The Lambda has always been something of an outlier in Nomos’ assortment — cased in precious metal and with a sticker price well above the Glashütte-based brand’s regular offerings. But now, in honour of the 175th anniversary of the arrival of watchmaking in the German town of Glashütte, Nomos has released a trio of limited-edition Lambdas — in steel.
Before we get to the new case material, we have to talk about what makes the Lambda a special watch in the Nomos family, and that’s its movement. The DUW 1001 calibre is quite unlike the majority of the brand’s movements. It is the first calibre to bear the ‘Deutsche Uhrenwerke NOMOS Glashütte’ marking, the DUW 1001 is a large, slender, manually-wound movement finished to a degree above what is typical for Nomos.
Six of the 29 jewels are set in hand-polished chatons, and the large, traditionally German, three-quarter plate looks stunning with the sunray finish in Nomos perlage. The balance cock with its swan-neck adjustment system is hand-inscribed with “Mit Liebe in Glashütte Gefertigt” — German for “Lovingly produced in Glashütte”.
The finishing of the movement lends credibility to that statement, but an equally accurate inscription could have been ‘ingeniously engineered in Glashütte’. The DUW 1001 manages to pack in a very respectable 84 hours — or 3.5 days — into the twin barrels. Every single one of those hours matter when it comes to the dial side of the watch.
The massive 297-degree power reserve indicator absolutely dominates the top half of the dial, the scale of which means that every single hour will be clearly marked. The result is a very accurate power reserve indicator, which, along with the smaller seconds below and the ultra-thin handset gives the dial (in white, black or a very Nomos shade of blue), a regulator, or even a scientific feel. The aesthetic is still very Nomos, but there’s none of the fun and whimsy evident on the dial that you expect from their more casual watches.
While the dial design is fundamentally the same as previous model Lambda’s, the case is, as we gave away in the lead — steel. In addition, these limited editions are in a completely new case size — 40.5mm, down from the previous 42mm case. The changed case is significant for several reasons — it tones down the proportions of the watch, which — thanks to the expansive dial, wears quite large, and perhaps more importantly, adds some everyday durability to the watch that gold doesn’t provide. And finally, it means that the Lambda, which represents the pinnacle of Nomos’ watchmaking craft, is more accessibly priced than ever before.
Calibre DUW 1001, manually wound with 84 hours of power reserve, swan neck fine adjustment, adjusted to chronometer standards, hours and minutes, power reserve and small seconds
Polished steel, 40.5mm
Offered in enamel white, enamel black and enamel blue
Cordovan with winged clasp
Each dial is limited to 175 pieces, Euro 5,800