Bahrain-based Nuun Official is all about having fun and making it accessible. The brand has found success with an idea that’s perhaps not novel but does have its place: Find an iconic watch design, give it a twist, and make it affordable. Recognizing how the Patek Philippe Nautilus was iconic, trendy, and offered itself up for playful reinterpretation, Nuun Official made a sensible choice. Alongside a catalog that’s mostly occupied by quartz-powered models (including a line of blacked-out models, steel and rose-gold models on bracelets, and colorful chronographs), Nuun Official seems to have most of its fun when collaborating with others. It’s amongst these limited-edition timepieces that you’ll find the Nuun Official X Solihull’s watches, collaborations with Land Rover restorer Solihull’s (also in Bahrain) that take their inspiration from the legendary Range Rover Classic.
Let’s get this out of the way: Nuun Official makes watches that look like the Patek Philippe Nautilus. It’s the only case style the brand offers. The watches also happen to be priced at a fraction of the Nautilus. Further, they’re different enough that, while you may get the occasional dig for wearing an homage, no one could accuse you of wearing a replica or a counterfeit. The hands and dials aren’t even suggestive of those offered by the fancy boys at Patty P, and while the bracelets on the all-metal models are obviously integrated, they’re quite different in styling. Anyway, when was the last time Patek publicly collaborated with someone, much less for a white watch with a yellow dial? So, let’s come off it and enjoy the Nuun Official watches for what they are: accessible alternatives to an iconic watch that offer a lot of fun for not a lot of cash.
The limited-edition Nuun Official X Solihull’s models are based on two classic colors of the Range Rover Classic, one in Bahama Gold and the other in Tuscan Blue. In both cases, the watches come with dirt-resistant Nanotech rubber straps in white and one that matches the dial color. Both colors are rich and vibrant and, if I had to choose, I honestly don’t know if I could. (This is how people end up with two of the same watch.) Pairing the watch with the white strap leans into its carefree, summery appearance, while the yellow strap offers a pop and added coordination with the dial that some may prefer. Equipping the yellow strap also makes the case seem more prominent on the wrist, as it’s made to stand out rather than be incorporated into a continuous watch-band object.
The dial itself is somewhat minimalistic, with stylized white numerals alternating with baton markers. In lieu of a traditional hashed minute ring, a solid ring traces the periphery of the dial, with four cardinal hour markers. The only lume to be found is on the wide hour and minute hands—I do wish that at least the cardinal markers were lumed, though. The lume itself—Super-LumiNova BGW9—was adequately bright but nothing special. Given the high contrast between the hands and the markers and the dial, legibility remained excellent in all conditions. I was particularly fond of the subtle graining to the dial and the orange outline of the dial text, which is matched by the tip of the seconds hand.
The 40.5mm white case is fresh and easygoing. Nuun says this is a white carbon composite. In practice, this means that it has a solid black carbon core with a white resin coating (in one way or another, this is common for colored carbon cases). I found the coating to be durable (not that I intentionally tried to damage it), though it did pick up smudges that discolored the surface. While I was able to rub these away with ease, I found myself checking the watch each time I put it on and took it off, as well as each time it hit anything (which with my flailing wrists, wasn’t infrequent).
The 11.9mm-thick case is the familiar Nautilus design, with wings on either side and angled lugs; the left flank is engraved with “1970,” the year the Bahama Gold Range Rover was produced, while the right acts as a crown guard for the pull-out crown, which is made the same way as the case. The form allows it to wear very well on the wrist, further aided by the soft and flexible straps. The crown itself is a bit small, but that’s not a major issue since this is an automatic movement. This is a weekend/vacation watch, likely to be worn on successive days, meaning you’ll probably be setting it once and then won’t need to worry about the crown. It also features a flat sapphire crystal that allowed viewing at nearly every angle, as well as a beachgoing 100m water resistance.
The watch is powered by the Soprod Newton P092, an automatic Swiss caliber from one of the lesser-known movement manufacturers. Soprod has recently seen its C125 GMT movement used for a number of microbrand GMTs (before Miyota and Seiko released theirs) and otherwise saw only occasional use of its A10/M100 movements, which were compatible with high-end ETA 2892 movements. The Newton was introduced in 2020 and is interchangeable with the ETA 2824-2, giving it a wider potential customer base and a more affordable price point. It offers a 44-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph. While the grade of the Newton in the Nuun isn’t clear, of the two offered, the lower end is regulated to -/+ 7 seconds per day, which is nothing to scoff at. Nuun has swapped the stock rotor out for one that quite accurately resembles the steering wheel on the Range Rover, though the lower-quality finishing of the rotor seems at odds with even the basic finishing found on the movement. While the Newton typically has a date function, Nuun has thankfully removed it for its dateless dial, and so you’ll encounter no extra crown position.
Solihull’s charges around 180,000 EUR for one of the restored vintage vehicles, so pairing it with an LE timepiece isn’t the most far-fetched idea. Alternatively, the colorways of the watches give a sliver of the feeling of vehicle ownership for a sliver of the cost. The best collabs and inspired watches stand alone, and these watches do that in the form of fun, colorful summer watches with the specs to handle a few trips to the beach. The Nuun Official X Solihull’s is priced at $1,195 USD and is limited to 70 pieces in each color. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.
>Brand: Nuun Official
>Model: Nuun Official X Solihull’s
>Price: $1,195 USD
>Size: 40.5mm-wide, 11.9mm-thick, 46.5mm lug-to-lug
>When reviewer would personally wear it: Every single day this summer.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Land Rover nut looking for a great summer watch
>Best characteristic of watch: Colors, easily swapped straps
>Worst characteristic of watch: White case gets dirty quickly