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The Watches

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Nomos celebrates 175 years of watchmaking in its hometown of Glashütte, Germany, with three classically styled Nomos Ludwig watches, each offered as a limited edition.

The Nomos Ludwig, a 35mm model powered by the Alpha manual-wind caliber, in its new 175th anniversary celebratory dress.

The watches, each limited to 175 examples, include one 35mm Ludwig with a manual-wind Alpha caliber inside, one Ludwig neomatik 39 with an automatic Caliber DUW 3001 inside, and a Ludwig neomatik Date 41 powered by the automatic Caliber DUW 6101. All these calibers are designed and built by Nomos.

The Nomos Ludwig neomatik 39 175.

Nomos is dressing each celebratory watch in historical Glashütte watchmaking details, which means each features a white enamel dial with Roman numerals separated by slim markers, a small seconds display, and railroad minute markers.

The date model even sports a classical Roman numeral date indicator—a first for Nomos.

The Nomos Ludwig neomatik Date 175, showing thin profile.

These are thin watches (the manual-wind model measures a wispy 6.8mm thick) with classic leaf-shaped tempered blue hands, per Glashütte tradition. All watches announce their reason for being with a sapphire crystal glass back that shows ‘limited-edition’ and “175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte” engravings.

The back view of the 41mm Nomos Ludwig neomatik date 175, showing Caliber DUW 6101.
Detail on Nomos caliber DUW 3001.

Many of the typical Glashütte features Nomos builds into its movements can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback on each watch. These features include a three-quarter plate, tempered blue screws, ribbed polishing, and Nomos-designed ‘swing system’ escapement.

With only 175 examples of each watch being made, and with offerings at very competitive prices, we expect strong demand for these Nomos debuts.

Prices: $2,260 (Ludwig manual-wind), $3,800 (Ludwig neomatik 39); and $4,200 (Ludwig neomatik 41 Date)

 

Among the three watches Patek Philippe unveiled this week, this Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is possibly the most distinctive, in part because the watch is the newest, most contemporary design among the debuts.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5303 is the first Patek Philippe Grand Complication with a minute repeater visible on the dial side. Note the clear view of the hammers and gongs.

While the other two debuts, Reference 5270J-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
 and Reference 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph, represent line extensions for classically designed watches available since, respectively, 2018 and 2015, the new Ref. 5303R-001 modifies a newer design debuted last year as a limited edition of twelve watches during Patek Philippe’s ‘grand exhibition’ in Singapore.

Where that Ref. 5303 appeared accented in red to commemorate the Singapore flag, this new version offers the same open, dial-free architecture but with a black minutes track and a gold seconds hand.

Open architecture

Here, Patek Philippe again reworks the manual-wind R TO 27 PS minute repeater caliber to emphasize its chiming operation. As a result, the repeater is fully visible on the watch’s dial side, where Patek Philippe has repositioned the caliber’s gong and hammers.

This allows the wearer to both hear and see the repeater mechanism’s hammers and gongs as they chime the time without taking the watch off the wrist – a first for any Patek Philippe grand complication.

Patek Philippe has skeletonized the caliber and then carefully hand-finished all its remaining bridges and surfaces. The Geneva brand’s finishers have decorated the movement’s plate with Genevan circular graining, applied a perlage to the recesses and decorated the hammers with a circular satin finish.The tourbillon

The tourbillon is even more transparent than the minute repeater as it’s visible from the front and the back of the watch.

The tourbillon at 6 o’clock is visible through the small seconds counter and can also be seen from the back.

From the back, the viewer can eye the back of the tourbillon case, exactly opposite the dial-side seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Patek Philippe finishers have filigreed the tourbillon’s steel components until they sparkle – a nice contrast to the rose gold back plate.

The case

The watch’s 42mm rose-gold case notably features a wide polished bezel framing a black-lacquered sapphire-crystal rim. Patek Philippe has also placed leaf-shaped white-gold inlays along the watch’s the sides (including the repeater slide) and the sides of the lugs.

This somewhat surprising naturalistic design element –also seen shaping the white gold, black-lacquered hands ­– nicely balances the watch’s contemporary skeleton caliber.

