NOMOS’ Colourful Club Campus Watches Are A Fitting Graduation Gift After A Tough Year
NOMOS Glashütte might have hit upon a horological first. Nothing whizzy in the mechanics department, though the brand does have form for that. No, rather it seems to have launched the first duo of watches inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. Two new shades inspired by it, to be precise, with particular focus on student life in, and out, of lockdown. Now, with university terms spent entirely on Zoom, rather than in the library, coming to an end, NOMOS has unveiled two new dial colours – Absolute Gray and Future Orange – as part of its Club Campus range.
The Club Campus collection, as you might suspect from the name, was created with graduates in mind, with their entry-level prices, simple hand-wound movements, and blank steel case backs ready for an inspirational message to be engraved on them. Since the collection’s debut in 2016, these models have been hugely popular as graduation gifts, but this is the first time that graduates’ actual experience of the past year that has inspired the watches’ design.
Absolute Gray was named after the monotony experienced by students stuck at home, “attending” virtual lectures, deprived of the joy of a packed student-union dance floor or even the frantic energy of the university library a week before finals. There is a touch of orange around the numerals and indices, possibly a sign that all is not lost, but otherwise it is a muted affair. Future Orange, on the other hand, looks ahead, hopefully to a much brighter year than the previous one.
While the grey has a quiet elegance, it is the orange that stands out. This particular shade of orange has stealthily made its way into the fashion hive mind as the colour of season; surprising given just how bright it is. Gucci has a bucket hat in this juicy shade, while Balenciaga has an oversize hoodie in the same eye-catching (or should that be watering?) hue. And it’s not limited to clothing either. R+D Lab has a lovely matching carafe and glasses set in the same colour, Soho Home is using it for its glass tumblers, which you can buy to complement your William & Son maple wood carpet dominoes set. It is also the colour scheme chosen for Only Watch 2021 – the biennial charity watch auction set up in 2005, by Mr Luc Pettavino, former managing director of the Monaco Yacht Show, to raise money for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, from which his late son suffered.
You don’t have to have a degree in psychology to work out why this colour has taken over this season. After a year spent alternating between grey marl and black tracksuits, we’re all craving some sartorial sunshine. It is also, despite its brilliance, an easy colour to wear. Breitling has long understood the power of orange on a watch – its boldness, the way it looks great with a tan, how it elevates a simple dial to something that packs a punch. It’s not as aggressive on the eye as red, nor as ubiquitous as blue. Hermès recently called it with its H08. And now NOMOS gets it right not just with the colour but with its name. Because the future is bright, and we’ll all be wearing orange.