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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A Quick Guide To Every Nomos (2014)

In a short time Nomos Glashutte has become one of the leading German watch brands and one of the most respected manufactures in the world. In that time they've managed to exponentially increase the number of models they make. This year alone they've added several important editions like the Metro, Weltzeit True Blue and the Ahoi Atlantik and they've begun offering their new swing system movements. But despite the large array of watches and movements you shouldn't be intimidated, because this guide will walk you through every collection Nomos has quickly.

The Introduction

Nomos is a brand primarily known for a few great qualities: their iconic Bauhaus design, their beautiful movements and the fact that those movements are exclusively made in house. In the near future (and in the present for some models), there aren't even any horologically significant outsourced parts at all, which is rare even among in house brands. They're also one of few luxury watch companies that has a very clear sense of identity--you can choose any model at random and instantly see the Nomos heritage.

Depending on how you count them, Nomos has 11 separate lines of watches (12 if you consider the Doctors Without Borders models a separate collection) and the collections are separated primarily by case design. The original and most popular line is the Tangente--this is the collection that put Nomos on the map. Since then, they've introduced many different versions of the Tangente which have become separate lines of their own, like the Tangomat or Ludwig as well as quite unique models like the Lambda.

Here's a quick rundown of each collection:

Tangente: The original, all hand wound, all Arabic numerals
Tangomat: The automatic Tangente
Club: The sporty Nomos
Orion: The dressiest Nomos
Tetra: The rectangular Nomos
Ludwig: The Tangente or Tangomat but with Roman numerals
Ahoi: The beach-friendly Nomos
Zurich: The professional Nomos
Metro: The most playful Nomos
Lambda: The high-end Nomos with a round case
Lux: The high-end Nomos with a tonneau case

Read further and as we elaborate on each line.

The Tangente

The Tangente: the watch, the myth, the legend. The Tangente is the watch you show people when you want to introduce Nomos to them--it really defines the entire company.

The Tangente is more than just a thin and elegant case, it's also known for its bold Arabic numerals.

All Tangentes use Nomos' in house, hand wound movements.

The Tangente is also one of only three models that is offered with a gangreserve (power reserve) complication. See our review of the Tangente Gangreserve here.

The Tangente is available in a fairly broad variety of sizes, from a 33mm, a great size for women, all the way up to 38mm. This is a good time to mention that Nomos watches wear large, so expect the 38mm to look like a 40mm on your wrist.

The Tangomat

The Tangomat collection is the easiest to explain: it's the automatic Tangente. It features the same bold Arabic numerals, blued hands (on most models) and a very similar case (albeit slightly thicker to accommodate the automatic movement). See our review of the Tangomat here.

As I mentioned above, all Tangomats feature Nomos' beautiful automatic movements.

Unlike the Tangente, however, a black dial is offered with the Tangomat Ruthenium.

The Tangomat is also one of only two models in Nomos that is offered with a GMT or world time complication.

The Tangomat runs larger than the Tangente with most models being about 38mm and the largest at 40mm.

The Ludwig

The Ludwig is the model for those who like the Tangente and Tangomat but have a preference for Roman numerals.

The Ludwig comes in a wide variety of sizes for Nomos, from this 33mm for ladies all the way up to the 40mm Automatik.

Another small difference between the Ludwig and the Tangente/Tangomat is the railroad track around the dial for minute ticks.

The Ludwig is available with both hand wound and automatic movements, with or without a date, so along with the size, there are a lot of options for this line.

The Ahoi

The Ahoi is one of the most recent editions to Nomos, the white dialed variant above joining the collection in 2013 with a new super dark blue Atlantik model entering in 2014. The Ahoi is Nomos' only watch with a screw down crown and significant water resistance (200 meters).

The Ahoi is clearly inspired by the Tangente's styling with similar large, spaced out Arabic numerals around the dial and simple stick hands. The movement, however, is all Tangomat--all Ahois are automatic, which only makes sense given that all Ahois have screw down crowns. See our review of the white dial Ahoi here.

There are two basic variants, the new super dark blue dial, which Nomos refers to as "Atlantik Blue" and the original white dial. Both models have luminescent hands and markers and both have an optional date complication. The Atlantik is unusual in that it has gold hands and the black dots surrounding the dial actually glow green at night. See our review of the Ahoi Atlantik here.

The Lambda

Another new member of the Nomos family is the high-end Lambda. Introduced initially with only a white dial in either white gold or rose gold, a white gold model with a blue dial was released for 2014.

The Lambda, along with its sibling collection Lux, are the highest end watches Nomos has ever made. They are available only in precious metal and, being strictly dress watches, do not offer a date complication.

They do, however, all come with a power reserve complication, showing off its impressive 84 hour stamina.

That long power reserve is made possible by Nomos' finest movement, the DUW 1001, a 29 jewel hand wound that's finished by hand.

