NOMOS Glashütte began their story in 1991. Founded by Roland Schwertner and adopting their name from a defunct company (it closed after a ruling that only companies which produce at least 50 percent of the movements’ value in Glashütte may use the name of the town. The original company exclusively produced their products in Switzerland), NOMOS Glashütte have expanded from their original status as a small start-up, becoming an independently-owned retailer and manufacturer exporting their distinctive, expertly-crafted products worldwide.
NOMOS’ first product was the Tangente. This launched in 1992, and became a modern classic among timepiece aficionados. Jasper writes that the Tangente “is the epitome of NOMOS Glashütte. The rounded case with many right angles, this masterpiece of straightforwardness is the embodiment of Glashütte craftsmanship.”
NOMOS is very up-front about the design being inspired by previous watches from Glashütte, such as, the Bauhaus-style wristwatches of the 1940s. What sets the Tangente apart from its predecessors and successors is its minimalist and understated elegance complete with a clear typeface, efficient case design, and a balance between legibility which looks attractive on your wrist. The Tangente also has a higher accuracy than many watches – it’s equivalent to that of chronometers – which can be attributed to the Nivarox escapement at the heart of the watch, and is also tested in six different ways to ensure the watch ticks just right.
The plain silvery-white dial is surrounded by even numbered hour numerals, with the exception of 6 o’clock. Inset at that void is a finely detailed sub-seconds dial with concentric circular graining. Slim blued steel hands are used for the hour and minute hands, as well as the seconds hand in the sub dial. The larger hour and minute hands are just about the same thickness as the baton-style hour indexes, and those aforementioned numerals. The Tangente is powered by NOMOS’s in-house Alpha caliber. There is also a more affordable 35mm model available for purchase.
For an individual looking to purchase their first watch, NOMOS watches may be slightly more expensive than other high street options. However, this comes down to materials, length of manufacture and brand heritage. It should also be noted that the purchase of every watch is registered with the manufacturer and that every NOMOS watch is unique, as every watch and every movement is numbered and these numbers are engraved on the watch back and the movement.