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editorial: the royal grand tour of Glashuette with NOMOS

Welcome to Glashuette!

 

 

Team MINIMATIKAL traveled to Glashuette to tour the NOMOS watchmaking facilities. We were so excited to arrive, we had our Glashuette Lonely Planet books in hand and cameras ready to show you all of Glashuette’s most famous monuments.

 

 

Glashuette dates back to 1445, where it was first mentioned in an undisclosed document. It is a small town in Saxony with a population of around 7,000 people. Glashuette is home to the birthplace of German watchmaking. The coat of arms features watchmaking tools [Dale: no Jenna, they’re not watchmaking tools, if your watchmaker uses these please RUN!] as well as a sun and Roman numeral hour markers from a watch dial.

 

 

Next stop was the local flower shop Blumen Rosenkranz. This cute little shop had an assortment of Spring flowers outside and that mistletoe cactus in the window was calling my name from up the hill by the NOMOS chronometrie building. Plants + NOMOS = Happy Jenna

 

 

Without another human in sight, we made it to the fire station. There’s something about a big red door that makes for a fantastic landmark. The rooster weather vane highlights the wind direction while adorning the peak of the firestation. Luckily, there was not a single siren to be heard the entire day.

 

 

One cannot go to Glashuette and not visit Der Backer Lehmann. This bakery has been in business on the Hauptstrasse since 1895. This multi-generation family business has gone through multiple renovations and a recent redesign in 1984 but their ethos has remained the same since 1895- bake delicious sour dough bread at their humble bakery in the Glashuette city center.

 

 

A visit to this quaint watch making village would not be complete without strolling past Uhren-Schmuck. This jewelry and watch company has been headquartered in Glashuette since 1997.

 

 

The St. Wolfgang church in downtown Glashuette.

 

 

We eventually came across the famous Glashuette kebab shop, Side, where one can enjoy a döner kebab, a slice of pizza, noodles or even a beer. We thought we would save ourselves for Glashuettes hottest bar, only to later find out it had been closed down before Christmas.

 

 

In a beautiful square, there was the German Watch Museum Glashuette. In the basement of the museum there is a watchmaking school;  the top two floors are the museum. In the permanent collection there are masterpieces like the Precision pendulum clock from Strasser & Rhode (1875) or the Astronomic clock by Hermann Goertz (1925).

 

 

Across the square from the museum is the NOMOS flagship boutique, where they had the discontinued Club Dunkel in stock, as well as NOMOS rings that one can coordinate with their Tetra. The NOMOS boutique is located up the street from the former train station, now the NOMOS Glashuette HQ.

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editorial: a whirlwind trip to Glashuette with MINIMATIKAL! DAY 2

Day two- we headed to Glashuette. We drove through rolling hills from Dresden to Glashuette. There were colorful buildings dotted along the way. Upon arrival in Glashuette, my initial reaction was how cute and quaint the village is. It is quiet yet very charming with pastel colored buildings.

Missed our report on Day 1? Click here!

 

 

We pulled into the main building from NOMOS, which was formally the Glashuette train station. The building was a mix of old and new, with a big glass box on the end which they use as their meeting room. The concept behind the glass cube is that they wanted it to be transparent, exactly like their watchmaking. The train station use to house the machinery for the base plates of their movements, until they relocated into an upgraded production facility down the road.

 

 

In August of 2017, they moved into their new facility. The unobtrusive building is beautifully designed and self sufficient. We were able to see the CNC machines at work drilling holes for where the watch making parts will be placed into. The energy produced from the machines is used to also heat the facility for the majority of the year. In 2015, NOMOS was awarded the Green Product Award for the Metro.

 

 

After our tour of the first production facility, we headed up to the NOMOS’ chronometrie building, where they start to assemble the parts once the base plates and findings are ready. We met with the head movement designer, Theodor Prenzel. He developed the DUW3001 movement for over 1.5 million minutes, and presented the beautiful, thin movement in detailed explanation to us. The joy of this movement is NOMOS’ own swing system, which is the heartbeat of the watch. NOMOS producing their own swing system, broke them away from the rest of the watchmaking industry, making them completely independent. This was quite a feat. NOMOS strives to do everything in house; there are big companies that can produce the escapement for mechanical timepieces, but NOMOS prides themselves in being able to produce their own. NOMOS watches are accessible, bringing them back to the ethos of the Deutsche werkbund- giving quality products to the public at an affordable price. The goal is to eventually have all NOMOS movements fitted with their own in-house swing system.

 

 

The DUW3001 measures in at only 3.2mm, while NOMOS’ first in-house self-winding movement Epsilon is 0.9mm thicker. Prenzel explained they worked to achieve a thinner, completely in-house automatic movement by rethinking the architecture of a movement, which is traditionally built-up in a stacked construction with relatively few parts per layer. With the DUW3001 nearly all parts are inserted between the base and the three-quarter plate, in a reduced number of layers. Though self-winding movements that are slimmer exist, none are produced on the scale of the DUW3001, and even fewer are as accurate, efficient and robust. All movements from NOMOS, including the Alpha and Epsilon, go through a number of testing periods in six positions with three to five resting days in between to let the watch run, before it is approved and assembled in a case. A more detailed article on the in’s and outs of the DUW3001 is coming soon.

 

 

The visit to NOMOS was a confirmation of all the reasons why we loved the brand in the first place. The design offices were humble yet cool, the watchmaking facilities were clean, transparent with a pop of color which screamed NOMOS, and the people were nice, honest and proud of the work they do to make the watches beautiful, timeless and high quality. Thank you, NOMOS Glashuette, for having us!

