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Armand Nicolet J09
Armand Nicolet is a brand that I know in name, but not overly familiar with their watches. It is not one that I see the watch community post about on social media often, such as Instagram or Facebook Watch groups. After receiving this model for review, the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date, I wondered why this brand has not been getting the love it deserves. Now, keep in mind, I personally have not seen mention of their watches, it does not mean you haven’t, they were just not on my radar for some reason. They definitely are now though. For those not familiar, the Armand Nicolet brand has been around since 1902, and was named after its founder. In 1988, the brand was sold by Willy Nicolet, the founders son, and though not family owned anymore, they have continued making watches in Switzerland, with designs being done in Italy.
Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date Specifications:
Mechanical automatic movement with Day&Date functions.
If you have not watched the video yet, you may notice I show it on both a bracelet and a rubber strap here in the photos. That is because I had the company send the rubber strap as well, to show some of the ways the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date can be configured. There are just way too many options for this model for me to list, but you can purchase them with either a bracelet, leather strap or rubber strap, and depending on what you choose, you can pick up one of the other straps as well, at an extra cost. Depending on what you choose, it really does change the look of the watch from sporty to dressy and somewhat industrial looking on the bracelet.
The Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is an interesting watch, for many reasons. First, the size at 41mm, yet it has a 24mm lug width, something rarely seen on a watch this diameter. If you have a small wrist or like a smaller watch, this can be deciving. It really wears like a round 43mm would wear. For myself, I love the size, it is in right in between that small and large. It would be a medium if we sized watches like we do shirts. On my 7 1/2 inch wrist it is damn near perfect, and I still have not decided if I like it better on the bracelet or the rubber strap, but more on that in a bit.
As I spoke about in my last review, if a watch is going to have a date, I prefer it to be at the 6 o’clock position. Obviously, the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is perfect for me in terms of date position. The guillochédial is something that I love in a watch such as this, it is that something extra that stands out on an otherwise basic dial. Even with the day and date, the dial is fairly clean, and applied markers keep it classy.
One thing that has perplexed me with the Armand Nicolet J09, is that I do not know what category to lump it into. It is not a dive watch of course, nor a pilot or field watch. It is not a traditional dress watch, even though with either the bracelet or an alligator leather strap it can surely play the role. It is not your typical sport watch, even though the rubber strap does give it that sporty feel. I guess I would call it dress casual. The type of watch that can be dressed up for the office and dressed down for the weekend when going to your favorite pub. The very low water resistance prevents it from being an all around do everything type of watch, but if you are not regularly jumping into the pool or ocean mid day, you should be fine with this on the wrist.
The heart of the Armand Nicolet J09 is the Calibre AN2846-9, which is basically an ETA 2846 automatic movement that has been customized with a beautiful rotor. While this movement is not an in-house masterpiece, it is not a movement you see used all the time, and Armand Nicolet has dressed it up for sure. This is how I like a movement to look if it has an exhibition case back.
A bracelet has to be well made and very comfortable for me to want to wear these days. I almost always prefer a strap, as many readers might know. I have gone back and forth on this, and while the rubber strap has a very nice deployant clasp, I think the winner is the bracelet. It is very nicely brushed, has a beautiful buckle with a stamped logo and just flows with the watch head perfectly. One word of caution though, the Armand Nicolet J09 uses double headed screw bars, and they are very, very tiny screws. And you will need two screwdrivers to size as well. I would suggest sizing over a clean table and not in a room that has carpet, as some in your household might think you have a case of turrets if one rolls off the table into the sea of fibers.
Of course, one of the biggest things when reviewing a watch, is the price. At $2700, there is no denying that the price is up there and that a lot of other watches can be considered at this price point. The 15% discount does make it more appealing, and while the movement is not in house or anything, it is nicely decorated and is a solid Swiss ETA that should give no issues. The styling of the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is unique, and when looking at google images and bringing up past versions of this model, they have definitely upgraded it, in terms of dial and hand aesthetic. With a low water resistance and a non screw down crown, it is not going to be that one watch for all occasions, but I think if someone wanted to put something dressy in their collection, but does not go for the standard dress style watch, this might be a good way to go.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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