The watch world, particularly the microbrand watch world, could be very attention-grabbing and at occasions, very complicated. The Nomadic Pitch Black, and the complete Maraí 401 watch sequence, is simply that. One of many causes I wait most occasions to jot down these written evaluations after I publish the video, is as a result of I wish to see the suggestions and I normally get some perception on what viewers assume or have skilled with a watch. What I discovered about this watch, was one thing I used to be not anticipating in any respect. I knew this watch was very related seeking to a Tudor Black Bay and I had my very own points with the truth that I didn’t really feel Nomadic went far sufficient to vary the design and make it their very own. However various commenters identified that this watch appears to be like rather a lot like one other watch on the market, one that’s less expensive than this Pitch Black, and it does change this overview, and the way I take a look at the watch. So, that’s what we’re going to speak about right this moment and all about this new Belfast microbrand.
In case you are studying this and haven’t but watched the video but, lets recap shortly. This Nomadic Pitch Black, or extra particularly the Nomadic Maraí 401 Diver, which there are 5 totally different shade variations of, is a watch from a model out of Belfast, Eire and the model identify comes from the SS Nomadic, one of many different well-known ships constructed alongside facet the Titanic. Since 2006 this ship has been again in Belfast, the place it was in-built 1911, and since then has been restored and reworked right into a museum. With all that historical past, the manufacturers advertising and marketing and now being assembled and examined in Belfast on the Nomadic Headquarters (as of late 2023, watches are nonetheless manufactured in Asia), I anticipated to see a few of that mirrored within the watch itself. What I noticed as a substitute, was only a Tudor Black Bay homage, with a distinct handset.
Past the yellow second hand on each mannequin of the Nomadic Pitch Black, which signifies the SS Nomadic’s yellow smoke stack and yellow cranes on the ship yards, this watch is clearly meant to repeat the Black Bay, although to be clear, not a one in every of one or duplicate, as we are going to talk about. However extra importantly, it was identified to me within the remark part of the YouTube video, that this is similar precise watch because the San Martin SN008. Now, I’m not acquainted in any respect with the San Martin or Aliexpress watches. I posted this in a pinned touch upon YouTube as effectively, however I simply don’t concentrate, analysis or hunt down these watches. That mentioned, going over the location and taking a look at it, after which googling some buyer photographs, its both the most important coincidence on the planet, or that is only a rebadged San Martin, with a distinct handset.
San Martin SN008-G
Now if you’re not accustomed to this model or their watches, you could be questioning, why is that this such a giant deal. Nicely, that will be the worth. From the San Martin web site, their model of this watch with the SW200 movement, is $406. As you noticed within the specs, this Nomadic Pitch Black, is $1000. $1100 should you select the date. Now, there are lots of variables right here, and a few issues to contemplate. One, I can not say with 100% certainty they’re the identical case, dial, crown and bracelet with out seeing them in hand. In the event that they in actual fact are, is the standard management the identical? Is Nomadic assembling and testing them in Eire as they are saying? Will you get a greater guarantee or customer support with Nomadic? These are all issues I might personally be taking a look at.
However on the finish of the day, the Nomadic Pitch Black, or Maraí 401, whether or not the identical Tudor model case or not because the San Martin, is an homage to the Tudor. Now, I need to be clear, as some have already known as it a blatant copy or duplicate. It’s not both of these. The crown is totally different, the palms are totally different, the bracelet isn’t a black bay bracelet, nor the clasp, so no, I might not thought-about it a 1:1 copy. I put it extra in the identical league as I might a Steinhart Ocean One. Related, however on no account precise, with many variations than can simply be identified by one who is aware of the true deal, and even simply sitting them subsequent to one another, anybody with eyes ought to be capable to see they’re related however not the identical factor. Now, worth creeps in once more although, as most Steinhart watches, with ETA 2824 or Sellita actions, could be purchased for round $5-550. Nomadic is charging $1000 for these dive watches.
Past all of that, whereas this can be a very enticing watch, far more enticing together with his handset and emblem to me, than the San Martin with the dangerous facsimile snowflake palms, it’s nonetheless very a lot a Tudor Black Bay homage. And usually, I might be okay with that, however with this worth and the truth that nowhere does Nomadic allude to this on their web site, social media or internet marketing. No, it’s marketed as a Sea faring watch, a rugged diver that may do and tackle something. An ideal design, a watch that harkens to to the Belfast shipyards and one which represents the SS Nomadic. But it doesn’t. In any respect.
