Nomos Watches: Challenging the Industry One Calibre at a Time

May 08, 2020
Nomos Watches: Challenging the Industry One Calibre at a Time

Nomos watches are some of today’s finest timepieces in the market. Proven by award-winning designs, each watch is masterfully crafted in Glashütte, Saxony, Germany. Not only do they recognise classic design elements but they also provide a modern take on watchmaking.

You’ll easily recognise the brand’s innovative yet understated designs. For instance, the Tangente and Metro models are two of the brand’s most coveted collections. Nomos — or Nomos Glashütte, the brand’s official brand name — wasted no time in rising up the ranks despite it being particularly new in the business. They’ve produced designs that will later become their strongest competitive point.

Below, learn more about the brand, its beginnings, and the design that suits you best.

Nomos Watches Through the Years

Before becoming the biggest manufacturer of mechanical timepieces in Germany, Nomos meets its humble beginnings in 1990. In a small Saxon town in Glashütte, Roland Schwertner founded the brand shortly after the fall of Berlin Wall.

But like any other story, building the brand didn’t come easy for Schwertner. For a brand to include “Glashütte” in its name, it should produce 50% of its calibre in Glashütte. Nomos-Uhr-Gesellschaft failed to meet just that. The brand ultimately found its end in 1910.

Nomos Glashuette Train Station
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

With fervour and belief in the watchmaking industry, Schwertner revamped the brand. Thus, Nomos Glashütte. While the brand still had “Glashütte” in the name, Schwertner focused on crafting most of the calibre in Glashütte. In order to keep the brand functioning, Nomos developed its own calibres in-house. Today, the brand claims 95% vertical integration of in-house mechanisms in its calibres. This greatly surpasses the 50% requirement of the government.

Subsequently, Nomos became known for its innovative vision and execution of watchmaking. Over 300 employees run the brand. This, therefore, makes its process more streamlined versus other brands. Not only does it produce most of its components in-house but the brand also assures that almost everything is handmade. From milling plates to finely regulating calibres, dedicated experts focus on each part. Each Nomos watch on the market embodies a watchmaker’s effort and attention to detail. But with innovations today, we may expect components built through and by machines. Automated machines and laser technology add precision to each of the watches the brand produces.

Showcasing Nomos’ German Innovations

With its overall success in the industry, Nomos remains hopeful to be independent. However, the brand used escapements and components provided for by a Swiss-based company. While the company have successfully crafted designs with this supplement, Nomos explored further. The brand, together with the Technical University of Dresden, began the development its very own escapement. This is not only to become independent but also to boost German craftsmanship to the world.

Nomos Glashuette DUW 3001 Calibre
The DUW 3001 Calibre | Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

For years, the brand crafted, designed, and experimented on this. Until 2014, at Baselworld, Nomos unveiled the Nomos Swing System. The new escapement was launched, powering one of its most prominent designs, Metro. Nomos achieved a feat that not even the biggest companies can do: an in-house escapement, produced in series. CEO Uwe Ahrendt compared the achievement to the feeling of landing on the moon. This helped carve the brand’s niche in the watch the industry —as if saying it is here to stay. Since then, Nomos equipped all its calibres with the swing system.

But Nomos doesn’t stop when it comes to innovation. Shortly after the production of the Nomos Swing System, the brand launches its neomatik calibres. The DUW 3001 is a flatter, finer, more elegant new standard for automatic movements. The DUW 6101 further improves the DUW 3001 with an easily-adjusted date function.

Crafts and Dedication, Recognized

It’s not an easy feat to win an award in an industry that’s mostly technical and continuously evolving. But Nomos does it naturally like breathing. As a member of the German Association of Craftsman, the brand produces only high-quality designs. In fact, the brand has more than 160 awards under its name since its foundation. Award-giving bodies such as the German Design Awards and the Red Dot Design Awards recognise the brand’s artistry and expertise. Not to mention, the brand is a known collaborator of world-renowned German designers like Mark Braun and Werner Aisslinger.

The Best of Nomos Watches

Nomos Glashütte is, needless to say, one of the most sought-after young watch brands today. Not only do they come up with modern designs but also innovate with every watch they produce. It is, indeed, German watchmaking at its finest. And while the brand boasts many models, it only makes it harder for us to pick one. So we gathered all the best Nomos watches that you should have in your collection. From classic designs to out-of-the-box models, here are the best Nomos watches you need right now.

