The mainspring stores the energy from being wound. The component has to meet requirements that can be conflicting; it should be unbreakable, unable to buckle or bend, anti-magnetic, corrosion-proof and fatigue-proof. A small mainspring is advantageous so it doesn’t take up too much space in the watch movement. All the same, it should be able to store a lot of power so that the watch will run for a long time before it needs winding again. This power should be released as regularly as possible because this improves accuracy. Watchmakers have had to rack their brains about mainsprings for centuries. Up to the mid-60s, useful springs only came at the cost of high susceptibility to rust, which regularly caused them to break if the watch was wound with too much force. NOMOS uses custom-made mainsprings, which do not rust and, thanks to a short hook on the end, virtually never break.
A word that combines two Latin terms: manus = hand, factura – to make, produce. In the original sense, manufactory is an operation in a form somewhere between handcraft and factory. Without omitting the handcraft side of things, work in manufactories is based on the principle of division of labor, i.e. with higher productivity than in the kinds of operations where each individual makes the complete product.
In today’s watch industry, “manufactories” refer to manufacturers who construct their movements themselves and produce a significant part of the caliber, for example, the main plate, rather than purchasing them from third parties. NOMOS has continuously raised the amount of parts built by the manufactory itself. The automatic caliber was the first complete caliber from the manufactory alone. About 95 % of the value is added in Glashütte.
Misconceptions concerning watches and Glashütte
There are many misconceptions around watches. Here are the classic ones:
1. The idea that time originates from watches.
2. The idea that no matter what the circumstances, the watch will always display the same time. This is nonsense because atomic clocks in the satellites of GPS systems, for example, go more slowly than clocks on Earth. That’s why navigation systems in cars always have to make a large number of calculations before they agree on a time from satellites.
3. The idea that a chronometer is a chronograph or vice versa. This isn’t true: “Chronometer” correctly refers to especially accurate watches or clocks that have proven their accuracy through a standardized test. Chronographs, on the other hand, are timepieces that have at least one additional hand that can function as a stopwatch independently of the rest of the clockwork mechanism. It is correct that both timepieces tend to be very expensive. However, NOMOS Glashütte also wants to make models of these watch types in the future, that will be reasonably affordable.
4. The use of the term “chronometer” as a synonym for a watch. Incorrect: a chronometer is always a watch – see 3 – but a watch is seldom also a chronometer.
5. The assumption that you may not wind watches, i.e. their hands, backwards. This misconception probably dates back to when old regulators were used. These could be damaged by winding backwards.
6. Glashütter Uhrenöl (Glashütte watch oil) is the name of a product from a distillery. It is not suitable for oiling watches.
Medium, the importance of which is assessed in completely contradictory ways by scholars, banks, authors, working people, and reformers of the monetary system. In general, money does not seem to make people happy, but it can help to make unfortunate situations easier to bear in a relatively pleasant way. NOMOS watches also cost money. A lot at first sight: as much as a short vacation, a really good winter coat. Comparatively little, however, if one considers how much work goes into these watches.