Nomos Glashütte Autobahn Director’s Cut Limited Edition

With the soft curve of the rehaut, Aisslinger lends spatial depth to the Autobahn models, opening up the first level of the dial. In a second, elegantly curved arc, the designer leads to the small second dial, creating a separate, concave recess for that important hand that makes the precise timing of the NOMOS Swing System visible on the scale.
“We associate the Autobahn from NOMOS with travel, with looking at the speedometer and with a love for mechanical watches. So the Autobahn on our wrist is always going to be more than just a timepiece…” (Werner Aisslinger and Tina Bunyaparat)
The NOMOS Glashütte Autobahn is and always has been an unconventional take on the Bauhaus-themed no-frills watch; its full-coloured provoking silhouette is sitting the other end of the spectrum containing all things Nomos, where the recipe is mixing minimalism with thoroughly-thought colour palettes and curves, like with a Metro, a Tangente, or an Ahoi. Please prove me wrong, but the Club and its limited editions are perhaps the funkiest, and unique experiments, so far. Autobahn came as a “collab watch” between the brand and the designer Werner Aisslinger, thus squeezing Werner’s petrolhead DNA out of a sleek and clean template as standard.
The new Autobahn Director’s Cut Limited Edition keeps celebrating Glashütte’s 175 years as a watch town, an event we expected to attend last year. Yet, unlike with a Lambda or a Ludwig, whose common trait is an enamelled dial, old-school watchmaking leaves here room for new colour combos that pay homage to Germany’s three freeways and, first and foremost, welcome an unexpected new hybrid bracelet. It reaffirms the Autobahn as avant-garde as it gets across the product’s offering, other than exploring new design directions at Nomos, in my opinion.
The Autobahn Director’s Cut Limited Edition comes in three variants identified by A7, A3, and A9. The single-tone variant pictured here is the A9 model and pays homage to the fastest route between East and West Germany, as Aisslinger underlined. These colour combinations are exclusive to this capsule collection and won’t appear as standard in the future.
Let’s set the colour combos apart for a while, despite adding freshness and enhancing the tapered dial’s design. The talking point is the new hybrid bracelet in steel, whose layout looks kind of like firing up a custom-designed motorcycle out of a skunkworks. It is a mixture of a seamless, no-gap-between-the-links slightly flexible bracelet and a solid polished end, undoubtedly taking inspiration from those trendy across the seventies.
The first half is solid and mirror-polished; it slightly tapers towards the middle and successfully complements the case’s overall style and lines. It comes attached to a brushed Sport end that you can hardly see from atop. Such hybrid design also keeps technical aspects and costs into account: you won’t develop an entirely new bracelet for such limited volumes rolling out the production line.
Among the pros, I’ll pick “comfort”; it outperforms the Sport bracelet since it is pinching-free, especially in the most challenging area to engineer. Instead, it is so polished that you might hardly avoid cuffs and scratches, something to consider when buying any watch this refined and mirror-polished.
I appreciate the new bracelet’s design as it visually complements the Autobahn well, but I’m aware it’ll not be everyone’s cup of tea. It blows you away, at first glance, since you won’t (and I didn’t) expect such a bracelet from Nomos, but, in the flesh, it is less controversial than you might judge by the photos. The A9 version is the subtle one and the only sample we got our hands on; I’d take my hands on the other two, too, for a comparison.
Setting the A9 apart for a while, the A3 and A7 look funky, with the Autobahn Director’s Cut Limited Edition A7 being my fav, on paper, and the most attractive. I’ll not discuss the spec sheet here; let me remind the main ones regarding the case. It measures 41mm across, is 10.5mm thick, and it’s water-resistant to up to 100 meters.
If you’re looking for understatement, the A9 is your choice; else, you can opt for the new Autobahn Director’s Cut Limited Edition with the A3 or the A7 livery. The truth is that the A9 model is the only single-tone Autobahn in a generation. The other two explore the Autobahn’s potential and take it to new heights along with the hybrid bracelet.