#LookCloser—A Conversation Between KC and Marshall—The Nodus AvaMatick Limited Edition

Saturday, 1st Feb 2020, 11:16am @ Front Room & The Kneady Baker, Taman Desa

Marsh: Good to see you, KC. It’s been awhile.

KC: Likewise, buddy.

Marsh: I think both you and I can appreciate how much this watch means to us as a team. This collaboration is something we’ve been talking about for a long time. It really is a testament to how far the team has come ever since our inception in 2015. There’s definitely some dissecting (no pun intended, doc) required here, so let’s talk a little bit about how the AvaMatick came about and what makes it so special. 

KC: Certainly, Marsh. I think we could both agree that all this emerged from a long-standing desire to do something beyond our previous meet-ups and events. I mean, our #TimeWellSpent events have been a blast (big shout-out to our lovely event partners Pete and Jo from the Front Room), but we felt the need to do something a little more daring. Something riskier. And, for me at least, something more tangible. 

Marsh: I completely agree with you. We’ve been doing this for a solid 5 years now and I thought it was time we took it to the next level, and at the same time, give our friends and the community we’ve built here in Kuala Lumpur the opportunity to be a part of something special and meaningful. 

“..we felt the need to do something a little more daring. More risky. And, for me at least, something more tangible..”

-KC

 

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KC: Yeah, and now as we’re looking back, I think we’ve landed at the right place with Nodus. Don’t you think?

Marsh: That’s for sure man, I couldn’t be happier to be launching our very first limited edition with these guys. Nodus is definitely an interesting brand if you look at it purely from a beginner’s perspective; its designs are exciting, well-priced, and excel in both their quality and function. The two brilliant minds behind Nodus—Wesley and Cullen, are also about our age and are originally from Singapore, a land not too far away from ours, which makes this collaboration a really meaningful one because of the common passion, mentality, and philosophies we share.

KC: Agreed. They’ve been around for a while now, and they’ve gradually improved on their design and execution with each new model. Their watches tend to be a little more than just homages and vintage throwbacks; there’s a real sense of purpose and expression behind each design, and an equal blend of unique twists and classic design cues coming together with great aplomb.

I remember when we first expressed our interest in producing a limited series of watches collaboratively, and they were just as enthusiastic as we were about the idea. We’ve been working with them over the past few months on the Avamatick, and they’ve been incredibly accommodating in fitting all this into their hectic schedule. The Avalon was also a great foundation for us to work on, being Nodus’ first true flagship watch, and it possessing a level of thought and refinement that was truly a joy to work with. All we needed to do was add a little bit of our own distinct flavour to it, and now we’ve got something pretty special on our hands.

Marsh: KC, it’s also no secret that you have quite a bit of interesting history with the regular production Avalon. Mind talking a little bit about that here and what is it that makes the Avalon so special?

KC: The Avalon is certainly a watch that is very special to me. To cut a long story short, circumstances conspired for me to lose my previous Nodus, the Contrail, and a few very kind members of the watch community, including yourself, banded together to help me get my Clover Green Avalon, or as I like to call it, the Clovalon. It’s all a really heartwarming story, which we’ve written about at length here. But about the Avalon itself, it is quite frankly a watch I would still be a huge fan of even without the sentimental value attached to it.

A quick recap of the basics: it’s a dive watch rated for 300m of water resistance, with an anti-reflective coated double domed sapphire, and fully-lumed ceramic bezel. The case measures a deceptively chunky 43.5mm, but actually feels significantly smaller—the surprisingly svelte lug-to-lug length of 48mm is a better reflection of how it actually wears. Nodus has definitely tapped into some Seiko magic here—the way the case tapers and flows makes the watch extremely comfortable even on my rather diminutive wrist. Nodus did not swing for practicality only to ignore the aesthetics of it; the finishing on the case is crisp, with sharp transitions between finely brushed and polished surfaces.

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Marsh: I think apart from the super-clean aesthetic, my favourite part of the Avalon is its case. From afar, it looks chunky, but that’s clearly not the case (again, no pun intended) when you see it in the flesh. 

