The Nomos Glashütte Tangente from Nomos Glashütte is without a doubt a classic. Its fine understatement and simplicity are unparalleled and ensure that the straightforward design will always be a talking point. With the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Signature Collection (Ref. 180.S3), which comes in a limited edition of only 200 watches, a special variant of the collection joins our exclusive line, and rightly so. Measuring 40.5 millimeters in diameter, the stainless-steel model appeals to both men and women. The ice-blue dial corresponds to the specific wishes of our customers and stands out beautifully on the dark-blue textile strap. In addition to the small seconds subdial, the minute scale is complemented by a date ring with dark blue details. The blued steel hands blend in absolutely harmoniously. Inside the case, which is water-resistant to 50 meters, and visible through a sapphire crystal back, there is self-winding manufacture caliber DUW 6101. The “One of 200” engraving on the back once again underscores the exclusivity of this model.
In 2018, Nomos Glashütte equipped its classic Tangente with an intelligent date display called “update.” We tested the new midnight blue model to find out whether the in-house date indicator is just an update or a genuine upgrade.
In the past, the Nomos Tangente Datum was a handwound watch with a date display in a window at 6 below the seconds subdial. If you wanted to adjust the date, you had to turn the hands forward, orbit after orbit, until the correct date appeared in the window. This was tiresome, even if you knew the trick of only moving the hands forward from about 9 p.m. to midnight and then back again. That model, which is no longer manufactured, was replaced in 2018 by a watch equipped with then-new in-house hand-wound Caliber DUW 4101. The date display is still positioned at the 6, but now it’s larger and can be adjusted both forward and backward by using the crown.
Also in 2018, Nomos presented the Nomos Tangente Neomatik 41 Update, which is now followed by an even more elegant version with a dark blue dial. The new model also features Nomos’s patented date indicator, but in a completely different design variation — there is no date window, or more accurately, 31 of them. One pair of these little windows flanks the current date on an unobtrusive scale along the edge of the dial. The date disk below the face of the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue is neon green and glows in the dark.
This circle of dates eliminates the need for a conventional date window, which intrudes a bit awkwardly into the minimalist design, especially on slim, elegant watches. A conventional date window is admittedly easier to read, but the date is, after all, a secondary function, which justifies the somewhat greater effort needed to read it. For many watch fans, the advantage of not having a date window below the small seconds subdial clearly outweighs the disadvantages of reading a peripheral display. And the convenience of being able to adjust the date in either direction exceeds the functionality of established large-series calibers and the majority of manufacture movements.
Be that as it may, we can now return to the question that we posed at the beginning of this article: Is this model an update or an upgrade? The answer is definitely the latter. Nomos has significantly improved the Tangente with date display with its new generation of calibers and has achieved a more harmonious dial design by dispensing with a single large date window. Victory all along the line — it’s a genuine upgrade.