The Nomos Ahoi Atlantik is a dive-capable watch with many tricks up its lugsBorna Bošnjak
The year is 2013, and Nomos is still a relatively small and unknown brand outside of the true watch-enthusiast circle. All the models we know them for now were around – from the Club to the Tangente, but Nomos sought to create a dive-capable watch. Now, when a brand normally does this, it often follows a simple formula – diving bezel, screw-down crown / caseback and circular lume plots for visibility. Nomos had to do things the Nomos way, however. Rather than slapping a dive bezel onto the Tangente and doubling it in thickness, they said “how about we don’t do that?” The result was the Nomos Ahoi, clearly borrowing some design styles from the Tangente, though without compromising on the suave and slim nature of the brand. Going through many iterations and some movement updates in its almost 10 year lifespan, the latest version of the Nomos Ahoi Atlantik is what we’ve got for you today.
Deep blue Atlantik
The Atlantik hasn’t always sported the same dial, starting off with a dark, texture blue-grey with gold hands and printing with the design clearly taking inspiration from the Tangente typeface and numerals. While a pleasant colour scheme, I feel that the new, true-blue Atlantik is a better fit. The legibility is also vastly improved here, with highly contrasting white printing that now has improved lume, though it’s still not on par with out-and-out divers. In the Ahoi neomatik, we see the script denoting the movement creeping in just above the pinion and below the brand name at 12 o’clock.
It’s a similar affair with the Ahoi Datum. The small seconds subdial was moved up slightly, and didn’t receive the same proportional size increase as the rest of the dial features. This in turn made way for the trapezoidal date cut-out with a perfectly matched date window colour – even the typeface of the numerals matches that of the dial! Praise be, Nomos.
Puck with lugs and crown guards
The real magic of the Ahoi is in its case construction, as it offers 200 metres of water resistance. Off the top of my head, I struggle to think of any mechanical watches that match it, coming in around 10mm thick. Christopher Ward and Yema come close, but both border the 12mm mark. To differentiate it from their other designs, Nomos incorporates triangular crown guards near the small, but grippy crown.
It’s often difficult to be wordy about Nomos cases, since they’re so simply designed and finished. That isn’t to say, however, that the quality is sub-par. The polishing is executed to a really high degree, and despite the slender features that can cheapen a case at times, the Ahoi feels substantial. The 36.5mm by 45.5mm dimensions of the Ahoi neomatik wear well on my 6.1-inch wrist, further helped by it’s incredible 9.8mm tall profile. It’s that same profile, however, where the Ahoi took some time getting used to.
The lugs come straight out of the top half of the case, before a sharp 45-degree downturn. Regardless of your wrist size and shape, you’ll always have some space under the lugs due to their construction, making for a really flat and large feel on wrist, despite the relatively small size of the Neomatik which I wore most. The Ahoi Datum exacerbates this effect further, increasing in size to 40.3mm x 50.5mm, with a slight bump in thickness to 10.8mm, certainly requiring more wrist real estate. Both watches incorporate ever so slightly domed sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coatings.
Both watches are paired with a two-piece fabric strap with stainless-steel hardware. The material is extremely pliable and comfortable, and it makes sense pairing it with the Ahoi due to its water-resistant properties. It should be mentioned that the strap of the Datum was extremely long, probably only suitable for wrists around seven inches or larger. I asked Nomos why this is the case, and they suggested that the medium strap that comes fitted by default fits the majority of wrists they tested. For those who prefer a larger watch yet have a small(er) wrist, Nomos offers a strap sizing guide on their website, and offer to send out a replacement strap that suits you when purchasing a watch.
If you’ve ever wondered what the DUW designation in Nomos’ movements stands for, there it is. Both Ahoi models feature calibres from this family, offering some impressive features such as the proprietary Nomos Swing System escapement and highly decorated three-quarter plate and blued screws. The DUW 3001 neomatik in the Ahoi neomatik (go figure) measures in at a phenomenal 3.2mm in height, adding a double-sided balance bridge and the DUW regulation system.
The larger Ahoi Datum also has the larger DUW 5101 movement, so there’s no tiny-movement-in-large-case situation happening. The increase in thickness to 4.3mm is expected, given the addition of a date complication. With Glashutte stopwork and solarisation to the ratchet and duplex wheels, it’s just as pretty as the neomatik. I was disappointed, however, to find no quickset date feature in this calibre, rather having to wind and rewind the watch between 22:00 and 01:00 to advance the date. It’s better than nothing, if somewhat clumsy. Both of these movements fall just short of a two-day power reserve which is a bit low in the grand scheme of things, but much easier to deal with when the ultra-thin dimensions and automatic winding are considered.
I’m definitely on board with the concept the Nomos is going for here. While the case profile never really settled on my wrist, it was a comfortable experience that may work even better on a differently shaped appendage. I’d call the Ahoi more of a dive-capable watch due to it lacking a rotating bezel and relatively poor legibility when comparing to purpose-built divers. It isn’t a case of confused identity however, it’s the ultimate, unassuming sleeper, which shows what Nomos can do when they max out the specs of an everyday watch.
Nomos Ahoi Atlantik pricing and availability:
The Nomos Ahoi Atlantik is available now from Nomos. Price: AU$5,920 (Ahoi neomatik), AU$6,310 (Ahoi Datum)
|Model||Ahoi neomatik Atlantik
Ahoi Atlantik Datum
|Reference Number||ref. 567 (Ahoi neomatik)
ref. 558 (Ahoi Datum)
|Case Dimensions||36.5mm x 9.8mm x 45.5mm, 18mm lug width (ref. 567)
40.3mm x 10.9mm x 50.5mm, 20mm lug width (ref. 558)
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||20 atm|
|Crystal||Domed sapphire with AR coating|
|Strap||Tow-piece fabric strap|
|Movement||DUW 3001, in-house neomatik calibre, 43-hour power reserve with Nomos swing system (ref. 567)
DUW 5101, in-house, 42-hour power reserve with Nomos swing system (ref. 558)