The watch’s white gold minute repeater slide is engraved with a leaf-shaped pattern.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon emphasizes both Patek Philippe’s mastery of the minute repeater and the depth of its artisanal arsenal.

Full view of the back of the watch.

Now available in limited production (though not as a limited edition) without the initial model’s red-tinted accents, this chiming watch will undoubtedly attract serious collectors who seek both Patek Philippe’s technical acumen as well as its contemporary aesthetic combined into one highly complicated watch.

Price: Upon request.

 

Specifications: Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Movement: Manual-wind 
Caliber R TO 27 PS minute repeater with classic gongs, tourbillon, small seconds, 365 parts, golden plate decorated with circular Geneva striping. Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations/hour 
(3 Hz) with a power reserve of 48 hours maximum.

Dial: Transparent sapphire, black hour circle with minute markers printed in white and golden powdered dots, pierced black lacquered leaf-shaped hands in white gold.

Case: 42mm by 12.13mm rose gold, white gold decorative inserts, humidity- and dust-protected only 
(not water-resistant), sapphire crystal case back, UV-protected sapphire crystal glass.

Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp

Price: Upon request.

 

In its annual ode to the Italian boat maker Riva, and its sporty wood Runabout, Frederique Constant this year re-introduces a chronograph to the collection. The new Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic celebrates the partnership between Riva and Frederique Constant and will be made as two limited series each composed of 2,888 pieces. The limited editions will feature a tri-compax chronograph dial layout (12 o’clock – 6 o’clock – 9 o’clock) powered by Geneva watchmaker’s ETA Valjoux-based automatic FC-392 chronograph caliber.

Two new 42mm steel-cased Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic models will share all their specifications internally, but will differ by dial hue, seconds hand coloring and a matching strap.

One model will offer a guilloché anthracite grey dial with grey strap while the second model will feature silvered guilloché dial and blue strap. Similarly, the grey-dialed model will sport a large central seconds hand in light blue steel while the silvered dial model will offer a seconds hand in dark blue.

 

Specials markings

Frederique Constant has always been careful to treat its limited editions with traditional   markings expected by collectors. That’s why it marks each case with its individual serial as well as the total production number (2,888).

But in addition to these markings, collectors will find original imprint representing the official Riva Historical Society flag on the sapphire crystal of the watch.

The Geneva-based watchmaker says that the choice to revisit the chronograph with this year’s special edition Riva collaboration is meant to echo that fact that starting in 1962 Riva produced certain boats with a powerful dual-motor (2 x 185 bhp) outfitted to enjoy water sports on Lake Iseo, birthplace of the Riva.

Frederique Constant will present each watch in a special case with a miniature replica of the legendary Riva moored alongside it.

Price: $2,895. 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic

Movement: ETA Valjoux–based FC-392 caliber, automatic with chronograph, 46-hour power reserve, 28,800 bph

Case: 42mm polished stainless steel two-part, convex sapphire crystal, see-through case-back exposing gold-colored oscillating weight, water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Grey dial with silver color applied indexes with luminous hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and light blue seconds hand OR:

Silver color dial with silver applied indexes with luminous hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and dark blue seconds hand

Strap: Dark grey calf leather strap OR Navy calf leather strap

Limited edition: 2,888 pieces in each version.

 

Tudor expands its flagship Black Bay Fifty-Eight this week with a new model sporting a navy blue dial and matte blue bezel.

The new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, also available with two different fabric straps.

The retro-styled 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which quickly became a Tudor best seller after it debuted in 2018, traces its lineage back to Tudor dive models from the early 1950s, with most of its features linked to the Tudor reference 7924 from 1958, known as the Big Crown edition.

Gone are the gilded touches to the markers, bezel and the hands we saw on the Black Bay Fifty-Eight from two years ago. Here Tudor replaces those accents with sportier steel on the dial and silver-colored markers and numerals on the bezel, perfectly matching the case and bracelet.  

Modern movement

As with the 2018 black-dialed edition, the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue inhabits its retro style while steeped in modern technology, most notably underneath its dial. There you’ll find an in-house Tudor Caliber MT5402, an automatic caliber with a non-magnetic silicon balance spring and an impressive seventy-hour power reserve.

