Introducing the Retrospect
We are proud to introduce the Retrospect, a watch that harkens back to the glory days of diving. In designing the Retrospect, we sought to create something from the ground up that has its own unique identity, but at the same time channels the spirit of our favorite dive watches from the past. In this blog post, we outline our thought process behind designing the Retrospect and shed light on some of the decisions we made in regards to each component of the watch.
We wanted to keep the case of the Retrospect simple, but with its own unique flare. One of the key features of the case is the “lip” between the lugs. By adding this extra surface, the watch assumes a fuller look and looks more complete when paired with a strap. Chamfered edges are absent in order to accentuate the sharp transitions between brushed and polished surfaces. Every surface of the watch will be high-polished except for the top of the lugs and the top surface of the "lip", much like older dive watches which tend to have more polished elements than brushed elements. The case-back was intentionally designed to be more minimalistic than ornamental, showing only the most necessary of information, which echoes the bare-bone casebacks of older dive watches.
Vintage Breitling Superocean, Rado Captain Cook, Gruen Ocean Chief - the defining characteristic of these watches is their inward-sloping bezel, also called a “stadium bezel”. We utilized this underrated and seldom-seen design feature on the Retrospect and paired it with a dramatic double-domed sapphire crystal. The result is extraordinarily eye-catching and gives the watch a vintage flare.
Trying to create vintage character in a modern watch is difficult and can easily end up looking fake, flat, or contrived. Faux-patina lume does not provide same effect that real patina does, and without any depth to the lume application, it can end up looking underwhelming. Rather than try to replicate the look of an aged dial, we decided to shape the indices in a way that is reminiscent of vintage skin divers and utilize a sandwich dial to give the dial more depth. Millisecond hash marks further add to the classical appearance of the watch, while a six o’clock date window adds functionality without ruining the symmetry of the dial design.
Those who are familiar with Nodus know that we take every aspect of designing a watch seriously, especially the hands; it has become my personal favorite component to design during the design phase. With the Retrospect, we introduce our own take on the classic Dauphine hands. The hands were designed to be an inverse shape of the indices and feature blunt ends instead of the classic sharp point, resulting in a more utilitarian look. We also chose to polish and fold the hands to add even more depth to the watch, as well as to increase legibility under different lighting conditions.
Designing the Retrospect was an absolute pleasure. They are currently in production and we are moving full-speed ahead with the project. Pre-orders are now open.
Wesley Kwok is the co-founder/operator at Nodus Watches. He is an entrepreneur by day, watch-geek by night, and a musician in the spaces in between. When he is not working or playing guitar, he can be found seeking out the best craft beer in California, perfecting his brioche bun recipe, or keeping up to date on the latest tech trends.