When it comes to haute horlogerie, there is no question that the NOMOS brand walks among the pantheon of mechanical prowess. We at Monochrome have come to agree that despite the brand’s late entrance to the market, the pieces that came out of their manufacture were a sight for sore eyes. The inner beauty of their mechanical movements remain a godsend among the horological greats; and so it is that we came to adore their finest – the Zürich WorldTimer.
The NOMOS brand kicked this year off to a great start with their paradigm-shifting ‘Swing System’ at Baselworld 2014. In the face of such an horological breakthrough, it is only logical that they put their new in-house escapement into their very best new model. As such, they give us not only a retro-fitted ‘Xi’ caliber, but a brand new dial color: introducing the Zürich Weltzeit in true blue and an all new full swing escapement.
The Swing System:
We know for a fact that ever since the Swatch ébauche moratorium, companies have begun looking into alternatives to continuously supply their product with movement parts. We had seen NOMOS continuously do what the company set out to do in the first place, and that is to keep on pursuing full in-house control and manufacturing capability all throughout the entire watchmaking process. The fruits of its labors had already begun to show when the company revamped their movements for their luxury line the Lux and Lambda, namely the DUW (“Deutsche Uhrenwerke NOMOS Glashütte”) calibers. We saw our contributor Max write in clear detail on this so-called “German Watch Factory” movement for their luxury line.
The swing system has been introduced with their new model released earlier this year in Basel. The NOMOS Metro is the first of the company’s collection to feature their prized regulating system inside, the DUW 4401. As the name implies, the new movement ticks with a swing, and the Metro was the very first one to be outfitted with the new balance and escapement that is identifiable with its tempered ‘blue’ balance spring. We do see a theme here coming from NOMOS, with all those blue bits and all. But kidding aside, what NOMOS actually did here is practically something out of the playbook of what only the watch manufacturing giants can do. Building the regulating system, particularly the escapement, requires advanced know-how and technical capabilities that only a few manufacturers are able to enjoy. And to see NOMOS invest nearly 11 Million Euros to develop this new system is a clear testament to how serious they are about showing the rest of the industry what needs to be done amid waning supplies.
With the new system swinging in full motion, it is only natural that the system goes into the company’s other models now too. It is expected that the other Greek alphabet labeled calibers in the company’s collection will begin to be retrofitted with their very own swing systems, known as the assortiment in Switzerland, or the pace-setting part of the movement. This new technology from the company does allow them more control of the overall accuracy, robustness and durability of the watch, which for us watch nerds is nothing short of groundbreaking.
Nomos Zürich World Timer in True Blue:
Now that a streamlined manufacturing process has been established at NOMOS HQ, the company did not waste time in implementing the swing system into their wide array of watches. The Zürich Worldtimer, a timepiece which we reviewed thoroughly and adoringly here, gets second dibs on the new system. And to really differentiate this Worldtimer as being totally distinct from the Metro, they slap that new, blue dial color into it, accentuating the change in their movement.
Furthermore, the Heimat (Home Time) text in the three o’clock position is now changed to a red trapezoid signifying the home icon, which complements the stylish petrol-blue dial design. We labeled the original as ‘complicated simplicity personified’ and we are glad that the new dial design adhered to the original.
NOMOS moves from riding the ‘metro’, straight into international jet-setting. The swing system now arrives with a world timer.
We call this new caliber, the DUW 5201, a pseudo-new movement because it is the same Xi caliber that was used in the original Zurich World Timer but with one tiny little world-changing revision: yes, you guess it, the implementation of the swing system as its regulating system. This perhaps would be the first automatic movement to use the swing system, so the Worldtimer in this regard is just a cherry on top. The movement specifications are generally the same, it has the same dimensions as the original, the same 26-jewel movement, the same 42 hours power reserve, and the same NOMOS perlage and Glashütte decoration. Everything about this new movement is practically the same, the only difference is that you get a piece of NOMOS ingenuity and history, and maybe also a little bit of extra prestige – it is, after all, the Worldtimer that defines the NOMOS of the future.
Complete movement specifications:
- DUW 5201—NOMOS caliber with automatic winding and world time indicator; NOMOS swing system with tempered blue balance spring
- Diameter: 31 mm
- Movement height: 5.7 mm
- Power reserve: approx. 42 hours
Now with all things said and done, there’s much to like about the new Zürich. The original world timer was already a hit among collectors. Right after the swing system was presented in Basel, it was never a question if NOMOS would be implementing the system into the Zürich, but rather it was only a question of when.
The new Zürich Weltzeit with the True Blue dial and new swing system will come at exactly the same price as the previous model, which is € 4.200 Euros. The NOMOS Zürich True Blue will be available in October. Visit the NOMOS official site for more details (www.nomos-glashuette.com)