New Versions and Special Editions From Nezumi

I've reviewed several of Nezumi Studios' watches, and I have always liked their work. The Stockholm-based company consistently turns out reasonably-priced, mid-sized MechaQuartz chronographs that manage to evoke a vintage look while still maintaining its own distinct brand identity. If I could levy any design criticism, it is that their watches tend to play it safe. While their typically muted color palettes show an expert's attention to detail and subtle variation, they have shied away from bold strokes -- but not anymore. They just sent me five prototypes that are ready to take Nezumi for a walk on the wild side.

Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture


Loews

First up, we've got the blue Lowes LQ1.501 and the limited edition (50 pieces) Nezumi Specials LQ1S.622 in black and gold. 


Nezumi Specials Loews Gold and blue

Like the rest of the Loews line, these two use Seiko VK64 MechaQuartz movements that pair quartz units with mechanical chronograph modules. The stainless steel cases are 40mm wide, 47mm long, and 13mm from the caseback to the domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal. BombĂ© lugs are a welcome touch. It is water-resistant to 50m; sufficient for anything sort of prolonged submersion.

Nezumi Loews  blue

Typical of Nezumi, the stamped caseback features a superbly detailed logo rendered in high relief. My photograph shows the blue dial model as the gold caseback is not yet finalized, but it should be quite similar.  

Nezumi Loews  case back

Both watches maintain the same handset and dial layout as the rest of the Loews line, including the printed index and tachymetre scale, applied polished baton markers, recessed 60-minute and 24-hour registers in contrasting colors, polished syringe hands, stout subdial indicators, and a spear-tipped sweep hand carrying a Nezumi “N” counterweight. As I have said before, it is a neatly balanced and thoughtfully detailed design. 


Nezumi Specials Loews gold wrist shot

When the lights go down, you will notice spots of SuperLuminova at each of the markers, but not for long as they are rather small and can't carry much of a glow. The hands carry on longer, but then again, these are not diver's or tool watches. Nighttime visibility on a chronograph is more of a bonus than a necessity. 


Nezumi Loews lume

The LQ1.501 has a magnificent aqua dial, offset by black subdials and an ivory tachymetre ring featuring orange markers in its black index. An orange sweep hand provides the final tough to knock this dial right out of the park. The case sides and the inner surfaces of the lugs are brushed withe the rest wears a bright polish. Paired with a 20mm British Tan leather rally strap and cream stitching, this blue beauty is lighthearted and lovely.

Nezumi Loews blue

The Nezumi Specials LQ1S.622 takes things in a different direction. Racing chronographs invariably call to mind certain automotive icons. Depending on age and background, American gearheads might see black and gold and recall the 1965 Hertz Shelby GT350-H or maybe the 1977 Smokey and the Bandit Pontiac Trans Am with it's outrageous "screaming chicken" hood decal; however, for European racing fans, those colors will forever belong to the John Player Special Lotus Formula One care that wore the iconic livery from 1972-1986.

Nezumi Specials Loews gold

Given its gold case, Nezumi wisely went with a brushed finish for the entire case, which makes it appear more purposeful and considerably less blingy than a bright polish would have. A black rally strap with a matching 18mm buckle completes the package. 

Nezumi Loews Specials gold buckle

The Loews LQ1.501 is $344 for those of us outside the EU. The gold LQ1S.622 is $448.

Corbeau

Next up, we've got the Corbeau CQ1.402 (olive dial, brushed case) and CQ2.333 (black dial and black DLC case). The Corbeau is Nezumi's military watch, drawing its inspiration from 1960's pilot's and field watches. 

Nezumi Corbeau black and green

The case is 40mm wide, 47mm long, and just barely 13mm thick measuring from the caseback to the domed sapphire crystal. On your wrist, it looks much thinner thanks to deep undercuts at the bezel and case back and a beveled upper edge.  Water-resistance is 50m, which is on par with most pilot's and field watches, and likely more than adequate for most users. The lugs are twisted and in field watch fashion, drilled for easy spring bar release.