1. From the Nomos Tangente Collection

For 25 years and counting, Tangente has been the Nomos’ best-selling watch. It’s the pioneering design of the brand and embodies Glashütte watchmaking like no other. With Bauhaus as its greatest influence, a Tangente watch stands out. It’s harmonious to look at but straightforward to bear. Information is right with you at only a glance. Its typography of numeral hour marker makes reading easy and clear to the wearer. Needless to say, Tangente watches are the quintessential Nomos watches.

Nomos Tangente
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Tangente watches are consistent with their design: simplistic yet functional. Following the Bauhaus philosophy, the Tangente allows the form to follow function. Its round cases not only come with various coloured dials but also in various sizes. Its dial comes in Midnight blue, gold, grey, and champagne. Meanwhile, the case sizes range from 33 to 41 mm. You’ll see a shock of blue or a hint of red on several designs and it’s truly pleasing to the eyes. It’s subtle yet firm finish aims for the right amount of beauty. It doesn’t overpower but it doesn’t underwhelm.

Its movements are masterpieces. Later improved with the neomatik calibres, Tangente is classic yet innovative in one. Its movements are just as smooth and slender as a hand-wound. The DUW 6101 or the neomatik date further proves its level of precision. The Tangente can be automatic with a ring date unique to its design. Other models work with the ultra-thin calibre DUW 3001. Meanwhile, some function with the hand-wound Alpha movement.

Nomos Tangente 33 Karat
Nomos Tangente 33 Karat
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Tangente 33 Karat runs is about as close as you can get to the El Dorado. Its polished gold dial is a subtle beauty that is its secret to its charm. The model particularly appeals to more delicate wrists with a 32.8 mm case with just 6.6mm in height. The dark velour leather strap adds just the right amount of elegance and brisk. Like any Tangente thickness, it is with five numerical typography. This is reminiscent of the Bauhaus era — clean, modern, and functional at its best. The watch is also splash-proof, powered by the manual Alpha movement. Not to mention, it has a power reserve of up to up to 43 hours.

Nomos Tangente 38 Midnight Blue
Nomos Tangente 38 Midnight Blue
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

A coat and tie party? An important business meeting? A night out at the city? This classic Tangente is the day-to-night watch that will keep you in style for the days ahead. It’s the Tangente 38, specifically, the design in Midnight Blue. It has a contrasting design that carries style and function through and through. The silver accents not only add sparkle to the watch but also makes reading come with ease. In addition, its dark velour leather strap clings comfortably on the wrist. However, the watch remains snug and lightweight at 6.7mm in case height. It’s Alpha movement powers through with up to 43 hours in power reserve.

Nomos Tangente Sport neomatik Date
Nomos Tangente Sport Neomatik 42 Date
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

An innovative addition to the Tangente family is the Tangente Sport. More than a sporty version, it is the classic Tangente made even better. The Tangente Sport neomtatik Date comes in two colours. Each perfect for the daredevil in you. But you’ll appreciate this design as it aligns with the classic Tangente aesthetic. It’s white silver-plated dial includes an extra-large date at three o’clock. This is all thanks to the neomatik date calibre, DUW 6101. It’s also water-resistant for up to 300 metres, perfect for diving. Its hands are inlaid with dark blue superluminova. Its hour indexes are also inlaid with sand-coloured superluminova. All these for optimum readability especially in the dark underwater. Overall, the watch stands at 10.9mm in height and 42mm wide.

Shop Nomos Tangente models here.

2. From the Nomos Metro Collection

Nomos Metro
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

Metro is emblematic to Nomos. It’s the first watch to carry the Nomos swing system and its design is true to Nomos’ roots. The brand manufactures its watches in a former train station. On the valleys of Glashütte, the Nomos Chronometry stands. Moreover, the brand collaborated with renown designer Mark Braun, a Berlin-based independent designer, recognised by the design industry. The German Design Award, GOOD Design Award, and iF Award have all recognised his works.

With his collaboration with Nomos, Braun brings together design and handcraft. As a former carpenter, he incorporates industrial design with each of his work. One of his most famous designs is the Metro for Nomos. It has been one of the brand’s best-sellers since 2014. The model is also available in 12 versions, made to suit each style and preference.

The design of Nomos Metro is reminiscent of an urban jungle. It is refined with contemporary features and understated aesthetic. It has, in fact, won various design prize juries and is still recognised to date. It’s a measuring tool right at your wrist. Not only is it ready for the urban jungle but also the adventures that await beyond. Still greatly influenced by the Bauhaus design principle, Metro is modern-day art.

