While we’ve recently seen plenty of models from Nomos playing with sportier codes, more robust cases and colourful dials – such as the new Club Sport neomatik 37 or the refreshed Ahoi Atlantik Collection – the Saxon brand is primarily known for its elegant, minimalist watches with cool design twists. With its latest release, Nomos is returning to basics with a compact, sleek and rather elegant watch with the Teutonic touches you’ve come to expect. Introducing the new Nomos Ludwig 33 noir, a fresh take on the brand’s most classic timepiece. And while Nomos is advertising it as a feminine option, I might have a thing or two to say about that.
“Delicate, black, feminine and sophisticated.” These are the words used by Nomos to describe the brand-new Ludwig 33 noir. Well, considering the 32.8mm case diameter, it would make sense to call it a ladies’ watch. But, it’s also surprising to hear this from a brand that usually plays a lot on the unisex typology of its models. I’ll come back to this a bit later in the article, but first, let’s look at the watch.
This new model is part of the Ludwig collection, which could be described as the brand’s most classic option. While the Tangente is the most emblematic model of the brand, the Ludwig is an even more traditional take on the concept. The case is sleek, simple, and almost bezel-less, and the classic angular lugs of the Tangente are replaced by more linear ones. Also, the cylinder-shaped case of the Tangente gives way to a more rounded option. But overall, there’s a sort of lineage between the two collections, the Ludwig reinforcing the old-school, vintage style with its Roman numerals.
The case of this new Nomos Ludwig 33 noir is a classic 3-part stainless steel with a polished surface. Sapphire crystals frame the case, although a solid steel back can be ordered (shaving the price by about 200 euros). The case has a 32.8mm diameter, a slim 6.6mm height and just over 42mm from one lug to the other. Small, by all means, very small. But this is where I might have an opinion to express. I’m sure many will say that it is way too compact for a masculine wrist, and on paper, it is. But there’s something quite special to me about this watch. While 36 or 37mm watches are called small by many but are still, in my books, suitable for most men, this watch is DELIBERATELY small, and this is what makes it charming. I had the chance to wear it for a couple of hours, and it actually made me smile. Yes, it’s smaller than anything I own, but it has a certain elegance, and there’s nothing about this watch that feels feminine – no stones, no girly colours… So yes, I would suggest Nomos to continue using gender-free communication here.
Back to the Nomos Ludwig 33 noir. The dial is the real novelty here. While it retains the classic codes of the collection – namely a railroad minute track and a combination of thin baton markers and elongated Roman numerals (this is the easiest way to differentiate a Ludwig from a Tangente) – the dial is now treated in an elegant, quite fancy colour combination. The base is galvanised black with a matte texture, the numerals and markers are printed in white, and the three thin, polished hands are gold. Complementing this new colour scheme is an anthracite velour leather strap.
Inside the case, there are no surprises with the tried-and-tested Alpha calibre produced in-house (and based on a Peseux architecture). This compact hand-wound movement is nicely finished, with blued screws and thin ribbing. It runs at a 3Hz frequency and stores a reasonable 43h power reserve.
The Nomos Ludwig 33 noir is now available from retailers and the brand’s website. It is part of the permanent collection and is priced at EUR 1,520 (with a sapphire caseback) or EUR 1,300 (with a closed steel back). And it could be a nice gift for yourself, or a handsome watch to offer your wife… And for once, men would be able to steal a watch from their companion… and not the opposite!
For more details and orders, please visit nomos-glashuette.com.