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editorial: NOMOS DUW 6101 movement explained

At BaselWorld 2018 NOMOS launched a new movement: caliber DUW6101. It boasts an array of clever solutions to age old problems, and we felt it deserved a thorough explanation that goes beyond a few bylines in an article on the watches that are powered by it. Luckily Rob Nudds, our representative at NOMOS, happens to be both a gifted watchmaker as well as a talented writer. Below is his take on this exceptional movement.

Rob Nudds:

The NOMOS DUW6101 is a revolution for the independent German watchmaker. Based on the principles of the slim-line DUW3001 released in 2015, the new movement features a quick-change date complication with a unique safety mechanism designed to protect the movement from damage.

Normally, it is not advisable to change the date of a quick-change calibre when the hands are positioned between 10pm and 2am. There is a little variation in these parameters from movement to movement, but the principle remains the same – during this ‘danger zone’ the date change wheel is in contact with the date wheel teeth, ready to flick the date over to the next day when the hands hit 12 o’clock. Attempting to change the date while these components are engaged can strip the teeth from the date wheel, resulting in a necessary service.

As a small, owner-operated company, NOMOS Glashütte was keen to develop a mechanism to prevent this – another example of their endeavour to improve the quality and durability of their output across the range. Resilient mechanisms make sense for the brand, their dedicated retailer network, and the end-consumer: A safe and secure mechanism results in less after sales concerns, more time for the retailers to focus on selling, and greater peace of mind for the customer. To this end, NOMOS spent four years developing this new function. The final product is a perfect of example of the NOMOS philosophy: To find a simple solution to a complex problem, and to focus on its execution rather than embellishment, through excellent design and top-quality manufacturing.

Instead of the traditional set-up, the DUW6101 uses completely new components. A double-level wheel, mounted with a specially formed date-change hammer and cam is responsible for moving the date from one day to the next during normal operation. On the other side of the movement another double-level wheel engages with the date wheel teeth when the watch is in date set mode. This wheel features a five-fingered star wheel on top to move the date wheel quickly, and a lower level wheel that engages with the setting mechanism itself. The tension between these two levels is crucial. Together, they act as a ‘slipping clutch’ when the hammer is resting on the date wheel teeth between 11pm and 1pm. During this period you cannot set the date, but you cannot damage the movement by attempting to do so.

So how does this actually work? When using the quick-change function at this time, the five-fingered star wheel will engage with the teeth of the date wheel in an attempt to move it along. The date change hammer prevents this from happening because it is also engaged with the teeth of the date wheel on the other side of the movement. Rather than allowing the pressure between these components to build, the lower level wheel beneath the star wheel is able to turn independently, allowing the force generated by rotating the crown to escape the mechanism. This is achieved by striking a perfect balance: The finely calibrated tension between the star wheel and the lower level wheel protects these components from coming under too much stress and disintergrating.

And if all this technology gets you so excited to skip past the intended date while using the quick-change function, don’t worry! The new NOMOS Glashütte DUW 6101 can be set forwards and backwards – a feature rarely seen in the world of watchmaking, and at this price point something very special indeed.

Thank you Rob!

NOMOS watches are available at Ace Jewelers.

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The Petit Four series

Caution: if you are hungry don’t read this article.

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series Minimatikal
For Baselworld 2018, Nomos just unveiled their new delicacies: The Petit Four series. The Nomos classic Tetra in 4 new colors: Tetra Pearl, Tetra Azure, Tetra Matcha and Tetra Grenadine.

Tetra Pearl

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series MinimatikalThe Tetra Pearl features golden hands, the finishing touch to its powdery pink dial. They are accompanied by indexes in violet; “if this Tetra were placed in the window of a Parisian pâtisserie, it would be long gone” – according to Nomos. The slender case is featured with a velour leather strap.

Tetra Azure

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series MinimatikalThe blue “azure” color of the dial is supposed to remind you of a clear summer sky. An ode to the beautiful days that should come soon in Europe. A very contemporary and poetic model that features green hands and grey indexes.

Tetra Matcha

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series MinimatikalTetra Matcha is undoubtedly eye-catching. The light green dial adds a fresh touch to the watch. The watch features silver hands and deep blue indexes.

Tetra Grenadine

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series MinimatikalTetra Grenadine is inspired by pomegranates. The fruity bold red color of the dial makes it a noticeable watch. The watch is dressed with dark red indexes and golden hands.

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series MinimatikalWithin the four new versions of the NOMOS classic Tetra: the NOMOS hand-wound caliber Alpha. The Alpha caliber is NOMOS Glashütte’s highly acclaimed classic. It was their first movement and the one that ticks inside Tangente, Ludwig, Tetra, Orion, Club and all the watches in their 33 series.