KC: Very funny, Marsh. Anyway, I’ve heard some people describe the Avalon as a cushion or “turtle” cased watch, but personally, I’m not sure how true that is. My take on it is that it’s much closer to something like a C-case, along the lines of vintage Omegas and Seikos. I think the chief difference is in the shoulders of the case; they taper quite significantly, which allows it to look robust but not quite as chunky as the original Seiko Turtles.

Marsh: Yeah, I remember the very first time I put on yours. I was blown away with how well it sat on my tiny 6.5-inch wrist.

KC: Told you so.

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Marsh: Anyway, since you were already a proud owner of the regular production Avalon, can you tell our readers a little bit about the key differences we’re looking at here with the AvaMatick, versus the regular Avalon?

KC: I think the first thing that really hits you is the most obvious design element: Gilt. We decided to go for a mix-and-match between the white and gold elements on the dial. The hands and markers were the first bits to be given the treatment, while the Nodus logo and brand name are also in gilt. It’s easy to forget, given that Nodus has now released quite a few models and iterations of each, but this is actually their first piece to be done with gilt elements in the design. 

So that we didn’t go overboard with the gilt, we went with a subdued grey for the minute track and ‘Matick’ branding. And, for a little splash of colour, we kept the red Avalon print, as well as the little red accent on the seconds hand. I think it was important to us to keep the branding subtle—we’ve all been turned off by excessively eye-catching branding on the dial. For the AvaMatick, keeping it a subtle shade of grey helps it fade into the background, yet remaining visible enough to remind you that you’ve got something extra special on the wrist. We’ve also avoided filling the hands and markers with ‘fauxtina’. The vintage watches that surround us currently, with their gilt dials and creamy lume, weren’t born that way. When they were new, they had whitish lume that only turned darker after decades of exposure to the elements and chemical degradation. We envisioned the AvaMatick as a ‘new vintage’, or what a vintage watch might have looked like fresh out of the factory.

While we tried to stay relatively subtle at the front, we gave ourselves a lot more liberty with the caseback. As our tribute to the watch community we’ve built here, the caseback is engraved with not only the limited edition series number and Nodus x The Matick Blog co-branding, but with our watch events’ signature slogan: Time Well Spent, Life Well Lived. This certainly sets the watch apart, and I think it makes for a nice memento for all the members of our little circle. 

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Marsh: Absolutely. All in all, I’d like to think that what we have on our hands here is quite the timeless design, one that is sufficiently subtle enough for daily use, yet not so plain that you’d soon grow bored of it. We worked really hard to strike that balance, and I think we managed to achieve it. The AvaMatick won’t attract undue attention, but anyone who knows watches would be able to spot something special. The subtle balance between the gilt and grey elements, and the way in which they play off each other, is something that will only be apparent to the wearer and will reward them every time they take a closer look at the watch.

KC: You know those watches you catch yourself staring at for half a minute, before realising you were too busy looking at the watch to even notice the time?

Marsh: Yep, and with a gilt dial like the one on the AvaMatick, I can see why.

KC: You got it. I sincerely believe this is one of those watches. 

Marsh: What are your thoughts on the AvaMatick’s wearability?

KC: It’s pretty great. The narrow lug-to-lug length and the curved case makes for a very comfortable watch on the wrist. And despite the rather intimidating specs on paper, I’m confident it’ll fit a wide range of wrist sizes. I’ve got a friend here in Penang with a 5.5” wrist, and my personal green Avalon actually looks pretty great on him!

Marsh: Let’s also talk a little bit about the movement as well, shall we? I think the one remark that I’ve heard the most with the AvaMatick is “why use a Miyota at this price point?”, which I think may be a major misunderstanding among enthusiasts who are new or relatively new to the game. So let’s take this opportunity to dispel all of that. 

KC: Sure. Clearly, Nodus has opted for a Miyota 9039 movement here. While there seems to be a stigma within the WIS community against Miyota movements in general, the modern 90xx movements are a far cry from the 8xxx movements of yore that found themselves in such poor regard. These modern movements are high-beat movements, oscillating at a smooth 4Hz or 28800 bph. In addition to this, since the Avalon only comes in a single no-date variant, Nodus has also opted for a no-date movement. This means no dreaded phantom date position at the crown. And the cherry on top? It’s all regulated in-house before being shipped out, to a very respectable +/- 8 seconds per day.

