THE NOMOS ENTERPRISE
Fine time from a fine place
They might be bigger, more eye-catching, richer. But other places cannot do what Glashütte can: fine watches renowned around the world come from here; such concentrated watchmaking knowledge can be found almost nowhere else.
Glashütte? Around 200 kilometers south of Berlin and 30 kilometers from Dresden, almost in the Czech Republic, the place is not much more than a T-junction on a through road. Just under 7000 inhabitants, when all the little villages nearby are counted, which have joined together to make “Glashütte Town”. But this small town is a center of fine watchmaking. For more than 160 years watchmaking has been persued to a fine art in Glashütte: into the 20th century until the war began, and again since reunification. That means that the craftsmanship is comparable to that in Switzerland: children as young as six take alarm clocks apart and put them back together, every fourth adult works “in the industry” and everything else ticks along like clockwork.
This is also where NOMOS Glashütte has its research and development department, the construction and complications department, as well as workshops for turning and milling, surface finishing, engraving, pre- and final assembly and timing checks. There are also separate departments for precision watchmaking, as well as for quality assurance and control. And this is where the hearts of these watches—namely the calibers, the motors—are put together piece-by-piece: bottom plates, bridges, cogs, and bars. Up to 95 percent of our movements are Made in Glashütte, Germany, by NOMOS ourselves.
There’s not a lot going on, apart from the watches. But boredom, peace and seclusion can lead to a greater good: an abundance of time. Berlin, where the designs for NOMOS Glashütte are drawn up, texts written, ideas for this and that thought up, would drive the watchmakers to distraction. The pace of life in Glashütte is perfect for fine watchmaking. And that’s up to a Swiss standard as well.