Nezumi Corbeau side

Inside is a Seiko VK63 MechaQuartz with subdials at 3 (24 hours), 6 (small seconds), and 9 (30 minutes), replacing the numbers in those positions.  The remainder are mostly intact with only minimal clipping. All subdials are recessed and CD-textured with chunky, squared-off hands. 

Nezumi Corbeau green

Again, it is the color that makes the new versions distinctive, most notably the white, blue, and orange sectors on the 30-minute register. This alone catches the eye; what you might not notice right away is that the color blocks also require a black hand, whereas those on the other two registers are white, matching the main syringe-shaped hands. I dig the way "Corbeau" wraps around the top of the small seconds subdial. 

As you would expect from a field watch, there is a healthy dose of SuperLuminova all over this dial: hands, sweep hand tip, numbers, even the tiny numerals topping the 5's on the minute track. You won't find any on the bezel though. That aluminum insert is marked in silver with not so much as pip at top center. The bezel looks good and has good movement through its 120 clicks, but the absence of any form of illumination is a bit of a let-down, especially given how well it is used on the dial. 

Nezumi Corbeau lume

Buyers will get their watches on 20mm wide, 270mm long, laser-cut nylon NATOs -- black for the black dial, gray for the olive. These are quality straps with matte hardware and signed buckles. I wish the black-on-black CQ2.333 had matching black hardware, but if you are a stickler for that kind of thing, it is easily remedied.

Nezumi Corbeau wrist

The Corbeau is a dandy take on the classic mil-watch style and only $323 for those of us not paying EU VAT. 

Voiture Pink Panther

At last, we come to my favorite, the Nezumi x Pink Panther Voiture Limited Edition VQ2S.701. This is a watch that should not exist. It was literally an April Fool's joke, photoshopped for Instagram laughs but the reaction was strong, so positive, that the folks at Nezumi got on the horn with MGM Studios and collaborated on an officially licensed product. 


Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture

The case is the same as a standard Voiture, measuring 40mm across, 47mm long, and 11.5mm thick with a polished top and brushed sides. Of course, the lugs twist inward. It features a fixed tachymeter bezel and a domed sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating. Like the Corbeau, it runs a VK63, and like the rest of the line-up, water resistance is 50m. The case back on this prototype did not have the final artwork, but I've seen renderings, and it will be a special engraving unlike those on the other Nezumi watches. 

Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture

A black bow-tie frames the off-white 3 and 9 o'clock subdials, the 6 o'clock small seconds is black with a pink indicator. The hands and hour markers are applied, polished, and treated with SuperLuminova as is the tip of the black sweep hand. The rest of the dial is matte pink. Not just any pink, mind you, but the correct and MGM-approved panther's pink. Please note that the tachymetre bezel insert is slightly off on this unit, but that is how prototypes go. Obviously, it will be correct in production.


Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture

The strap is the same "Rindt" 20mm black leather rally as on the Loews. It tapers to a signed 18mm buckle. I did not sample the packaging, but pictures on the Nezumi website show a proper vintage look with plenty of artwork. 

Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture wrist shot

Now, if you had asked me if I wanted a pink cartoon watch, I would have said, "No thanks. I am not  an 8-year-old girl." But that was before I had the Nezumi x Pink Panther in hand. It is the kind of watch I didn't know I wanted. The color is bold, but honestly, no wilder than the pink shirts I wear with suits in the summer. Yes, it has a cartoon cat on it, but it is a line drawing about the size and shape of a typical logo (in fact, the cat replaces the usual Nezumi "N"). And it's not like it's the Nezumi x Hello Kitty. The Pink Panther was cool, both as the Saturday morning cartoon and as the opening credits star of the eponymous Peter Sellers's movies. I love it. 

The Pink Panther sells for $448 for non-EU buyers. Only 100 will be produced.

All of the new Nezumis, Special, Limited, or otherwise, are available for pre-order at NezumiStudios.com. If you want them, especially the Loews LQ1S.622 or Voiture Pink Panther, I'd suggest you act fast. ⬩

Nezumi Pink Panther Voiture lume






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