were that the partnership would be mutually beneficial, could have anticipated the storm of success that would follow.
A different animal
I know I frequently wax lyrical about the way team Ace does business and how it differentiates them from their peers, but there’s a reason for that: I’ve worked with over 200 retailers directly and hundreds more indirectly. I’ve seen all kinds of oddities, foibles, and personal gripes get in the way of good business being done and I’ve seen weirdly regressive behavior when it comes to building plans for the future.
Everything I ever saw from Ace was the opposite. This team is in the industry not just to create joy (which every smart business should aim to do), but also for their own. While you might have expected that couplet to be arranged in reverse, it is the latter trait that is far less common and the one that actually sold the brand of Ace to me in the first place. These people love being here and doing what they do. That, above all else, is infectious.
A history of success
In five years, Ace has created six special editions with NOMOS. That’s one heck of a clip. With this model, the retailer returns to what has proven to be a successful model for it in the past. The first model, the Orion de Stijl of 2017, was an ambitious, high-concept classic that won hearts over time. 2018’s Club Campus Amsterdam saw the commencement of the three-part Amsterdam set that was completed with 2019’s Weltzeit and 2020’s delicious Tangente Bauhaus 38 (really, that’s a stunning Tangente if ever I saw one).
Soon after the trio of black, red, and white watches was rounded out, the three-way collab between NOMOS, Ace, and Instagram sensation @nomiesforlife released a Club together (it was, honestly, one of my favorite ever Clubs with its reverse panda dial and ice blue accents.
Come in number six, your time is now
This (subtly two-piece) edition uses the original NOMOS Glashuutte Club 701/703 as its canvas. Here we have two 36mm diameter editions, one with a closed case back (limited to 50 pieces) and one with a sapphire display case back revealing the NOMOS alpha caliber (limited to 100 pieces).
I’m really thrilled by the closed case back release because this is how I like to see the Club more often than not. I love that it is NOMOS Glashütte’s entry-level watch and manages, despite being an in-house German-made product, to retail at just over €1,000 including VAT. The core collection model is a serious value proposition. This limited version is, in my opinion, a preposterous steal. I already have two Club models (a 36mm closed case back Club Campus and a 38mm Club Campus Amsterdam), but I am sorely tempted to make it three with this release.
If you, like me, find yourself rather taken by the Dutch-orange numerals set against the typically moody blue background NOMOS often employs, head over to Ace’s official site here to see the models in their natural habitat. If you want to buy one, the closed case back version (701.S3) will cost you €1,080 incl. VAT and the open case back alternative will set you back €1,340 (703.S3). Learn more about NOMOS Glashütte here.