iW Magazine
On the Wrist

Nomos Ahoi: A German Sports Watch, Reviewed On The Wrist

This summer, I was given the opportunity to spend a few weeks with the Nomos Ahoi. I jumped at the chance, and I have assembled a collection of impressions to share with iW Magazine readers. My experience with the Ahoi commenced with an offbeat greeting for my FedEx delivery.

“Ahoi there, matey!” I couldn’t resist using my pirate voice when the Nomos Ahoi arrived in the mail from its home in Glashütte. After all, my goofy enthusiasm was probably merited since the upstart German brand Nomos has traditionally made dress watches. This sports/dive watch is a first for the brand. Truth be told, I’ve parted with most of the dive watches in my collection because I just didn’t find them dressy enough. So when looking through Nomos’ collection, I couldn’t resist wanting to get my hands on the Ahoi.

The Nomos Ahoi is marketed as sports watch. I received the white dial (non-date) variant for this review, and this watch arrived on a two-piece NATO strap and packaged securely in a stylish leather case. Nomos has bulked up the case thickness, added crown guards, and sealed the case for greater water resistance.

Nomos’ sports watch has a 200-meter depth rating, and it’s downright perfect for a casual dip in the pool or ocean. The price tag, which ranges from $3760 to $4460 US depending on configuration, is great for a sports watch with a manufacture movement. The fit and finish of this timepiece is commensurate with many watches that are twice or three times the price.

The Ahoi’s 40mm stainless steel case has a luxurious weight to it. I found the high polish finish to be bright and durable during its time in my service. The longer 20mm lugs will loom over the edges of small wrists of seven inches circumference or less, but I would imagine that wouldn’t be a problem for the average wrist size.

In keeping with the traditional styling of Nomos timepieces, the Ahoi’s case is very thin at 10.54mm. Furthermore, the Nomos “Epsilon” movement can be highlighted by a sapphire caseback on some versions; the standard Ahoi verson has a solid caseback. The included two-piece NATO strap is secured to the 20mm lugs via durable spring bars.

The Ahoi’s dial is composed of galvanized steel with white silver-plated indices. The lume paint is powered by Super LumiNova. I found the dial to be very legible under multiple lighting situations. I took the piece to the beach but didn’t have a chance to take it into the water – it wasn’t mine, after all. I was impressed by the sharpness of the dial under glaring sunlight.

The hour and minute hands are rhodium plated with a Super LumiNova inlay. I found the light blue-glowing luminescence across the dial and hands to be very bright, with peak brightness degrading after about two minutes and reduced glow sticking around for more than a few hours under low light conditions.

As mentioned earlier, the included NATO strap is a two-piece unit. This lessens the typical bulk of full length NATOs by allowing the case to sit directly on the wrist instead of being on top of a strap. I like that Nomos made the lugs 20mm, a decision that allows most collectors to use common straps.

Nomos’ Ahoi watch uses the in-house automatic Epsilon movement. The movement has a 43-hour power reserve that is energized by a bidirectional winding rotor. During my testing, I found the watch to be highly accurate. As seen in the photos, the movement is nicely finished with Glashütte striping. I found myself looking at the backside of this piece more often than the front side. Additionally, I didn’t hear any additional movement/rotor noise when the watch was on my wrist.

After two weeks on the wrist and under a variety of situations (e.g., outdoors/indoors/office) the watch’s serviceability rates 70/100. The NATO strap may not be best for suits or dress shirts, but that easily could be solved via a leather strap. As I wrote earlier, the extended lugs do not form-fit on the wrist as well as curved lugs might.

Time will tell if the watch can withstand the rigors of traditional sports watches. However, I have faith in the durability of the hardened steel Nomos uses on the case. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled to Instagram over the next few months to see if any owners post photos of the wear on their pieces.

Following my extended test, I’ve concluded that Nomos’ first attempt at a sports watch is a success. The piece is affordably priced, attractive, and it can turn heads at your next trip to the beach. The Ahoi is a great weekend/casual watch. It’s perfect with a t-shirt and blue jeans/shorts. The Nomos Ahoi base model clocks in at $3760 US. The model I was sent had a sapphire crystal back, which pushed the retail price to $4060 US. Other versions include a date model and black dial variants.