Watchtoberfest Part 4: NOMOS Glashütte

Crown & Caliber’s Watchtoberfest celebration of the best, most storied German timepieces continues with a look at what is considered the gateway to high-end German watches—NOMOS Glashütte, more commonly referred to as NOMOS.

Just like the majority of German-made luxury watches, NOMOS is based in the city of Glashütte in Saxony. Founded in 1990, almost immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, NOMOS has amassed a cult following during its short history.

Guided by the Bauhaus philosophy where form follows function, NOMOS watches are known for their straightforward, almost stark designs—a clear example of German modernism. Early on, NOMOS watches were powered by ETA movements, but since 2005, the company has been manufacturing all of their watch movements in-house. As such, NOMOS offers a solid value proposition: in-house calibers in simple cases with minimalist dials, all available at reasonable prices.

Originally, NOMOS produced four main watch models—Tangente, Tetra, Ludwig, and Orion—exclusively built in stainless steel, driven by manual-wound movements, and presented on leather straps. And due to their popularity, they remain part of NOMOS’ current collection.

NOMOS Tangente

The flagship watch model from NOMOS, the Tangente, is characterized by its round case, angular lugs, a mix of Arabic numeral and stick markers, and two center hands with a small seconds sub-dial. The Ludwig, on the other hand, features Roman numerals and a slim bezel. The Orion sports simple stick markers and curvier lugs while the Tetra is the only square-shaped watch within the NOMOS catalog and has a mix of numeral and stick indexes, along with a small seconds indicator.

In 2006, NOMOS introduced the Tangomat, their first automatic watch, and have since added more automatic models to the line-up. In 2013, NOMOS debuted their first gold watches with the round Lambda and tonneau-shaped Lux.

As a watch brand that manufactures their own movements, NOMOS has placed great emphasis on enhancing their in-house calibers. In 2014, the German watchmaker unveiled an in-house escapement dubbed the NOMOS Swing System. The following year, they presented their tenth manufacture movement, the DUW 3001. As of 2016, NOMOS watches powered by the ultra-slim DUW 3001 caliber are classified as “Neomatik” versions.

Although new materials, colors, shapes, and watch complications have joined the NOMOS range since the company’s inception, all of their watches still maintain the minimalist aesthetic for which they have become known. A prime example of high-end German watchmaking, NOMOS takes a utilitarian approach when crafting their timepieces. Despite their understated looks, NOMOS are not simple machines, but rather perfectly proportional wristwatches powered by intricately built calibers. Additionally, NOMOS’ affordable price point positions the brand as a solid entry-level German luxury watch.


Image Credits: Header; Crown & Caliber. 1; Gentleman’s Gazette.

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