The Lux

The Nomos Lux is the tonneau-shaped companion to the equally high-end Lambda.

Like the Lambda, all Luxes are made from precious metal.

Also like the Lambda, the Lux uses a version of Nomos' finest movement. Although it lacks the power reserve complication, it retains the impressive 84 hour power reserve, gold chatons and beautiful decoration.

Unlike the Lambda, however, the Lux is available in more colorful designs, from baby blue to bright yellow.

The Club

The Nomos Club was the first Nomos sports watch. Today it is joined by the Ahoi, but the original is still a classic and one of the most popular Nomoses available.

Both manual and automatic movements are offered in the Club line, with or without date.

The Club line also has one of the only Nomoses with lume, the Club Dunkel, German for "dark." Both the numerals and hands have bright blue lume. See our review of the Club Dunkel here.

The Club is also one of Nomos' larger watches, starting at 36mm and going up to 41.5mm.

The Metro

The Metro is one of Nomos' newest watches, released 2014, and also one of the company's boldest. See our review of the Nomos Metro here.

The Metro is the first Nomos to be co-designed with outside help. Berlin-based designer Mark Braun was brought in to help bring fresh ideas to the company. The result is a watch that is undeniably Nomos, yet quite a departure from the rest of their lineup. Whatever they did, it worked, because Nomos won a German Design Award for it.

But just as important as its design is the new movement. The Metro is the first watch to receive Nomos' new swing system, a fully in house escapement and blued hairspring.

All Metros, at least currently, feature a power reserve complication and date complication. They're 37mm, splitting the difference between the smaller and larger Nomos options.

The Tetra

The Tetra
is Nomos' only square watch and easily the most playful design.

The Tetra is available in the widest variety of colors of any Nomos. Shown here is the Tetra Goldelse.

Though unisex, the Tetra is especially popular with women due to its demure size. Some models, like this aptly-named Tetra 27, are as small as 27mm.

All Tetras use Nomos' excellent hand wound movements. This helps keep the watch extra thin.

The Tetra Kleene even has a power reserve complication--in fact, it, along with the Metro (above), is one of the first watches to carry Nomos' in house swing system movements and one of just three models to have an available power reserve.

The Zurich

The Zurich
is Nomos' "executive" collection, made primarily for boardrooms and corner offices. It features even more austere styling than the Tangente which makes it ideal for occasions where you must look your best. See our review of the Zurich here.

Just because the Zurich is simple, lacking any numerals whatsoever, doesn't mean it has to be boring--take this Blaugold for instance. German for blue gold, the Blaugold has a gorgeous bright blue sunburst dial and is one of the most impressive pieces in person.

The Zurich is also only the 2nd collection to offer a worldtime complication, after the Tangomat. This model is called the Weltzeit, the German equivalent of GMT and is one of the most stunning pieces to ever come out of Germany. See our review of the original Weltzeit here.

This particular model, the Weltzeit True Blue, is new for 2014. Not only does it feature a beautiful, but subdued, blue dial, it's also currently the only automatic Nomos to feature the new swing system in house escapement. See our review of the Weltzeit True Blue here.

All Zurichs feature Nomos' automatic in house movement. They're also some of the largest Nomos watches, all being just a hair under 40mm.

The Orion

The Nomos Orion is unquestionably the dressiest watch in the German brand's collection. Like the Zurich above, it eliminates numerals altogether. Unlike the Zurich, however, it's manual wind only, and available in a much wider variety of sizes. See our review of the Orion 38 here.

Take this Orion 33 Rose, for example. It, along with the Tetra, is the most popular model for ladies. Its petite 33mm size and thin manual wound movement make it an ideal choice for women who want a mechanical watch but without the bulk of an automatic.

Orion is one of Nomos' largest collections with a wide variety of colors and options. This may have something to do with the fact that, according to Nomos, most designers at Nomos actually wear the Orion. New for 2014 is this Nomos 1989 which celebrates the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

As I mentioned above, all Nomos Orions are equipped with an in house manual winding movement. Being a dedicated dress watch, manual movements are preferable because they make the watch considerably thinner.

The Orion has a diverse group of sizes as well, ranging from 33mm all the way to 38mm.

Doctors Without Borders

While not a collection per se, Nomos is a proud sponsor of Doctors Without Borders. For every DWB watch sold, Nomos donates $100 to the cause.

The DWB version is available in a variety of Tetras and Tangentes. The signature feature of these models is the red 12:00 marker and black (instead of blued) hands.

The Movements

One of the reasons Nomos is such a celebrated brand is because it is one of the only companies in its price range that makes in house movements. But more important than the prestige of an in house movement itself is how beautiful and well adjusted Nomos movements are. Nomos officially recognizes three different families of movements, hand wounds (Alpha family), automatics (Epsilon family) and a broad classification of next-generation movements called DUW. The DUW family of movements, however, are not all related to each other and is basically a catchall for the next wave, so we will break that down into three more categories.