Nomos Metro Rose Gold
Nomos Metro Neomatik Rose Gold
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Nomos Metro Rose Gold neomatik 39 is a refined version of a classic. It speaks elegance in volumes with a 39mm case in 18K rose gold. Powered by the DUW 3001 movement, this watch also guarantees high precision. Designed by Mark Braun himself, the watch is perfect with a minimized dial design at maximised luxe. However big it may be, the watch still stands at an incredible 8mm case height. It also includes the remborde strap, crafted from Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan. This strap is exclusive to all neomatik watches from Nomos that aren’t only stylish but also made to last.

Nomos Metro Neomatik 39 Silvercut
Nomos Metro Neomatik Silvercut
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Nomos Metro Silvercut is scene-stealer right at first glance. With a 38.5mm case diameter, it easily fits particularly large wrists. But it’s just as slender at 8.4mm in height. This is all thanks to the neomatik calibre that’s just 3.2mm in thickness. Rest assured that your timepiece is sleek and stylish while being precise. The dial, minimalist in appeal, is in a cool shade of silver-grey. The hour indexes add a dash of colour on the design as lipstick-red dots on the dial. The watch has not only won the Goldene Unruh but also the iF Design Award. It’s incredibly classy as it is durable with a water resistance of up to 50 metres. Just like all neomatik watches, the Silvercut has Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap that very well matches its sleek design.

Nomos Metro Date Power Reserve
Nomos Metro Date Power Reserve
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Nomos Metro Date Power Reserve appeals to a younger market with its design. Mark Braun keeps it sophisticated without sacrificing Nomos aesthetics. Not only does it embody the classic Bauhaus inspiration of any Nomos watch but also carry a design point on itself. The power reserve indicator is as functional as it is tasteful. The indicator, in mint and red, remains pleasing to the eyes as it reminds the wearer when to rewind. The indexes add a dash of colour to the dial without overpowering the design. Within the timepiece is the manual winding DUW 4401. Recognised by award-giving bodies such as the Good Design, Red Dot, and German Design Award, it truly is a masterpiece right around your wrist.

Shop Nomos Metro watches here.

3. From the Nomos Orion Collection

Nomos Orion
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Nomos Orion has to be the simplest design for Nomos watches. It has completely redefined minimalism in timepieces. It’s as refined and restrained as it is elegant. It is the watch that will definitely be your companion for the years and even generations to come. The Orion is mostly defined by its sleek design. It is smooth with the curves of the case flowing right to the glass of the watch. Its timeless aesthetics rely on the subtle lines that make its indexes and hands. This linear trait gives off the vibe of time passing through. The Orion comes in both manual and neomatik movements. These designs ensure stability and precision when it comes reading time. Among the calibres that power the Orion are the Alpha movement, DUW 4101, DUW 3001, and DUW 6101. All these high-precision, high-tech movements under the delicacy of its design.

Nomos Orion 33 Duo
Nomos Orion Duo
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Nomos Orion Duo is as simple as any watch could be. However, it’s still defined by grace and elegance right on your wrist. The 33mm stainless steel case houses a white silver plating and golden hands. It also encases the Alpha.2 manual movement that ensures accuracy. It’s called Duo as the watch only houses two golden hands. It sits comfortably on any delicate wrist with a velour strap and only at 7.6mm in height.

Nomos Orion neomatik Date Olive Gold
Nomos Orion Neomatik 41 Date
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

Among the upgraded Nomos models is the Orion. Together with Tangente and Ludwig, Orion now includes a date function. For the fans of the brand, this is a much-awaited upgrade. Together with the upgrade, Nomos also added new colours to suit its new face. But our favourite is Orion in olive and gold. It not only captivates you with the shade of green but also enthrals you with the touch of gold. It’s the year-round watch you’ll intend to keep. Underneath its 40mm case is the DUW 6101 movement that powers the timepiece. The watch also has a water resistance of up to 50 metres.

Nomos Orion 1989
Nomos Orion 1989
Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nomos released the Orion 1989. You’ll experience a touch of gold on its grey dial and fine velour leather strap. The hands and indexes are both in gold, adding balance to the design. It is powered by the manual Alpha calibre movement with a water resistance of up to 50 metres.

Shop Nomos Orion watches here.

A Crowd Favourite

Needless to say, Nomos watches are a must-have in any enthusiast’s collection. But the beauty of the brand goes beyond what only aficionados can appreciate. Its designs, true to its Bauhaus influence, prove to be a crowd favourite.


Want to learn more about the award-winning Nomos watches? Check out this intensive review of the classic Tangente.

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