The Red Trieste by Nodus – STP 1-11 movement
Disclaimer: Nodus provided the watch for an independent evaluation, but I otherwise received no compensation for this review.
I had the opportunity to wear the new Nodus Trieste diver’s watch for nearly 2 weeks and I wanted to share my thoughts and impressions. Nodus is a young company founded by Cullen Chen and Wesley Kwok launching their brand with the Trieste line of watches. While there are many variations to choose from as I’ll point our later on, the main decision as to which piece to select rests on the price. You can choose the Seiko NH35A movement for $350 or the STP 1-11 for $500. They have been taking orders for some time but just started shipping the watches this week. You can find them at www.noduswatches.com
The Trieste caught my eye on Instagram before I was even aware of who was producing it and whether it was an old or new product. It's reminiscence of the Bathyscaphe by Blancpain, was an excellent reference point for me which intrigued me enough about Nodus watches to learn more.
Nodus offers the Trieste in 6 different versions with 3 different bezel colors, each on a stainless steel or PVD black case. Another very interesting option is the movement you prefer to put in your watch. Nodus offers two automatic movement options: the well-known and less expensive Seiko NH35A or the Swiss made STP 1-11. With the final choice of date or no-date, this makes for a total of 24 variations available to you.
Nodus provided a stainless steel, red bezel with STP movement timepiece for review. It came in a striking natural wood box with the logo branded on the top cover. The presentation within the case made for a great first impression to the point that I would consider storing the Trieste in it’s box on a regular basis.
The case of the Trieste is 41 mm wide without the crown and 13 mm tall which made it easy to wear under dress shirt cuffs.
The lug to lug distance is 50 mm and the width between them is the verycommon 20 mm, which allowed me to try on a couple different straps. If you ownmultiple watches, chances are you'll have several 20mm strap options already inyour collection to pair with the Trieste.
A detail that I've come to enjoy very much is the chamfered finish of the lugs. For the most part the case is brushed, making the black polish of the edges stand out very nicely and giving it a beautiful sparkle.
The bezel is true highlight of this piece. The fantastic burgundy color gives the watch an elegant touch and the sapphire gives it an appearance well beyond its price point. Coordinating it with other colors in my wardrobe proved even easier than I anticipated. The bezel action is very precise; it rotates unidirectionally completely in 120 clicks. It has no appreciable wiggle and provides a great clicking sound with each turn. It's one of the best bezels in terms of quality that I've encountered at this price point and definitively a pleasure to use.
The dial is matte black with a slight texture to it and crisp text, that doesn’t dominate the face. The “Trieste” name in yellow adds a subtle splash of color that stands out. Perhaps my favorite feature of this watch are the hands and markers. Steel-framed and SuperLuminova (BGW-9)-filled, the markers are very elegant and give a mesmerizing sparkle. The 12, 3, 6 and 9 markers are elongated and triangular, contrasting very nicely with the round markers, all at a size that I find very appealing with a perfect balance between sporty and elegant. As a diver’s watch, easy visibility is a must and the Trieste’s markers were clearly legible at various distances and angles. The hands are a unique triangular, syringe-like shape. Excellent choice! If you go with a date complication, the window is located at 4 o'clock. My watch didn't have one and that's how I would have chosen it, even though I usually go with that complication.
I am pleasantly surprised and find it very cool, that Nodus offers a choice in movements, though both are automatics. Personal preferences are across the board when it comes to what the best option is. For many, Swiss made is a must, given the quality and longevity that modern-era Swiss movements represent, while others don't believe the extra premium is worth it. Whatever your personal thoughts are, you will find comfort in knowing that you can chose between the Swiss -made, Fossil-owned STP (Swiss Technology Production) 1-11 and the less expensive Japanese Seiko NH35A. My watch came in with the STP 1-11, which is the equivalent to the ETA 2824-2 movement. You may recall that several years ago, the Swatch group (owners of ETA) announced that they would restrict the ETA movements to Swatch Group brands only. This spawned a resurgence of other Swiss-based companies’ investment in their production of movements to "fill the gap." STP was founded in 2006 and their first movement, the 1-11, was first released in 2008. However, the downturn of the high-end watch industry 2-3 years ago resulted in the Swatch group not restricting their ETA movements as aggressively as they had planned. However, I think the ball is already in motion and several companies like STP are building a track record and establishing themselves well in the market.
Open the screw-on case back and you'll be mesmerized by the beautiful finish of the movement showcasing Cote de Geneve engraving on the rotor and perlage throughout the movement. I'm impressed and I'd go with this movement if given the choice!
I don't usually put my watches on the timgrapher unless necessary, but I couldn't pass on the opportunity to see how the Trieste performed out of the box. In fact, I had not seen an STP movement in person before and so I decided to look inside after getting the green light from Wes. I must say I'm impressed with the quality!
As you can see in the picture, the movement is running at just +1s per day! The amplitude of 312o indicates that this is a smooth-running machine, not only with quality components, but also well-oiled and regulated. This is within COSC requirements and will give those of you who are into the movement world some added reassurance. The rotor is very quiet and, in fact, didn’t notice it’s spin at any point during my trial period.
The bracelet is an oyster-style, made from brushed stainless steel with solid endlinks and polished sides. I liked the quality of the finish, though the endlinks were not as well done as the rest of the bracelet. The links are held together with screws that were easy to remove and place back to adjust the length of the bracelet. The clasp is flip-lock style with the Nodus logo engraved in it. Overall, the bracelet quality meets expectations for its price point.
To sum it up, I am well impressed with the Nodus Trieste. If you are looking for a reasonably sized diver watch (especially in the current era of >44mm) Nodus offers plenty of variants to suit your preference. If you don't miss the "Swiss" label on the movement and you are happy with a well-known, reliable movement from Seiko, you will have a hard time finding a better priced option for this quality. On the other hand, if you're into movements and think the extra premium for the STP1-11 is worth it, you won't be disappointed at all with the Trieste. My only criticism is the finish on the endlinks, which are not deal-breakers, but hope that will improve on subsequent generations. Having said that, I really enjoyed wearing the Trieste on a strap perhaps a bit more than the bracelet.
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