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Marsh: At this price point, I genuinely believe you simply can’t beat that. I also absolutely admire the dedication and transparency Wes and Cullen have demonstrated through each stage of the production process. From design to assembly and rigorous testing, they’ve been diligently providing consistent updates on their Instagram page, which is something I think a lot of brands don’t do. Overall, there’s just a lot of value to be had here, which is why I have so much respect for these guys, they always strive to do it right.

KC: I know right? These guys truly are a special bunch, just some good, honest folks putting in real hard work and passion for what they truly love and believe in. 

Marsh: Yeah, that’s the biggest reason why I have so much respect for Nodus as a micro/indie brand, though I think the best part of all is the price tag we decided on for the limited edition AvaMatick. At 650USD, it’s priced similarly to the regular Avalons available via their online store.

We made it a point to ensure that just because it’s only limited to 30pcs worldwide doesn’t mean we’re going to jack up the price. We wanted to make it wallet-friendly for our dear friends and readers because I’ve always believed that a good watch shouldn’t make you broke. I definitely can see myself wearing the AvaMatick for a long time, not only because of its significance, but simply because of just how good it looks. I’m just really proud of what we’ve created here with Nodus.

KC: It’s great, man. You’re absolutely right on that. In fact, it’s even going to cater for those who aren’t fans of bracelets since each watch is going to come with an extra silicone strap from Barton Bands as well!

Marsh: Oh yeah, I nearly forgot about that! In fact, the overall package is something I can see myself living with for a long time. If I was a one-watch guy (god forbid, please don’t make me choose), I seriously think this could be a good and inexpensive place to start, be it for actual diving or professional diving. 

“..I’ve always believed that a good watch shouldn’t make you broke.”

-Marsh

KC: Heck, though I already have one, this AvaMatick is not to be missed. I am definitely jumping on this one.

Marsh: In fact, one of our regular contributors – @furrywristabroad, told me that despite already owning 3 Avalons, he is still planning to jump on the AvaMatick. I guess that goes on to show how special and beautiful this watch is. Even for a tool watch, it’s a very handsome one, if I say so myself.

KC: Indeed. And you get a choice of two different types of bezel too: steel or ceramic. They offer very distinct looks to one another, with the steel bezel making the watch look a little chunkier and more rugged, while the ceramic bezel is a little classier and stealthier. Our readers and friends can take their pick between these options on the ordering page, along with their preferred number out of the 30 available, assuming it hasn’t been taken, of course.

And while getting a special edition watch like this is fairly meaningful occasion in and of itself, it’ll be made even more so because we’ll be having an exclusive Time Well Spent event on March 7th at our usual haunt, the Front Room, with Wes and Cullen flying in from the United States to personally hand-deliver these watches to their buyers.

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Marsh: Yeah! How often do you get a watch personally delivered to you these days, not least by the brand’s founders themselves? I think it’ll be an amazing experience for our friends and readers—to have your watch hand-delivered to you by the guys who started it all, all the way from the across the globe, and maybe even sharing a beer or two with these guys—it all really adds to the pride-of-ownership aspect of this watch, which is why I’m very happy that we’re able to do this with Nodus. It’s just so cool of them to go out of their way to do this.

KC: So, I think it’s safe to say that this collaborative project takes the cake as Team Matick’s biggest achievement of 2019?

Marsh: No doubt about it. It’s not every day you get to do a limited edition with a brand as reputable as Nodus.

And well, 2019 was a year of trials and tribulations, even for myself personally. But I’d like to think we came through just fine. As long as we keep pushing our boundaries and continue to do the things that matter to us close to our hearts, we’re going to be alright. 

KC: Like all things in life, I think it’s a journey. The ups and downs are all part and parcel of it; we just gotta stay focused and do the best we can.

Marsh: Thanks for the chat, KC. Guess I’ll see you on 7th March, well maybe a little earlier to set up. So until then, buddy.

KC: See you around dude.

___

Order and event details to follow: –

For Team Matick,

Marshall, KC.

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