Characterized for its distinct Bauhaus inspired, affordable designs and its ability to create in house, quality movements, Nomos Glashutte is a German watchmaker with an incredibly interesting history to recall. Nestled in the small town of Glashütte, Germany, minimal flowing forms and crisp sharp lines come together to create a contemporary range of timepieces. The company was founded in 1990 by Roland Schwertner, a photographer and keen computer technician. The company remained independent during a time where other companies were taken over by larger groups.
The Nomos headquarters are essentially a converted train station. Other members of the company are located in Berlinerblau, in central Berlin. In order to be classed as a “Glashutte” watchmaker, the company must produce at least 50 percent of its watches from locally sourced parts and components. Nomos Glashutte moved away from sourcing third party ebauche movements and began creating its own engines, gaining it the recognition it needed to be part of the Glashutte watchmaking community.
Just a year after Nomos established itself, its first line of timepieces was launched. The Tangente watch sat alongside other collections like the Orion, the Ludwig and the Tetra. Designers, Susanne Gunther kept the design of the watches clean, simple and minimalist with the view to introducing watch collectors to a new way of timekeeping. What each one of these models have in common with one another is their ability to appeal to both male and female wrists with a 35mm diameter (29.5mm for the square-shaped models). These gender neutral watches were led by the Tangente with its classical, Bauhaus inspired looks. Many timepieces from Nomos Glashutte followed suit by taking influential cues from these 1930s Bauhaus watches.
Between 1992 and 2003 Nomos went from sourcing third party movements to creating its own in house movements. Before this the engines were based on the Peseux 7001, but with some additional Glashutte decoration. The movements were also coated with rhodium to resist oxidation, as well as being laser blasted and gilded by Nomos artisans. The Tangomat marked the release of the brand’s first in house engine, the Nomos Epsilon. The movement inside the Tangente was also swapped with an independently crafted movement, called the Alpha, enabling the brand to be able to move away from having their movements stamped with the ETA name. Up until 2014, these movements would still feature an externally sourced escapement.
The Nomos “Deutsche Uhrenwekre” (DUW) line of calibres was released in 2013, followed by the brand’s first in-house escapement called the Swing System. The patented mechanism required an incredibly meticulous and pain staking procedure to create. These featured in the Nomos Metro, marking a noteworthy achievement for the company. The Metro was innovated by industrial designer, Mark Braun, who developed the timepiece with splashes of vibrant colour and a minimalist, purist design. Despite an edgy and contemporary starkness, the Metro still manages to conjure up images of 1930s style.
For a movement that measured just 3.2mm in depth, the Nomos DUW 3001 movement delivers remarkable accuracy, and featured in the Neomatik line in 2015. The “At Work” collection was launched just 2 years later with updated versions of the Tangente, Orion Tetra and Metro. The brand’s Club and Club Campus are’ entry level wristwatches that offer a somewhat more parred down design compared to former Nomos watches. These wristwatches, along with other pieces from Nomo’s current catalogue serve to offer a gateway into the horogical world, with many models looking just as stylish now as the day they first debuted.