Hands-On With The Nodus Unity: Fun Meets Function

Nodus Unity Blue and Pink

Earlier this year, LA-based watch brand Nodus released the Unity: a refined sports watch available in two vibrant colors. While Nodus usually leans into rugged tool watch design (both mid-century and modern), they don’t restrict themselves to it. The Unity’s lively coloration, intricate dial texture, and polished accents explore the elegant side of things without sacrificing functionality. After all, this is a steel watch with a screw-down crown. Before detailing its functionality, I’d like to discuss the philosophy behind the Nodus Unity.

Nodus Unity Design Philosophy

Nodus Unity Pink Dial

The Unity is all about color. Available in floral hues of pink and blue, the bright dial and polished ceramic bezel are the stars of the show. The dial texture, said to be inspired by tree bark and the human iris, immediately grabs your attention. The pattern draws your eye to the center of the watch, accentuating the hour indices and date window around the perimeter. 

The Nodus Unity features what’s known as a “sandwich dial”: a solid layer of lume underneath a dial with cut-out indices. Popularized by Panerai in the 1930’s, sandwich dials provide strong lume and interesting visual depth. Both Unity models use blue Super-LumiNova BGW9. This looks great on the pink, but of course, blue lume feels right at home on a blue watch.

Nodus Unity Dial Texture Up Close

The tapered flat-link bracelet is good, but the clasp is great. More on that later. I didn’t swap out the bracelets of these review units, but from what I’ve seen on Nodus’ Instagram, the Unity looks good on a number of straps. Some might even call it a “strap monster”. I often see that term used to describe bland watches: those that look equally fine, if a bit boring on every strap imaginable. This is not the case with the Unity. Its colors and textures look completely unique depending on those of the strap; there’s a lot of room to experiment here, and I love it. With a lug width of 20mm, the sky is the limit.

Nodus Unity Functionality + Everyday Wear

Blue Nodus Unity Wristshot

The Unity is 36.5mm in diameter, 43.5mm lug-to-lug, and 11.3mm thick. These dimensions are widely compatible for most people. Without looking puny on larger wrists, the Unity fits on smaller ones: I’d say anywhere north of 6.25in should be in the clear. For reference, my wrist is 6.75in (pictured above). Despite being a relatively small watch, the Unity’s screw-down crown is easy to use thanks to its deep knurling and slightly oversized proportions.

Nodus Unity Screw-Down Crown UnscrewedThe flat-link bracelet features a 20mm-16mm taper. If you haven’t experienced a dramatic taper like this, I recommend you try on something similar in person (the Speedmaster bracelet features a similar taper, but keep the price delta in mind). To me, a healthy taper elevates a watch’s wearing experience; it accounts for our wrists' articulation and brings down the bulk of a steel bracelet.

On the underside, you’ll find Nodus’ NodeX clasp, equipped with a 5-point toolless microadjustment system. This clasp has no business being on a watch under $1,000. On-the-fly bracelet adjustment will spoil you forever, and this is a good execution of it.

Nodus Nodex Clasp

Inside the Nodus Unity’s case is the Miyota caliber 9015: an automatic movement regulated by Nodus to +/-8 seconds per day. This is a rock-solid movement with ample shock resistance, anti-magnetism, and power reserve (41 hours). Nodus’ in-house regulation offers great value at this pricepoint.

Nodus Unity Blue DialYou couldn’t ask for better legibility on a watch with white indices on a colored dial. The mirror-polished index framing is beautiful and functional: it provides the contrast necessary to make these indices pop. The 6 o’clock date aperture is another welcome addition: it gives the dial some nice symmetry and the watch some added everyday appeal. The date wheel is also color-matched to the dial: something that, again, isn't all that common at this price point.

Final Thoughts + My New Love for Pink Watches

Nodus Unity Pink on Wrist

The Unity is a fun watch – and if you like a bit of color – it can easily be your everyday watch. With 150 meters of water resistance, 316L steel construction, and a screw-down crown, you don’t have to baby this thing. It’s a unique experience to have such a refined dial on such a tough timepiece – especially for $700. The NodeX clasp is the cherry on top. 

Nodus Unity Clasp

As a quick aside: this was the first pink watch I've spent a good amount of time with. Needless to say, I fell in love with it. In fact, the day after I returned these watches, I bought a pale pink G-Shock at a local thrift store. The Nodus Unity exposed a void in my collection that I didn’t know needed filling. If you’re weary of wearing a pink watch, I urge you to give it a try. It might be just what you’re looking for.

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