The Nomos Sundial ring is a practical and stylish piece of horological artJamie Weiss
Editor’s note: Welcome to Watch Carry Wednesdays, a new segment on Time+Tide where we highlight some of the best watch-related accessories, everyday carry items and gifts that are out there in the world. There are plenty of strap makers, watch roll sellers and coffee table book publishers out there – Watch Carry Wednesdays will shine a light on the stuff that’s worth your hard-earned coin.
I’ve never been, but I imagine Christmas in Glashütte is a rather cosy affair: Christmas markets, hot Glühwein, carols by candlelight… However, I do know that the fine folks at Nomos hold a much-anticipated advent calendar giveaway every year for the month of December, where they give away all sorts of prized watches and horological accessories worth a total of €10,000 each day leading up to Christmas. Yesterday, the gift they were giving away was one of their quirky Sundial rings – you can still register for a chance to win one, but perhaps it might be better to not leave things up to fate and consider getting one, as they make the perfect horological gift for yourself or others.
Nomos cheekily describes the Sundial as “the lowest-priced Nomos calibre from Glashütte”, which is not completely inaccurate. Available in stainless steel or 23ct gold-plated stainless steel, the Ø 19 mm ring can either be worn on your finger or the supplied leather cord around your neck. How does it work? First, you rotate the middle section with the aperture so that it’s aligned to the correct month, and then you turn it towards the sun so that light falls onto the aperture. The aperture will then focus light into the inside of the ring, which is marked with hour and minute markings.
There’s just one proviso with the Sundial ring: it only works at a specific latitude. Nomos make a few different versions of the ring for different cities including Chicago, Istanbul, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, New York, Zürich and of course Glashütte (the gold version only comes in Glashütte and London variants). Nomos says the Sundial will still work if you select the city version that best approximates the latitude of your location… But if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere like us here at Time+Tide, you’re out of luck.
Still, I think there’s something gloriously elegant about the Nomos Sundial, even if it’s a bit useless as a tool for me here in Melbourne. On the one hand, it’s a practical piece of kit that will work even if your watch is broken or your phone runs out of battery – it’s almost got a bit of survivalist appeal. On the other hand, it’s just a beautiful piece of engineering and art, in Nomos’ signature minimalist, Teutonic way. It’s a cool accessory for someone who’s really into watches, whether that’s yourself or someone you care about.