When you look at the core collection of NOMOS, you’ll see that silvery-white dials and round, polished steel cases are the definitive look of most of the brand’s watches. And based on this look, the brand has managed to create an extremely consistent and distinguishable collection within a mere 20-year period. But NOMOS is also known for adding a touch of eccentricity from time to time, with small coloured accents and a bit of fun and freshness in its modern expression of the Bauhaus style. One of the dials that stands out from the crowd is the attractive Silvercut. And today, we’ll take a closer look at two very (very) different watches. One might be the most classic, the other the boldest…
These watches, surprisingly, have a lot in common and, at the same, feel entirely different. They share the same movement and the same dial finish, but everything else couldn’t be more opposite. Look at these two watches next to one another, and I’m sure that you’ll make your choice in less than 1 second. But what they share in common is pretty important.
The Silvercut dial
Besides the younger and more colourful dials found in the Club or Tetra collection, most classic models from the NOMOS range – think Tangente, Metro, Ludwig, Orion, Ahoi or Zurich – have classic, galvanised or silver-plated dials with black or dark blue printings, and maybe just a touch of colour on the small seconds or the name of the watch. Pretty straightforward and effective, but not what you’d call provocative. Yet, it’s also why we love NOMOS and why it has made a name for itself. In this industry, consistency has proven to be an essential factor of success.
Yet, innovation and creativity are also important to stay fresh and to generate a healthy dose of envy, and NOMOS knows how to manage these in a very efficient way. It can be with the use of bright, vivid colour; it can be by creating warm and slightly more luxurious cases; or it can be, like here, by creating something that reflects the place where NOMOS watches are designed – Berlin – with an industrial, minimalist, slightly arty vibe and an extreme rigour that is broken by small, funky details.
The idea with the Silvercut dial was to create a texture, a graphic pattern that was rigorous yet also playful; that changes in depth and colour depending on the surroundings, the way you wear the watch and the ambient light. The way to achieve the dial could have been simple… a steel plate with a brushed finish. But no, NOMOS has decided to make things more complicated, resulting in this Silvercut dial being quite attractive in the metal. The process – which isn’t entirely disclosed – involves a coating made from a combination of gold and rhodium, creating depth in the colour and metallic reflections, followed by a wet-blasting process to reveal the texture of the dial. And indeed, when looking at the Silvercut dial closely, you’ll see that it isn’t simply brushed. Also, depending on the ambient light, it produces lively reflections, from light silver to darker grey, but also warmer or colder colours. The snailed and recessed small seconds also brings depth to these dials.
But, as you’ve seen, the dial isn’t everything. And depending on whether you choose the Orion case or the Tetra case, the result is radically different.
The NOMOS Orion Neomatik Silvercut
Let’s start with the most classic Orion model. This watch is, with the Tangente, the most traditional expression of NOMOS’ design, with clean lines, simple shapes and an almost absence of bezel that leaves the focus mainly on the dial. Refined, restrained, it’s the classic elegance “à la NOMOS.”
With this Orion Neomatik Silvercut, the brand offers a watch that is slender, elongated with a rather compact diameter of 38.5mm for its polished stainless steel case. The habillage of the watch is reduced to the essential, with almost no bezel, straight and clean lines, a straightforward crown and a slightly domed sapphire crystal. In the same vein, the hands and indexes are discreet batons, but they are finely executed, and despite being silver-coloured, they have more than enough contrast – due to the polished surface – to offer great legibility.
On the wrist, this slender and restrained attire makes for a refined watch, something that the 8.7mm height only reinforces. But, as always with the Orion, keep in mind that the lugs are long and that it will wear more like a 41mm model. As such, this makes the whole concept of the Silvercut dial very visible and present, and the texture combined with small touches of red (small seconds hand and movement name) adds the required touch of discreet eccentricity.
Powering this watch is the Neomatik movement, also known as the in-house DUW 3001. This ultra-thin automatic movement measures only 3.2mm in height but is large enough for the small-ish cases of the brand, at 28.8mm. The specifications are classic otherwise, with a 43h power reserve and the presence of the in-house Swing system. The decoration is pleasant, with thin ribbings and blued screws.
The NOMOS Orion Neomatik Silvercut is worn on a discreet black Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap. Normally closed by a pin buckle until 31 December, this watch comes exclusively equipped with the NOMOS deployant clasp. It retails for EUR 3,060.
Quick facts: 38.5mm x 8.7mm – polished stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, 50m water-resistant – Silvercut dial with rhodium-plated and polished markers and hands – calibre DUW 3001, automatic, 3Hz frequency, 43h power reserve – 19mm black Shell Cordovan strap – reference 342
The NOMOS Tetra Neomatik Silvercut
This second model couldn’t be more different than the Orion. Everything on this watch is the total opposite of the other model. If the Orion is all about discretion and classicism, the Tetra is simply the most striking watch of NOMOS.
The name Tetra makes is quite clear what to expect from this watch. It’s Greek for “four of something” and is a fitting name for such a square watch. And here, I mean a genuinely square watch, with nothing rounded or angled. It’s a pure square of 33mm x 33mm with sharp angles, a design that you don’t very often in watchmaking; most square watches are rarely true squares and have rounded corners. That alone makes the Tetra a pretty unique watch. Also, despite the dimensions that appear small on paper, the case has a diagonal of 46mm and thus far more wrist presence than you’d expect. It is flat on all surfaces and combined with double-stepped lugs. Yes, the NOMOS Tetra makes quite a statement.
Contrary to the Orion, the Silvercut dial on the Tetra is combined with printed numerals – which are shared with the Tangente – and blued hands. But in this context, it’s the horizontal pattern that dominates the scenery, and that is so consistent with the case itself. The industrial feeling is even stronger here, and the way this dial plays with round and square shapes is pretty fascinating… as long as you pass the barrier of that square case – which, personally, I find very difficult.
Under the sapphire crystal is the same ultra-thin, automatic in-house calibre DUW 3001 used in the abovementioned model. Again, this watch comes with a black strap crafted from Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan. But, until 31 December, this watch comes equipped with the Sport bracelet with no price difference. This metallic “strap” (yes, it looks more like a strap than a bracelet) with its brushed finish and thin horizontal links works very well with the dial’s texture and adds an even more striking touch to this watch. Of course, you can also select a classic leather strap later. The watch retails for EUR 3,140.
Quick facts: 33mm x 33mm – polished stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, 30m water-resistant – Silvercut dial with steel, tempered blue hands and printed markers – calibre DUW 3001, automatic, 3Hz frequency, 43h power reserve – 20mm steel sports bracelet with winged clasp – reference 423
For more details and online orders, please visit nomos-glashuette.com.