You’ve just gotta love Nomos’ way of mashing up archetypal minimalism/modernism, inspired by the Bauhaus, with such vintage details as small seconds. Rare in contemporary watches – Ikepod and Ressence spring to mind – Nomos manages to make hoary ol’ mechanical watches seem as current as a smart watch but without the electronics or cheapness. The resultant style is thus always fresh, as well as ripe for variants and adaptations.

Not that the Teutonically tasty Tangente neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium needs the variation that informs its name. The original watch is as “now” as can be, especially due to its refreshing take on a circumferential date indication. Instead of using a hand to point to the date, Nomos has cut out 31 rectangular apertures between the digits. The date is indicated by the cut-outs showing red on either side of the correct numeral. In the illustration seen here, it’s clearly the 4th.

Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium

Apparently, we’re not alone in loving this timepiece. As Nomos proudly reminds us: “The innovative caliber technology and re-engineered date display of this model recently won over the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the most important award in the watchmaking world.” Like I said, Nomos does brilliant mash-ups, because the Tangente’s clever date solution is tempered by small seconds, which – to many enthusiasts – signals a manual movement of a certain era, sweep seconds long ago having supplanted it. I didn’t know the Germans could do irony: inside is the in-house DUW 6101 automatic calibre with 42-hour power reserve.

What’s new about the latest Tangente is its gorgeous ruthenium dial, cheekily referred to as “dark platinum,” ruthenium being a rare element in the same group. As the company notes, depending on the light and the angle, “colour shifts between dark grey and golden brown – with unwavering elegance.” In this application, with rhodium-plated white hands and numerals providing the contrast that ensures superlative legibility, the red indicators in the date ring enjoy even greater visual impact.

Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium

Looks aside – as important as they are – the rest of the Tangente Update is perfect fodder for aficionados. The manufacture movement qualifies as truly thin, at just 3.6mm thick, which adds to the watch’s credibility, given the current passion for such calibers. Properly decorated and held in place with tempered blue screws, its rhodium-plated surfaces adorned with Glashütte ribbing and NOMOS perlage, it’s visible through the sapphire caseback. The nifty date display is accompanied by a quick-change function, set by a slight turn of the crown, working in both directions.

Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium

A minor update, it may be – just a change of dial colour. But there’s more to this watch than just its dial. “Complex minimalism”: as oxymorons go, it’s irresistible.

Technical Specifications

Movement

DUW 6101 in-house neomatik calibre with automatic winding and date

Case

41mm stainless steel, sapphire crystal glass back, water-resistant to 5ATM

Strap

20mm genuine Cordovan leather in black