Imagine yourself travelling through Germany, in your beloved sports car, and heading to an event you’ve been looking forward to for months, years even. The past two years travelling has been very challenging, sometimes downright impossible, and you are glad the world is opening up again. You find yourself in one of the sections of the German Autobahn, a section without a speed limit if the circumstances allow it. And yes, the weather is clear, you look down on your Nomos Autobahn Director’s Cut, and see you have time for some fun. So, with the road opening up, you plant your foot down and head for the horizon, fast.
It is a scene something like this I imagine to have crossed the mind of designer Werner Aisslinger penning the first sketches for the Autobahn collection for Nomos. Free of worries, not a care in the world at that very moment, with miles of open roads ahead (Free of “Baustelle” hopefully). Looking at the Autobahn, you immediately get the connection to cars, racing, highway’s, speed and so on. The distinct display is what gives the watch its character, its soul, and Nomos now introduced three new editions, labelled as the Autobahn Director’s Cut.
The exterior for the entire Autobahn collection is what we can expect from Nomos. A sleek, fully polished steel case with slender lugs and a thin bezel to open up the dial as much as possible. It measures 41mm in diameter and a relatively slim 10.5mm in height, which make for quite a perfect fit on my wrist (which measures approx. 19cm in circumference). A simple but effective knurled crown at 3 o’clock allows you to wind and set the watch with reassuringly solid feedback.
While part of Nomos’ portfolio is rather restrained and free of any unnecessary clutter, like the Tangente 38 “Doctors without Borders”, there’s another part that welcomes more frivolous designs. A good example of the latter is the Nomos Club Campus Absolute Grey and Future Orange we’ve recently reviewed.
This balance between two styles usually results in a play of shapes and colours, and the Autobahn Director’s Cut definitely is more on the playful side of things. The bowl-shaped dial has a segmented, painted stripe running from 8 to 4 o’clock, reminiscent of a rev counter in a car’s dashboard. This stripe is applied on top of the slightly grainy main dial and is coated with luminescent material for an even more dramatic effect at night.
In terms of colours, there are three editions of the Autobahn Director’s Cut available; a grey-on-black, orange-on-white and yellow-on-blue. Each one is named after an important German highway crossing the country, the white dial is the A3, the blue dial the A7 and the black dial the A9. The central hour and minute hand differ in colour between the three and are accompanied by a concave small seconds subdial with a contrasting seconds hand.
Positioned below that is a date window wide enough to show the dates of yesterday, today and tomorrow. While I’m usually not a fan of 3-day date windows, I feel it fits in with the dashboard-themed style of the dial. There are certain elements loosely carried over from instrument panels in cars, and this is one of them.
The Nomos Autobahn Director’s Cut’s engine, pun fully intended, is the in-house calibre DUW 6101. It is the same movement we find in the Nomos Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue we covered earlier this year. This movement, visible through the sapphire caseback, has the date wheel mounted on the outer periphery instead of on top of it, resulting in relatively slim dimensions. It’s 35.2mm wide and only 3.6mm thick, part of the reason the case is so pleasantly sized.
The DUW 6101 calibre features a patented date system that uses a program disc instead of the regular 24-hour wheel and allows for adjustments in both directions. It also comes with Nomos’ Swing System Escapement, with a tempered blued balance spring. Glashütte ribbing, the German equivalent of Côtes de Genève, livens up the three-quarter plate of the movement and the top surface of the open-worked rotor. The movement runs at a frequency of 3Hz and serves up 42 hours of running time when fully wound. It is regulated to run within chronometer specifications.
Each of the three Nomos Autobahn Director’s Cut models comes on a special, limited edition ‘strap’ (according to Nomos). Reminiscent of Breitling’s perforated Air Racer bracelet, you first have a long, solid link with two holes in it, before it transitions to solid steel links and ends in a folding buckle. Something that really boldens the design of the watch and feels novel for the brand.
Each version of the Nomos Autobahn Director’s Cut will be limited to 175 pieces, in honour of the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in the Glashütte region. It retails for EUR 3,800 and is available as of now.
For more information and online orders, please visit NomosGlashütte.com.