The Nomos Alpha family is the first generation of Nomos in house movements and are entirely handwound. Members of this family include Alpha (no date), Beta (date), Gamma (power reserve) and Delta (power reserve and date). The primary characteristic of these movements, aside from their beauty, is their thinness. Originally based on the design of the Peseux 7001, Nomos has redesigned it with their special touch and manufactured it to their high standards in house where it receives a strict 6 position adjustment.

The Epsilon family includes the Epsilon (no date), Zeta (date) and Xi (GMT) automatic movements. These are the first movements to not only be made by Nomos, but entirely designed by them as well. They are remarkably beautiful and, like the Alpha family, adjusted in 6 positions. They also have a very unique and elegantly simple bidirectional winding system that you can actually see working from the back.

The DUW family is by far the most diverse--although Nomos recognizes it as a family, I humbly disagree. In fact, the DUW line of movements is composed of three different families that are almost entirely unique from one another. The first members of this family include the DUW 1001 shown here and the DUW 2002. These are Nomos' highest end movements, with an extremely long 80+ hour power reserve and world-class decoration. Currently, these movements are available only in the Lux and Lambda lines. Some watch collectors mistakenly believe that because they are part of the DUW "family," they contain the swing system, but in fact, they do not--at least not yet.

The next sub-category of the DUW movements are basically Alpha family movements with Nomos' new swing system inside. Currently, all hand wound movements with the swing system have a power reserve complication. These include the 4301 and 4401 and are available in the Tetra Kleene and Metro respectively. By the time you read this, you will likely be able to order the Nomos Tangente Gangreserve and Gangreserve Datum with these updated movements as well.

The last member of DUW is also the loneliest: the DUW 5201, the only automatic Nomos with the new swing system. Currently this movement exclusively contains a GMT complication and can only be found in the Zurich Weltzeit True Blue, although I expect it to make it into the original Weltzeit and the Tangomat GMT next year.

343 Posts
Fantastic thread! A big help to a beginner to the brand like me. This seems as good a place as any to ask this question? I'd love to know the lug to lug length measurement of the Tangente (in 35mm) and the Tangomat at its 38.3mm sizes. Without being able to try either size on, I'm not sure if the Tangomat would extend out over my wrist.

Wondering if anyone could measure it OR take a photo of either watch next to say a Rolex Sub/GMT/EXPII or even a Panerai in 40 or 44mm as I'm very familiar with these time pieces.

EDIT: I've found one of the answers to my own question courtesy of wornandwound blog. Posting it here in case someone else is interested to know.

Nomos Tangente 35mm - Diameter: 35 mm (44 mm lug-to-lug)

6,541 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fantastic thread! A big help to a beginner to the brand like me. This seems as good a place as any to ask this question? I'd love to know the lug to lug length measurement of the Tangente (in 35mm) and the Tangomat at its 38.3mm sizes. Without being able to try either size on, I'm not sure if the Tangomat would extend out over my wrist.

Wondering if anyone could measure it OR take a photo of either watch next to say a Rolex Sub/GMT/EXPII or even a Panerai in 40 or 44mm as I'm very familiar with these time pieces.

EDIT: I've found one of the answers to my own question courtesy of wornandwound blog. Posting it here in case someone else is interested to know.

Nomos Tangente 35mm - Diameter: 35 mm (44 mm lug-to-lug)
Sorry I didn't see this in time! Worn and Wound is great, glad it all worked out.

10,228 Posts
Great post! I have really enjoyed learning more about Nomos. I can't wait to add an Orion to the collection. Just waiting for the new swing system to be added...hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer!
It might be awhile...although some of the Zurichs now have the swing system so perhaps the Alpha and Beta aren't too far away.

Upon reflection, maybe it's not so far really wouldn't take any more special work than they do already to the Delta to make it a swing system movement.

10,228 Posts
Excellent write up. I learned a ton. I think Nomos really needs to stick with a few easily identifiable models. There's just too much clutter and cross contamination across the product lines.
Well, I see what you're thinking, but it's more like they took a tiny handful of models and made a very broad variety of them. It's almost like they're another German company, Porsche, with their 400 different models of Porsche 911. Really you've got the Tangente, arguably the Metro and Zurich, and the Lambda/Lux if you want to count the really rare stuff.

Basically, the Tangomat is just the automatic Tangente, the Ludwig is the Roman numeral Tangente, the Ahoi is the water-friendly Tangente, the Club is the sport Tangente. the Orion is the dress Tangente and so on. So it's not that they have too much clutter (in my opinion), it's more than they have a different way of breaking down their lines than most other companies.
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