Without falling in the trap of cliché, the Petit Four series seem to target a female audience, even if their style is versatile. We have to admit that we found these watches very sweet. The colors are quite entertaining and, of course, it looks delicious. Maybe we would have appreciated a smaller size than the classic 29.5mm square Tetra that would better fit the name and the atmosphere of the collection. In the end, Nomos proved once again their limitless creativity with these fresh new limited editions.

Stay tuned for other Baselworld novelties and bon appétit!

Baselworld 2018 Nomos novelties Petit Four series Minimatikal

More details (Tetra Pearl)

CASE
stainless steel, bipartite
sapphire crystal glass back
GLASS
sapphire crystal glass
WINDING
manual
DIMENSIONS
size 29.5 mm x 29.5 mm
height 6.5 mm
weight 36 g
WATER RESISTANCE
3 atm (splash-proof)
DIAL
rose
HANDS
gold-plated, seconds hand dark red
STRAP
Velour leather gray
lug width 18mm

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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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Another iF Design Award for NOMOS!

Nomos just won another iF Design Award this year, honoring the design of the Metro. Each year, iF International Forum Design GmbH organizes one of the world’s most celebrated design competitions: the iF Design Award. With over 5,000 submissions from 70 countries every year, the competition became a symbol of design excellence and Nomos can now add a prestigious 7th Award to their collection.

About the International Forum Design

The iF has been honoring outstanding achievements in design for over 60 years and is one of the oldest and most respected prizes in the industry.
In 1953, to overcome the bad effects of World War II, a group of industry representatives met with the Hannover Trade Fair company. Their aim was to draw attention to particularly well-designed industrial products. They wanted to communicate the importance of design and all it can achieve: for users, for brands and for societies.

Since 1953, iF is following six core principles:
– To identify, support and promote good design
– To raise awareness of design among the public and the role it plays in our lives
– To help companies integrate design into their long-term strategies
– To safeguard the role of professional designer and boost awareness for this job profile
– To effect social change through design
– To support talented young people and create a public platform for young designers

The red iF logo became afterwards a symbol of design excellence and great achievement for the brands and designers. The iF main project is the organization of their two competitions :
– The iF Design Award for professionals.
– The iF Design Talent Award for students, a free competition to support young designers.

iF Design Award Nomos Metro Mark Braun Minimatikal

The iF Design Award competition

The iF Design award enables professionals from all over the world to compete in 7 different disciplines :
1. Product
2. Packaging
3. Communication
4. Interior Architecture
5. Professional Concept
6. Service Design / UX
7. Architecture

Within every discipline can be found different categories. As for instance, 19 different categories are under “Product” including Watches & Jewelry.
Concerning the Jury and evaluation criteria, about 60 design-experts from over 20 countries evaluate according to 5 established criteria the award winners: Innovation and Elaboration, Functionality, Aesthetics, Responsibility and Positioning.

On 9 March 2018, the iF Design Award night was held at BMW Welt in Munich and the 75 best entries were rewarded with the iF gold award. 2,000 guests from 41 countries were there to celebrate the winners.
Regarding the benefits of the award winners, they can use the red iF label for as long as their award-winning product is on the market. They will also be featured in the iF World Design guide, on the iF design app and the award-winning design will be showcased in the iF design exhibition in Hamburg in March, June and October.

 

The Metro neomatik 39 silvercut design: 7th Award for Nomos!

NOMOS Glashütte has been honored once again for their watch design : an iF Design Award for the seventh time in succession for Metro neomatik 39 silvercut.
The expert jury selected this year the bestselling NOMOS timepiece, which is equipped with the proprietary automatic movement DUW 3001.

iF Design Award Nomos Metro Mark Braun MinimatikalIt’s also the celebration of the German designer Mark Braun, very proud of his achievement: “The tips of the hands resemble the Empire State Building in New York; the diamond knurling on the crown is a tribute to the watchmaking tools from Glashütte. The sapphire crystal glass is slightly curved, while the dial—brushed horizontally with an elegant, silver-gray finish—features fine detailing. Thanks to the in-house-built, automatic caliber DUW 3001, this timepiece is typically NOMOS: ultra thin and highly precise. ”.

Mark Braun is not a watch designer, he was noticed by the creative head of Nomos after having designing a collection of whisky bottles. Since then, the designer works closely with the brand on different projects in his Berlin-based studio.

iF Design Award Nomos Metro Mark Braun Minimatikal

NOMOS watches have received over 140 awards for design and quality, another one can be added on their list, proving once again their distinctive and successful approach on luxury timepieces.

Among the award- winning NOMOS watches: Tangente neomatik midnight blue won the famed prize last year; and before it, Minimatik in 2016. In the preceding years Metro (2015), Ahoi (2014), Tangomat GMT Plus (2013) and Zürich (2012) have been awarded the prize as well.

Nomos’ Awards wall
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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.