Nomos is a relatively young brand when it comes to Glashütte watchmaking, but they take the heritage of their surroundings and the horological prowess of the region seriously. So, in celebration of 175 (plus) years of Glashütte watchmaking, Nomos has announced three new Orion Neomatic watches in 36, 39, and 41mm, each limited to 175 pieces. Each is engraved as such on the back with the number in the series. The brand says these watches draw inspiration from the early days of master watchmakers and horologists from Glashütte who used golden indices on white silver-plated dials and blued steel hands on their pieces. Of course, Nomos is doing it their own way – a very stripped-down Bauhaus design and thin automatic movements that would have boggled the minds of Glashütte’s watchmakers back in the day.
Iwas lucky enough to see these watches in person in Glashütte a few weeks ago and while I only got a few moments with them amidst a sea of new releases and vintage Nomos I was digging through, I was particularly struck by the dials on the new Nomos Glashütte Orion Neomatiks. Between the texture and the fact that these were the first Orions released where the seconds sit flush with the rest of the dial, this seemed like a strong release from the brand. First of all, the texture and the color are rather hard to capture as it shifts in the light. In fact, the texture seemed more apparent in my photos than in the ones Nomos provided. Granted, they were shot in very different conditions. Versus a very flat matte or shiny dial, these sit somewhere in between. The little bit of texture actually picks up the light and provides a depth that’s accentuated by the slightly raised gold indices. But from a straight-on angle, the watch does look quite traditional and flat under the right light. It’s a welcome element of stylistic versatility and detail for a really beautiful and largely minimal watch design.
While I’m not sure about the inspiration from the vintage or antique watches I saw during my time in Glashütte, I recognize that the brand’s Bauhaus style doesn’t exactly have a one-to-one correlation to the old days of German watchmaking. Nomos has, however, continued the tradition of making reliable (and in some cases very horologically creative) watchmaking that I believe the old founders back in 1845 would be proud of. Not only that but it’s a brand that knows how to have fun and still gives you serious horological chops (their swing system escapement, for instance, is fascinating). Sure, this is a solid and known movement in a new package, but it’s a damn attractive one and a very Nomos salute to the history of watchmaking in Glashütte.
While the Tangente is often seen as the most emblematic watch ever created by German watchmaker Nomos, there is another model that, in my books, feels even more classically designed. Refined, elegant, timeless and equally minimalist in its style, the Nomos Glashütte Orion Neomatiks is the brand’s vision of a dressy watch, but this time without a twist – something that Nomos is very good at. It has naturally been elected to be part of the collection that celebrates 175 years of Watchmaking in Glashütte, the small town that is home to the best German watchmakers, including Nomos. Available in three sizes, all with the in-house Neomatik movement, they come as refined as they can.
The whole idea behind this commemorative collection was to pay tribute to fine watchmaking, and as such, the watches that have been created in the frame of this collection all have refined, higher-end finishes. For instance, the top-tier Lambda watches in steel here featured an enamel-coated dial and elegant blued hands. The 175-year take on the Nomos Glashütte Orion Neomatiks is slightly different, and while it also focuses on the dial, the result is pretty appealing.