The Nodus Avalon is the fourth watch to be produced from the Los Angeles based brand and while they openly admit that production is outsourced; assembly and QC is done in-house. I have been looking forward to this model for almost two years now, as this was meant to be the second watch in the Nodus stable, but a few setbacks kept that from happening. The young owners, Wes and Cullen, are not guys to give up though and pushed forward to make the Avalon a reality. Not only is it now a reality, but it is a great accomplishment for the brand. The cases are fully-CNC machined (a higher cost manufacturing process I am told) with ceramic bezel options, a Miyota 9039 movement regulated in 4 positions and available in 5 different colors.
Nodus Avalon Specifications:
Case: 316L surgical-grade stainless steel
Dimensions: 42mm bezel width | 43.5mm case width | 12.9mm thickness | 48mm lug-to-lug | 20mm lug width | 6.5mm crown diameter
Movement: Miyota 9039 automatic movement | Made in Japan | Regulated in four positions
Crystal: Double-domed sapphire crystal | Blue anti-reflective coating on the underside
Bezel: Matte ceramic bezel insert (fully lumed) OR stainless steel bezel insert
Luminescence: Swiss Super-LumiNova® C3 Grade X1
Water Resistance: 300 meters / 1000 feet
Bracelet: Solid H-links | Flip-lock button release clasp with six micro-adjustments
Weight: 83g (watch head) | 192g (with full bracelet)
Dial: Matte finish with slight silver sheen | Polished silver indices
Hands: Polished silver | Diamond-cut
Warranty: 24 months
Full Kit: Nodus watch roll | Microfiber cleaning cloth | Warranty and regulation cards
Price as shown $650 (With Ceramic Bezel)
It has been a while since I reviewed the Trieste from Nodus and I was not able to get my hands on their second or third models, though I do hope to get a Contrail in hand soon. I had to go back and read my original review and while I did like the watch I had a few issues but was hopeful for the brand. Writing this today, it is amazing how far the brand has come. The Trieste was a decent microbrand offering, the Avalon might be setting a new standard. If you have not watched the video yet, please do so, but if you like photos, make sure to look at all attached in this review, as you really need to look at all sides of the watch to see all it offers. At first glance, it may seem similar to a Doxa or Eterna Super Kontiki case but when you look at the profile, you can see this watch has its own personality.
The Avalon, a 300 Meter dive watch, has so much going for it, it is hard to know where to start. The dial is crisp and uncluttered, allowing for easy readability at a glance. Its dial looks matte white but does have a very subtle sheen which plays well off the diamond cut hands and applied markers. One thing that you will notice in my photos is the green color of the lume paint. While some may prefer the use of a whiter lume compound, the Nodus Avalon uses X-1 C3 Superluminova, so it is somewhat of a trade-off. With this being a dive watch that is meant to be used, I don’t think anyone will really be complaining about that.
If you are still not convinced as to why you would want that X1 lume, take a look below. The Avalon glows as well as any watch at the top of the lume mountain, and maybe more. Lume junkies rejoice, this is the real deal.
When you go 360 with the Avalon you will notice the 3 different case finishes used, and the attention to detail with all of them. The main case is both brushed and polished but look closer to see that the aggressively knurled bezel edge is bead blasted. The case has a prominent curve that is not immediately noticeable and this allows the watch to sit very comfortably on the wrist. Yes, the case is 43.5mm overall, but the bezel sits at 42mm and combined with only a 46mm lug to lug, this watch is going to really look great on smaller wrists, though I think it is perfect on my 7 1/2 inch wrist, and ridiculously comfortable.
Part of that comfort comes from the H-Link stainless steel bracelet, (which is oddly missing a dive extension) but also the relative thinness of the case. It is not every day that you see a 300-meter dive watch that is just shy of 13mm. That is very thin for a watch such as this and due to the case design, seems even slimmer. Nodus chose to go with the Miyota 9039 automatic movement to keep the watch less bulky as this movement comes sans date and has hands that sit lower, which all come together to accommodate a slimmer case.
One thing I noticed after doing my photography is the case back is easily scratched. This is not due to rough handling per se, but the fact that the frosted etched case back is prone to be marred up without much effort. If you don’t have a watch box with pillows to store the Avalon when not wearing it, leave the watch on its side and not with the clasp touching the back, otherwise it will look like this.
If you are wondering why the Nodus Avalon has a medieval-looking sword on the case back, that would be because the Avalon is inspired by Arthurian legend. It is the island where Excalibur was forged and also where Arthur goes to heal from his wounds. While this obviously has nothing to do with the design of the watch, I like the fact that the brand actually has a good backstory and actually put thought into naming the model.
If I were to say one word about Nodus, it would be “killing it”. Okay, that is two words and more of a phrase, but you get my point. They spent the better part of two years to make the Avalon come to life and while they were not happy with the delay, they still released two models in the meantime. These gents are motivated! Okay, maybe that is the one word I would use to describe the brand. The Avalon has so much going for it and if I were to really hunt for a negative, it would be that I would like drilled lugs, but that might mess with the symmetry of the case design, so just forget about it. The specs above tell the story and if that is not enough, Nodus is comprised of two hard-working guys who are trying to not only create a successful business but solidify a relationship with their customers, as they travel the country meeting them and showing off their watches. The Avalon is a fantastic watch in my opinion, but as always, don’t just take my word. Check it out for yourself if you are so inclined.