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interview: Werner Aisslinger

» A beautiful design demands precise craftsmanship «

Werner Aisslinger is one of the best-known contemporary designers, whose often very artistic works are exhibited in museums worldwide. He recently collaborated with NOMOS Glashütte to create a new timepiece: Autobahn. It has now received the German Design Award in Gold.

Mr. Aisslinger, why do you think the German Design Award jury decided to bestow its highest honor on Autobahn?

When we were designing Autobahn, we wanted to create a watch that was “of the moment” and yet also a timeless, archetypal piece that couldn’t be pinned down to anyone decade. We took the design affinities of car enthusiasts and combined them with the tradition of NOMOS Glashütte to create a piece of art that could be worn every day on the wrist. I am extremely pleased that the German Design Award jury recognized our work and saw fit to award this prize.

This watch isn’t what we would normally expect from NOMOS Glashütte.

We felt that NOMOS Glashütte should speak to new customers. We really wanted to stretch the brand’s boundaries and try something new. There was a lot of experimentation before we finally got to the final product. But in the end, I believe it paid off: We have succeeded in generating fresh attention for the NOMOS brand without alienating loyal customers.

What are your favorite details about the design, and which of the three models do you wear?

One of the most striking details is the deep bowl-shaped dial, which is something that catches my eye every time. The curved edges are reminiscent of the Avus street circuit in 1960s Berlin—or of the fenders on vintage Mercedes Silver Arrows. That steep slope transitions seamlessly to the dial, a form that is echoed by the gentle curve in the sub-seconds. The dials themselves and the wide superluminova arc are also important, as well as the extended date window, which reminds me of the analog odometers on classic cars. Perhaps the most important aspect, however, is the ultra-precise manufacture of these watches. A beautiful design demands precise craftsmanship. I wear the model with the white silver-plated dial. Autobahn is truly my watch—for all times.

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press release: Good Design award for NOMOS Glashütte

NOMOS Glashütte has officially captured its sixth Good Design Award, a prestigious distinction initiated by the likes of Charles Eames—this time for the model Autobahn.

Glashütte/Berlin, January 2019. NOMOS Glashütte is pleased to join the winners circle for the oldest design prize in the world, the Good Design Award. The honor was bestowed on Autobahn. The internationally renowned product design award was established in 1950 by a group of designers that included Charles and Ray Eames. The award is presented to products that provide convincing solutions in their form, function, aesthetics, and quality.

Autobahn is one of the latest creations from NOMOS Glashütte, the automatic watch with a date display features clear forms, dynamic contours, and water-resistant performance to 100 meters. It is equipped with the most innovative movement from NOMOS to date, the neomatik caliber DUW 6101. With a thickness of just 3.6 millimeters, this slender movement concentrates an exceptional amount of expertise: 170 years of fine Glashütte watchmaking, meticulous German engineering, a generous dash of high-tech, and countless hours of craftsmanship.

Product designer Werner Aisslinger and partner Tina Bunyaprasit, the creative team behind Studio Aisslinger, designed the bold timepiece for NOMOS Glashütte in collaboration with the watchmaker’s own designers. Their work can be seen at exhibitions worldwide—from MoMA to the V&A and Vitra Design Museum. Inspired by daring racetrack designs, the dial immediately launches into a steep curve, which is echoed in the sub-seconds. The elongated date window shows a trio of dates at a glance: yesterday, today, tomorrow. It also features a quick-change date function; just a half turn of the crown in either direction moves the display one day forward or back. Aisslinger and Bunyaprasit were delighted to hear the news: “Designing a mechanical timepiece was such a rewarding project. And now it feels incredible to win a Good Design Award for it. The year is already off to a great start.”

For Autobahn this award makes three. Shortly after its launch in April 2018, the timepiece from NOMOS Glashütte received a Red Dot Award. In November 2018, the German Design Council, founded in 1953 by the German legislature, and a global parliament of good design ever since, awarded its highest honors to Autobahn with the Gold category. And for NOMOS Glashütte, the Good Design Award is becoming something of a tradition: First presented in 2011 for the model Zürich, the watchmaking company also received the award for Tangente date (2012), Ahoi (2013), Metro 38 (2014), and Minimatik (2015).

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press release: NOMOS Glashütte in pole position

Leading from the get-go: The new NOMOS watch Autobahn has won the renowned Red Dot Award—the first big prize for this sporty automatic model

Glashütte/Berlin, April 2018

Off to a flying start: Its premiere at the world trade fair for watches in Basel feels like it was only yesterday—yet Autobahn, the new watch from NOMOS Glashütte, has just won the Red Dot Design Award 2018. Its full name is Autobahn neomatik 41 date and both aesthetically and technically speaking, it has plenty to offer.

The curves of the dial and the sub-seconds entice the eye to explore this timepiece’s unfamiliar depths. The elongated date window at six o’clock is particularly easy to read, displaying three days at a glance; a luminous ring of superluminova makes the watch legible at night too. Within the slender yet robust stainless steel case ticks the second highly complex and highly precise neomatik caliber from NOMOS Glashütte, this time with a date function: DUW 6101. Just like the first neomatik caliber from the watchmaking company, this one is ultra-slim—even with its self-winding mechanism and date function.

“Autobahn is one of a kind,” says NOMOS creative director Judith Borowski. “And quick off the mark too: The fact that this watch has won an award so soon after its market launch is particularly special for us.” Werner Aisslinger and Tina Bunyaprasit, who designed this timepiece in collaboration with NOMOS Glashütte, are delighted too: “This is the highlight of a great collaboration with todays most interesting watchmaking brand for designers.”

Along with the white silver-plated version, Autobahn neomatik 41 date also comes with dials in midnight blue and sports gray. This is not the first Red Dot Award for NOMOS Glashütte: Ten other watches from NOMOS Glashütte have already been honored with this esteemed prize, which started in 1954. “Red Dot” is an award recognized around the world for denoting excellence; it stands for innovative products with outstanding form, function, aesthetics, and quality. The official award ceremony for Autobahn takes place on July 9 in Essen, Germany.