My friend Farid of WatchWorks Haarlem is not only a prolific vintage watch specialist, but also an accomplished artist. Farid has a contemporary style deeply influenced by street art and graffiti culture, and a particularly keen eye for lettering. Anyway, a couple of months ago he showed me a Seiko 5 dial he’d been experimenting on, custom painting it in a style best described as a mix of Jackson Pollock and @TheDialArtist. I was captivated. My mind started racing. And not long after, my trusty NOMOS Club 701 was on its way to Haarlem. Today WatchWorks Haarlem and myself are proud to introduce you to the result. Please welcome the WatchWorks Haarlem x minimatikal NOMOS Club 701. What should we call it? Tutti Frutti. Painter’s Pallet. Or Disco Dip?!
Wait – as an homage to Farid’s graffiti-infused past we’ll go with The Frunch.
‘Frunch’. It was Joker of the famous Amsterdam graffiti crew USA who came up with the term Frunch in 1985. A name he gave to an abstract form of graffiti. Graffiti is characterized by letters, it is the essence. But also in the cradle of the subculture New York city there were writers in the early eighties such as Futura2000 and Jonone who subordinate the letters focus on abstraction. Characterized by spray mist, paint splashes, drippings and diffuse use of color. The perfect inspiration for the design of a modern watch dial.
But before we digress, let’s take a look at a few behind-the-scenes pictures:
So what’s the process of doing a custom dial such as this like? First the watch is carefully disassembled. The dial and movement are taken out of the case and the hands removed, before the dial can come off. A word of caution: this is all best left to a watchmaker, and preferably one with access to spare parts in case of accidental damage or parts that need replacing. Once the dial is loose, the canvas is ready for Farid to work his magic. The dots are applied by hand using a hand-cut tool, one by one, using top-secret paint in a variety of colors. Now all that’s left is a bit of time for the paint to dry, and reassembly can commence.
On May 30th I published a post on the discontinuation of our beloved Club 701 and 703:
“Yesterday the sad news reached me that the both the NOMOS Club 701 and it’s see-through back sibling the NOMOS Club 703 are now officially discontinued. As of today they are no longer available for retailers to order through NOMOS as they have no stock left!” (full article).
The Club 701 and 703 however are still available for order to this day, both through NOMOS-Glashuette.com as well as through the NOMOS Corner – which is the system us Authorized Dealers use to place our orders. This led me to ask my contacts in Glashütte about the status of these earlier this week. Today I got my answer:
“After we have decided and announced to discontinue the Club 701, we had suddenly so many request that we believed we shouldn’t make our NOMOS Fans unhappy, so we ordered more missing parts to build more.“
“It is discontinued but as long as we have several cases or dials, we can still build if retailers are ordering…“
While I am not 100% sure what this means in terms of numbers or time frame, I guess this is good news for us Club fans?
we are fine thank you.
As long as we have the parts of the watch we can produce it, but you have right in foreseeable future this watch is sold out. I hope this was helpfully for you.
Yesterday the sad news reached me that the both the NOMOS Club 701 and it’s see-through back sibling the NOMOS Club 703 are now officially discontinued. As of today they are no longer available for retailers to order through NOMOS as they have no stock left!
As many of you know I have a deep affection for the 701 – it’s cool, rugged and affordable. It’s discontinuation isn’t all that surprising though. I suspected as much when the 2018 price list came out, and of course the Campus collection has been the new entry-level NOMOS for quite a while now. This morning I will spend spamming all of our contacts at NOMOS to check if we can still get a few for our stock. If your local NOMOS AD still has one, it’s a watch I highly recommend.
EDIT – one more 701 will find its way to Amsterdam. After that, it is to the best of my knowledge that one final batch of approx 30-50 will be finished and made available once they come out of production.
For now, please enjoy these pics of my own 701 from our archives!
The Jubilee is another bracelet that came with the lot I bought a while back. The style was introduced in 1945. It was created by Gay Freres for Rolex in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the latter, arguably as a more streamlined version of the earlier beads-of-rice bracelet.
Sadly my bracelet is not made by Gay Freres (unlike the Bonklip), but rather by ROWI, a manufacturer based in Pforzheim, Germany. Though it looks good in the pic I took it off right after, as it was a bit too long and I didn’t want to go to the trouble of removing any links.
A little over a month ago I posted a picture of my NOMOS Club fitted with a vintage Gay Freres Bonklip-style bracelet. Yesterday I fitted another one, this time a vintage expandable Oyster-ish bracelet by Expandro.
When I first my NOMOS x Bonklip post, I thought I’d keep the Club on that bracelet for a day or two. I can now report that this was most certainly not the case, as I kept it on and wore it for one month straight. The mid-century look & feel greatly quite a bit, and I began to keep an eye open to other vintage bracelets.
Two weeks back I was negotiating with the seller of a LIP Himalaya, and in the process I discovered he also had a lot of some 80 vintage bracelets for sale, which he’d include for a modest premium. I quickly agreed and received my 2.5kg package a few days later. After a first sift I deemed about half of them to be in usable condition, and over the next couple of days I thoroughly cleaned every single one of them. It’s not a very pleasant job!
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll try to post a few of them here on minimatikal. First up is this expandable bracelet by Expandro, with 18mm straight end pieces and 16mm Oyster-like links. Suddenly the Club feels like a funky modern version of the Rolex Bubbleback. I like it!