In 2013 NOMOS introduced both the Lambda and the Lux. With cases in either rose or white gold, and high-end hand-wound movements, the Lambda and the Lux are the crown jewels of the NOMOS collection. Today I went hands-on with the tonneau-shaped Lux.
When the tonneau-shaped Lux was introduced in 2013 alongside the round Lambda, many news outlets reported them to represent a new direction for the NOMOS brand. I can only partially agree. Sure, the price is something new for the brand, with the record for the most expensive model held by the long-discontinued Tangente Platin. But what about the movement, the design, the wearing experience?
The Lux is powered by the lovely DUW 2002, an in-house hand-wound movement with a power reserve of 84 hours. With its 3/4 plate, beveled and hand-polished edges, and hand-engraved balance cock, it looks very high-end and very German. Named Theta, the movement was previously used in a collection NOMOS created for Wempe Chronometerwerke. The most distinctive difference between the Theta and the DUW 2002 is the finish of the main plate, having the diagonal striping of the former exchanged in favor of a sunbeam pattern for the latter. It is beautiful in either disguise, and I’m happy to see this movement being back in use.
The tonneau-shaped case of the Lux was designed by Simon Husslein, while the dial was imagined by Axel Kufus and Michael Paul. From 2008 to 2014 Simon Husslein was a major force in the eponymous design studio of the late Hannes Wettstein. Studio Hannes Wettstein had designed the NOMOS Zürich earlier – in fact, it was one of the last project worked on by Hannes Wettstein himself. The 2015 Minimatik too is from the hand of Simon Husslein.
On the wrist, the Lux has considerable heft – even in the slightly smaller case of the Zikade, which was added to the collection in 2014. The case measures 38.5 by 34mm. The lugs are relatively short, resulting in a lug-to-lug measurement of approximately 45mm. I found it to wear well and comfortable, and I imagine this to be the case on most wrists.
Than there’s the dial. The round area in the center emphasizes the circular movement of the hands, and as we’ve come to expect from NOMOS, it’s sleek, legible and elegant. With this Zikade version, it’s surrounded by a whole lot of exceedingly bright yellow. It’s a color not often seen on high-end watches, let alone dress watches in rose gold. It’s polarizing. I happen to like the juxtaposition of the restrained design and traditional movement versus the vivid color. On the other hand, I can imagine a lot of people finding the exact opposite. It is sure to get you noticed!
To me, the Lux Zikade has a lot going for it. The tonneau-shaped movement is made with great respect to the codes of traditional German watchmaking. The design is 100% pure NOMOS – clean & simple without being overly serious. The Lux comes at a price, but it’s a great and original choice for those looking for a high-end watch that’s off the beaten path.