Tudor’s own automatic manufacture Caliber MT5402 with bidirectional rotor system,  Swiss chronometer certified by COSC.

Tudor notes that its caliber, tailor-made by Tudor for the 2018 Black Bay Fifty-Eight, performs with greater precision than its official COSC chronometer certification requires. Where COSC allows for an average variation in the daily running rate of a watch movement of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time, Tudor says it applies a tolerance of between -2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its daily rate on the assembled watch.

While the front and even the sides of the new watch recall their origins in the 1950s and 1960s (notably regarding the Snowflake hands, seen first in 1969), the closed caseback gives away the game with engraved references to the manufacture caliber within.

Unscrewing the back, a watchmaker (or intrepid owner) would see a distinctly modern finish on the MT5402 caliber, notably a one-piece tungsten rotor that Tudor has open-worked, satin-brushed and sand-blasted. Tudor also alternates sand-blasted surfaces, polished surfaces and laser decorations on the movement’s bridges and mainplate.

Straps & bracelet

Those familiar with Tudor will know that its modern identity, and its success, is in part due to its unerring facility with fabric NATO-style straps, which the brand has embraced wholeheartedly since at least 2010.

Tudor continues that tradition with the new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, for which Tudor offers a handsome navy blue and silver-striped woven fabric strap (above) made in France by Julien Faure, a 150-year old family company. Tudor also offers a riveted steel bracelet (polished and satin finish) with folding clasp and safety catch and a blue “soft touch” strap with folding buckle and safety clasp.

Tudor offers this blue “soft touch” strap with folding clasp and safety catch as an option with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue.

The remaining Tudor-curious collectors who were not sold on the 2018 Black Bay Fifty-Eight’s slightly luxe black and gold accented dial and bezel back in 2018 have their watch with this new Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue. It’s sportier, beautifully blue-hued and supplies the same Tudor high-value mechanicals teamed with expert retro dress.

With the same pricing as the earlier model ($3,700 for the bracelet model and $3,375 for fabric strap), the watch serves up no visible obstacles to any motivated fan.  

 

Specifications: Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue

(Ref. 79030B)

Movement: Automatic manufacture Caliber MT5402 with bidirectional rotor system, Swiss chronometer officially certified by COSC, 70-hour power reserve, variable inertia balance, micro-adjustment by screw, non-magnetic silicon balance spring; 28,800 bph (4 Hz) frequency.

Case: 39mm steel with polished and satin finish, unidirectional rotatable bezel in 316L steel with 60-minute graduated disc in matte blue anodized aluminum and silver gilded markings and numerals, steel screw-down winding crown with the Tudor rose in relief, with circular satin-brushed 316L steel winding crown tube, domed sapphire crystal, water resistant to 200 meters

Dial: Navy Blue, domed

Bracelet: Riveted 316L steel with polished and satin-brushed finish, or blue “soft touch” with folding clasp and safety catch, or blue fabric strap with silver band and buckle.

Prices: $3,700 (bracelet model) and $3,375 (either fabric strap)

 

Just a few months after releasing its BR 03-92 Grey LUM, Bell & Ross adds an even brighter brother to the LUM family with a limited edition BR 03-92 Diver Full LUM.

Where the previously seen dive watch features brightly illuminated numerals, hands and five-minute markers, this newest family member features a full dial painted with green SuperLuminova.

In addition to a fully painted dial, the new watch also glows with a second hue because Bell & Ross has filled the watch’s metallic applique skeletonized indexes and the numerals on the bezel with a different shade of green SuperLuminova.  In order to maximize the period of luminescence for these markers, Bell & Ross opted to use a type of SuperLuminova (C3) that offers very long durability in the dark.

Bell & Ross notes that ever since it debuted its first square-cased BR 03-92 dive models in 2017 the watchmaker has been sure that its dive collection maintains all international ISO 6425 standards for dive watches. Those standards include water-resistance to a minimum depth of 100 meters, the presence of a unidirectional rotating bezel with a graduated minutes scale, an operation indicator and luminescent markers, legibility in the dark; anti-shock and anti-magnetic protection.

With this newest model, Bell & Ross exceeds those standards by wide margins, with a 300-meter water resistance rating, a black ceramic uni-directional bezel (for enhanced contrasts) and, in reference to its name, superior dial legibility with a more-than-gimmicky focus on luminescence.