 

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editorial: a whirlwind trip to Berlinerblau with MINIMATIKAL! DAY 1

Over the last two days, we were privileged to live and breathe all things NOMOS. Our visit to the Berlinerblau design offices in Berlin, and a grand tour of the NOMOS watch making facilities in Glashuette is a trip for the books.

 

 

Our first steps on the streets of Berlin were along the Bundesstrasse. We headed to the Brandenburg Gate to take in a deep breath of Berlin culture straight away. It was truly amazing to be able to appreciate NOMOS watches in their birthplace of design, the city center of Berlin. While all watches are produced in Glashuette, the design team is based in this city. Berlinerblau was formally a design agency that NOMOS worked with on the design of their watches, but they have acquired the studio and they now do all of the design in-house.

 

 

Berlinerblau is located in the Kreuzberg neighborhood in Berlin. An up and coming area in Berlin with graffiti clad, ornate, warehouse-like buildings. The neighborhood is full of galleries and nightlife, students, artists, creatives and hippies. Berlinerblau is located on the Landwehr Canal. You enter the offices through a courtyard and go up a few flights of stairs. The office has high ceilings and huge windows flooding the space with light. The quirky furnishings are quintessential NOMOS.

 

 

Thomas Hohne is one of the head designers at NOMOS Berlinerblau, and was the mastermind behind the beloved Ahoi. We were able to meet with him in a cool meeting room with big windows, looking out over the courtyard with pastel colored building across the way. The space was stimulating and well, very NOMOS. Naturally, Thomas was wearing the Ahoi in 40mm. He explained to us that he thought at first the size was slightly too big for his slender wrists. It took a little getting use to but after a while, he actually preferred the larger Ahoi to the 36mm option in the end. Even for Thomas, it can take some time to decide what size works best for your wrist.

When NOMOS decided to re-introduce a more ‘sporty’ watch into the collection after the discontinuation of the Tangente Sport, they needed a design that would fit in with the four core collections- the Tangente, Tetra, Ludwig and Orion. The Ahoi is not a dive watch; rather the purpose of the watch is to have a model that can withstand water and water sports, yet also be worn to the office with a suit. There is no rotating bezel, yet the crown protector and screw in crown give it both a rugged appeal and ensure that water stays out of the case for a 200 meter water resistance. Since 2016, the latter is highlighted by a little whale named Herbert engraved on the case back.

 

 

It was clear during the meeting that the watches NOMOS was most excited about were those in the new ‘At Work’ series. The walls were adorned with lifestyle photos of the watches being worn at work, as well as inspiration behind the Silvercut dials and accents. The design team wanted to produce more masculine watches, as the champagne series ended up having a more feminine feel. They showed us a millimeter gauge, an exacto blade, and watch making screw drivers. These are tools that one uses when they’re at work, and they set the mood for this new series. The 39mm size of this collection was really to appeal to career oriented [wo]men, who want to wear a bigger watch. The inspiration of the lines on the dial came from early German racing cars, which featured unpainted aluminum body parts to save weight – though that could be just a myth. NOMOS decided to make the lines of the dial horizontal rather than vertical, to simulate the the speed of those Silberpfeil cars.

 

 

The red accents on the At Work series were inspired by brake lights, as well as power lights on vintage aluminum radios. The red seconds hands on the At Work series are a darker red than the regular ‘NOMOS red’ the designers tend to use. Notably, the Tangente and Tetra are the only two Silvercut models that feature blued steel hands. These two models are staying true to the original Tangente and Tetra. There is always some how a mix of old and new to blend the new pieces into the collection. The seconds subdials feature a slightly more subdued circular pattern in the middle. The softer texture gives the Silvercut models almost a starburst effect, like that of the volume knobs on the vintage aluminum radios.

 

 

A highlight of the visit to Berlinerblau, was discovering a drawer filled with prototypes of dials. We felt like kids in a candy store. They had produced dials in almost every color imaginable; a purple dial with rose gold markers. Probably the most eye catching, were the prototypes for the Lux in black with white horizontal and vertical stripes.

 

 

There were even pink and baby blue Gingham printed dials. Among all these prototypes we discovered quite a few that eventually made it into production as limited edition pieces, like the now very sough-after Toki of 2005 with its red subdial and Japanese hour markers and the Little Red Dot Weltzeit models made for Singapore. Of course the limited edition Orion ‘100 Years De Stijl’ was displayed loud and proud, which really made us feel part of the NOMOS family.

 

 

Once our tour of Berlinerblau concluded, we jumped on the Autobahn and headed to Dresden. The capital of the Eastern German state of Saxony, Dresden is a historic city with classical and ornate architecture. We were immediately impressed by the stunning classical architecture in Dresden. Walking across the bridge going over the Elbe river, we had a spectacular view of the Dresden skyline. Click here for DAY 2- the Glashuette chapter.

 

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hands-on: NOMOS Ludwig Neomatik Champagner 283

NOMOS is known for their modern and playful mechanical watches at an accessible price point. What I love about Nomos, is that they’re not afraid to make daring design choices that are surprising, playful and fun. When I first saw the champagne collection from NOMOS, it was love at first sight. Having the opportunity to wear any watch from the champagne collection was an honor, but a tough decision. Admittedly, the Ludwig was probably the least likely choice for me, but it was the model I selected in the end. Here’s why…

 

Continue reading hands-on: NOMOS Ludwig Neomatik Champagner 283

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weltweit: Living with the Nomos Orion ‘100 Years De Stijl’ via Watches by SJX

In ‘weltweit’ we keep track of NOMOS articles posted around the web.

This week Watches by SJX posted an in-depth review on the limited edition Nomos Orion ‘100 Years De Stijl’.

‘While hardly apparent from across the room, the unusual dial catches the eye up close. The look struck me as soon as I saw photos at the launch last year, which is why I bought one.’

Click to read the full article!