Summer may be over for all intents and purposes, but Nautica is looking to extend that season a little bit for you with their latest watch, the cryptically named NMX 1000. Name aside, this is a watch that will get attention, and looks to be a snap to read (not to mention measuring something via the bezel).
When I first laid eyes on the images of this piece, I couldn't decide if someone shrunk the dial, or made a massive bezel. Given that the case is 48mm, I'm going to go with the massive bezel. Frankly, the smaller dial wouldn't even make sense, even if you ignore the style-related reasons. Why?
Well, that's because the NMX 1000 is actually a solar powered watch (think Citizen Eco-Drive style, though we aren't sure where Nautica sourced its movements), with the solar cells tucked away under the aforementioned dial. I will say, if you've not owned a watch that can charge via sunlight, it's an interesting proposition (we do own some, and enjoy them). You never have to worry about the battery (until the rechargeable cell gives out), and even when the watch has been in the dark for a while, it will pick back up keeping time once it's brought back to the light. You shouldn't have to reset it, as the watch (well, at least mine does) keeps track while in the dark and just stops moving the hands to conserve energy.
High energy is something I'd associate with two of the three pieces in this lineup. While they all share the same oversized bezel and black dial (the better to hide solar cells), color gets introduced via the resin strap, indices on the rehaut, and the minute hand. You do have the requisite black scheme, as well as a lively yellow, and dive-ready orange. If you opt for one of the bright colors, you'll also end up with slightly different bezels - the yellow features white painted numerals, while the orange strap comes with polished numerals on the bezel.
It appears that the strap sort of wraps around the case, ala a bund-style strap - though I can't tell if it covers the case back or not. Guessing not, as that would trap water - and given the 200m WR rating, and the fact this is from Nautica, you're expected to get this piece wet. All this means is that, visually, you could "shrink" the watch a bit by swapping in, say, a nylon strap.
I've heard it said - and maintain myself, to some degree - that if you're going to have a quartz watch, make sure it's doing something that a mechanical can't do. With the solar cells of the NMX 1000, you've got something not even an automatic can do - gather energy just by sitting in light.
The styling of the Nautica NMX 1000 is bold, and it won't be for everyone. If it's grabbing your attention (and this is an attention grabber, especially in yellow), then you should definitely give this one a once over, especially if you've not played with a solar powered watch before. Oh, and if you're worried about the quality of the piece, you can relax on that concern a bit - Nautica is actually a brand of the Timex group, so the NMX 1000 should be up to the same standards we've come to expect from Timex. Pricing should be around $200. nautica.com