The Nomos Metro Neomatik watch, which is my favorite model from the recently launched Nomos Neomatik range, is a timepiece that has a good chance of surviving fashion's cyclical changes. It's always been difficult to find enduring elegance. When we look back in time for ideas, it seems that the early twentieth century was awash in predominantly trendy men, women, and artifacts. But that's because we're looking at history through rose-colored lenses. We only see what has stood the test of time, and it's encouraging to see contemporary designers adopting traditional shapes and patterns rather than eschewing them in favor of outlandish radicalism.
This watch is so German, I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t come with a complimentary bratwurst (a pity). The cleanness of the dial is exquisite. Nomos is a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, which is a precursor to Bauhaus. Although the two are often confused internationally, their similarities make such an error forgivable. This kind of style never went out of fashion, but it did exist in the shadows for quite some time. Nomos has always been a minimalistic brand, but this new wave of watches draws heavily and honestly on quintessentially Germanic design principles – and is all the better for it.
The new Nomos in-house automatic calibre is featured on the Nomos Metro Neomatik. The automated movement is just slightly thicker than its hand-wound predecessor, which is impressive. The in-house Nomos DUW 3001 is a great boon for this small independent brand, measuring 3.2mm thick. The calibre's technical requirements aren't going to blow anyone away, but it can handle a number of dial-side problems and is well-made.
The DUW 3001 took Nomos three years to build. The DUW 3001 required large shoulders to bear the weight of expectation imposed on it from conception to completion, despite its small size. Nomos needed a new calibre that met chronometer standards, maintained their slim-line aesthetic, and was cost-effective enough to prevent their retail prices from skyrocketing. That's a lot to expect from a single small movement. The DUW 3001, on the other hand, is up to the task on all three fronts.
The Nomos DUW 3001 used in the Nomos Metro Neomatik has a premium look to it, despite its slenderness. Nomos is producing their tenth in-house movement, and their experience shows. It appears to be stronger than its thinness implies, but that is most likely due to the solidity of the structure and the effective use of space. There is just 1mm of clearance between the mainplate and the three-quarter bridge for the entire gear train. The DUW 3001 is one of the world's thinnest output chronometer calibres, thanks to the use of new materials and cramming as much "know-how" into it as possible.
And this is more than just a step up from the Eplison, their previous in-house automatic movement. As compared to the old model, which featured the hand-wound Alpha calibre, Nomos chose to use their extensive expertise in the design and manufacture of slim watches to create a self-winding calibre that adds just 0.3mm to the thickness of the Tangente case. Using that particular model as an example, we can clearly see the progress of Nomos's effort – the transition from manual to automatic takes just 0.3mm.
But how did they manage to do it? The easy explanation is that they made it flatter, but in practice, this meant that their production tolerances had to be cut in half. The thickness and integrity of any part of the movement had to be assessed. To reduce the tension on the ever-thinner materials, the profiles and angles were changed. As difficult as the process was, the end result is not only slimmer than before, but also substantially more effective (in some areas of analysis, as much as 94 percent more efficient).
The 35mm case fits neatly under the cuff of a shirt and is appropriate for both men and women. On the other hand, I can think of a few men who would hesitate to wear a 36mm watch, much less a 35mm watch. Aside from those of us, this is a super-smart watch with a laid-back confidence that makes it appropriate for casual outfits as well. It's hip, it's new, and it's available in two color schemes: classic black with red and blue coloring on the white, silver-plated dials, or modern champagne/neon orange. Those two colors may not instantly appeal to you, but they do create an intriguing contrast that has grown on me.
When I mention Nomos in conversation, I get an almost universal thumbs up – they're cool, reliable, classy, and trustworthy, and they're a lot less expensive than one would expect for a product with its own escapement, the Nomos Swing System. The Nomos Metro Neomatik, as well as the entire Neomatik range (five versions in two colors), are available all over the world.