Our favourite Nomos watches of all time Our favourite Nomos watches of all time

Our favourite Nomos watches of all time

Fergus Nash

Considering that Nomos only released their first watches a little over 30 years ago, they have made a considerably strong impact on the watch world. While perfecting a style of minimalism that’s deliberate rather than lazy, the Bauhaus inspiration and high-end German manufacturing have helped their reputation soar among both large collectors and casual enthusiasts. Their prices are quite reasonable for the quality of production as well, making Nomos a wonderful commemoration for special occasions, or even gifts. Despite a cohesive identity between all of their models, each range has a distinct style, so let’s take a look at our favourite Nomos watches of all time.

Nomos Tangente – AU$2,610

If any Nomos watch could be considered the distilled essence of the brand, it would have to be the Tangente. As one of their best-sellers, the classic reference 101 is hard to go past with its charming display of Bauhaus numerals on a crisp, white dial. The minute and hour markers are thin yet easily legible, as are the baton hands that are heat-blued in the traditional method for a small pop of colour. The small seconds sub-dial adds a touch of refined complication to the otherwise simple dial, complete with a subtle concentric guilloché pattern that sets it apart from the rest. The 35mm diameter aids the impression of vintage origins, while the 45mm lug-to-lug length helps to fill out the wrist presence. It’s only 6.2mm thick, and that’s partially because of the in-house Alpha calibre that is hand-wound and 2.6mm tall.

Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 Silvercut – AU$5,620

There are many stereotypes in watchmaking, and the shape of a case can very easily wind up dictating the personality of a watch. Many square watches are incredibly sporty, while rectangular watches tend towards formality, but the Nomos Tetra is a slightly glitzy take on the square watch which can suit both casual or dressy styles. Of all the Nomos range it is perhaps the most diverse, with bright and colourful dials looking completely different to the more tame ones. The reference 423 that’s been singled out here has a horizontally-brushed silver dial, adding a nice amount of intrigue without losing its refined edge. The “39” in its title is a little misleading of the actual 33mm diameter, however it more accurately reflects the wearing experience as if it were a circular case. The art-deco lugs reach out to 45.3mm, and it’s powered by the in-house DUW 3001 with automatic winding and the NOMOS swing system.

Nomos Club Campus Blue Purple – AU$1,870

Any Nomos watch would make a fantastic celebratory purchase, however the Nomos Club Campus is specifically designed for either graduation or the university lifestyle. The spindly cases have made way for a more robust roundness evocative of 1960s designs, and the California-style dial is more suited to youthful vigour. They are another of Nomos’ most popular watches, and possibly the most likely to take advantage of their free caseback engraving options. The dial also lends itself to bright colours well, the bold markings helping legibility with less contrast. The reference 713 in Blue Purple has a pleasing tone of desaturated grape, more unique than a common blue but no less versatile. The 36mm case has a lug-to-lug of 47.5mm, and is also water resistant to 100m for swimming use. With a power reserve of 43 hours, the Club Campus also makes use of the Nomos Alpha calibre.

Nomos Ludwig – AU$2,880

The Nomos Tangente may be the essence of the brand in one package, however the Ludwig sacrifices some of its Bauhaus influences for the sake of a bit more classicism. Intended to highlight their proud German production, the Ludwig rounds out some elements of the lugs and case and uses track-style minute markers to harken back to enamel-dialled pocket watches. The Roman numerals imply traditionalism without seeming snooty, and the 35mm diameter with a 45mm lug-to-lug is a wrist-friendly unisex size. The reference 205 uses the Nomos Alpha calibre as well, which was the first of the in-house movements that Nomos introduced in 2005. As with all of their models, you can opt for a sapphire display caseback or a solid caseback with a free engraving.

Nomos Lambda 39 Velvet Black – AU$22,690

Sometimes the difference between people’s definition of luxury just comes down to price, and though Nomos certainly take a luxury approach to watchmaking it may take one of their most expensive models to prove it. The Nomos Lambda is simply a work of art, placing their minimalist style in a lofty context among much older and wealthier German brands. Atop the softly-grained Velvet Black dial of the reference 954, whose near-brown tone compliments the 18k rose gold case, is a delicately applied silver filigree which forms the markings. This precise work displays the time and small seconds as usual, although the hour markers have been removed to create a larger sense of space. The upper area is then taken up by a generous power reserve display counting all the way up to 84 hours, reminding you when to top up the hand-wound calibre DUW 1001. The movement is intricately decorated with radiant brushing and an engraved balance cock, showing off the higher quality of the Lambda line.