Hands-On: NOMOS Hits A Home Run With The New 37mm Club Sport Neomatik
When the press release for the 37mm NOMOS Club Sport Neomatik arrived in our mailboxes, I was actually quite excited. However, when I looked at the other Fratelli in the office, they didn’t look all that convinced. They said it wasn’t NOMOS anymore. To them, it looked as though the combination of the steel bracelet and the sunburst dial had turned the Club into something else. And that was exactly what I had been waiting for!
I mentioned it before in my hands-on of the brand’s Tetra Neomatik, but for some reason, I always feel that there’s something missing in NOMOS designs. Don’t get me wrong; I really like their clean design language, but often, it’s just a bit too clean for me. It lacks a bit of excitement, even though NOMOS is not scared of using bright and loud colors on its watches. Still, there hasn’t been a design that convinced me to buy one. Last year’s 42mm version of the Club Sport Neomatik came close, but its larger size just wasn’t for me. So that’s why my interest was piqued when NOMOS launched this 37mm version. Could this be the one?
An elegant do-it-all!
NOMOS calls the Club Sport its own version of a proper sports watch. It has a steel bracelet, it’s water resistant to 200 meters, it’s highly legible, and because of the in-house DUW 3001 automatic caliber, you don’t have to worry about this watch at all when it’s on your wrist. And that’s exactly what it felt like when I was taking the 37mm Club Sport Neomatik for a spin. What immediately caught my attention, though, was the thinness of the case. The 8.3mm profile not only seems impressive on paper, but it certainly also looks the part on the wrist.
It reminded me a bit of how my Cartier Santos fits my wrist — for the record, that one is actually 0.5mm taller. It’s very comfortable and sleek, but it’s not something you expect from a “proper” sports watch. Most watches of this type are thicker and therefore look like they can deal with shocks and bruises. I’m sure the Club Sport Neomatik will also be able to handle them, but it looks more elegant and a bit more fragile than other sports watches out there. The other watch that comes to my mind when I look at this smaller Club Sport is the 36mm Rolex Explorer. And it’s certainly not a bad thing when a watch makes you think about the king of all sports watches, right?
Besides it looking less tough, the Club Sport Neomatik also lacks a screw-down crown. I say “lacks”, but what does it matter if the watch can still resist water pressure of up to 20 ATM? It’s more that I would expect such a watch to have a screw-down crown, and if it doesn’t have one, I automatically expect it not to be that water-resistant. That’s not the case here, so I guess it’s just a psychological thing that I have to get over. Otherwise, the crown is very decently sized, and it gives the watch a sturdier feel. And that is further accentuated by the steel bracelet that the watch comes with.
A convenient bracelet
I’m not really a fan of polished center links. However, I came to that conclusion without ever having worn a bracelet that had them. Now that I’ve spent some time with the Club Sport Neomatik, I found that the polished center links actually weren’t that big of an issue. I was able to get used to them, and a fully brushed bracelet wouldn’t match that nicely with the all-polished case and lugs anyway. I do think that the all-polished clasp is a bit much, especially because that’s the part that is going to receive the most scratches. Overall, though, the bracelet is very comfortable.
It’s nice and thin, like the watch itself, and it uses simple pins and collars for sizing. NOMOS has also added a few convenient touches like the quick-release spring bars on the end links. They allow you to quickly take the bracelet on or off without having to use a tool. That’s a great way to avoid getting scratches on the back of the lugs. But the most convenient thing might be the quick-release spring bar that NOMOS has used in the clasp. This allows for micro-adjustment on the go without any tools. This should be a standard on all bracelets that don’t have a more sophisticated micro-adjustment system. Well done, NOMOS!
Not too long
And now we’re approaching the elephant in the room here — what about those lugs? I have to say, in combination with the bracelet, the lug-to-lug measurement of 47.7mm wasn’t an issue for my 17cm wrist. There is also a male end link, but the lugs arc downwards quite a bit, so the watch still curves nicely around my wrist. To illustrate this, when you put the watch head down on a table, the case itself “hovers” above the surface. The fact that the end links meet seamlessly with the case, however, gives it a gap-less, well-integrated look.
That story changes, of course, when you put the watch on a strap. At first, I tried it with a black tropic strap because that was the only 18mm strap I had on hand. I found that the gap between the strap and the case was quite big, which made the watch loses a bit of its elegance. So then I tried it on a soft and thin gray 6B/2617 NATO, and that combination surprised me in a very positive way!
On a NATO, the graceful lugs are very visible, but the large gaps that are so obvious in combination with a two-piece strap disappear. And because of the thinness of the case, the combo felt very comfortable and very sporty on the wrist. I still prefer the overall look of the watch on the bracelet, but a NATO is a great way to alternate between different styles. Talking about different styles, what about those two dial colors?
Petrol or Polar?
When I first saw the press pictures in that first email we received, I was sure that I preferred the “petrol green” to the “polar blue”. In real life, the choice was a lot harder to make because the colors are not that pronounced and actually appear quite close to each other. But in my time with these watches, I found that I still preferred the green. The blue also looks very fresh, but the green is a bit more peculiar — in a good way, that is.
The sunburst texture on both colorways is very soft but still very pronounced. I know some people don’t like sunburst dials on sports/tool watches, but I think it suits the Club Sport Neomatik very well. It adds that more exciting feature that I was looking for in a NOMOS watch. And with those typical white numerals in a friendly typeface, the watch is still very recognizable as a NOMOS creation. It all does look a bit less aggressive and tough than some other tool watches, but that’s also very typical of the NOMOS “house style”.
So, what’s my final verdict? Well, I think that NOMOS really knocked this one out of the park here. The steel bracelet perfectly matches the style of the 37mm Club Sport Neomatik. The white numerals also really jump at you from both of the dial colors. And it’s amazing to have such a thin watch on the wrist that houses an in-house automatic caliber. This movement, by the way, is also visible through a sapphire case back if you choose that option. And with its 200m water resistance, the Club Sport Neomatik makes for a very capable all-arounder. Considering all this, I almost think it’s unbeatable for €2,780 on the steel bracelet with the display case back.
So, am I going to buy one? Well, no. Not yet, at least. It might be the longer lugs, the more friendly-looking design, or the fact that it’s so thin, but something was holding me back from pulling the trigger right away. I still think NOMOS has a great thing going with this release, but it might just not be for me. If you are a NOMOS fan, though, I think the 37mm Club Sport Neomatik is a great watch to consider! For more information, please visit the NOMOS website.
What do you think of the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik? Which dial color would you choose? And which straps would you put it on? Let me know in the comments below.
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