In partnership with NOMOS Glashütte, we’re exploring the world, watches and stories of the German brand, starting with a look at what makes NOMOS tick.
The town of Glashütte, located in eastern Germany only a short drive from the Czech border, may seem an unlikely birthplace for one of the most well-respected and aesthetically-pleasing watch brands in the world. Having called Glashütte home since its founding in 1990, today NOMOS stands tall as the largest German watchmaker, with growing numbers of fans from across the world. Watches born in Glashütte have made their way from Grand Rapids to Glasgow, and all points between.
While NOMOS watches are made in Glashütte, a town with its own proud watchmaking heritage, the brand’s spiritual home lies with the Bauhaus art school and the Deutscher Werkbund. The century-old Bauhaus movement describes a very specific time and style – a movement marked by principles such as limiting the distinction between art and craft, and advocating for minimal simplicity and effectiveness across design, craftsmanship and construction. With their impressive array of in-house movements – NOMOS produces all 11 of its calibers in Glashütte – and compelling, attainable value proposition, NOMOS’ watches are certainly in keeping with the Bauhaus ethos, updating it for the modern era.
It’s even clearer in the lines of an Ahoi and the deceptive simplicity of the neomatik movement, where the stylistic influences goes back even further, to the Deutscher Werkbund. Founded in 1907 and pre-dating (and later inspiring) Bauhaus, the Deutscher Werkbund is an association of artists, architects, designers and industrialists that has had a long and lasting impact on German identity — so it should come as no surprise that NOMOS is a member of the organization, which is still in existence today.
As a result, watches like the Tangente and the Minimatik – with their clarity of purpose and minimalist feel, but undeniable sense of joy and fun – are very much at home in Germany, yet it’s these very traits that give NOMOS its universal appeal. The brand has long made limited editions inspired by their global community: from a Singapore specific series (where for once the ‘red dot’ doesn’t refer to the prestigious design prize NOMOS has a habit of winning, but instead Singapore’s geographically inspired nickname), through to a seasonal series for Japan, and even a limited edition for an Indian retailer with Devanagari script on the dial.
Even beyond these specialized limited editions though, the brand’s core range of watches offers such diversity, in size, style, shape and function that there’s always a NOMOS to fit the bill. Feeling formal, and looking for something to pair with a suit? How about the ever-popular Tangente? A square peg in a round hole? Tetra for you. Or perhaps you feel the need for speed – even when you’re standing still. In that case, give the bold color and deep dial of the Autobahn a whirl.
In this way, the NOMOS Glashütte community has grown around the globe, though there’s something more at work here than just the everyday purpose and appeal of the watches. After all, there are many brands out there that tell the time in style. NOMOS goes several steps beyond. A NOMOS is like a secret handshake, a half-hidden marker on the wrist. One that speaks to the wearer’s taste, and certainly an appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. But NOMOS also speaks to personality as well, an indication that the wearer thinks differently.
But rather than just have us (or NOMOS Glashütte) tell you what the brand stands for, we want to hear what the NOMOS name means to you. That’s why we’ve partnered with the brand for something we’re calling #myNOMOS – because every watch, from your daily wearer to a beloved heirloom passed down through generations, tells a story.
So, do you have a special connection to the NOMOS brand, or one of their watches? Does your Tangente have a tale to tell? We’d love to hear it. Share your own NOMOS story in the comments below, on the Watchuseek forums, or on social media (using #myNOMOS – and don’t forget to tag @watchuseek). Then stay tuned for more NOMOS stories in the coming weeks.
All photos copyright: NOMOS Glashütte