Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Filming the Nomos Zurich Weltzeit

| By Evan Yeung | 6 min read |

Just over two month ago, we gave you a very comprehensive review of the NOMOS Zürich. It was an innovative piece from the Glashütte stalwart that supposedly threads the line between a GMT watch from a full blown World Timer. Although the verdict was that it was more of a GMT piece rather than a true world timer, it doesn’t mean that we weren’t impressed…

As a matter fact, we were blown away by the level of detail and the minimalist nature the manufacturers have made it. Even though it is riddled with intriguing features, the ingenious concept of keeping a GMT complication simple, just to maintain the Nomos signature aesthetics, really puts the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. In case you missed the full review, click here. Trust us, if you’re a Nomos fan you shouldn’t miss it for the world!

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit - Neopan400

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Now that we got that out of the way, one might ask why do we need to write yet another article on the Zürich? Well… First, we didn’t exactly tell you the true origin of the Zürich name, and why a German watch would name its most precious piece after a Swiss city. Second, we marvel at its complication and simplistic design but spent too much words on describing how the GMT exactly works in the real world. Third, our Nomos went to and fro, traversing entire continents, so we didn’t want to waste such an opportunity to share stories from its travels. And lastly, our editor-in-chief, Frank did mention in his letter that we would start featuring our own videos as one of the new developments for Monochrome’s presence in the coming years. Honestly, who wouldn’t want a good video just to see the things that makes our hearts tick these days..?

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit - Neopan400

With such compelling reasons to revisit the fascinating Nomos, we were inclined to think that, rather than another review, an article focusing on the filming of the Zürich would be in order. But first, the name…

The Zürich Origin:

We’ve pondered and we’ve speculated on the idea of the Zürich origin, albeit a lot of which was partly true, the real history still isn’t expounded on the review. That’s simply because the piece under scrutiny wasn’t exactly the Zürich, but rather it was the Zürich Weltzeit. To which, the original Zürich was the platform for design. Although, we don’t have the original Zürich now, we are still happy to finally tell you the history that comes with it.

The Nomos Zürich released back at Baselworld 2008 was a product of a case design collaboration between Nomos watchmakers and renowned Swiss designer/architect, the late Hannes Wettstein. Although, the name doesn’t exactly rings a bell in the horological market, it does so in high-tech innovations and high-end furniture designs. He was a man who valued functionality over flair, where simple straightforward appearance, were still a product of rigorous process.

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit - Superia200

It is true that a product of good design that complements its overall function will always be a product that can essentially sell itself, and such sentiments are rather evident in the Zürich timepiece. Returning to the topic of the timepiece at hand, back then, even upon its release in 2008, the Zürich was practically non-existent. As it was rather called then the Nomos ‘Erlking’, a name that is inspired from old German folklore of a malevolent creature who carries travelers to their death. However, a few months after the release of the ‘Erlking‘, Hannes Wettstein’s life was cut short at the age of 50 due to a lengthy battle with cancer. The passing away of Hannes Wettstein however gives his case design of the watch a brand new meaning, and with the grandest gesture of all from Nomos, they have renamed the ‘Erlking‘ to Zürich in honor of Hannes and his commemoration at the Fraumünster church in Zürich. This essentially makes every Zürich piece an embodiment of the man that once was, and along with his studio, now managed by Simon Husslein and Stephan Hürlemann, will continue to live on even after his death.

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit - Neopan400

The story of the Zürich timepiece is indeed carrying a great emotional appeal, but then again even without it, the design of the watch is something worth considering. Emotional branding in this case, is merely secondary, but even so, it gives the potential owner of the Zürich even more self-actualization to why the Zürich is not the average person’s watch. As I said in my review, it’s an acquired taste, and I tend to believe that the best things in life are things that takes time to appreciate, and that is the whole embodiment of – “an acquired taste!”.

Filming the piece:

We mentioned earlier that we have a video that we’d like to show our readers on how the mechanisms of the Zürich Weltzeit work. As we were able to get up close and personal, we want to share that experience with our readers, and also show how it’s so easy to set the GMT complication right out of the box. As such, we film the piece in action, albeit not exactly a behind the scenes video of the review, but still equally great (if not better!).

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit - Neopan400

The he world filming in this case is related to the process of making a movie. But we at Monochrome would not just stop at that, as we have the tendency to overdo it sometimes (but in a good way). This then comes to the second reason for the subject of film. Seeing a box of films still unused on our desk, yes films, the ones you used to load into the camera, of before the digital revolution. We went ahead and did a little experiment of shooting the photos for an article completely with the use of 35mm film… And the results were… nothing short of nostalgic!

Although, readers who are accustomed to what comes from digital sensors may find some abnormalities, but those tiny imperfections are what separates it from the digital output. Just as we watch nerds like to keep on pointing out how our mechanical watches are still so much better than its quartz or, God forbid, digital counterparts. In the end, you could say I’m still in denial of what the digital can bring, and yes I agree that digital has come a long way, but every once in a while, I like to unwind… take a step back and take things slow. Similar to how certain individuals couldn’t forego the thought of manually winding his hand-wound piece. It’s not exactly convenient, but still in a world where everything is moving faster, taking a breather every once in a while is good for the soul. Hmmm, also time to put the needle on the record and sit back.

Enjoy the video and the rest of the gallery! Do tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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