Hey everyone. So today we are back with another buying guide and in today’s buying guide we are going to be looking at an entire brand. We’re going to be looking at a brand from Germany. Today we are looking at Nomos. Now, there are a few reasons that we want to do a buying guide on Nomos. First, they are a young company. Now that may not seem like that’s important, but for a company that was founded in 1990 just after the fall of the Berlin wall and having four watches come out a year later in 1991, they have made some really big waves in the watch industry. So, they’re less than 30 years old and they are crushing it.
Now second, they are an independent manufacturer. Now what that means is that they produce their own movements in-house and that’s a big deal and we’ll talk more about that later on in the video, but they are kind of out on an island in that regard. So, when you think of a lot of Swiss manufacturers, they’re most often owned by a couple parent companies like Richemont, the SWATCH group L.V.M.H. These are companies that not only own luxury watch companies but often just other luxury companies. So when you think of independent watch manufacturers you can think of brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, F.P. Journe, and if you’re looking at those three brands and Nomos about the only thing they have in common is the fact that they are independent watch manufacturers and that brings me to our last point.
Nomos watches, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty affordable. You can get a Nomos watch for around two thousand dollars and when you start to compare that to the other independent manufacturers you realize just how astonishing Nomos is as a brand. So whether you’ve never heard of Nomos and you found this video great or you’re a fan of Nomos and you’re hoping to learn something more. We’re going to go ahead and we’re going to highlight the models that we think are worth knowing and why Nomos is such a spectacular brand.
Since we have 13 model families to get through and that is a lot of ground to cover, we are going to move pretty quickly, but we are going to start with a brief overview of the past 30 years. We think this does a really good job on giving some context to how an independent manufacturer like Nomos has grown to be where they are and then we’re going to give very quick highlights on the 13 model families and kind of show where they fit in the Nomos brand and then we are going to end with the quintessential Nomos models we think you need to look out for. Let’s go.
So, as we mentioned at the beginning Nomos was founded in 1990. Believe it or not it was actually founded by a photographer and within a year, by 1991, Nomos releases its first four watch models. It was the Tangente, the Ludwig, the Orion and the Tetra. Now all four of those models were designed by the famous German designer Suzanne Gunther and they shared one thing in common. They were Bauhaus in their styling and that is something that you will see across the entire Nomos family, is the Bauhaus influence.
So basically from 1992 until 2005 Nomos is using ebauche movements from producers like ETA, and they’re going in and they are giving it their German styling. Whether it’s the German perlage or different finishing techniques, but in 2005 is when things start gaining traction. Nomos releases two movements, the Nomos Alpha, which was an in-house manual wound caliber, and the Nomos Epsilon, which debuted in the Nomos Tangomat and was their first in-house automatic caliber. So fast forward to 2014 and Nomos releases the Nomos Metro. Now the Nomos Metro was powered by the Nomos caliber 4401 and it had the Nomos Swing System. Now that was their completely in-house escapement. Now a lot of companies will never make their own watch movements, and even fewer make their own escapements. That’s why it’s called the Swiss lever escapement is because it is such a ubiquitous design, but Nomos has gone ahead and made their own and this is a step where they have taken in-house to a whole new level but also their independence. No longer do they have to rely on Swiss manufacturers for their escapements they are making their own in the Nomos Swing System.
So, just a year later in 2015 Nomos releases the Nomos Minimatik now the Minimatik was a new design and with that a new movement the Nomos DUW3001. Now this new caliber was an extremely thin automatic caliber that did not sacrifice time keeping performance and inside of it had the Nomos swing system and I know we just covered 25 plus years of Nomos history and really just hit some high points but what we want you to take away is that Nomos is producing in-house movements and truly in-house movements all the way down to the escapement and they are doing this at a rather approachable price point and that is unprecedented. So now that that is out of the way we’re going to go ahead and cover all 13 model families.
The Nomos Lineup –
So up first is the Nomos Tangente. Now this was one of the first four Nomos watches designed by Suzanne Gunther and to us is one of the best examples of the Nomos styling. It has a sharp case design with these iconic angular lugs and the dial is just pure Bauhaus. From its Arabic numerals to the font on the dial and just its clean aesthetic it is Nomos.
Next up is the Nomos Ludwig. Now the Ludwig basically looks like a Tangente but instead of Arabic numerals it has roman numerals, so it is a slightly dressier option than the Tangente but has a curvaceous case.
Third in the original four lineup is the Nomos Tetra. Now the Tetra is a square case design so it’s going to wear slightly different than the Tangente and the Ludwig, but it shares the same design elements angular case design angular lugs and the Bauhaus styling on the dial with the Arabic numerals and the text. A cool note is the sub-dial is also square like the case design.
