Posted on

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.

Posted on 2 Comments

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!

 

Posted on

weltweit: How A Small German Village Became the Most Important Place for Watches by GearPatrol

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

Last week GearPatrol posted a great read on how Glashütte [re]gained its position as the #1 hub of German watchmaking.

Schwertner’s only real experience in the watchmaking industry was limited to IT consulting for a watch brand in Düsseldorf. He knew of Glashütte’s watchmaking legacy, however, and saw its potential to yet again become a luxury watchmaking mecca.

Click to read the full article!

Posted on

weltweit: Making Watches for People ‘Who Can Read and Write’

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

Last week the New York Times posted a great article on NOMOS, which includes an interview with Mr. Ahrendt and Ms. Burowski;

MR. AHRENDT: We are very restrained. We are simple. We are sophisticated. We build watches for people who can read and write. For people who are more self-confident. We were always true to this design philosophy. We didn’t follow every trend. We didn’t overdo it with prices.

Click here to read the full article!