Added bonus: Bell & Ross includes a rubber strap and a fabric strap with each watch.

Price: $4,500.

  

Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 03 92 Diver Full LUM

(Ref: BR0392-D-C5-CE/SRB, a limited edition of 999 pieces.)

Movement: Sellita-based automatic Caliber BR-CAL.302

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Case: 42mm matte black ceramic, unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel with 60-minute scale, sapphire crystal, 300-meters of water resistance. 

Dial: Luminescent green painted with SuperLuminova. Metal applique skeleton Super-LumiNova-filled numerals and indices.

Straps: Woven black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric with pin buckle of black PVD-coated steel.

Alpina Watches has partnered with the Netherlands-based Gyre Watch to create the new Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic collection featuring watchcases crafted from recycled materials. Sales of the watch, with its case forged from a mixture of fiberglass (30%) and plastic debris (70%) caught in fishing nets in the Indian Ocean, will support the National Park Foundation.

The new Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic collection is composed of five models and is being officially launched to support World Oceans Day (June 8th). Alpina will donate $100 for every watch purchased through us.AlpinaWatches.com in order to help maintain the U.S. parks, both inland and coastal.

The collection

The full Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range includes three men’s models (44 mm, $1,395) and two models designed for women (36mm, $1,295).

All five watches share blue-shaded dials, including turquoise and dyed mother-of-pearl, and luminescent hands. Inside each watch Alpina places its Sellita-based AL-525 automatic movement.

In addition, as a dive model, the watch features the requisite unidirectional bezel and water-resistance to 300 meters.

The Alpina Seastrong Gyre Diver Automatic, 36mm size. Each case is made using recycled materials.

Alpina will ship all the new watches with one of three two-tone NATO-style straps made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, Alpina will include a black vegetable leather strap made of recycled apple waste with every 44mm watch.

Gyre origins

Alpina explains that the word Gyre is a reference to giant circular ocean currents. The Geneva-based watchmaker adds that the new collection represents the start of a long-term collaboration with Gyre Watch.

Gyre Watch, founded in The Netherlands in 2017, makes watches from recycled ocean plastic. Local fishermen along the Indian Ocean earn a fee collecting fishing nets from the sea for recycling, which means Gyre also contributes to local economies.

Alpina will make the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic as a limited series of 1,883 pieces of each model, in reference to the year of Alpina’s founding. Each watch will be sold in an eco-friendly gift set made of recycled plastic and recycled plastic bottles.

To further enhance the collection’s ecological profile, Alpina is printing each watch’s guarantee and certificate of authenticity on one page of recycled paper and will utilize a paperless user manual, accessible via a QR code. The code will direct buyers to a dedicated site for the Gyre collection as well as the instruction and maintenance manual.

 

Story and Photos by Steve Lundin

Travelling through Berlin’s fractured, graffitied and tattooed streets, it’s understandable that Nomos founder Roland Schwertner would have been drawn to the balance, symmetry and inherent calm of the Bauhaus style. It represented an escape from the chaotic environment that was Berlin from before the war to the fall of the wall– and to this day.

The Berlin Wall

The net result of the confluence of Schwertner’s entrepreneurial spirit and a singular moment in history resulted in the formation of one of the most aesthetically pure and culturally reflective watch brands to emerge from Germany.

Uwe Ahrendt, Nomos Glashütte CEO

Schwertner, schooled in technology and photography, found himself, along with millions of other Germans, in a whirling vortex of opportunity with the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, signaling the beginning of reunification of West and East Germany under the chant, “Tor auf!”

By the time reunification became official, on October 3, 1990, Schwertner had already made his move to establish a new German watch brand in GlashütteSaxony, where the German watchmaking industry began.

Schwertner wanted to build clean watches, something new and not gaudy, like many of the 1980s watches, with a reference to draftsmanship. He and designer Susanne Günther went through catalogues of watches from Glashütte and found one that was made in 1920s, that was not ornate like most watches of that time,” says Thomas Höhnel, product designer for Nomos Glashütte, and the creative driver behind , the Ahoi, the breakout water resistant sports model that received the Good Design, iF and Goldene Unruh awards. “This exception watch he found was simple and provided inspiration for the first watch.”

