VIDEO: How the new NOMOS Tangente Blaugold fits into the iconic line-upBorna Bošnjak
The Tangente launched as one part of a quartet of watches designed by Susanne Günther in 1992, marking the beginnings of NOMOS Glashütte. Throughout the years, the Tangente has likely become the most recognisable NOMOS model, achieving that with the minimum amount of overt design possible. It has shifted in size and colour options, adopted numerous movements, yet its essence has remained unchanged. This is no different in its newest iteration, the NOMOS Tangente Blaugold, featuring a gold-plated blue dial and two sizes, both fitted with the well-regarded neomatik in-house calibre.
Telltales of Tangente
To better understand where the Blaugold fits into the line-up, it’s worth looking at the Tangente family as a whole. On one end, we have the original. 35mm in diameter, yet offering distinctly more wrist presence due to its elongated, angled lugs and slab-sided case. The white opaline dial balances the amount of printing and free real estate (insert meme here), with a touch of visual interest and depth offered by the sunken sub-seconds.
Powered by the manually wound Alpha calibre, this model has been a champion of affordable, original design for many up-and-coming collectors for years. A re-development of the Pesseux 7001 gear train and layout, the Alpha is manufactured in-house, and updated with hacking seconds as well as Glashütte ribbing on the three-quarter plate, solarisation, blued screws and rhodium plating on its surfaces.
An excellent example of NOMOS’ consistent design language is the Tangente Update (a review of which you can check out here), first released in 2018. At first glance, it’s a pretty normal-looking Tangente, though a closer look will reveal a number of small apertures encircling the dial beyond the minute track.
Upgraded with the neomatik 6101 calibre, the Tangente Update features a quick-set date, easily adjusted forwards or backwards, though implemented in an unusual fashion. Rather than using a pointer or a date window, the apertures frame the appropriate date in bold red on either side, standing out against the silver surface of the dial.
Rich sunburst with gilded details
The newest member of the Tangente family is the Blaugold, and though my German is frankly quite poor, I couldn’t help to wonder where the gold part of the name came from. A closer look at the spec sheet revealed the Blaugold’s secret, however. Previously featured in a short production run of the Zurich Blaugold between 2012 and 2015, the blue gold dial returns in the Tangente. While NOMOS makes great use of galvanising treatments for its dials, the brand adds an additional layer in their production, plating the dial blank with gold before further processing it. This contributes to the light play and shimmer of its surface, further emphasising the brushed sunray effect emanating from the centre pinion. Offsetting the main dial finish is the small seconds at 6 o’clock, and though it features the same colour as the dial, its azurage finish changes the way it interacts with light completely. The printing is expectedly minimal, a feat I embrace with open arms, with the only deviation from the white and blue colour scheme present in the small neomatik script hiding just beneath the brand denomination.
Round and angular
Talking about a Tangente case in great length kind of misses the point, as it’s not really the main focus of any model in the family, and is something carried over into many NOMOS watches. It’s meant to be functional and beautiful, without attracting too much attention just like the rest of the watch, and that is exactly what it does. That isn’t to say that it’s not finished to a high degree, with pleasantly reflective polished surfaces throughout its flat construction, using basic shapes to its benefit.
The Blaugold offers two size options for its stainless-steel case – a 35mm akin to the original Tangente, and a larger 38.5mm diameter model, while protruding lugs give lug-to-lug measurements of 43.5mm and 47.5mm, respectively. These dimensions are consistent with the rest of the Tangente family, which also means a wonderfully slim on-wrist experience. Thanks to the slim movement, the steel caseback variant is only 6.7mm thick, and though a sapphire caseback adds a fraction of a millimetre, it’s worth it in my opinion. A worthwhile note is that NOMOS calls the 38.5mm variant the Tangente 39, so don’t let that trip you up if you’re considering one of these.
Apart from the dimensions, the other notable difference between the two is water resistance. Whereas the larger Tangente neomatik 39 has a 5 atm rating, the smaller variant is only resistant to 3 atm.
Horween Shell Cordovan only, please
Though the Tangente isn’t necessarily intended to be an out-and-out dress watch, the sheen and elegance of the straps they’re paired with means they could easily pass as so. They’re soft right out of the get go, and NOMOS also offers different lengths of strap if you choose to purchase from their e-commerce site, reducing any unwanted bulk of excess leather.
Different sizes mean varying lug widths, as well. The 35mm Tangente goes with 18mm straps, the 38.5mm accepts 19mm options and only the 41mm Update has the common 20mm spacing. While there’s no quick-release spring bars which would be quite handy for a watch that benefits from changing up the strap, the quality of the factory option may make you wish to stick with it.
Variants of the neomatik
Both sizes of the new Tangente are powered by the DUW 3001 neomatik calibre. Its main claim to fame is the extraordinary slimness, measuring only 3.2mm in height despite it being a full-rotor automatic movement. It’s also equipped with NOMOS’ own in-house escapement, the NOMOS Swing System, and the expected finishing of a movement originating from Glashütte. A three-quarter plate covers most of the movement, while a double-sided balance bridge for added robustness is secured with blued screws that contrast nicely against the striped and perlaged rhodium-plated elements. The power reserve is on the lower side, at only 43 hours, though I’d be more hard-pressed had this been a manually wound movement.
NOMOS Tangente Blaugold pricing and availability:
The new NOMOS Tangente Blaugold is available now from NOMOS’ e-commerce platform and authorised retailers. Price: A$4,410 (Tangente neomatik ref. 190, steel caseback), A$4,960 (Tangente neomatik ref. 191, sapphire caseback), A$4,690 (Tangente neomatik 39 ref. 145, steel caseback), A$5,240 (Tangente neomatik 39 ref. 146, sapphire caseback).
|Model||Tangente neomatik Blaugold
Tangente neomatik 39 Blaugold
|Reference Number||Ref. 190
|Case Dimensions||35mm (D) x 6.7mm (T) x 43.5mm (L2L)
38.5mm (D) x 6.7mm (T) x 47.5mm (L2L)
Note: sapphire crystal option adds o.2mm to thickness
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||3 atm (ref. 190, 191)
5 atm (ref. 145, 146)
|Dial||Blue sunburst, galvanised and gold plated|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire with underside AR coating, option of sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Black Horween Shell Cordovan|
|Lug Width||18mm (ref. 190, ref. 191)
19mm (ref. 145, ref. 146)
|Movement||In-house DUW 3001 neomatik calibre with in-house escapement|
|Power Reserve||43 hours|
|Price||A$4,410 (ref. 190)
A$4,960 (ref. 191)
A$4,690 (ref. 145)
A$5,240 (ref. 146)