Perhaps you have perused the Nomos catalog in search of the perfect watch to add to your collection. You love how the German watchmaker lends a playful vibe to all of their chic timepieces. You will no doubt have noticed just how vast Nomos’ collection of designs is, with some watches showing up on more than one of their series and with so many designs looking alike. How do you narrow down your search, then, when there are so many available that seem so similar?
Well, we live to serve here at Watch Review Blog and we want to help with just such a dilemma. So, let’s examine the finer details of two very similar offerings, both with blue dials, both from the Neomatik collection, and both for around the same price: the $4120 Ahoi Neomatik Atlantik and the Minimatik Nachtblau, offered at $3800. Both watches use a curved sapphire front crystal and have a 42-hour power reserve. No matter which watch you choose, you will get an impeccably finished timepiece that combines vintage and modern aspects.
Before we dig into each watch, a word about the movement: Like every piece in the Neomatik collection, both watches employ the automatic DUW 3001 movement, designed in Glashϋtte by Nomos themselves. Not all watchmakers design and manufacture their own movements, so this is a point of pride for Nomos and their owners. Nomos had three main goals in mind when designing this movement: amazingly thin size at 3.2 millimeters, great accuracy, and a very stylish appearance. The thinness of these movements allows Nomos to create automatic watches as thin as most hand-wound watches and while Nomos isn’t the only manufacturer to accomplish this, it is a very nice feature. The movement also uses blue tempered screws and gold gears and lettering lend a fun-yet-elegant vibe to both pieces we are examining today. This movement is easily viewable via a sapphire crystal on the back of each watch.
For now, let’s set aside the obvious differences in appearance between these two watches. At this point, the main difference to be found is that the Ahoi is more of a rugged, general use watch than the Minimatik. Consider the following list of attributes found on the Ahoi but not the Minimatik: suitable for diving, luminous hands and hour markers, anti-reflective dial window, and a screw-down crown with crown guards. That’s quite an array of features for $320 over the Minimatik, if you want to look at it that way. Of course, there is a lot more to these two watches than their toughness factors.
The Ahoi’s 36-millimeter case appears a bit larger than most 36 mm watches, thanks to its thin bezel and 50 mm lug-to-lug measurement. Like the Minimatik, the Ahoi’s polished stainless-steel case houses a slightly domed sapphire crystal, but the Ahoi’s has an anti-reflective coating, whereas the Minimatik does not.
The Atlantic blue dial is dark enough to look black in certain lighting, and its ashy gray quality is substantially more subdued than the Minimatik’s dial. The numerals, minute markers, and text on the dial is all displayed in a unique rose gold finish that compliments the blue on the dial very well: I’m a big fan of this detail. One thing I don’t love about this watch, however, is the font chosen for the hour markers. I’m sure some would disagree, but somehow to me it makes the watch appear cheaper than it is, whereas the Minimatik’s font is exactly what you would expect for a nearly $4000 watch.
Both watches display the seconds on a small dial above the six o’clock position, with a neon orange seconds hand providing a nice little splash of color on the dark dials. The Ahoi’s hour and minute hands are gold-plated, while the Minimatik uses a silver-colored rhodium finish on its hands.
When comparing these watches side-by-side, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the difference in dial color. The Minimatik’s midnight blue dial is slightly lighter in color and doesn’t have the gray hues that the Ahoi has; this watch will get noticed more often, for better or worse. Stylistically, I see the Minimatik as better suited for dressy occasions where form is valued over function. Bolstering this opinion is the included strap with each watch: The Minimatik uses a black hand-stitched Horween leather band, while Ahoi’s come with a dark blue textile strap.
Like the Ahoi, this watch uses Arabic numerals for the 12, 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock markers. While the Ahoi’s numerals are long, thin, and elegant, the Minimatik uses a smaller font but with a greater contrast to the dial color, making them actually easier to read than the Ahoi’s. Neither watch uses a date field.
The 35.5 mm case is about the same size as the Ahoi’s, but it comes off as slightly smaller due to the absence of crown guards and considerably smaller lugs. With a water resistant rating of 3 atm (compared to the Ahoi’s 20 atm), the Nachtblau is probably best left in the Oakley Watch Vault if your plans include any water activities.
I can’t say I know anyone who scuba dives with a Nomos, but a quick google search confirms they are out there, so this could be a decision point for some of you. Even if you don’t plan on diving, however, the sturdy water rating of the Ahoi provides reassurance that it won’t be ruined by anything more than a splash.
When comparing functionality, I am attracted to the Ahoi’s combination of style and usability; a watch that can make a James Bond-style transition between a black-tie gala and scuba diving adventures. At this price point, the roughly $300 difference between these watches is negligible, so for basically the same price, the Ahoi includes some handy features. The thing is, most people don’t need 20 atm of water resistance or screw-down crowns, so if you aren’t in need of such a rugged design, the decision mainly comes down to personal preference as to the appearance of these watches, and on that front I would have to give the award to the Minimatik: I love the midnight blue color of the dial and the hour marker font is just classier than the Ahoi’s. Its overall design is cleaner and simpler. So, while I am having a hard time deciding between the gorgeous Minimatik and the rugged Ahoi, I hope this comparison has helped with your hunt for the perfect Nomos.
To view Nomos’ entire range visit their official website here.