A couple of weeks ago, the kind and knowledgeable staff at Classic Creations and NOMOS gave some of us a chance to experience the new 2019 novelties. These watches were presented at the Baselworld trade show. The troubled show received a much-needed breath of fresh air thanks to these releases. With many enthusiasts actively avoiding news from the fair this year, NOMOS brought many of them back with their usual charm and ingenuity. Their advances in depth ratings in their sports watches, and their first attempts at bracelets brought a smile to every carbon-based organism’s face – possibly some silicon-based ones as well.
Within many industries, there are brands, sports teams, and people who are endeared by everyone and considered sweethearts. NOMOS Glashüette is undeniably one of the sweethearts of the horological world. Never taking themselves too seriously, NOMOS married clean Bauhaus design with a light sense of humour over the years to attract a faithful following. The power of their watches and their self-proclaimed “democratic prices” even attracted people like me. Residing in Canada, for many years I never had the opportunity to see a NOMOS in person. On my travels I sought out authorized dealers and fell in love with the Orion. This challenge for others now is made a lot easier. Nestled in the middle of Toronto, Classic Creations Jewellers offers those in the area an opportunity to handle these pieces.
Today we shall go over some of the 2019 releases, their significance, some of the staples from the NOMOS brand and the observations of others at the viewing. We shall then finish with some closing thoughts.
Tangente & Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date
Not one to be typecast, NOMOS decided to add two new watches to their Ahoi and Club sports lines . The Tangente and Club Sport Neomatiks both now feature a 1000 feet depth rating. Forgoing the usual 300 metres on the dial seemed to add a smile to everyone’s faces. This was especially true when they noticed the cursive font for “ft” which contrasts everything ever released by the brand. Coinciding with the centennial anniversary of Bauhaus, NOMOS shows no sign of slowing down or ceasing to innovate.
There is an incredible attention to detail shown across the dials as well. The right flank of the date window is sloped in order to not cast a shadow on the date wheel in direct light. Speaking of light, the luminous markers received special attention as well. The Club’s markers last for at least 8 hours. The Tangente’s markers will hold a charge for over 22 hours.
Once on wrist, one notices the added weight and feeling of security of the case and the general build quality. For a brand that started out with watches at half the price of these newer and more advanced models, this watch certainly did feel worth every penny.
This feeling of reassuring quality is reinforced with the operation of the crowns. On the Tangente, the crown is shrouded by crown guards. The Club foregoes this for a cleaner look, but hides a feature of its own. The stem is coloured red to notify the wearer of it not being screwed in fully. Both watches share the automatic DUW 6101 movement which is only 3.6mm thick and has a 42-hour power reserve.
The big news, however, was the bracelet that comes with these two watches. Assembled and screwed together by hand, the 145-piece bracelet has to be experienced in person. It is essentially an enclosed Milanese bracelet, but one of an extremely high quality. It oddly feels like it is made of silk after it warms up to your wrist and is miraculously smooth. Featuring a quick release mechanism, it will be very easy to switch to a rubber or sportier strap if one does indeed decide to take it swimming.
Club Campus Neomatik
The Club line also received some new models this year, and also a bracelet. Unlike the aforementioned models, the bracelet is thinner and more closely resembles traditional Milanese bracelets. It also features a snap clasp, unlike the push-button clasps on the other models. The Neotmatik 39 Midnight Blue is also available with a matching fabric strap.
At 37 and 39 millimetres, the Club is aimed at both young women and men who are entering the workforce from school. The playful “California Dial” combines Arabic and Roman numerals. This adds a sense of playfulness and joy to the dial that is very unique. Emulating joy in its purest essence is incredibly hard to do. Only the voice of the Icelandic singer Björk comes to mind as the only other example which so effortlessly exudes glee as the NOMOS Club.
The 3.2mm thick automatic DUW 3001 movement also has 43 hours of power reserve. Furthermore, NOMOS are offering a free engraving on the stainless steel caseback of the Campus. This is to further commemorate an occasion such as a graduation.
The Duo Series
Alongside the traditional model line-up of the Tangente, Ludwig, Orion, and the Tetra, NOMOS proved they were not simply resting on their laurels. The designer of the watch, Lisa Griffel, forged a watch that “exudes calm.” This is accomplished by removing the sub-seconds hands. To the keen-eyed readers out there, you will notice that the Roman or Arabic numeral of 6 makes its first appearance on a NOMOS dial as well.
With all models featuring a two-toned colourway with steel cases and gold hands, these watches will perfectly match with other pieces of jewelry. The round models are 33mm while the Tetra measures 27mm. These smaller and thinner watches also house a modified version of the Alpha movement. This hand-wound mechanical movement was modified for the deletion of the seconds hand and is known as the Alpha.2.
Observations from the Floor
Many of the other attendees expressed their amazement at NOMOS’ first attempt at a bracelet and how well it was executed. Being a brand that many people had not been exposed to before, a lot of attention was also given to their catalogue of previous releases. A few marveled at how the Tetra wore. Two people in particular were surprised as to how the square case looked while on their wrists. “It’s so square! I’m used to a Reverso, but this is just something else. Why do I like it more than my friend’s Reverso,” said one man who couldn’t contain his laughter.
The new-for-2019 Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium also drew much praise. The outer date complication offers a much more refined and minimal approach to the traditional pointer date. In the past, many said that NOMOS watches were too small for them. This watch should easily change their minds. Watches by NOMOS wear larger than what their size usually implies. This is due to the long and prominent lugs, and a dial dominated design with thin bezels. As a result this 41mm watch wears larger when on your wrist.
The Zurich World Time was my favourite of the show. Ever since its release I thought that it was the best design from the brand. I still believe this to this day. I say this even as I wear my beloved Orion 1989 as I am writing this.
Some people initially balked at the prices of some of the newer offerings from the brand, but as an owner of an Orion I did not. After going over the differences between my hand-wound model and the newer fully in-house-developed automatic watches, others began to understand. This may be a challenge for NOMOS going forward, and their recent efforts shall address this. By extending their physical retail presence, consumers can more effectively see and touch their entire lineup. To the non-enthusiast, it is strange to see a brand offering such a wide price range of watches, these ranging from a $2000 Canadian Club to a $27,000 Canadian Lambda.
NOMOS offers something special in the horological landscape for everyone. Now with their bolstered sports watch lineup, their consumer base should surely grow. As a brand however, NOMOS is truly special in today’s market. As other brands abandon support for authorised dealers, continuously bombard the public with marketing materials that are either in poor taste or have nothing to do with their watches, NOMOS stands as one of the bright examples in this industry.
The NOMOS Tangente may very well be the face of NOMOS, but the Club is the soul of the brand. Unlike any other brand, NOMOS brings joy to the hearts of others, whether this be through their designs or their adorable marketing campaigns. Many have described the dial of the original Club to simply be “happy” and I agree with them.
This welcoming warmth was echoed by the vice president of the brand, Merlin Schwertner, and the entire staff at Classic Creations. Their joyous enthusiasm about watchmaking was obvious to everyone present, and we all look forward to seeing them again soon.
More Images of the NOMOS 2019 Novelties
Check out the NOMOS website