Off the Cuff: Nodus Avalon II Bronze

Nodus is what some would call an “enthusiasts’ brand”–not yet a household name, but one making waves among aficionados. Certainly the arrival of their original Avalon diver in 2018 helped cement their growing reputation among collectors as a builder of solid tool watches. Now we have not only a new generation of Avalon, in the Avalon II, but a novel iteration in bronze to consider. It’s an embarrassment of riches.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
The Noddus Avalon II Bronze @calibre321

Followers of the brand will recognize the case. It remains true to the original references in both shape and size, coming in at 43.5mm in diameter and 48mm lug to lug. However, if that sounds large, fear not, there is a little magic in the way this watch wears. To begin, the profile is relatively slim for a diver at 12.75mm, and the cushion case construction with its sloped edges really sits well on wrist. The smaller bezel diameter (41.5mm) also helps to visually shrink the watch. Of course, the main difference here is the CuAI5 aluminum bronze construction. Aluminium bronzes are desirable for their strength and corrosion resistance when compared to other bronze alloys, such as tin or brass. This is the first time Nodus have plied the bronze watch waters, and the result is sharp. The review model featured here had already begun to patina before its arrival, which is the enchanting part of a bronze watch–its final colour will be a result not only of the metal, but of your lifestyle as it reacts with the environment. The crown is screw-down, slightly recessed, and signed.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
CNC machined from CuAI5 aluminum bronze @calibre321

The Avalon II bezel is 120-click and unidirectional. It responds with a tight snap and has no back play. The edge is a finely textured mix of intermittent knurling and is easy to grip. The insert is scratch-resistant ceramic and fully lumed. It looks great with the gently domed sapphire crystal.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
Lumed ceramic dial insert @calibre321

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Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
Bold and balanced dial @calibre321

The dial of the Avalon II is bold and nicely balanced in a field of sunburst blue (a green variant is also available). The trapezoidal indices are applied and interspersed with sharpened markers at 3, 9, and 12 to mirror the tell-tale sword hands drawn from the watch’s mythical name. The seconds hand is a particularly thoughtful design, as its tail reflects the shape of the sword hands themselves, while the head is pipped with a splash of yellow to match the line of “Avalon” text. I also like the colour-matched date wheel, which is tastefully integrated at 6. The result is a highly-legible dial, even in the dark–treated, as it is, with TC-1 X-1 Super-LumiNova.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
TC-1 X-1 Super-LumiNova @calibre321

Nodus have kept the stainless steel caseback to save your wrist from any bronze residue. It is decorated with an attractive embossing of King Arthur’s Excalibur. Like the crown, the caseback is screw-down, contributing to the 300m water resistance rating.

The watch is powered by the Japanese Miyota 9015 from Citizen. It is a 4Hz go-to for many microbrands brands, vibrating at 28 800bph. It offers hacking and hand-winding, as well as a power reserve of 42 hours.

It comes on an interesting 20mm TecTuff hybrid rubber strap that has the texture of nylon sailcloth, but the pliability of silicone. Like all Nodus watches, the Avalon II Bronze is designed and assembled in Los Angeles.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
300m water resistance @calibre321

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Specs

CaseAluminum Bronze CuAl5
43.5mm Diameter
48mm Lug to Lug
12.75mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Crown & Caseback
120 Click Uni-directional Bezel
/w Lumed Ceramic Insert
300m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalDomed Sapphire Crystal
/w AR
Sunburst Dial
Applied Indices
Polished Sword Hands
Date @ 6
TC-1 X-1 Super-LumiNova
MovementMiyota 9015
28 800bph
24 Jewels
42-Hour Power Reserve
Regulated in 4 Positions
StrapHybrid TecTuff Rubber Strap
/w Quick Release & Bronze Hardware

Nodus Avalon II Bronze


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Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
Powered by the Miyota 9015 @calibre321

Of Interest

The strength of the Avalon II Bronze, as with the other Avalon iterations that preceded it, has to be case construction. Looked at in profile from the perspective of the lugs, the watch appears very much like the hull of a flat-bottomed ship. You could imagine it cutting a wake through the sea. It is not unlike the Seiko Turtle–another classic example of the cushion case–in its overall design, but the Avalon II is much more complex. A side-by-side comparison shows the Seiko to be an almost clumsy version of the crisper Avalon. Where the Turtle is a single polished swoop, the Avalon is rendered in four separate planes–a broad, brushed swath on the bottom, followed by a slim polished chamfer along the midcase, and then another wider polished band expanding toward the lugs, terminating with the circularly brushed case top. It’s details like these that make you realize how much more you get for your money in a watch like the Avalon II Bronze.

This also contributes to the overall strength of the brand–thoughtful designs, standard movement regulation, and US assembly in their LA workshop. Little extras along the way that add up.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
Comes on a TecTuff hybrid rubber strap @calibre321

Quibbles

The Avalon II Bronze is a great watch, and I like the TecTuff strap, but I wish it were a navy blue to match the dial. It would also look great on a thicker Isofrane.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
Sunburst blue dial @calibre321

Final Thoughts

The Avalon II and the Avalon II Bronze do not constitute design overhauls, which suggests a “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” approach from the brand. Instead what you get is a refinement of what was already an excellent timepiece. While the use of CuAI5 is a departure for Nodus, the watch remains largely true to its predecessors in design language. In the Avalon II Bronze you get a robust build with an handsome, well-balanced dial; a regulated, hi-beat movement, and quality materials. But most importantly, as is the case with bronze, you will eventually have a distinctive timepiece reflective of your environment and your daily activities–a watch that is unique to, and of, you.

The Nodus Avalon II Bronze retails for $749USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.

Nodus Avalon II Bronze Microbrand Watch Review
The Nodus Avalon II Bronze @calibre321

About the author

Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.


Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch 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.

Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.

2 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: Nodus Avalon II Bronze

  1. Todd Seger /rolextudorguy

    Excellent Review as always Robi 🤙🏽😎 As luck would have it my Avalon II is arriving today. I didn’t do the Bronze and now I’m second guessing myself. Anyway great job‼️

    Like

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