Earlier this year Nomos celebrated its 175th anniversary by offering a trio of anniversary themed Nomos Ludwig models. This week, the Glashütte-based watchmaker launches another anniversary trio, this time featuring Lambda models. And for this special series, Nomos is creating the first set of steel cases within the historically gold-cased Lambda collection.
The novel case material is not the only special feature here that sets this anniversary edition apart from existing Lambda models. Nomos has also endowed the trio with particularly glossy enamel dials (in black, white and blue) and is debuting a new 40.5mm case, which measures just between the existing 39mm and 42mm gold Lambda collections. Nomos will make 175 examples of the Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte watches in each dial color.
Polish and elegance
Each enamel dial, framed by dressy thin bezel, is highly polished to match the Lambda’s polished steel case. As with existing Lambda models, the hands here are quite thin, with the power reserve hand in special focus at the top of the dial.That hand, which sweeps across the dial to denote the unusually long 84-hours power reserve of the DUW 1001 manual-wind movement, make Lambda perhaps the most elegant of all Nomos collections.
That long power reserve stems from the dual barrels of the DUW 1001, a movement Nomos nicely decorates with six hand-polished screwed chatons, polished edges and serious black polishing on individual steel parts.
Most notably, Nomos finishes the traditional Glashutte three-quarter-movement plate with the same fine sunburst polish the brand debuted within this collection years ago. Similarly, Nomos continues to hand-engrave the movement’s balance cock with “Lovingly produced in Glashütte” in German.
At the beginning of the 20th century, German-based Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world. When it needed new, larger facilities in which to manufacture those clocks, the company teamed with architect Philipp Jakob Manz, who designed Terrassenbau, a dramatically terraced set of workplace buildings for the clockmaker. The building, in Schramberg, is one of the most spectacular industrial buildings worldwide to be built on a sloping site.
The building, which today houses the Junghans museum, instantly became the centerpiece of the sprawling Junghans factory. During the 1950s and 1960s, the heyday of firm’s mechanical movements manufacturing era, Junghans created and manufactured numerous calibers in the building just in front of the site, with caliber and watch assembly conducted in the terrace building itself.
The long expanse of windowed floors allowed watchmakers to work with perfect daylight on assembly and regulation, uninterrupted by workers conducting other watchmaking processes.
Just two years ago, Junghans celebrated 100 years of the architectural history of the facility with a limited edition, 40.7mm gold-cased Meister Chronoscope Terrassenbau. This year, Junghans debuts two steel-cased, non-chronograph Terrassenbau models, each a 1,500-piece limited edition.
One, the Meister Classic Terrassenbau (Master Classic) is a three-hand automatic watch with date in a 38.4mm steel case. The second is a 37.7mm steel-cased, manual-wind time-only watch, the Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau (the Master Handwind) with small seconds. Both watches feature ETA-based calibers upgraded by Junghans.
In addition to their Terassenbau-colored dials, these new models incorporate elements of the Schramberg facility into their design. For example, the minute track of the matte-silver dial reflects the meandering design of the wall decorations in the terrace building, while the green alligator leather strap echoes the dark green of the wall tiles in the stairways.
Even the caseback of each watch reveals a detailed image of the source of inspiration itself, applied using Junghans’ own printing plant. Also from the back, small windows provide a view into each watch’s movement.
The new watches are limited to 1,500 units each. Prices: The Jungians automatic Meister Classic Terrassenbau is $1,895 and the Junghans Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau, the manual-wind model, is $1,695.
The new Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi is a beautiful reminder that this Swiss watchmaker with English roots can create stunning artistic dials on demand. This bespoke watchmaking service supplements Arnold & Son’s ongoing offerings, which include iW favorites like the Perpetual Moon, the Globetrotter and Nebula collections, all of which offer technically edgy watchmaking with distinctive designs.
Arnold & Son says customers can work with its watchmakers and artisans to make a bespoke watchcase, within which the customer can then request any movement or dial using engraving, gem setting, miniature painting or sculpted elements.
This latest one-off, the Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi, highlights Arnold & Son’s already interesting Ultrathin Tourbillon. The watch is particularly suited for personalized activity in part because of its off-center dial at 12 o’clock, which provides an empty canvas of sorts for Arnold & Son’s artisans.
In this example, Arnold & Son artists started with a mother-of-pearl dial and created a hand-painted carp, adding sculpted lotuses around the thin flying tourbillon. Two carp can be seen swimming between lotus blossoms. One type, the Tancho carp (with its red mark on its head) swims on the right while the other swims along the left side.
Arnold & son explains that the three lotus blossoms feature petals cut from silver that has been shaped, engraved, polished and painted in white lacquer. The artist makes the each flower’s pistil in the same manner.
Then the artisan paints the carp and lotus leaves by hand, using thin brushes, depicting scales and striped fins.
Technically, the Arnold & Son Caliber A&S8200 is exceedingly thin (a mere 2.97 mm), creating a workspace not too much thicker than a traditional canvas. The caliber’s flying tourbillon (with only a lower carriage bridge) allows unfettered views of the mechanism. Additionally, the balance bridge is domed and extends slightly from the dial, which makes the tourbillon’s rotation even more interesting to watch.
Finally, note the skeletonized tourbillon main plate. With this nearly transparent component, Arnold & Son retains the piece’s overall fine attributes, or its lightness.
But don’t let that thin, airy appearance fool you to think that the caliber itself is also a lightweight. If the flying tourbillon doesn’t convince you of the high technical level at which Arnold & Son operates here, consider that this ultra-thin manual-wind movement boasts an extremely impressive ninety-hour power reserve.
None of this high-end artistic and technical work comes at a bargain however, but given the bespoke nature of the final product, its $96,700 price tag is comparable to other high-end Swiss works – and many of those are far from unique.
Specifications: Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi (Unique piece Ref. 1UTAR.M99A.)
Movement: Caliber A&S8200, one-minute flying tourbillon, manual winding, 2.97mm thick, 90-hour power reserve, frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vph). Finishes are as follows:
Mainplate: Côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the center and hand-engraved tourbillon bridge,
Bridges: polished and chamfered by hand,
Wheels: circular satin-finished,
Screws: blued and chamfered, mirror-polished heads,
Tourbillon carriage: satin-finished, polished and chamfered.
Dial: Miniature painting on black mother-of-pearl,silver lotus flowers, engraved and painted by hand.
Case: 42mm x 12.23 5N gold, domed sapphire crystal, water resistant to 100 feet.
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather with gold pin buckle.