Wasn't there once another company called NOMOS?
Yes, there was. From 1906 to 1910, a company called NOMOS specialized in manfacturing pocket watches. The only thing the two companies have in common is the name. When the present company was founded in 1990, it took over the name.
Does NOMOS have a direct sales outlet?
No, we don't sell our watches factory-direct. NOMOS watches are only available at selected retail shops and at our small Glashütte flagship store. This store opened in December 2002 in the very same building where Glashütte watch industry was founded. And there we sell watches of the current collection as well as pieces of past collections or trade fair display model at somewhat lower prices. The price-performance ratio of NOMOS watches is, however, exceptionally good even without any kind of discount, as anyone in watch circles will tell you. Since 2010 you can also find us at our flagship store in Zurich and in the Internet: www.nomos-store.com.
What does the affix SA after NOMOS Glashütte mean?
They stand for Saxony, as there are 32 towns in Germany that go by the name of Glashütte, and they need to be differentiated. Since introducing our new movements at the beginning of April 2005, we no longer have the affix SA in our logo. It has been retained, however, as part of our address.
Is the name Glashütte protected?
Yes, it is. Not every company located in Glashütte may use Glashütte on its watches. After several sets of lawsuits, which were initially also directed against NOMOS, only those companies are entitled to use the town's name who create more than 50 percent of their movements' value in and around Glashütte. This court ruling serves everyone: it secures job in the town of Glashütte and guarantees you, the customer, the highest horological quality, to which we are bound by tradition. Today, NOMOS designs, develops, and manufactures its own movements in Glashütte.
A few years ago, it became known that ETA decided to no longer supply companies with ébauche kits. Has NOMOS been affected by this?
NOMOS is not endangered by this decision, for NOMOS Glashütte no longer uses ETA movements. This decision is aimed at all the black sheep who use ETA movements in forgeries, thus damaging the good name of ETA. However, NOMOS movements are our own and are made in Glashütte. Whether automatic or manually wound, our movements are of the highest precision and feature horological specialties such as the Glashütte three-quarter plate, a Triovis fine adjustment system, stop-seconds, tempered blue screws, sunburst decoration, and Glashütte ribbing. The work performed on every watch is mainly work done by hand. If it serves quality and precision, however, we at NOMOS Glashütte do use high-tech production methods such as CNC and laser technology. Only individual parts such as jewels, which we use as bearings in the movements, are purchased from suppliers according to our designs.
On the Watch
Why are some NOMOS watches labeled with "Made in Germany" and others with only "Germany"?
The inscription "Made in Germany" began appearing on our watches in mid-2003. Later, when we reorganized production and began making our own movements in April 2005, we also shortened the lettering on the face to read simply "Germany." Now, we are changing it once again, from this diminutive label back to "Made in Germany," because we realized it actually does have a nicer ring to it.
How are NOMOS watches adjusted?
The Triovis fine adjustment regulator (something that few manufacturers even offer at all) ensures the greatest possible accuracy. Before leaving NOMOS, all watches are thoroughly put through their places—the NOMOS controllers spend several days testing them in six different positions to ensure each watch is working properly.
Allergies: Does NOMOS use nickel-free stainless steel? And what other materials?
The so-called "nickel regulation" has been in effect since June 2000. It says that objects that touch the skin directly and for extended periods of time may only give off 0.5 micrograms of nickel per square centimeter of skin per week. In general, it doesn't matter how high the percentage of nickel in any given alloy is. Much more important is how much nickel is passed on to the skin.
NOMOS uses 316 L stainless steel for all cases and buckles. This type of stainless steel is not fully free of nickel, but it does not pass nickel on to the skin; the amount of nickel in the alloy is about 12 percent. Thus, the amount of nickel passed to the skin is less than 0.2 micrograms per square centimeter per week and far below the medicinally acceptable amount. Other stainless steel alloys might have a lower percentual amount of nickel in the alloy, but they pass more of it on to the skin.
Nevertheless, it is a fact that allergies don't give a hoot about regulations and limits. We only hear very, very rarely of cases where people were not able to tolerate the materials we use. Unfortunately, however, allergic reactions can never be ruled out all together. We advise people who are very sensitive to choose—in consultation his or her physician—a material which, in all probability, will not provoke an allergic reaction.
It is our goal to use the best possible materials for you. And this is not only true for the steel we use. For example, our straps are tanned in an elaborate manufacturing process using vegetable lye only.
Can I swim, shower, or go to the sauna with my watch?
Until recently, the engraving on our our watches said "water-resistant to 30 meters"; the Sport models "to 100 meters". However, these terms often lead to confusion, for "30 m water resistance" unfortunately doesn't mean that you can dive 30 meters deep with it. According to the DIN norm, watches may be called water-resistant if they are protected against splashing water, sweat, and rain and will survive thirty minutes under one meter of water. Swimming, and above all diving, are not recommended due to the arm movements and the resulting change in pressure conditions. Nowadays, NOMOS watches say that that they are water-resistant "to 3 atm" (except for the Sports- and Club-Watches which are water-resistant to 10 atm) which is less misleading and technically more precise. Watches that are water-resistant to 10 atm can tolerate a swim in the pool, a relaxing afternoon at the sauna, or even a cold shower. However, temperature changes, chemicals, and such have an adverse influence on your watch. They attack the sealing materials, eventually leading to less or no water resistance. For this reason, you should have your watch checked once a year (your local watchmaker will do that very quickly). In order to protect your watch, we recommend taking it off before you go to the sauna or the pool.
How, how often, and when should I wind my watch?
If you wear a NOMOS automatic, you don't have to do much. Your watch winds itself using the motion of your arm. The spring in the automatic movement tensions itself regardless of how the arm is moving. We recommend to the owners of manually wound watches to wind your watches regularly—best is every morning. Then it will have enough energy for the whole day to withstand all of the trials and tribulations you might undergo. You wind the watch by taking the crown between your thumb and forefinger and turning it back and forth lightly. After a few revolutions, the balance will start moving. Continue to turn the crown until you feel a clear resistance. And no worries: only with violent movements could you overwind your watch. Once your watch is fully wound, your NOMOS has a power reserve of 43 hours. Without having to rewind, it will run for two days. Only the watches with date have a little less (42 hours), as the changing the date costs the watch energy.
Does it damage my NOMOS automatic watch if I always wind it by hand? When you wind certain watches by hand, nearly all the wheels in the movement turn, even the rotor. You can even feel this as you are winding. But, the designers of NOMOS automatic watches have installed a clutch mechanism, so that all parts in the movement stand still when it is wound by hand. This also avoids wear and tear on the movement. So, there is no need to worry about winding your NOMOS automatic watch by hand every day. And if you should happen to occasionally forget to wind it, the self-winding mechanism will calmly and quietly take on this job for you.
How can I set the date on my NOMOS?
Our watches do not have a so-called quick-set date. But you can still set the date fairly easily. You just pull out the crown and turn the hand forward until the date has changed once. Then turn the hand back at least three or four hours until you hear a slight cracking sound. By turning it forward again by about three hours, you will have changed it again. Repeat this process until you have reached your desired date. Now you can set the time on your watch keeping the 24-hour rhythm of the day in mind. This means, for example, if it is 3 o'clock pm, you will need to turn the hands forward past the 12. Then the date won't change at noon the following day. Even though this might sound somewhat complicated, it is really quite simple. Just try it. In the little guarantee booklet that you received along with your watch, the setting of the date is also described in detail.
My watch's movement has gold-plated surfaces. Is it a forgery?
No - you can rest assured that it is not. Until now, the surfaces of our bridges were matte gold-plated, and the names of our movements were 1 TS, 1 TSDP and 1 TSDPG. In April 2005 we started using the new NOMOS calibers, which were named after letters of the Greek alphabet (for example NOMOS movement Alpha).
Is my Tangente with an ostrich leather strap that came in a small blue cardboard box a fake?
You can rest assured, it is not. On long-haul Lufthansa flights, the Tangente is offered for sale on board. There was, however, the necessity to change a few details according to Lufthansa's specifications: on board, the watch comes in a blue cardboard box instead of the beautiful wood case because our wood packaging was unsuitable for cargo purposes. The strap made of Shell Cordovan was exchanged for an ostrich skin leather strap as the oils in the horse leather will weep when undergoing great temperature changes—the like you encounter in an airplane's cargo space - and subsequently bear ugly white marks. These can be easily wiped off with a soft cloth, but of course, it put Lufthansa customers off. They naturally wanted a spotless strap. As in our current collection, the Lufthansa Tangente also comes with spring bars instead of screw-mounted bars facilitating a hassle-free change of strap worldwide, as the tools required to change our former strap were available to German watchmakers and dealers but not necessarily to their colleagues abroad.
Can my steel watch also be equipped with a sapphire crystal case back?
In general, all of our watches except the Tetra 27 can be refitted with a sapphire crystal case back. Upon request we'll be happy to send you an offer.
I have a watch winder. What is the best setting for my NOMOS watch?
The best setting is 650 with alternating rotation direction.
What happens when my watch becomes magnetized?
There are a great number of magnetic fields in our everyday environment – including anywhere where electricity is present, such as close to personal electronic devices or induction stoves. Unfortunately, these magnetic fields can have a negative effect on a mechanical watch: they can affect the escapement parts of the caliber, stopping it from working properly. This is usually noticeable by a watch suddenly gaining time. However, losing time or stopping all together can also be a consequence of a watch becoming magnetized.
If you suspect that your watch has become magnetized, we recommend taking it to your authorized retailer for inspection. This should only take a couple of minutes; the watch can be quickly demagnetized with the help of a demagnetizing device, if required. Of course, you can also send your NOMOS directly to us in Glashütte. However, please note: since magnetization is not a defect of the watch, we are unfortunately unable to carry this service out under guarantee.
World Time Questions
Why are NOMOS watches with a second time zone different from other watches with this function?
Unlike most watches that can show two times at once, NOMOS watches need no additional day/night display, because the 24-hour disc makes it easy to see whether it is now day or night at home. In every way, these watches are simpler and more readable than most other watches with this function—because on the world timers from NOMOS Glashütte, the normal, large hands always show the local time, as we are accustomed to. The at-home reference time is displayed in the small additional field beside the word “Heimat” (= homeland).
What use is a world-time watch to me, anyway?
When you are on business abroad and need to call the tax office or your boss at home, to wake up your darling at the other end of the world, to send your children to bed by telephone, to celebrate mutual yearning, or to be close to friends; so, actually, always and for almost everything, unless you live timelessly and tied solely to your own home soil.
What is the difference between the Tangomat GMT and the Zürich Weltzeit?
Primarily the design! But there are also technical differences: the dial of the Zürich shows all time zones at once. The time zones are distinguished by the names of well-known cities in these zones. Thus, without adjusting the watch, you can see how light it is at your sister’s in Mexico or in Moscow where your old pen pal lives. The watch always shows the difference from the other time zones. Just add the appropriate number of hours to or subtract them from your home time. Or even simpler: press the small button above the crown until the desired time zone or city is at the twelve o’clock position. The Tangomat GMT does not show all cities at once; but that makes this watch’s dial clear and readable. Choose the city that belongs to the time zone to see what time it is somewhere else in the world. Then press the button until that city appears in the display window.
Why is the new NOMOS caliber, which operates in GMT and world-time, called Xi?
The world timer is based on NOMOS’ self-winding movement. But it has been so greatly expanded and modified that it has its own caliber code: Xi (pronounced “ksi”), the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet. NOMOS Glashütte names all its in-house calibers for letters of the Greek alphabet.
And what happens with my world-time watch if I simply remain sitting on my sofa at home?
It continues to run normally. And may turn into a wanderlust watch. If you have a great job at home but miss something or someone faraway, then the second time display can give wings to your dreams. Or each glance at the watch lets you count the days and hours till you are there. Or you have the local time twice, so that whatever part of the watch you look at, you know exactly what time it is on your sofa. And if you’ve drawn the curtains, the 24-hour display tells you—without the sun—whether it’s 10 a.m. or 10 p.m.
Can I as a consumer make special requests?
In order to keep our collection as clear and small as possible, we can only comply with certain requests for individual wishes. For example, it is possible to laser an engraving on the case back of your watch. Upon request we'd be glad to send you an estimate. Though we won't change the dial or handle similar requests.
Will I receive a confirmation when I have registered?
Registry postcards rarely get lost in the mail. For this reason you can assume that your postcard will reach us. So far we have not confirmed the receipt of postcards separately, for we daily receive a great deal of mail from our customers and dealers.
Why should I register my watch?
In the event that you lose your watch, it can be very helpful if your watch and its serial number are listed with us. In fact, it happens quite frequently that an honest finder or the police contact NOMOS about a found watch. In such cases, we make sure that your watch finds its way back to you.
How often should my watch go in for service?
As you go to the doctor once in a while or your car must put to service, every mechanical watch also needs regular maintenance. At the latest after three to five years, a complete revision should be carried out by one of NOMOS's authorized dealers or a specialized watchmaker. After this time, it is quite possible that the lubrication may have evaporated. Where metal rubs against metal, wear and tear can be the result. We also recommend having your watch checked once a year for water resistance, and if necessary have it restored.
If my watch ever breaks down, can I send it directly to Glashütte for repairs?
Most certainly! It is best if you send it in the original NOMOS packaging together with the warranty. Also, it would help us immensely, if you could write a few lines describing what happened to the watch or what erratic behavior you have noticed. Our service department will look into it immediately and you will get your NOMOS back safe and sound as soon as possible.
And what should I do if I encounter some unexpected problem, or if something doesn't work as it should?
Ever since the first one we produced (Number 1), all NOMOS watches have been consecutively numbered. This serial number can be registered under the purchaser's name if they so desire. That way, if a watch is lost and then somehow turns up later at NOMOS, we are able return it to the owner. Even after the warranty has expired, we at NOMOS will try to help out our customers as rapidly, obligingly and inexpensively as possible. We are always eager to serve our customers in word and deed.
How long will my Shell Cordovan strap last?
Shell Cordovan comes from Texan workhorses whose skin is very dense and thick so that the strap is extremely robust, water-repellent, and breathable. It turns comfortably soft after being worn for only a short time. Ordinary leather straps usually last for 6 to 9 months. NOMOS straps will have to be replaced less often.
How do I care for my Shell Cordovan strap?
The leather of your strap is so rich that you will never need to lubricate it. Should it look as if it were powdered after being subjected to temperature changes, be aware that it is only grease that can be polished away with a soft cloth. The strap requires no other special care. If you like, you can wash it with a mild detergent and let it air dry. After that rub it with a towel until it shines once more.
My Shell Cordovan now has some ugly white spots. What does this mean?
If your strap was subjected to great changes in temperature it occasionally looks powdered afterwards. That is only grease that seeped from the material and can be easily polished away with a soft cloth.
Why does my Shell Cordovan look a bit brownish?
Shell Cordovan—a special horse leather - comes from the particularly massive hind quarters of Texan workhorses. These horses are not bred primarily for their leather. For several months, our straps are tanned in an elaborate manufactuirng process using pure vegetable lye. The coloration occurs only on the surface. Furthermore, the strap is cut at the edges. That means that the natural color of the leather after tanning remains at the lugs and on the underside. And as the basic material is usually brown, many of the straps have a slight brownish tone to them. This is not a sign of inferior quality, it rather confirms that we are dealing with a natural product.
Can I also get a metal bracelet or a deployant clasp for my watch?
Unfortunately, no, not from us. We only deliver our watches with leather straps and buckles because we believe they look best this way.
Are all straps made from Shell Cordovan?
No. We already mentioned the ostrich leather strap above; we used this leather for our straps in the beginning, and still use it for those watches that are sold on long-distance flights. Since spring 2010, you can also get straps made from suede. They are attached to the smaller NOMOS watches since the more delicate watches look nicer with those straps. And more delicate wrists do too. Those straps are not quite as wear-resistant as the Shell Cordovan ones, but they are quite robust nevertheless.