Thomas Höhnel, product designer for Nomos Glashütte

Höhnel works at Berlinerblau, the Nomos design studio, located in Berlin in what would be considered the urban part of any city in the world. The Hipster meets Goth meets Businessman meets Mad Max forms the interwoven Kevlar of the human experience that mesh together and drive the pulse of the busy streets surrounding the studio.

Through a courtyard that could have easily been a darkened spy drop during the Cold War, up an industrial steel grey elevator and through imposing doors lies the Nomos cognitive center, the head, populated by a crew of engineers, designers and marketers who feed their ideas to the production facilities in Glashütte, the thundering hands of the company.

“The creative part of the company comes from Berlin, there’s a reason why it’s there,” observes Uwe Ahrendt, CEO of Nomos Glashütte. “The spirit of the place is important. Glashütte is a town of watchmakers, it’s historical, but the design sensibility has to come from Berlin.”

“Berlin experienced chaos and then came together again,” adds Höhnel. “It’s evident everywhere and has helped it to becomes a creative hub.”  Höhnel conducted a thorough history of the company and its products from one of airy, white conference rooms at the Berlin studio.

Inside the Berlin Studio.

Berlinerblau itself is a reflection of the clean symmetry of the company’s design aesthetic, from the Eames furniture to the neat placement of nuts and chocolates thoughtfully positioned on the conference tables. It’s a highly ordered and logical environment, a far cry from the tumult in the streets below.

It started with Tangente

Among the mood boards and many company artifacts dotting Berlinerblau is a group of hand drawn numeric fonts on paper that were utilized in the design of the first family of products, the Orion, Ludwig, Tetra and Tangente, released in 1991. The elegant, elongated font is ascribed to “Suzi,” scrawled on the bottom of the art, however that actual name is lost in history. To everyone working at Nomos today, it’s simply called “the font.”

The original Nomos font, signed by ‘Suzi.”

The Tangente proved the star of the original lineup and is still the number one best-selling model, according to Florian M. Langenbucher, a multilingual watch industry professional and true gentleman who conducted our tour through Nomos’ many facilities.

The Nomos Tangente Update in dark platinum with Neomatik date caliber (DUW 6101).

The Tangente, held in mythic regard by the company, is the most emblematic watch of the entire 150-unit product line and has received multiple industry awards over the years, including the Chrono, iF and the highly coveted international Red Dot awards. Photos of the permutations of the model are everywhere, as are exploded diagrams of its guts, citations of its awards, advertising imagery and a library of articles detailing almost every aspect of its existence. Originally offered as a 39mm manual wound unisex watch with a Swiss movement, the line has expanded to twenty-one models, powered by in-house manual and automatic movements.

Höhnel gently caresses various models of the Tangente as he offers them, with gloved hands, for review.

“Notice how the slim Tangent is raised above the wrist on its lugs,” he observes, “this makes even the smaller models seem bigger.”

Three Nomos Tangente Club Sport neomatik 42 date models, with the first Nomos bracelet, handcrafted using 145 parts.

For Nomos, the Tangente is a challenging canvas for their creative output, as variation in the theme is restrained by  Schwertner’s mandate to not violate the original elemental aspects of the dial and case.

The addition of the crown guards, found on the new Sport Neomatik 42 ($4,980), or the external date ring on the Neomatik 41 update Ruthenium ($4,100), which won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Challenge Prize, required months of design deliberations and hand wringing before they were green-lighted for production.

“The development process on movements and cases can take up to two years,” says Höhnel. “Every model is reflective of the sensibilities of our audience. We must know how the end user thinks, what they like in design, in architecture, in cars, how they will interact with and use the watch. Sometimes we bring in outside designers, like Mark Braun who worked on the Metro Date Power Reserve ($3,780) a fantastic model with a unique power reserve indicator, to bring a new feel to the line. We work with all kinds of materials and colors just to get to a 3D- printed version that enables our team to interact with the product. Sometimes you just have to put a project down and let it sit for awhile.”

      Outside parties involved in the process include the case makers, hand makers and strap makers, with a supply chain that stretches all the way to the United States.

And then there was Glashütte

Two hours south of Berlin, near the famous city of Dresden, lies the small town of Glashütte, population 7,000, located in a valley that is home to more than ten watchmakers and manufacturers. It is here that the Nomos production facilities turn the ideas of the Berlin studio into a tangible product.

Nomos headquarters at the former Glashütte train station.

The pioneering work of Ferdinand Adolph Lange (of A. Lange and Söhne) established the area as a source of German watches, an alternative to importing Swiss products, while leveraging the local workforce. His work served to germinate a generation of watchmakers and parts suppliers that would ultimately work with other famous brands from the region including Tutima and Muhle-Glashütte.

Wartime production of aviation watches and timing devices to support the Axis military earned the region a target designation in WWII, and Allied bombers destroyed many of the factories and railways. After the war Germany was divided and Glashütte was now located in Soviet East Germany: the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The Soviets seized the machinery as part of war reparations and began converting production to timekeeping pieces for Soviet consumption. In 1951, pre-war era private enterprises were outlawed and all commercial assets and intellectual property were combined to form the state-controlled Glashütte Uhrenbetrieb (GUB). The fall of the wall passed control of the GUB to the newly forming German Republic, and created opportunities for the legacy companies– and entrepreneurs like Schwertner.

Forming Nomos

For a German watch company, association with the name Glashütte represents an elite status. To receive the designation “Made in Glashütte/Sa,” more than fifty percent of the watches’ value has to be created on location. Protection of this identifying mark is strictly enforced by the manufacturers in the region, who have sought legal channels in the past against transgressors who have falsely identified the origin in their products, in the same manner that champagne producers guard the use of their region’s output to products made specifically in the Champagne region of France.

By locating production in Glashütte and design in Berlin, Schwertner successfully capitalized on two of the country’s hallmark regions.

Schwertner acquired the rights to several now defunct German companies, one of which was Nomos-Uhr-Gesellschaft, Guido Müller & Co. This company was in operation between 1906-1910 and was put out of business by other Glashütte companies for misleading advertising that indicated that it was producing authentic, assembled-in-Glashütte products.

Ironically Schwertner’s Nomos would later sue watch manufacturer Mühle, in 2007, for the same violation, driving Mühle into Chapter 11 insolvency. Mühle Glashütte returned to regular production in 2008, after agreeing to ensure that their production process added at least fifty percent of the value of the watch in Glashütte.

The Glashütte Name

“America represents our most important growth area, followed by the U.K. and Asia. The strength of the Glashütte name, the power of our brand and the quality we deliver for the money will help us become top brands in those areas,” said Ahrendt, from his stunning glass- walled office located in the town’s converted train station with direct views of competitors A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original.

Uwe Ahrendt’s vintage Mercedes

Ahrendt arrived in a vintage pastel blue Mercedes and is himself a reflective embodiment of the brand. He carries the Berliner sense of style on the frame of a Saxon boxer, a hybridization of the intersection of the two regions.

“Our move to in-house movements represents two things: our liberation from suppliers and a demonstration of our innovation,” adds Ahrendt.

“We produce all our own calibers, including the Alpha, our original hand-wound movement, and six others, and our award-winning automatics. They are all sleek, highly crafted movements that represent the highest standards of engineering.”

The Nomos Alpha 01 movement

The Nomos production facilities are spread across several buildings in Glashütte and house technologies and capabilities equal to most tier-one manufacturers. Nomos worked with the Technical University of Dresden and invested 12 million Euros to develop its escapement and swing system, critical core elements of any watch movement, released in 2014. This move freed Nomos from relying on external suppliers, such as the monolithic Swatch Group, for this important element.

Nomos base plates.

The spotless facilities employ hundreds of skilled personnel who are involved with all aspects of the watchmaking processes. CNC machining equipment turns out base plates, which join over over 150 smaller parts made of brass, steel and other materials that are manufactured, ground, polished and finally assembled to pump out the region’s highest volume of products.

In 2015 Nomos released its 3.2 mm height DUW (Deutsche Uhrenwerke) 3001 Neomatik caliber automatic movement, an ultra-slim creation loyal to the brand’s style aesthetic.

The Nomos DUW 3001 movement, showing balance bridge.

