Just the name, Bahia, makes me think of a tropical island, an idyllic time before you and I were born, before we were exposed to the roughs and tumbles of the world, and the bruised knuckles and egos. A grass hut. A crystal blue sea. Impossible things, like warm sun on my face and cool sand beneath my feet. Bahia. By NTH.
Bahia isn’t a return to some isle that never existed, but instead, a watch that marks the passage of time, while slyly winking at watches that came before it in history. The NTH Bahia uses Doc Vail’s highly regarded sub diver case, water resistant to 300 meters being just 11.5 mm thin. Impossible things, as opposite as warm sun and cool sand, but brought to life, all the same. As always on Doc’s sub watches, the big crown is lovely, easy to operate, and the NTH brand is luminous.
Instead of the standard oyster bracelet, Doc’s fitted this with an oyster where all three links move independently, and the link profile is oval rather than flat. The end links are solid, molded in stainless steel. The clasp has been upgraded from one of folded steel to one that is machined. These oval links are a modern retelling of the story Rolex told in the 1970s with their USA-made bracelets. It’s the story of comfort, and it’s told very well.
What of the face and hands? The face recalls a 1970s 94110 Tudor, with triangular markers at the cardinal compass directions and circular plots for the rest. Set just inside each hour marker is the 24 hour numeral, in a deep red on the black backdrop. It’s subtle, and not apparent unless you’re looking for them. This used to be done on old Timex like the 46170-03177. The hands are cathedral hands, thin and lithe. Doc has used Mercedes hands on other watches, and cathedral hands feel right here. It’s not a maxi dial, the hands don’t need to be ridiculously wide. They reach the minute track, and that’s enough.
The stainless steel bezel insert remains a good choice. It’s unlikely to get damaged and always looks good. Like the crown, it too is fully luminous.
The Bahia is a great watch. It’ll tell time, and look like something vintage new old stock in the process. It doesn’t have any fancy gadgets; the bezel isn’t a circular saw, the crown isn’t a laser beam, but if you had to, the bracelet and clasp might make a good knuckle-duster. I don’t know; I haven’t tested it for that, it’s just my imagination running away again. And that’s what the Bahia has done for me: it sets my imagination in motion. But you and I can’t have this one: this one is Doc’s personal watch, we have to get our own. If you’d like to dream a little bigger, Bahia is available from NTH. When you get one, you know where to find me. I’ll be on that beach, crystal sea lapping at the shores. Get it at NTHwatches.com
- Brand & Model: NTH Bahia
- Price: $625 USD
- Who we think it might be for: You like a classic watch influenced by the best, without being a direct copy of any of them.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Hot damn.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: No suggestions.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The promise of modularity
Tech Specs from NTH
- Case size: 40mm
- Height: 11.5mm
- Case material: steel
- Crystal: sapphire
- Strap: stainless steel
- Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic