Enough is enough
Let’s speak about what one is not supposed to mention: money. Because you can spend extremely different sums for watches—even though all watches really do the same thing: show the time. NOMOS world-time watches show many times. But, if you will, they can’t do much more than that. So what determines the prices for the Zürich and Tangomat, the Tangente, Tetra, Orion, Ludwig, and Club?
Per aspera ad astra
First: NOMOS develops and builds all its movements itself. That may sound simple, but it is expensive, laborious, and difficult. Only a few manufacturers in the whole world are able to do this. Watchmakers, toolmakers, and engineers work to produce plates, screws, and other components of the movement, as well as putting the finished movements together. A team of five people develops and plans the movements; expensive high-tech ensures precision. Per aspera ad astra; it’s a rough path to the heavens!
Second: The movement working in a NOMOS fulfills the demanding Glashütte criteria, not only in terms of function, but also in regard to aesthetics. For example, Glashütte three-quarters plates, which present themselves beautifully through the glass back. Or the rotor, whose rotor weight drives the automatic caliber of the new world-time watches, as well.
Third: All surfaces of the movement are specially ground, the mark of a traditionally produced watch. The Glashütte stripe grinding runs diagonally across the reverse side of the movement, while the other surfaces have a circular grain finish.
Like a vacuum cleaner, reconceived
These grindings—microscopic indentations in the surface—originally had the function of a vacuum cleaner: to bind impurities, like wear debris from the movement, and keep them out of the gear train.
Since watchcases are very well sealed nowadays and optimized cog forms produce hardly any wear debris anymore, today these decorations exist solely for their beauty. But at NOMOS, we think that is important enough. NOMOS Glashütte movements are a joy for the eyes also because the rhodium-plated brass plates have spots of color: blood-red rubies and royal-blue screws. Rubies are extremely hard and are thus highly suitable as jewel bearings and palette stones. In addition, they can store tiny drops of oil that supply the movement with lubrication for years. The steel screws are hardened in a kiln—and their surface turns blue at exactly 300° Celsius. The trick is to fire these screws at exactly this temperature for a specific amount of time to produce a consistent cornflower blue color.
A new class of world-time
The new world-time watches are the most expensive timepieces produced by NOMOS Glashütte to date. With them, the manufactory takes a step into a new price category: for most people, two and a half thousand euros is not small change. But the efforts required to construct such a caliber are immense. “About twice as much as to construct the date display,” says 43-year-old business manager Uwe Ahrendt. Two time zones—for this, a city dial and a 24-hour dial are needed. 46 more parts, 23 of them newly invented, and changes to additional parts of the self-winding caliber—a lot more mechanics. Add to that the complex case: two extra buttons to adjust time and place aren’t tossed off during lunch break, nor is the elaborate dial. Every watch requires patience and time: plenty of handcrafting and high-tech, highly qualified staff and the best materials. That’s why there can be no two-buck NOMOS watch. Nor for 500 euros anymore, it wouldn’t be reliable. But NOMOS watches are affordable—comparable to a short vacation, a well-made coat, a computer, a good bicycle. And even if there are a few additional complexities that make it somewhat more expensive: a NOMOS watch is something worth saving for, something you can one day bequeath to someone, something you can sell if you have to, because they hold their value. And something that brings joy: with every glance at the time, surely 78 times a day. And those who sit beside you in the train, your competitors at the office, the chance acquaintance in a café—they can all share your joy.