Nixon Diplomat Watch Review

Nixon Diplomat Watch Review

Nixon Diplomat Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Nixon isn't a brand that I've had too much exposure to in the past. However, once I saw that they had a model featuring a Horween leather strap, I knew this was definitely a model that I needed to check out. Of course it didn't hurt that the piece also featured a GMT function, which is one of my favorite complications. I have to say though that the first thing that grabbed me about this watch wasn't so much the specs, or the strap material - it was the name.

At least here in the states, the Nixon name (when it comes to politics, not watches) is about as opposite from a diplomat as you could think (if you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out this article). Here, I think Nixon (the brand) may be playing on that tension somewhat to make the piece interesting. And I guess it worked, because here we are reviewing the watch.

Nixon Diplomat Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

On to the watch! This is, by modern sensibilities, a larger watch, just on the cusp of what I consider to be comfortably wearable. The stainless steel case comes in at 45mm in diameter. While it's not as thick as some divers I've recently reviewed, it's not the thinnest of watches either. The domed mineral crystal (AR coated on the underside) also contributes to this height as well. It wasn't a problem slipping it under a cuff, but it can be a snugger fit. The watch comes in at a weight of only 126g, so this isn't one that you'll feel weighed down with.

Inside that case, you've got a quartz Ronda movement driving the four hands (hours, minutes, seconds, and GMT) as well as the date display. This is all read out on a cleanly laid out dial. While the use of numerals is sparing, where they do appear, they are nice and large (indices are just slightly smaller). This keeps a clean appearance, while allowing for easy readability.

Nixon Diplomat Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Unfortunately, the handset is not as easy to pick up as the dial. If you're in a relatively bright environment, the polished (and partially skeletonized hands) are easy to see, as they reflect light nicely. If you're in a darker room however, it can be a bit tricky to angle your wrist just right. And in complete dark? Just you never mind - though the dial has lume on it, the main hands have none. Which to me seems an odd oversight. I'm OK with non-lumed hands on dressier pieces, but the Diplomat definitely presents as a more casual or sporty piece. Of course, we don't live in utter darkness (well, unless you're in the land of the midnight sun), so it's not like the hands are a deal-breaker for most. In Nixon's defense we see this partial-lume abnormality from other major brands. We don't like it, but it isn't totally unheard of.

In contrast to the main handset, I do really like the seconds and red GMT hands. I really like slender seconds hands that reach out to the outer edge of the dial, and this one has a slight flair on the balance end, making for a sharp design. In some ways, it's almost a hand destined for a dressier piece - which makes me wonder if the main handset was different in the initial designs for this watch. Confusingly, it's also the only hand that has any lume - which makes the lack of lume on the main handset that much more of a surprise. As to the GMT hand, it's also slender and unobtrusive, meaning you really only pick up on it when you're wanting to read the second time zone. This is done by a quick tilt of the wrist so you can see the 24-hour scale printed on the rehaut - small, but legible.

Nixon Diplomat Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

15 comments
jnazor
jnazor

You sir, didn't even read the wikipedia article you linked to. Richard Nixon was a consummate diplomat. He established the US-China relationship as it exists today amongst other things. Sure he did some criminal activities but you give him less credit than you should. If you want to be a writer it helps to be well read.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

What a confused design. Bezel but not  a dive watch (leather band). GMT but  with an impossible to read 24 hour scale. Lume on the dial but not on the hands. Nothing seem coherent about this watch. Fail.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Poorly designed - but well executed. (forgot to lume the hands?...ridiculous mistake)

But this is a "poser" watch more than anything.

Personally, I do not like the strap. Although it does go along with the 'wannabe' mentality of this piece.

Worth all of US$100.00 at the mall kiosk.

Shawnnny
Shawnnny

Isn't Nixon more of a marketing company, as opposed to a real watch company? Kinda like Guess.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I'm no diver, but aren't the numbers on the dive ring going backwards?  It seems unconventional to say the least.  Very much a fashion diver with no real intent of being a usable tool.  Poorly thought out, generic looking features, it leaves me cold.  I don't know if the addition of a GMT hand justifies the price, but in a watch of this calibre, what's the point?  It still looks like at most a $200 watch.

nateb123
nateb123

Nixon as a watch brand is going to die out soon at this rate.  They've not had an original, sell-able idea in their heads since the 51-30 came out (the watch this is just a smaller rehash of with a GMT hand added).  And that was in 2008 IIRC.  Sad to see such a giant lose steam so rapidly but as soon as they were bought by Billabong the operation went downhill fast.

marbstiu
marbstiu

the awkwardly positioned date-window is not even fashionable

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Ulysses31 Count down timers (as opposed to the elapsed time usually seen on dive bezels) are useful if you have a planned event of a known duration. Which a well planned dive should be. So you set the bezel for say 20 minutes of bottom time and you can see what you have left via the bezel. I believe  some of the Muhle Glaschuttte watches have  this also.

Also good for parking meters.

Mein Uhr
Mein Uhr

@nateb123 Not likely. Nixon sells to the action sports world who has no clue that a 23mm lug width isn't very accommodating to easy strap switches. The guy who buys this watch thinks it looks sick and will wear it until it gets thrashed then move on to the next piece. In the niche they are in Nixon is the THE watch to buy. You won't be seeing any Helson's at the surf shop anytime soon. Other than that, you are absolutely correct.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@marbstiu The diameter of the date wheel for a given movement determines the placement (vertically in this case of a date at 6). So I don't have an issue with that so much as that they should have put a small rectangular hour marker below it. Or done the date at 3 (where the date plus a small rectangle would have been consistent) to avoid not having a numeric indicator at 6 since the other even hours have numbers. And the red dot at 12 is too small. So with the date only at 6 and the small red dot at 12, the dial looks remiss on its main vertical axis. Just a train wreck of a watch IMO.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@MarkCarson @Ulysses31 So instead of aligning the "pip" to the minutes, you'd align the maximum time you wanted?  I did think of that but I thought it was a little weird breaking convention on something that (in theory) you might be trusting your life to. 

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@marbstiu Maybe it would look better in a closed drawer. You know, I hate to just blast this watch because if they had made a few other choices and paid attention to the details this could have been a nice beater/daily wear watch.

marbstiu
marbstiu

@MarkCarson @marbstiu yup. and dont be fooled by the chocolate leather strap. If you put this watch on steel it's not gonna look "pretty".