As most people know, I love two things: modern dive watches and vintage dive watches. Since I began my journey into the vast and bottomless rabbit hole that is horology, the first watch I ever stumbled across on Instagram from a micro-brand was, in fact, the EMG Nemo. I remember being captivated by the beads of rice bracelet, the rectangular indices around the dial, the cool logo under 12 o’clock, it was a design I had yet to see on a watch, and it captivated me for years. Seeing something so different from other timepieces available at that time struck a chord with me, and it was a watch I was often thinking about until it showed up at my door a couple of weeks ago.
When I first pulled out the gorgeous, EMG branded canvas watch roll; I was beyond excited to unravel it and check out the watch inside—upon opening, greeted with the glisten and shine of a high polished, beads of rice bracelet. My first look was even better than I expected, and the feel in my hand was excellent. There is no better feeling than being able to pull out a watch that you’ve lusted after for a long time, and this is a watch I’ve wanted for over five years. However, I couldn’t let my love of this watch cloud my judgement too much, as I had to take the time to wear and review this piece.
Once the bracelet was sized up properly for my wrist, the first thing I noticed was how unbelievably comfortable it was. The bracelet was comfortable and created consistent wearability and structural integrity all the way around. My most significant concern with the rice beads was that since the bracelet contains so many small pieces with small gaps between each bead, my arm hair would be ripped out constantly, but this was not the case. I have changed out many of my watches with either leather, nato or other textile straps, but the bracelet on the Nemo is here to stay.
For decades, the Submariner has been a precursor of dive watch design, but the Nemo is a perfect example of breaking away from that mould and wanting to be a little different. The case design on the Nemo is standard for a 40mm stainless steel dive watch, but if we focus on the dial, there is clear inspiration from the 1970s. There are slight aesthetic similarities from skin divers made by brands such as Blancpain, Zodiac, Longines and others. Still, EMG has managed to take all of that and create a beautiful, modern take on vintage aesthetics and design. The use of the Miyota 9039 means a movement that has no date complication, so a date window doesn’t disturb the overall design.
As I mentioned initially, I couldn’t let my love for this watch create a biased opinion, but in all honesty, this watch has lived up to every expectation I’ve had thus far. The overall construction, design, and everything ties in nicely and creates an association between the two worlds I love and have a passion for, modern and vintage watches. If you love divers, modern or vintage, and want a watch that feels good on and off the wrist, I highly recommend that you try and check one out for yourself.