I was contacted by Nodus to review their first dive watch which is called Trieste. Nodus is a young company founded by Cullen Chen and Wesley Kwok launching their brand with the Trieste line of watches. They have been taking orders for some time, but they started shipping them out somewhere in the middle of April. The watch I got here has been to other reviewers, so it has some scratches as it seen a lot of hands in the last months.
Nodus offers the Trieste in 6 different versions with 3 different bezel colours, each on a stainless steel or PVD black case. Another very interesting option is the movement you prefer to put in your watch. Nodus offers two automatic movement options: the well-known and less expensive Seiko NH35A or the Swiss made STP 1-11. With the final choice of date or no date, this makes for a total of 24 variations available to you. The version we have here is the Stainless steel Trieste with red bezel and STP 1-11 movement inside.
I actually was looking at this watch as it was quite cheap, had many good components and it looked good. As from I read online it is a perfect watch for 500$. So let’s dive in to really see if that’s the case.
The box it arrived in is made out of wood. I actually like when watch companies make the boxes interesting. It isn’t the boring cardboard square box you usually get and this is something new. Inside the box you will fin the Trieste watch, cleaning cloth and guarantee card. I took one link out to fit my wrist. It doesn’t come with extra links so for a large wrist it won’t fit. But don’t worry. This watch looks very good with almost any nato. I haven’t put it on any nato in this review as I left all my straps at work. But as I seen from other reviews it loves natos. Right out of the box you can see the quality, the bezel action is just on point, it isn’t overly tight and overly loose.
So the case is made from 316 stainless steel. The case is 41 mm wide without the crown and 13 mm tall. The lug to lug distance is 50 mm and the width between them is 20 mm, which I actually prefer better than 22mm. A detail that I’ve come to enjoy very much is the chamfered finish of the lugs. For the most part, the case is brushed, making the polish of the edges stand out very nicely and giving it a beautiful sparkle. The lugs are drilled, so it is really easy to change straps. The bezel is a stand out in this piece. The fantastic red and burgundy colour mix gives the watch a nice look and the sapphire insert really gives an illusion that the watch is worth far more. The bezel action is very precise, it rotates unidirectionally completely in 120 clicks. It has no appreciable wiggle and provides a great clicking sound with each turn. The bezel really can easily be compared to Ginault Ocean Rover and Seiko Orange Monster bezel. It really competes with the best. The crown is signed and has a great action. The case back is a screw on and has some specifications and design etched in. The watch is 20ATM or 200m water resistant.
The dial is matte black with a slight texture to it and a very crisp text, that doesn’t take the whole dial or the attention off the watch. The “Trieste” name in yellow adds a small pop of colour that stands out. Perhaps my favourite feature of this watch are the hands and markers. Steel-framed and SuperLuminova (BGW-9)-filled. The 12, 3, 6 and 9 markers are elongated and triangular, contrasting very nicely with the round markers. The hands are a unique triangular, syringe-like shape. I like when watch companies go with something different, usually we see sword or Mercedes type hands, but they went an extra mile to make something interesting. If you go with a date complication, the window is located at 4 o’clock. The watch they sent me doesn’t come with the date, but it is a good thing. After I reviewed the Ginault, I started to understand the no date divers. It is really easy to just take the watch from watch box, wind and set the time and put on the wrist. I think diver needs to be simple as it is a work watch. On the top of the dial sits the double domed sapphire crystal.
I was surprised to find out, that Nodus offers a choice in movements. Personal preferences are across the board when it comes to what the best option is. For many, Swiss made is the way to go, as the ETA movements have proven their reliability and they are made very well, but some just don’t think that it’s worth paying more for Swiss, because you can get a good Japanese movement for less. Overall it depends on your personal preference. But it is nice knowing that you can choose between the Swiss -made, Fossil-owned STP (Swiss Technology Production) 1-11 and the less expensive Japanese Seiko NH35A. This watch came with the STP 1-11, which is the equivalent to the ETA 2824-2 movement.
Several years ago, the Swatch group (owners of ETA) announced that they would restrict the ETA movements to Swatch Group brands only. This spawned a resurgence of other Swiss-based companies’ investment in their production of movements to “fill the gap.” STP was founded in 2006 and their first movement, the 1-11, was first released in 2008. However, the downturn of the high-end watch industry 2-3 years ago resulted in the Swatch group not restricting their ETA movements as aggressively as they had planned. If I’m honest, this is the first time I hear about this movement. But damn, I’m surprised by it when I saw the picture online of it. It has a beautiful finish of the movement showcasing Cote de Geneve engraving on the rotor and perlage throughout the movement. I’m impressed and I’d go with this movement any day!
The movement is tested and as I could read from other reviewers it runs +1s to +3s a day, which are great numbers for a watch that costs only 500$ The rotor is very quiet and, in fact, didn’t notice it’s spin at any point during my trial period.
The bracelet is an Oyster-style, made from brushed stainless steel with solid end links and polished sides. I liked the quality of the finish, though the end links were not as well done as the rest of the bracelet, so they kind of stand out a little. The links are held together with screws that were easy to remove and place back to adjust the length of the bracelet. The clasp is flip-lock style with the Nodus logo engraved in it.The clasp is actually pretty bad. I know that the watch has been used by other reviewers, but it has some problems. The closing mechanism is not working the upper part keeps opening in the course of the day several times. I don’t know if the watches they shipped out will have the same problem or this watch was just used too hard, but mine has this flaw. I would recommend to use natos instead or put it on a nice thick leather strap. It looks really nice with a nato!
Overall the watch is really great. Truly a bang for a buck. You get a sapphire bezel insert and crystal, Swiss made movement, great design and looks for just a 500$. The watch has some flaws like the end links and clasp, but overall the Trieste is a solid made watch!
Price: 500$ @ noduswatches.com
- 316L stainless steel case
- 41mm width | 13mm thickness | 50mm lug-to-lug | 20mm lug width
- Swiss STP1-11 or Seiko (SII) NH35A movement (regulated in four positions)
- Sapphire crystal | Double-domed with blue AR on underside
- Sapphire bezel insert | 120-click uni-directional bezel
- SuperLuminova BGW-9 (blue) lume
- 200m / 660ft water-resistance
- Steel bracelet with screw-in links and flip-lock clasp
- 24-month warranty