This movement became the seed from which the entire automatic line grew, and the basis for the highly impressive DUW 5201, found in the Tangomat GMT ($4,920) and Zurich World Time ($6,100) models. Nomos’ current in-house produced calibers include the manual-wound Alpha, found in the original Tangente, and the DUW 1001, DUW 2002, DUW 4101, DUW 4301, and DUW 4401. Automatic movements include the DUW 3001, DUW 5001, DOW 5101, DUW 5201, DUW 6101 Epsilon and Zeta.  Collectively this impressive list of movements power thirteen families of watches and 150 models.

The Nomos Metro in a 33mm rose gold case.
The sapphire caseback of the Nomos Metro rose gold 33 shows the Nomos hand-wound Alpha caliber.

Price is one of the key differentiators of the Nomos brand, and something that’s repeatedly referred to by company representatives at every level. There is no one involved with the company that isn’t aware of the high level of quality and craftsmanship being delivered.

“Unlike most companies, when we produce a limited edition model we actually offer them at a lower price, like our ‘Century of Bauhaus’ Tangente commemorative model,” says Langenbucher.

“This market ethos also carries throughout the entire brand line. Look at the Metro Rose Gold 33, for $7,200 or the Tangente Neomatik 41 with a rare Ruthenium dial for $4,100. These are incredible products for the money,” he adds.

The Club Campus Neomatik 39 with midnight blue dial.

Speaking of money, when asked why Nomos continues to remain independent in spite of numerous offers from other companies, Ahrendt has a thoughtful response.

“We produce a watch called the Lambda Rose Gold, reference 930. It’s a fine, elegant men’s gold watch and if you look carefully at the balance cock you will see the words inscribed by hand, ‘lovingly produced in Glashütte.’ We put that there because it’s fun to do so. To answer the question, we won’t sell because we, and all the families that work with us, are just having too much fun.”

Four Nomos Duo models, all with white silver-plated dial, a brown dial font and a beige-colored velour leather strap.

And where will the company be in five years?

“Sharing our vision of quality and fun in many more markets internationally,” he adds. And if the meteoric rise of Nomos over the past twenty-nine years is any indication of future growth, this company may one day become a household name like other well-known and loved international brands.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of International Watch.

 

Even though the Monaco Grand Prix, originally scheduled for last weekend, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAG Heuer is still presenting a special-edition timepiece in tribute to the event and to the Monaco collection.

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition features the race’s red-and-white color, but now includes a small silver classic car logo at the 1 o’clock position in honor of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique race.

Additional race-imagery can be found on the caseback where TAG Heuer has printed the race’s logo on the inside of the transparent sapphire glass.

Inside, and visible through that caseback, TAG Heuer fits its in-house Caliber Heuer 02 chronograph movement, featuring a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The movement also offers an unusually long 80-hour power reserve. The new watch is to be made in a limited edition of 1,000, each of which is engraved with its unique number and the words “One of 1000”.

As is often the case with its limited editions, TAG Heuer is placing the new watch in its a themed package, which in this case is a red watch box decorated with a checkered racing flag. The new watch is available for pre-orders via www.tagheuer.com and in select TAG Heuer boutiques before its launch on July 27, 2020.

A scene from an earlier running of the Monaco Grand Prix Historiques, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

TAG Heuer is the Official Sponsor and Timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique as well as the Official Watch of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Official Watch Partner of the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum.

Price: CHF 6,700 (or approximately $6,885)

Specifications: TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition

(Reference CBL2114.FC6486, limited to 1,000 watches)

MOVEMENT: TAG Heuer Automatic Caliber Heuer 02 Manufacture automatic chronograph, 33 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 80-hour power reserve

FUNCTIONS: Chronograph with minutes and hours, permanent second indicator; date, hours, minutes; central chronograph seconds hand.

CASE: 39mm fine-brushed and polished steel, fixed bezel, sapphire crystal with Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo printing on the back, polished stainless-steel crown at 3 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, water-resistant to 100 meters, stainless-steel case back with limited-edition number engraving.

DIAL: Rhodium-plated red sunray brushed dial, rhodium-plated indexes and hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova, red lacquered central hand, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo at 1 o’clock on the dial.

