However restrained the designs for Nomos might be, that doesn’t mean the watches are any less interesting from a technical perspective. While it might not be to everyone’s liking, the clean, Bauhaus-inspired watches are simple, elegant and more often than not, quite handsome to look at. And combining the design skills to determine when enough is enough with traditional watchmaking capabilities, Nomos has a pretty interesting range of watches on offer. A case in point is one of this year’s novelties: the Nomos Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue.
The Tangente Neomatik features all the elements of previous Nomos models but mixes in a little playful touch for a bit of diversity. Consider it a greatest hits album by your favourite band, with a new song included as a bonus. The latest iteration of the Tangente Neomatik was presented during this year’s digital version of the Watches & Wonders fair.
Along with the Tangente Neomatik, there was a refreshed version of the Metro Neomatik 41 Update, which we’ve covered before. Following the same principles – Nomos likes to keep things simple by naming these novelties “Update” – the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update has been given subtle touch-ups. Instead of the traditional date display, with a cut-out area at a specific point in the dial, the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update features a peripheral date display with a twist.
A light, silver date scale is printed on the very outer edge of the dial. Small, oval-shaped cut-outs between each date are used to indicate the correct day of the month. Normally, on a peripheral date display, this would be indicated by a central hand pointing to the date. Think of the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date, for instance. What Nomos has done, similar to the Metro Neomatik 41 Update, is hide the date disc underneath the dial and use a (very!) contrasting colour to indicate what date it is by “framing” on both sides.
Handling the watch, I found that this ingenious system is really intuitive. Some might argue that it’s distracting, due to the neon-green colour, but I would say that it grabs attention in the best way possible. As a result, the number of the date can be read at a glance. This type of display is not new for Nomos as I already mentioned. The Metro Neomatik uses it as well, albeit in a different colour scheme, and so does the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update from 2018. Both rely on orange/red for contrast against a silvery-white dial, while this model goes for a trendy neon-green tone. The date ring is also given a touch of Super-LumiNova to glow in the dark from underneath the dial.
If we look at the rest of the dial, it’s pretty standard ‘Nomos’ all around. Not that this is a bad thing, but we’ve seen it before. The midnight-blue tone is very nice, and the contrast with the silver markings and rhodium-plated hands is very good. The slender hands have a nice length to them, with the small seconds hand even stretching to the tips of the markings in the sub-dial. The only other colour used is a bronze tint for the “Neomatik” printing on the dial. Although a very subtle touch, it does seem to elevate the dial, giving it that little bit of extra flair.
What struck me as odd, though, is the fact Nomos decided to flip the date numbers halfway through. You would expect the upright position would continue around the entire dial, which essentially means the numbers at the bottom would be read upside down, but they’re not.
From the 9th to the 22nd of the month, the orientation is flipped. While I can understand the reasoning behind it, having all numbers right side up does distract a little. This is especially the case jumping from the 8th to the 9th when you just had the 6th two days earlier. It is quite easy to mistake the 9th for the 6th at a glance. Minor detail, but a detail nonetheless.
Once again, the case is what you would expect from Nomos. The slim profile, with a very narrow bezel, looks quite good and is polished throughout. It measures 40.5mm in diameter, even though Nomos markets it as 41 (which we’ve also seen on the Club Campus) and 7.8mm in height. These dimensions mean it’s fit for pretty much anyone. The slender, angular lugs point downwards nicely and make it very comfy on the wrist. In reality, the watch looks and wears a little larger than it is. A slim, knurled crown is used to set the time and date, and wind up the barrel if necessary.
Powering the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue is Nomos’ in-house DUW 6101 automatic movement. This calibre comes with a patented quick-set date function using quite a large disc to reach the outer edge of the dial. The movement is 35.2mm wide and only 3.6mm thick, which is about half of the total thickness of the watch. To put things into perspective, the date ring is positioned around the movement rather than on top of it. The calibre is constructed in such a way that it allows you to adjust the date in both directions, which makes correcting it that much easier.
The movement also features Nomo’s swing system escapement, with a tempered blue balance spring. The three-quarter plate is decorated with Glashütte ribbing and features heat-blued screws. The DUW 6101 runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3Hz) and can store up to 42 hours of power reserve. The skeletonized and decorated rotor allows for a nice view of all the mechanics.
The Nomos Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue comes on a black Horween Shell Cordovan leather strap with a polished stainless steel pin buckle. It will cost you EUR 3,200, which is not bad considering the in-house developed movement. It does put it right in the middle of several other strong contenders in the dressy time-and-date segment though.
In all honesty, Nomos has created a theme in its collections that is easily identifiable. The style is very Bauhaus, very German, underlining the form-follows-function school of thought. Nevertheless, Nomos has the ability to offer a little more than that, often with frivolous details. In this case, it is the bright neon-green date indication. It might not be satisfactory to all, but it breaks the otherwise restrained look of the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue. And that is very much a part of its charm.
For more information, please visit Nomos-Glashütte.com