Nomos Glashütte Tetra Die

With Easter in the rearview mirror and summer a mere speck on the horizon, we’re well into the spring season. We find ourselves in that magical time of year when the trees grow greener with the passing of each day. Some, however, don’t play along and get pinker by the day instead. Magenta buds begin to open up into light pink blossoms. This is a quintessentially Japanese phenomenon that has even made its way to Glashütte. And though NOMOS doesn’t quote this as the direct inspiration for these new NOMOS Tetra watches, a more global vision of spring can undoubtedly receive some credit. What we have here is a tasteful amalgam of tones that only a brand as experienced with combining colors as NOMOS could pull off.
This quaint quartet of Tetras forces me to use a term I usually try to avoid. As overused in watch writing as the term “icon” or the phrase “pops of color,” “quirky” is usually a dirty word in my mind. But when the watches are quite literally named after quirks, it’s only suitable to dust off the term. However, for those of you not fluent in German, these will likely require some translation — “Die Unerreichbare,” “Die Wildentschlossene,” “Die Fuchsteufelswilde,” and “Die Kapriziöse.” Fret not, Fratelli, for after five years of residence on Bavarian soil, I’m equipped to explain. So, let’s take a closer look at these geometrical timepieces, their uniquely composed and positively wearable colorways, and their names.
I won’t be getting too much into the technical side of things in today’s article. These Tetra watches are identical to the previously released hand-winding Tetra models. Unlike the last foursome of neomatik Tetras, which used the 33mm case size, these have a slightly smaller (yet no less wearable) 29.5mm square case. They feature the in-house hand-wound NOMOS Alpha caliber inside. You can read more about the technical details and even the history of this 31-year-old model here. And in case you need a reminder of the previous neomatik addition to the Tetra lineup from last year, you can check out this article and the photo below.
When it comes to looks, today’s NOMOS Tetra watches are a completely different beast. Last year’s release (which also gave us four new dials) opted for bold colors to brighten up the fall season. Today, though, soft shades of pink and purple will please those looking for something light and subtle. However, in true NOMOS fashion, an understated edge of carefully combined colors has been sprinkled into these watches, namely, the seconds hands in nicely contrasting shades of blue and yellow. Together, these models (much like last year’s) complement each other. But individually, they manage to be both delightfully understated and strikingly unique. Let’s take a look at all four of them one by one.
Unattainability regarding watches is usually associated with a specific Swiss brand, not one from Glashütte. However, this quirk lends its name to the first of these new Tetra watches. Thankfully, this won’t be an issue with the new Tetra watches since NOMOS has already made these available on its website. However, as far as quirks go, we’ll be left guessing whether it’s a dig at other brands with a nod and a wink. Perhaps the most toned-down of all four, Die Unerreichbare matches the tone of its steel case with a silver sunray dial. The sub-dial adopts a pale lilac shade, which is enhanced by its matte execution. This one is an outlier because the rest of the Tetras all feature matte dials and circular-textured sub-dials. Its numerals adopt a subtle petrol shade, which can only be appreciated upon close inspection in good light.
Slightly less subtle but no less charming is the light blue seconds hand. Like a slice of blue sky above the cherry blossoms, it’s a lovely combination. There’s something nice and understated about keeping the watch’s color accents contained within the sub-dial. From a distance, you’re looking at a silver watch, but when you look closer, you get just enough of a splash of color to make this a distinctive piece. For me, this one takes a close second place in this group of four. But leaving the most subtle of these new watches aside, let’s get into the colorful end of the Tetra spectrum.
I mentioned blooming cherry blossoms earlier in the article. And whereas you’d typically have to go to Heerstrasse in Bonn, you can now find a watch that mimics the soft pink shade of the delicate petals a little further east. This Glashütte native brings a soft pink dial, a silvery sub-dial, and a bright yellow seconds hand. It’s like a sunny April day on your wrist and a perfect pick for the season. The shade of pink is toned-down enough that anyone could wear this watch. Whether you combine it with a matching (or contrasting) dress shirt or go with something a little sportier, it will look equally fantastic.
If you’re fiercely determined to catch the blooming of fruit trees this year, I have bad news for you. The phenomenon seems to have long passed in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In Japan, a country known for its cherry blossoms, or sakura (the country’s unofficial flower), it took place at the end of March. The only silver lining might be if you live in the Netherlands, where, due to a long winter, we are experiencing it this week. If you live in Holland, get on your bike and get out there, preferably with a matching NOMOS Tetra on your wrist. Admittedly, it might be more doable if you aim for next year, but you don’t have to wait to put the watch on your wrist.
Now we arrive at my favorite of the four, not just in name but also in its atypical color composition. A powdery shade of lavender meets a coppery/golden sub-dial closely matched by beige dial text and numerals. It’s all tied together by the sky-blue seconds hand. A clash of cool blue and warm copper suspended in a calm lake of dreamy soft purple — this is an odd combination, to be sure, but it works incredibly well. Not even my eight-year-old self, equipped with the 64-count box of Crayola crayons, would have thought to put these shades together. Die Fuchsteufelswilde is a true testament to NOMOS’s sagacity with colors.
I find the toned-down nature of the colors and the contrast of cool and warm tones very appealing. For those of us who own our fair share of black or white dials, a watch like this is clearly the next step. The call for something slightly more colorful and unusual rings out. And somehow, it doesn’t get much better than a purple and copper NOMOS Tetra with a lovely hand-winding movement inside. The grainy purple dial is truly remarkable, bold yet wearable, and downright lovely.
A coppery salmon dial with a silver sub-dial and a bright yellow seconds hand makes Die Kapriziöze the most “normal” of these watches. Especially in recent times, salmon dials have had quite a moment. But thanks to the nicely combined silver sub-dial and yellow seconds hand, it still stands out from other salmon-dialed dress watches. If you look closely, the numerals and markers are printed in a brown shade. Sure, at first glance, they may appear black like the brand logo (which is indeed printed in black), but it’s these subtle details that tie together the unique aesthetic of all four of these pieces.
I was going to write something about the method of cooking called “papillote,” in which you season the fish and place a slice of lemon on top before wrapping it in aluminum foil, and how this watch sort has all the right shades, but that seemed like one bridge too far. Instead, I’ll tell you about the case back options. The four watches we saw all had an exhibition case back, which allows you to view the Alpha caliber inside. These Tetra watches are also available with a closed case back, onto which you can engrave some initials or a special message. This option saves you €220, and it’s worth noting that NOMOS Tetra watches offers a complimentary engraving service. You really can’t go wrong either way!
But now I hand it over to you. What do you think of these new NOMOS Tetra watches, their creative colorways, and quirky names? Are these bound to end up under your sleeve? Or will you patiently await the next release? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.