STRAP: Black calfskin leather strap, folding clasp in polished stainless steel

 

 

Grand Seiko and The Watches of Switzerland Group have together developed a new watch within Grand Seiko’s acclaimed GMT series. The new Grand Seiko Toge Special Edition combines influences from both entities in the partnership, notably classic British Racing Green that has been sensibly placed onto Grand Seiko’s beautifully textured Mount Iwate dial.

 

Grand Seiko derives the name of the GMT watch from Tōgè, or a mountain pass. Grand Seiko says the color and texture of the dark green dial, “subtly evoke the image of a drive over the many ridges of Mount Iwate in Northern Japan.”  

Inside Grand Seiko places its excellent Caliber 9S66 (tested to -3 to +5 seconds per day) with its MEMS escapement and a 72-hour power reserve.

Using a 39.5mm case designed Grand Seiko Chief Designer Nobuhiro Kosugi, the new watch displays a crescent moon-shaped profile with curved lugs that Grand Seiko polishes using the Zaratsu technique.

The watch’s green dial nicely complements the prominent gold GMT hand, both of which echo the brown leather strap with green stitching. Note that the textured dial pattern takes a break along the 24-hour track to ensure the track is clearly visible.    

The new Grand Seiko Toge Special Edition (SBGM241) will be offered in July exclusively at Watches of Switzerland boutiques and select Mayors locations in the United States, as well as Watches of Switzerland stores in the United Kingdom. It will also be sold online at www.watchesofswitzerland.com and www.mayors.com. Price: $5,200.

Those who prefer to see the watch on the wrist prior to making any purchase decision can take advantage of a new Augmented Reality (AR) experience that allows consumers to ‘try on’ the Grand Seiko Toge Special Edition at home through an Instagram and Facebook filter. To use the Instagram filter, click here.

Specifications: Grand Seiko / The Watches of Switzerland Group Toge Special Edition: (SBGM241)

Movement: Grand Seiko Caliber 9S66, mechanical GMT with 72-hour power reserve, accurate to +5/-3 seconds per day (when static)

Case: 39.5mm by 13.7mm steel with box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through case back

Dial: Green textured ‘Mount Iwate’

Strap: Crocodile leather with three-fold clasp push button release

 

The green-tinted sapphire crystal display on the upper level of the new Bell & Ross BR03-92 HUD offers the illusion of a digital Head Up Display, or HUD. Bell & Ross echoes HUD, a technical navigation display that was born in the 1950s and is today found in civil and automotive displays, on the new limited edition 42mm matte-black ceramic watch.

This newest release in the Bell & Ross Flight Instrument family follows previous models that include the BR 01 Radar (from 2010) the BR 01 Turn Coordinator, the BR 01 Heading Indicator and last year’s BR03-92 Bi-Compass.  

For those not versed in navigation-speak, the HUD display’s primary function in a cockpit is to keep the pilot focused on the target ahead without having to move his or her eyes off the line of sight. Bell & Ross mimics the HUD display by assembling three layers: the hands, the dial surface and the reverse side of the crystal.

 

On the reverse side of the crystal, Bell & Ross prints four brackets that immediately recall the four corners of the HUD line of sight display. On the middle level, note that the black and green hands (minutes and seconds) are essentially hidden, with their visibility determined by their luminosity. And finally, the independent central hour disc is blackened with the hours indicated by a green triangle marker.

Bell & Ross adds that the overall graphic style and the green coloring of the BR03-92 HUD also closely echo the typical HUD display. The sapphire crystal is green thanks to a special tint applied to the under side of the crystal.

 

Bell & Ross is supplying the new BR03-92 HUD with a black rubber strap and a black synthetic fabric strap. Price: $3,990. Available in June.

 

Specifications: Bell & Ross BR0392-HUD-CE/SRB

A 999-piece limited edition

Movement: Automatic mechanical Caliber BR-CAL. 302

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Case: 42mm matte black ceramic, water resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Black with central hour disc, numerals, indices and hands painted with Super-LumiNova

Crystal: Green sapphire with anti-reflective coating. 
 Four right angles painted with green SuperLumiNova.

Straps: Black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric. With pin buckle of black PVD-coated steel.