Off the Cuff: Nodus Sector Dive

This past month, Nodus began shipping its second incarnation of the popular Sector Dive Watch. The Sector Dive is part of an original series that included a Field version, as well, but has now expanded to comprise both a Pilot and a Sport within the range. Fans of the brand will recognize a number of similarities between the original Sector Dive and this most recent manifestation. However, much is also new.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Nodus Sector Dive Watch @calibre321

Remaining largely unchanged is the Sector case, which is used in all models of the Sector Series. It is a mix of brushed and polished surfaces, measuring 38mm in diameter and 47mm lug to lug. The angular design is faceted cleanly from lug to lug along the outside edge–top and bottom–and is visually slimming. The lugs themselves have a further beveling along the inside seam adding an attractive dimensionality. The unprotected, screwed-down crown, is amply sized (7.5mm) and finely knurled, making it easy to manipulate. In profile, the case is slim (12.5mm) with drilled, gently downturned lugs for additional comfort on wrist. The reference modeled here has a 120-click, carbon black DLC bezel that I find particularly handsome (but I’m also a sucker for a steel bezel, which is an option). While the bezel does have engraved minute markers, readings are predominantly dependent upon the lumed pip at 12. This is a non-issue in the sense that the Sector Dive has been designed, first and foremost, as a skin diver–and meant only for shallow, unassisted breathing activities. The Sector Dive is rated for 100m of water resistance.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Svelte skin diver case and pearloid dial @calibre321
Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Bevelled lugs @calibre321

The case is certainly reminiscent of those early mid-century skin divers; however, the new bracelet clearly references the trope. In fact, it might be fair to say that the beads-of-rice-style bracelet is a highlight of this most recent issue–fully articulating, solid screwed links with a centre row of polished beads, collected by a border of brushed blocks, and tapering from 20 to 18mm at the milled clasp. Gorgeous. I can’t help but think the combination of case, bezel, and bracelet conjures images of the Longines ‘Nautilus’ from the late 1950s and early 60s. Which is not a bad thing.

Longines Nautilus (Source)

However, the vintage spell ends there. The dial of the Sector Dive–which has also undergone a redesign–is unmistakably modern. To begin, it remains a nod to sector-dialed watches, which–loosely defined–are characterized by concentric circles used to partition different areas of the dial. Here, though, the effect is subtle. There is a chapter ring, but it is slim and unobtrusive, being nearly identical in colour to the dial itself. There is also a recessed inner portion dividing the minute indicators from the centre of the dial. Otherwise, the layout is minimalist, using a combination of 3D printed markers and numerals at 3, 6, and 9. Despite the pale colouring of the indices, the fine black outline renders them immediately legible. I find the pearloid finish of this reference particularly sharp. However there are also Seafoam Green and Red Tide variations available. The handset is one of the biggest changes from the original Sector Dive. Here we have a pencil minutes with an arrow-shaped hour hand and a lollipop seconds. The hand colours are also more subdued than before. In this case, the only colour comes in a splash of red text above the six–a factor I consider quite striking.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Attractive, minimalist “sector”-style dial @calibre321

The Sector Dive employs a flat sapphire crystal which is beveled just proud of the bezel and domed on the underside. It is also coated with AR. The mix allows for gentle edge distortions with no sacrifice to legibility. And you won’t have any trouble seeing things at night, either. Hands and indices have been treated with T-C1 X-1 Grade Swiss Super-LumiNova.

This not an ostentatious watch, nor is its movement. Beating away at 3Hz is the automatic Seiko NH38. This no date version means no ghost position on the crown. It also keeps the dial clean which, in this instance, works.


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SPECS

Case316L Stainless Steel
38mm Diameter (39mm /w bezel)
47mm Lug to Lug
12.5mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
7.5mm Screwed Down Crown
120 Click Bezel (Black DLC or SS)
Screwed Down Caseback
100m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalFlat Sapphire
/w Domed Underside and AR
3D Printing
T-C1 X1 Super-LumiNova
MovementSeiko NH38 (Regulated, No Date)
24 Jewels
21 600bph
41-Hour Power Reserve
StrapStainless Steel Beads of Rice, Milled Clasp
/w Push Button Release, Micro-adjust & Screwed Links
Nodus Sector Diver
Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Contemporary twist on the mid-century skin diver @calibre321

Of Interest

Founders Wes and Cullen have exacting standards. As such all Nodus watches are assembled in house at their Los Angeles workshop. More importantly, each piece is regulated to four positions. In the case of the NH38, that translates into an accuracy of +/-10 secs/day. Tough to beat in a watch of this price.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Comfortable of wrist @calibre321

Quibbles

Frankly, the Sector Dive is one of the best automatic dive watches I’ve experienced for under $500. ‘Nuff said.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Utilitarian design with flashes of luxury @calibre321

Final Thoughts

Despite the vintage design cues, the Sector Dive is not so much a reissue as it is a reimagining of the skin diver. Its utilitarian good looks, coupled with a splash of luxury in the bracelet, make for a solid two punch. Add to that the quality of the finishing and the regulation of the movement and those punches are being thrown way above the price point. The Sector Dive remains true to its own heritage of “function first” design that will endure physically and stylistically into the future. It’s the quintessential toolwatch.

The Sector Dive retails for $475USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.

Nodus Sector Dive Watch Microbrand Review
Quintessential toolwatch @calibre321

Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch (or strap…) in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

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2 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: Nodus Sector Dive

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