Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

NOMOS for Doctors Without Borders / MSF – 6 Limited Editions

| By Evan Yeung | 5 min read |

In the world of watchmaking, we put high emphasis on the value of culture and tradition above all else. Much like the coveted art piece that hangs on the museum wall, we, watch collectors, lust for the next big thing in haute horlogerie. The general idea of which is to preserve the creative genius that once was. Creativity however should not be restricted to art pieces alone, but also to other endeavors. The most basic of which arrives when a problem is solved through a creative and unique process. This so-called creative solution is known to the modern world as innovation. 

Innovation sprouts from the most basic of problems. Persistent problems are often solved with ingenious solutions for the betterment of everyone. A lot of that has to do with daily operations in a business. But what if the problem at hand becomes a social one? Is there anything the world of horological business can do? Is it possible that we channel that creativity to do good? Can a company thrive in the world of art but also have the drive to help? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!” A perfect example is the collaboration between NOMOS Glashutte and the ‘Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres’ Program, commonly known to the world as MSF.

Since 2012, NOMOS has been actively supporting the MSF program by raising funds through the sale of their timepieces. A charitable initiative between NOMOS and MSF initially started in Germany, and has since extended to the USA and the UK. As such, NOMOS will be unveiling two limited edition models for each country, making a total of six different models created in support of MSF.

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Medecins Sans Frontieres:

Medecins Sans Frontieres is a French founded, medical humanitarian aid and non-governmental organization, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases. With more than 40 years of aid and over 34,000 volunteers across 70 countries, the Geneva based organization remains one of the most successful medical-aid movements of our time. (Source: MSF.ORG, Wikipedia).


The NOMOS-MSF edition was a limited edition piece initially launched in Germany commemorating its fund raising cause. Ideally, NOMOS made use of their most iconic piece as the platform for their initiative. The original rounded case design of the Tangente, and its reputation, are a perfect fit for the initiative. Bear in mind that it was the same model that launched the company to new heights and also earned itself the title “design-classic”.

The initial MSF project was made with an initial batch of 2000 watches as its first fundraising project in Germany. The endeavor was able to raise up to 200,000 Euros for the German branch of the MSF organization. To prevent this success from being short-lived, NOMOS intends to continue this project outside of Germany.

NOMOS Tangente 38 MSF USA

The MSF edition of the Tangente would bear the special engraving “Special Edition for Doctors without Borders” in the caseback along with its respective country (UK and USA.) It will also have a small inscription “Doctors without Borders” on the dial below the 6 o’clock marker. These models will have black oxidized hands in lieu of the tempered blue ones, and a red twelve to signify the color of the MSF organization. And last but not least, for every purchase of a NOMOS-MSF piece, the company will be donating 100 Euros / Pounds / Dollars to the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization. The overall goal is to raise the equivalent of over one million USD in support for MSF.

NOMOS Tangente 38 MSF USA

The two pieces for each country would be the classic Tangente, in two sizes. For the USA there will be a 33mm and 38mm size, and for the UK a Tangente 33 and a classic Tangente that is always 35mm in diameter. NOMOS affirms their stance on unisex pieces but also understands the ratio or proportion of the diameter should complement each individual’s wrist. In addition, the 33mm model will be coupled with a velour leather strap in contrast to the well praised Horween leather of the 35/38mm model. That is not to say the velour leather is inferior, but rather also subject to an individual’s preference. The NOMOS Store also carries a wide array of accessories to ensure one is able to acquire the combination he or she desires. Each model will be limited to 1000 pieces per country.

NOMOS Tangente 38 MSF USA

With urgent medical crises dominating the headlines, the concept of supporting the MSF is more needful than ever. The MSF organization now has more than 3,200 staff involved in their response to the Ebola outbreak. It goes without saying that the idea of helping-to-help becomes a win-win scenario for both organizations. It also gives us watch collectors an easy way to contribute to people who are in dire need of help.

In the end, innovations need not come from simply within the boundaries of the manufacture. By crafting an innovative solution to support charity, NOMOS took a big step forward for the horological industry. It shows that creativity can also come from generosity.

Don’t you just love beautiful “red 12”?

Head on over to for the full detail on the Doctors without Borders project, or immediately buy a NOMOS Tangente for Doctors without Borders for yourself (and one for your wife/girlfriend/mother/favourite supermarket cashier/grandma/secretary/neighbor) at the Nomos online store!

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