When you look at the core collection of NOMOS, you’ll easily see that silvery-white dials and round, polished steel cases is somehow the definitive look of most range of watches. And from that, the brand has managed to create an extremely consistent and distinguishable collection, within a mere 20-year period. But NOMOS is also known for adding a touch of eccentricity from time to time, with small coloured accents, and a bit of fun and freshness in their modern expression of the Bauhaus style. And then, there’s a dial that is apart, and also quite attractive, the Silvercut. And today, we’ll take a closer look at two very (very) different watches. One might be the most classic, the other the boldest…
These watches, surprisingly, have a lot in common and, at the same, feel entirely different. They share the same movement and the same dial finish, but everything else couldn’t be more opposite. Look at these two watches one next to another and I’m sure that you’ll make your choice in less than 1 second. But what they share in common is pretty important.
The Silvercut dial
Besides the younger and more colourful dials found in the Club or Tetra collection, most classic models from the NOMOS range – think Tangente, Metro, Ludwig, Orion, Ahoi or Zurich – have classic, galvanized or silver-plated dial with black or dark blue printings, and maybe just a touch of colour on the small seconds or the name of the watch. Pretty straightforward and effective, but not what you’d call provocative. Yet, it’s also why we love NOMOS and why it made a name for itself. In this industry, consistency has proven to be quite an important factor of success.
Yet, innovation and creativity are also important to stay fresh and to create envy, and NOMOS can also manage that in a very efficient way. It can be with the use of bright, vivid colour, it can be by creating warm and slightly more luxurious, or it can be, like here, by creating something that reflects the place where NOMOS watches are designed – that’s Berlin – with an industrial, minimalistic, slightly arty vibe and an extreme rigour that is broken by small, funky details.
The idea with the Silvercut dial was to create a texture, a graphic pattern that is first very rigouristic, yet also playful and changes in depth and colour depending on the surroundings, the way you wear the watch and the ambient light. The way to achieve the dial could have been simple… a steel plate with a brushed finish. But not, NOMOS has decided to make things more complicated, resulting in this Silvercut dial being quite attractive in the metal. The process – which isn’t entirely revealed – involves a combination of gold- and rhodium coating creating depth in the colour and metallic reflections, and also a wet-blasting process to reveal the texture of the dial. And indeed, when looking at the Silvercut dial closely, you’ll see that it isn’t simply brushed. Also, depending on the ambient light, it brings lively reflections, from light silver to darker grey, but also warmer or colder colours. The combination with a snailed and recessed small seconds also brings depth to these dials.
But, as you’ve seen, the dial isn’t everything with these watches. And whether you choose to have it in the Orion case or in the Tetra case, the result is fairly different… to say the least.
The NOMOS Orion Neomatik Silvercut
Let’s start with the most classic side of the spectrum, the Orion. This watch is, with the Tangente, the most classic expression of NOMOS’ design, with extremely clean lines, simple shapes and an almost absence of bezel that leaves the focus mostly on the dial. Refined, restrained, it’s the classic elegance “à la NOMOS.”
With this Orion Neomatik Silvercut, the brand offers a watch that is slender, elongated with a rather compact diameter of 38.5mm for its polished stainless steel case. The habillage of the watch is somehow reduced to the essential, with almost no bezel, straight and clean lines, a straightforward crown and a slightly domed sapphire crystal. In the same vein, the hands and indexes are discreet batons but they are finely executed and despite being silver-coloured, they have more than enough contrast – due to the polished surface – to offer great legibility.
On the wrist, this slender and restrained attire makes for a refined watch, something that the 8.7mm height only reinforce. But, as always with the Orion, keep in mind that the lugs are long and that it will wear more like a 41mm model. As such, this makes the whole concept of the Silvercut dial very visible and present, and the texture combined with small touches of red (small-seconds hand and movement name) adds the required touch of discreet eccentricity.
Powering this watch is the Neomatik movement, also known as the in-house DUW 3001. This ultra-thin automatic movement measures only 3.2mm in height but is large enough for the small-ish cases of the brand, at 28.8mm. The specifications are classic otherwise, with a 43h power reserve and the presence of the in-house Swing system. The decoration is pleasant, with thin ribbings and blued screws.
The NOMOS Orion Neomatik Silvercut, following the rest of the watch, is worn on a discreet black Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap. Normally closed by a pin buckle, until December 31, this watch comes exclusively equipped with the NOMOS deployant clasp. It retails at EUR 3,060.
Quick facts: 38.5mm x 8.7mm – polished stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, 50m water-resistant – Silvercut dial with rhodium-plated and polished markers and hands – Calibre DUW 3001, automatic, 3Hz frequency, 43h power reserve – 19mm black Shell Cordovan strap – reference 342
The NOMOS Tetra Neomatik Silvercut
With this second model, as said at the beginning, you couldn’t do more different than the Orion. Everything on this watch is the total opposite of the other model. If the Orion is all about discretion and classicism, the Tetra is simply the most striking watch of NOMOS.
The name Tetra makes is quite clear on what to expect with this watch. It’s Greek for “four of something” and is rather appropriate for such a square watch. And here, I mean a proper square watch, with nothing rounded or angled. It’s a pure square of 33mm x 33mm with sharp angles, a design that you don’t very often in watchmaking – square watches are rarely true squares and have rounded angles, but not in this case. That alone makes the Tetra quite a special watch. Also, despite the dimensions that appear small on paper – 33×33 – the case has a diagonal of 46mm and thus far more wrist presence than what you’d expect. It is flat on all surfaces and combined with double-stepped lugs. Yes, the NOMOS Tetra makes quite a statement.
Contrary to the Orion, the Silvercut dial on the Tetra is combined with printed numerals – which are shared with the Tangente – and blued hands. But in this context, it’s mostly the horizontal pattern that takes its entire sense, being so consistent with the case itself. The industrial feeling is even stronger here and the way this dial plays with round and square shapes is pretty fascinating… as long as you pass the barrier of that square case – which, personally, I find very difficult. It truly is a watch that you’ll choose knowingly.
Under the sapphire crystal is the same ultra-thin, automatic in-house calibre DUW 3001 as above. Again, classically, this watch comes with a black strap crafted from Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan. But, until December 31, this watch comes equipped with the Sport bracelet with no price difference. This metallic “strap” (yes, it looks almost like a strap more than a bracelet) with its brushed finish and thin horizontal links works great with the dial’s texture and adds an even more striking touch to this watch. Of course, you can also select a classic leather strap later. The watch retails for EUR 3,140.
Quick facts: 33mm x 33mm – polished stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, 30m water-resistant – Silvercut dial with steel, tempered blue hands and printed markers – Calibre DUW 3001, automatic, 3Hz frequency, 43h power reserve – 20mm steel Sport bracelet with winged clasp – reference 423
For more details and online orders, please visit nomos-glashuette.com.