In the game of ‘best watches for your money’, there’s rarely a bum note in the argument that NOMOS Glashütte can’t be beaten. At least in the day-watch category. Watches that will save your life at the bottom of the ocean or guide you home when your cockpit instruments pack up, less so. But that’s ok, because few of us will ever be astronauts or on the hunt for Atlantis.
The German independent watchmaker has been making its rollneck and propelling pencil watches since the early 1990s, and has built itself up into a manufacture brand that adds 95 per cent of the value of its watches in the town of Glashütte, the epicentre of German watchmaking. That matters because it’s a high percentage by any brand’s standards, and because it becomes all the more remarkable set alongside the brand’s price points, which start from a barely believable £1,100. That’s a lot of in-house produced, hand-finished, mechanical watch for your dollar.
So when NOMOS announces a new collection, it’s worth paying attention. Yesterday, it launched 14 new watches into a collection called ‘At Work’ – aimed at ‘professionals’ – and they’re the kind of watches most of us would wear to work and give and receive on those milestone occasions in life.
As is typical to NOMOS, the new pieces (which cover the brand’s Tangente, Metro, Tetra and Orion designs) are slim-lined, agonisingly spartan and powered by the company’s own DUW 3001 automatic calibre, a masterpiece that’s 3.2mm thick, only marginally thicker than the outgoing pound coin.
The whole line is worth exploring (some of them will be available on Mr Porter), but here are three that grabbed our attention:
At Work Tangente neomatik 39 silvercut
One of the features of the new collection is the ‘silvercut’ dial – four of the new models have it, one for each of the four lines in the At Work collection. These are rhodium-plated and horizontally brushed, giving them a finish that looks almost painted. The Tangente remains NOMOS’s signature design, launched 25 years ago and defined by its haunched lugs, round case and condensed Arabic-numeral hour markers.
At Work Metro Roségold neomatik 39
The vintage-modern Metro has been around a few years now, but this is the first time it’s been made in rose gold (not strictly work-wear, but still). It’s a rare foray into precious metals for NOMOS, but very effective, particularly because the 39mm case is set on a brown version of the company’s go-to Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan straps. Made from horse hide, these are hardwearing and patinate beautifully.
At Work Orion neomatik 39
The best of the bunch? The Orion gets a little lost behind NOMOS’s more famous Tangente, but to the stylish man, it has always felt the most natural companion – its round case, swept lugs and pared-back dial are versatile and discreet. With NOMOS, it’s the detail that counts – here, the combination of blued steel hands, gold elongated hour markers and minute-markers every five minutes just works.
£2,800, all available at nomos-glashuette.com