Now I’m not suggesting they need to have put shamrocks on the dial (as a sarcastic YouTube subscriber instructed) however perhaps change up the dial indices. Perhaps make just a few of them just like the portholes of the SS Nomadic. Perhaps put a small illustration of the Nomadic Ship’s wheel on the dial. And extra importantly, why not put stamped or engraved case again, with the SS Nomadic picture in all its restored glory. With none of these issues I discussed, if I put this watch in entrance of somebody, even a watch fanatic, and gave no context about it, they’d most likely simply assume it was a modded Tudor Black Bay 58. They wouldn’t be improper both, as that’s precisely what it appears to be like like.
One factor I can definitnly say, is that the Nomadic Pitch Black, whether or not it’s the similar watch because the San Martin or not, is a really effectively made watch. In comparison with many micro manufacturers, the ending is gorgeous, whether or not I’m speaking the perimeters of the case, the polished chamfers, the finely brushed again facet and case again, even the bracelet. Till I used to be pointed in direction of the San Martin, I simply assumed that Nomadic made a really lovely and effectively made (or a manufacturing facility in China did, which continues to be true, however they paid for good top quality piece) watch. I imply, they did. Or San Martin did. Or one other Chinese language manufacturing facility did. Both manner, this watch could be very effectively put collectively, and even at shut inspection on the dial, I discovered no points, no lint, no dust, even the palms look cleaner than lots of micro manufacturers once you rise up shut.
The bezel is extraordinarily crisp and satisfying to show. The crown, not as satisfying, however nonetheless very practical and straightforward to make use of (although it does have that phantom click on, as this isn’t a no date motion, it’s the usual SW200-1), and as I mentioned, the bracelet, whereas not the rivet model bracelet (which I truly am glad that it isn’t), it’s a very effectively made and strong bracelet, with screws within the hyperlinks, very articulate and simply drapes on the wrist. The bracelet is generic, however practical with just a few micro adjustment holes and the tip hyperlinks to try to imitate the black bay bracelet. All issues thought-about, it appears to be like and seems like a excessive finish timepiece.
You probably have a a lot bigger wrist than 7 1/2 inches (19.05cm), effectively, you could need to ask or additional hyperlinks, as I solely needed to take two hyperlinks out to suit my wrist. That mentioned, this can be a very comfy watch, and being solely 11.5mm, it makes this a really wearable watch, one I may simply put on day-after-day. In the event that they upgraded the clasp to 1 with some form of ratchet extension, it might make it even higher, however as is, I had no points.
And also you lume junkies shall be glad as effectively, as this can be among the best lumed watches I’ve had in hand for overview this yr, and that’s some stiff competitors. Not solely is the BGW9 shiny and lengthy lasting, however it is vitally evenly utilized in every indices and palms. The yellow second hand isn’t lumed in any respect, one thing they might tackle in future variations.
I’ve to confess, this watch and this overview, have left me very befuddled. The Nomadic model has been posting on my YouTube video, so head over and see the dialog, however they’re saying they weren’t conscious of San Martin watches, and never outright admitting to this being a catalog case and bracelet watch. Look, I perceive. The model wants that again story and the historical past of the SS Nomadic. They needed to have some form of lineage, and never simply be one other new microbrand on the block. Competitors is stiff, and you have to do no matter it takes to face out. All that mentioned, I simply want they didn’t go for a watch design, that’s so simply recognizable and iconic. I imply, Tudor is among the hottest manufacturers within the watch world right this moment, and with this watch having a really related dial, bezel and bezel insert, the case of a black child, related crown, case again and bracelet, effectively, you may’t actually camouflage all that with some pencil hour and minute palms and a yellow second hand.
So far as this Nomadic Pitch Black in hand, I can not say I’m upset within the high quality. If something I used to be pleasantly shocked how effectively made this watch truly is. And, it’s a very putting watch, with a crisp dial, and a fantastic trying bezel and insert. I’ve no concern carrying it, nor would I shifting ahead. However that worth is one thing that can not be ignored, and true watch guys, effectively, they most likely gained’t. Hopefully Nomadic’s second mannequin, (apparently a subject model watch) may have much more originality to it, particularly in the event that they plan on charging the identical worth