The first release of the year from our friends at NOMOS is a rather straightforward update to the flagship Tangente, offered in two case sizes (35mm and 39mm), and featuring what the German company is calling a “platinum grey” dial. Inside both case options is the in-house developed and produced DUW 3001 movement, a time-only, ultra-thin self-winding caliber with small seconds at six o’clock.
These two watches are a great example of NOMOS at its very best – the new Nomos Tangente Platinum Grey is just as elegant, wearable, and technically interesting as any Tangente we’ve ever seen. Plus, in chatting with the folks at NOMOS’ Berlin-based design studio earlier this week, they pointed out to me that 2022 represents the Tangente’s 30th anniversary. The watch was the brand’s inaugural release, all the way back in 1992, a few years after the Berlin Wall came down and founder Roland Schwertner first set up shop in Glashütte.
Today’s introduction, then, can be considered the first releases in what should be a big anniversary year for the young brand.
First things first – the “platinum grey” dial seen here isn’t actually made of solid platinum (something we recently saw in the Parmigiani Tonda PF Rattrapante), but it’s also not false advertising. The dial is plated with rhodium, a metal in the platinum group that is famously corrosion-resistant and is often utilized by watch brands looking for a cool grey hue. You’ll also frequently find rhodium plated on to precious metals, such as white gold and sterling silver, to improve the base metal’s resistance to wear and corrosion.
I briefly saw both size options for the new Tangente, in 35mm and 39mm, earlier this week, and I found the effect of the rhodium finish on the dial to be subtle and attractive. We’re no strangers to the color grey around the HODINKEE office, but I did find myself wishing for some sort of embellishment in color or texture on the Tangente dial. There is a hint of gold-tone underneath the 12 o’clock branding, but it felt nearly washed out by the rest of the matte dial. I think a bit of extra texture, in the vein of the Tangente Neomatik 39 Silvercut, would help bring the watch to life. That said, it’s still a handsome take on the Tangente that should appeal to those who appreciate the brand’s design-friendly sensibilities.
In all other facets, the new Nomos Tangente Platinum Grey is a NOMOS through and through. If you’re new to the brand, I always like to point out that NOMOS is more than just a pretty face – the company is also an underrated technical powerhouse. The DUW 3001 caliber inside today’s releases incorporate what NOMOS calls the Swing System, the company’s take on the classic lever escapement, which was developed over a seven-year period and is instantly identifiable by its tempered blue balance spring and screwed-in balance bridge.
The DUW 3001 has largely remained the same since it was introduced in 2015 (a date variant, the DUW 6101, was released in 2018), and a close look at the watch reveals many of the principles NOMOS holds close. Thinness is always prioritized – the 3001 measures 3.2mm in height, a remarkable feat for a full-rotor movement – as is traditional German movement architecture and decoration, emphasized through the three-quarter plate construction.
The Nomos Tangente Platinum Grey is, without doubt, an iterative release for NOMOS. But it’s also a welcome one. After all, when you start from such a strong base, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time to capture attention.