The adjective ‘urban’ paired with watches is cropping up more and more frequently in press releases and advertising campaigns. Although it is a fairly loose category that defies hardcore profiling, many of these ‘urban’ watches try to transmit a ‘trendy, designer vibe’ associated with life in the big city. The Nomos Metro watch collection, designed by Mark Braun in 2014, is coming up for its tenth anniversary next year and returns in a diminutive 33mm format in three colours intended to evoke images of New York City. Equipped with Nomos’ slim manual-winding Alpha movement, the chic design details of the time-only Metro 33 reveal the able hand of the designer.
Nomos might make its watch movements in Glashütte, the cradle of German watchmaking, but it is equally proud of its Berlinerblau design studio located in Berlin. As the brand’s more cosmopolitan and contemporary collection, the design language envisioned by external designer Mark Braun for the Metro collection is understated but animated with ingenious graphic displays, like the original date display featured on the Metro Neomatik. The Metro 33 is not a new watch; there is, for example, an elegant Metro 33 in rose gold with a white dial in the current collection. The novelty here resides in the colours chosen for the dials.
But first, the case. Decidedly petite, the 33mm diameter and 7.5mm thickness of the case are conceived for slender wrists. Although the brand has labelled them as ‘women’s’ watches, they will doubtlessly appeal to a much wider audience with petite wrists. Two defining features of the Metro case are the wire lugs (like old trench watches) with quick-change spring bars and the (relatively) large Metro crown with diamond knurling for better grip, inspired by the pattern found on watchmaking tools. Thanks to the slim bezel, the dial can breathe and reveal its cool designer features.
Protected by a double-curved sapphire crystal, the dial of the new Metro 33 comes in three new colours. In keeping with the Metro’s urban soul, Mark Braun’s colour palette is said to have been inspired by New York landmarks: the muted red colour is an ode to the classic brownstone buildings of the city; the sage dial is inspired by the city’s parks or the bronze Statue of Liberty; and the silver is designed to evoke the gleaming façades of New York’s skyscrapers.
With central hour and minute hands that have a profile like the Empire State Building, the Metro 33 dispenses with conventional hour markers and relies on 12 dots; larger dots represent 12, 3 and 9 o’clock with smaller dots in between. In contrast, the red dial has grey hour dots, the sage dial has mint green dots, and the silver dial has light grey dots. Another fun detail is the minutes track alternating Arabic numerals at 5-minute intervals with smaller dots that match the colour of the hand in the recessed and snailed small seconds counter at 6 o’clock (pink for muted red dial and yellow for sage dial).
The Metro 33 is equipped with the in-house Alpha manual-winding calibre, the brand’s first movement that is used across the board at Nomos. With a thin height of just 2.6mm, a frequency of 21,600vph and a power reserve of 43 hours, the movement has a three-quarter plate decorated with Glashütte ribbing and blued screws. Like other Nomos watches, the Metro 33 can be ordered with a solid steel caseback or a sapphire caseback without altering the slim case height of 7.5mm or the 50m water-resistance rating.
All three watches are delivered with a velvet grey vegan velour strap with quick-change spring bars and a steel pin buckle. The Nomos Metro 33 models retail for EUR 2,040, regardless of which colour dial you fell in love with.
For more information, please consult nomos-glashuette.com.