The last of the four original Nomos models is the Nomos Orion, and this is where it feels like Suzanne Gunther definitely deviated from her original design. The Nomos Orion has a very curvaceous case with long elegant lugs. It almost reminds me of something like a spaceship or a UFO and then to the dial gone are the Bauhaus Arabic numerals and they’ve been replaced by clean applied stick indices which results in I think a much more austere kind of refined dial that complements that case so nicely.
Next up is the Tangomat. Now this brings us all the way to 2005 and essentially the Tangomat is the Tangente design with that new in-house Epsilon automatic caliber. You retain all of those iconic Nomos design elements. Sharp case, sharp iconic lugs, and that Bauhaus dial with the Arabic numerals and text.
Next up is the Nomos Club. Released in 2007 this felt like somewhat of a departure. We ended up with a watch that has a thicker bezel than its predecessors and also more traditional lugs in its case design. It also felt like a start for Nomos adding some more playful colors to their dials.
Up next is the Nomos Zurich. Released in 2009 and powered by the Nomos Epsilon automatic caliber this watch has a highly complex case design and a dial that is reminiscent of the Orion resulting in one of the more elegant Nomos watches yet and funny enough the Nomos Zurich draws its name from the fact that it is designed by a Swiss industrial engineer.
Up next is the Nomos Ahoi. Released in 2013 we’re basically looking at a Nomos Tangomat with the Epsilon caliber and now water resistance. You can tell this most notably by the addition of crown guards. Moving on we’re going to cover two more watches that were released in 2013.
Lux and Lambda
The Lux and the Lambda and we’re doing these both together because they represent the pinnacle of Nomos watchmaking. Both of these watches come in precious metal and both feature unique movements with an 84-hour power reserve again the Lux and the Lambda. All right guys thanks for sticking with me we’re almost to the end.
This brings us to 2014 in the release of the Nomos Metro and that should sound familiar because this was the first Nomos watch to carry the in-house escapement, the Nomos Swing System. This watch most notably was designed by Mark Braun and carried some really cool design elements like wire lugs and a pop of color on the power reserve indicator.
A year later in 2015 we see the release of the Nomos Minimatik. This is a new case design but is now also featuring the Nomos Neomatik the DUW3001 thin automatic Nomos caliber. Another notable feature is the playful colors that we now see on the dials as well.
The last model that we need to cover in the Nomos family is the Nomos Autobahn. This was released in 2018 and featured a new 41-millimeter case design and a new movement the DUW6101 Neomatik movement with a date complication. Now the dial of the watch is where things get really interesting. It is classic Nomos Bauhaus styling but it’s mixed and melded with that of an instrument panel and a racecar. It is truly unique. And there you go! There you go guys 13 models from Nomos that we covered in the blink of an eye.
Crown & Caliber’s Top Nomos Picks
So, to wrap things up we want to go ahead and highlight the models that we think best represent the brand Nomos, the models that you need to know about. The first model we think that you need to know about is none other than the Nomos Tangente. It’s one of the originals and it perfectly embodies that Nomos style. From that sharp case design to the angular lugs to the Bauhaus Arabic numerals and Nomos text. It is just classic. You can get the original Nomos Alpha caliber you can get it with a date, and you can also get it with a Neomatik caliber and pops of color. It is classic Nomos styling with all the heritage.
The second watch that we think is worth knowing about in Nomos is the Nomos Orion. Now this is also one of the original Nomos watches and it has stood the test of time. It is a more refined design as far as the dial goes with applied indices so it has that more austere reserved styling, but the case is unlike anything else it’s curvilinear like I said it feels like a UFO. Long elegant lugs. It’s just a classic Nomos watch, but it’s different.
You can still get it in the original 35 millimeter but there are other size options you can have it in the Alpha movement you can have it with the Neomatik and those pops of color from the Neomatik line if you do think that it is a little too reserved. It is still classically Nomos, but with a slightly more elegant and reserved touch.
The last Nomos watch that we think is worth checking out is the Nomos Metro. The Nomos Metro really represents that full departure and independence for the brand, and we think it is a perfect watch to look at. Its style is far enough away from both the Tangente and the Orion but it’s still classically Nomos. You get pops of color if you choose to go with any of the Neomatik options and you can have it in multiple size variations as well. It is a perfect watch to round out what we think are the must-know models from Nomos.
So, there you have it guys our Nomos buying guide and boy did we cover a lot. There are so many models and so many references when it comes to Nomos but what we want you to take away from this above anything else is that they are producing truly in-house movements and at an approachable price point and that is unheard of and like I said we covered a lot so if you do have questions about a specific model or a specific reference or a specific caliber don’t hesitate to ask us questions in the comments below and as always guys thanks for watching.