Hands On: NOMOS Glashütte Ahoi Atlantic Watch Review

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When it comes to the world of luxury watches, Switzerland has long dominated the conversation. For centuries, the Swiss have had a stranglehold on the industry, but some truly outstanding watches can be found if you venture outside of the landlocked European nation. And you don’t have to go too far, either. In the Swiss neighbor to the north lies Glashütte, the traditional watchmaking capital of Germany. And one of the most exciting watchmakers in this historic village is NOMOS Glashütte, a luxury brand that puts a decidedly modern spin on German horological traditions.

NOMOS is largely known for its Bauhaus-inspired dress watches, exhibited in its modern-classic lines like the Orion, Tangente, and Ludwig. But it knows its way around a sports watch too, with excellent examples of the genre including the sporty-casual Club series and the aquatic-loving Ahoi line. Speaking of the latter, NOMOS has just overhauled its Ahoi Atlantic model, bringing some fresh innovations to the dive-ready watch. So how does the new Ahoi Atlantic from NOMOS hold up as a modern everyday sports watch? We went hands-on to find out.


Ready When You Are

A Watch For All Situations

The Ahoi Atlantic is arguably NOMOS’ most versatile watch, and we struggle to come up with any situation where it wouldn’t be an ideal choice for your wrist. Watch enthusiasts love the concept of the “GADA” watch — a timepiece that can “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” — and it’s hard to think of a better take on the form than the new Ahoi Atlantic. The watch measures a crowd-pleasing 40mm in diameter (there’s also a 36mm neomatik version for the smaller-wristed among us) and is just 10.6mm thick, making it light and comfortable on the wrist while still having a notable presence.

The watch also combines sporty and dressy aesthetics into one gorgeous package. The classic Bauhaus-inspired dial layout, the high-polished finishing on the case, and the gorgeous deep Atlantic Blue color of the dial are all suited to dressy situations, while the unique crown guards, robust 200m water resistance, shockingly good and plentiful Super-LumiNova treatment, and waterproof textile strap all signal that this is a watch that’s ready for any kind of adventure. Heading out on a spur-of-the-moment hike? Swimming with dolphins on a tropical vacation? Giving a big presentation to a client? The watch will keep excellent time in every situation — and will look great doing it. There aren’t many watches that can truly work equally well in dressy and sporty situations, but the Ahoi Atlantic is a rare exception.


Quality Inside & Out

German Craftsmanship That’s Made To Last

If there is one thing that NOMOS is known for outside of its trademark minimalist styling, it’s the outstanding build quality and high level of value offered in its watches. Naturally, the German-made Ahoi Atlantic is no exception to this rule. The watch features all of the outstanding finishing touches we’ve come to expect from the brand, with sharply angled lugs, rhodium-plated hands, impeccable dial printing, and some of the most effective anti-reflective coating we’ve ever seen on the domed sapphire crystal.

Of course, this being a NOMOS, the quality continues on the inside of the watch, where you’ll find the NOMOS-manufactured DUW 5001 automatic ticking away inside. Boasting a 43-hour power reserve and a compact height of just 4.3mm, the movement is an impressive feat of engineering. Powered by NOMOS’ own proprietary Swing System escapement, the caliber is about as in-house as a movement can get — especially at its price point. It’s a pretty thing to look at, too, with the heat-treated blued screws, NOMOS perlage, Glashütte ribbing, and other fancy decorations all visible through the sapphire caseback.


The Little Things

NOMOS Really Did Think Of Everything

The thing we most love about watches is how the smallest of details can make a big difference. When a watchmaker puts in the extra effort to consider every tiny thing about the design and wearing experience of a watch, it really makes owning that timepiece considerably more enjoyable. And when it comes to this area, NOMOS once again knocks it out of the park with the new Ahoi Atlantic. Take the strap for instance. While the path of least resistance would have been to go with a standard pin and buckle closure, NOMOS instead went with a “winged clasp.” The unique securing system works like a belt, with a built-in metal keeper on the rear side of the signed metal clasp itself. It’s a simple yet clever design, and one that feels very satisfying and special to use.

Another extra touch that we appreciated can be found on the caseback. There, just north of the exhibition window showing off the complex decorated manufacture movement, you’ll find a small engraving of a grinning whale. This playful addition is meant to illustrate the watch’s aquatic fortitude, but thanks to its position next to the horologically-inventive caliber, it also does a great job of illustrating the dichotomy between the watch’s serious and fun-loving sides, acting as a metaphor for the Ahoi Atlantic as a whole.


The Verdict

The Perfect One-Watch Collection

In case you couldn’t tell, we really like the NOMOS Ahoi Atlantic, and we consider it to be the brand’s most versatile watch. Aiding in that versatility is the fact that this is just one of three timepieces in the refreshed Ahoi Atlantic line. There’s also the Ahoi Date Atlantic, which is slightly larger with the added functionality of a date complication, and the no-date neomatik Atlantic, which is smaller and thinner for a more subdued presence. Regardless of which you choose, the Ahoi Atlantic is handsome, subtle, and classic — all things we look for in a dress watch. Yet it’s also sporty, highly water-resistant, and has a distinct sense of fun about it — traits we desire in an everyday sports watch. It truly is the best of both worlds, and while we’ve never been able to limit ourselves to the fabled “one watch collection,” the NOMOS Glashütte Ahoi Atlantic just might convert us to doing just that.

Purchase: $4,060