175 years ago Ferdinand Adolf Lange founded the first watchmaking workshop in Glashütte. This ‘simple’ act by the namesake of one of today’s top watch manufacturers in the world has had lasting repercussions! Quite a few watchmakers followed suit and started their own watchmaking businesses in the small Saxon town of Glashütte. Fast forward to the post-cold war era and the brand Nomos made its appearance on the scene. Founded in 1990, and well-known for some of the best “value propositions” in the watch market, Nomos is a proper, full-fledged watch manufacture. With the Lambda, Nomos shows what it is capable of and it’s quite impressive. Today the brand celebrates the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte with the introduction of the Nomos Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking in Glashütte Limited Edition, and it’s a stainless steel beauty!
Nomos is renowned for some of the best value propositions with its in-house developed, manufactured, finished and assembled movements. Everything from A to Z is made in-house with prices starting at just over EUR 1,000. Models like the Tangente, Tangomat and Orion are already classics from this relatively young Glashütte-based brand. In the past decade, Nomos also introduced some more ‘fashionable’ models like the Minimatik, Metro, Club and Ahoi to appeal to a younger generation. And with the introduction of two high-end models, Lux and Lambda, Nomos added some high-end watchmaking credibility to its résumé.
Most brands located in the small town of Glashütte make high-end watches with movements featuring Côtes de Genève (or actually the Glashütte variant, Glashütte ribbing, what’s in a name…) on the bridges, perlage on plates, large rubies set in gold chatôns, and hand-engraved balance cocks. Nomos’s movements were unadorned until the high-end Lux and Lambda appeared in 2013.
These two new models were available exclusively in 18k white gold or rose gold cases, a new direction for the brand that only worked with steel cases. After all, Nomos’s philosophy is based on the tenets of Bauhaus design where a certain Spartan simplicity – in design, execution and movement decoration – is the operative word. This, along with reasonable pricing, was the formula Nomos had relied on since its foundation in 1990. Quite the opposite of the gold cased and heavily adorned movements of the Lux and Lambda.
The new Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte Limited Editions
Moreover, both watches, their design, movement and finishing, are appealing and coherent with the rest of the collections. Now, to celebrate 175 years of fine watchmaking in Glashütte, Nomos introduces three limited editions of the Lambda, each with a different colour enamel dial, each limited to 175 pieces. Compared to the ‘normal’ Lambda, which only comes in 18k gold, Nomos has opted for a steel case. And of course, this has had a pretty pleasant effect on the price. The rose gold Lambda model is available for approximately EUR 14,000 (including taxes), the white gold version for close to EUR 15,000 and the smaller 39mm version in rose gold for EUR 13,000. With these figures in mind, and knowing these three new limited editions come with an enamel dial, the retail price of EUR 5,800 sounds almost like a bargain!
While the white dial with sleek blue hands might look familiar and perfectly in line with what you’d expect a Nomos to look like, there are also a black enamel dial and a blue enamel dial. In the last few years, we have seen some dark blue dials, but black dials remain very rare for Nomos. Yet it looks very good with that pitch-black enamel dial, silver-white printing and polished steel hands.
The dial with the small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and the extremely large, but lovely in size, position and shape, power reserve indicator, looks very well balanced. Minimalistic. Refined. Stylish. For me, the text “Gangreserve 84 Stunden” (English: Power reserve 84 hours) could have been left out, but I acknowledge that these two lines of text balance everything. And that also makes it look good.
Another very good thing… the size. The diameter of the Lambda now measures 40.5mm and its height is just under 9mm! Now that’s a size that many people will appreciate. The ‘regular’ gold Lambda comes in two sizes and they are either 1.5mm larger or 1.5mm smaller, making them 42mm or 39mm in diameter.
Inside ticks the beautiful Lambda movement, calibre DUW 1001, which is designed and developed to meet the typical Glashütte watchmaking design codes: a large three-quarter plate featuring a fine sunbeam polishing, a hand-engraved balance cock, a swan-neck fine adjustment, screw balance, and jewels mounted in gold chatôns. The gold chatôns are held in place with heat-blued screws and the hand-wound movement is regulated to six positions.
It’s worth mentioning that DUW stands for Deutsche UhrenWerke, meaning German watch movements, and under this moniker Nomos also produces movements for other watch companies. On this page at the Nomos website, you can see more about this, including all movements produced in-house.
The DUW 1001 calibre has a double mainspring barrel, delivering 84 hours of autonomy when fully wound. This means that the Lambda can keep ticking for 3.5 days. How much power remains is indicated on the impressively large power reserve scale at the 12 o’clock position of the dial, or to be more accurate, this power reserve scale occupies the entire upper half of the dial. Of course, Nomos’s designers measured it and the scale is no less 297° degrees. Another fun fact is what’s engraved on the balance cock… “Mit Liebe in Glashütte gefertigt” which means “Lovingly produced in Glashütte”. Isn’t that a nice touch?
The stainless steel case is polished all over and looks and feels very refined. A very slim bezel, sleek downward-pointing lugs, a caseback with a large inset sapphire pane and around this sapphire pane is the limited edition name and number, including the dial colour. Although Nomos was not around 175 years ago, it has come a long way in the past 30 or so years, and the movement is up to speed with what Glashütte watchmaking is all about. A very nice way to celebrate German watchmaking and three well-priced, good-looking watches.
More information on the Nomos website.