Nomos is changing the rules by offering Glashütte-made watches with manufacture movements, complete with the brand’s in-house “Swing System” balance, balance spring, escape wheel and lever, at prices that are beyond reasonable. At Baselworld, Nomos will unveil its latest bespoke creation, the Metro 38 Datum.
The new model follows last year’s original Metro, which has collected near-universal praise and several international design awards. The newest Metro both adds to and subtracts from the 2014 model. Enthusiasts who prefer larger watches will be happy to hear that the addition comes in the form of extra millimeters, though Berlin-based designer Mark Braun remains firmly committed to aesthetic purity. The new model measures 38.5mm in diameter, compared with the original Metro’s 37mm. That’s not a huge increase, but it is noticeable, and design purists will be pleased with the result.
The subtraction involves removing the original Metro’s power reserve display, which some feel endows an otherwise austere visage with a slightly quirky personality. That’s due to the non-traditional nature of the display, as well as its off-center location, which pushed the Nomos logo to the 9 o’clock position. On the new model, name returns to the traditional 12 o’clock locale. The new watch retains the distinctive Nomos charm while presenting a cleaner, more balanced look. Wear the original Metro when you’re feeling artistic, and the Datum when your inner engineer steps to the fore.
The big excitement is found behind the dial (and, frankly, on the price tag). The caliber DUW 4101 was the first to feature the in-house Nomos “Swing System” escapement, balance wheel and spring. Few brands manufacture these components. Most, including many that produce otherwise in-house movements, buy these key parts from Swatch Group’s Nivarox. With this in mind, we should all appreciate the significance of the Nomos achievement.
Reaching this pinnacle of manufacturing expertise was neither easy nor cheap. Nomos invested several years of time, and nearly 12 million euros, in research and development. Nomos teamed with experts at Germany’s Carl Haas GmbH, a precision spring specialist, to get the metallurgy and manufacturing just right, and with the University of Dresden to assure that their math and physics were correct. Nomos calibers that incorporate the Swing System bear the designation “DUW” which stands for Deutsche Uhrenwerke. We’re happy to report that the manual-wind DUW 4101 in the new model is on display behind a sapphire crystal.
The Nomos 38 Datum will be available in June 2015, priced at US$3,480.