There are an increasing number of brands competing in the £1000 – £3000 price range and to be honest, prospective purchasers are “spoilt for choice”. There is no excuse for buying a poor quality watch in the current, highly competitive marketplace. With a surfeit of models available, every niche is filled. There is something for everyone.
This pre-amble figuratively brings me to the doors of German brand, NOMOS Glashütte. It is a company whose products I hold in high-esteem. The Tangente, Ludwig and Tangomat models represent exceptional value for money. Indeed, I cannot think of many other brands that offers so much merit for the money.
Consider the blend of Bauhaus inspired design and manufacture movements, it is an attractive proposition. The modestly priced NOMOS products contain movements that feature perlage, Glashütte ribbing, blued screws and Glashütte sunburst on rachet and crown wheels. They are most impressive.
As a former marketing professional, I can see the brand positioning is clearly defined and the brand targets a certain market segment with marksman-like accuracy. Recently, the company launched four new models, featuring gold cases, positioned at a much higher strata of the market.
The Lambda features a circular shaped case with a large sized power-reserve indicator and is offered in two variants, rose and white gold. In addition, NOMOS has launched the Lux, a tonneau shaped model, again presented in two variants, but in this instance both models are offered in white gold. It is the Lux which is the focus of this review.
NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold – The Dial
The Nomos Glashuette Lux Weissgold has a white, silver-plated, circular area to the centre of the dial. Surrounding this is a printed light blue area which spans outwards to the edge of the case. It is unusual and certainly differentiates the watch from other timepieces on the market.
An alternative option is the Nomos Glashütte Lux Weissgold Hell which has a solely white silver-plated dial. Appearing more conventional, it is this latter version which appeals to me the most.
The hour and minute hands are rhodiumed and slender. Despite their narrow profile, they provide a clean, readily legible display. This is enhanced further with a minute scale, arranged in circular form. It has a pure bearing, free of the extraneous. Subsidiary seconds feature in the lower portion of the dial, again employing neat, short strokes to indicate 5-second integers. The hand is also, rhodiumed and slim.
The dial is a model of restraint. It features minimal detail and successfully proves, “less is more”.
NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold – The Case
The tonneau shaped case features a slim bezel according a delightful delicacy to the profile of the case. It is the antithesis of the ice hockey puck styling employed by some sports watch companies in recent years. The aesthetics bestow a muted persona, subtle and discreet.
Loop-style strap attachments join the strap and case together. They provide a refreshing alternative to conventional lugs and reinforce the unobtrusive nature of the design.
The dorsal view of the case provides a juxtaposition to the front. Whereas the front of the watch converses in a hushed tones, the exhibition caseback reveals a manufacture movement which exhibits much flamboyance.
NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold – The Movement
The DUW 2002 Caliber proudly proclaims every merit of its refined creation. It is designed to please purists with each aspect of its construction, distilled to a high standard.
The shape of the movement perfectly follows the profile of the case. NOMOS Glashütte could have sought an easier route to construction, placing a round movement within the case and hiding it from view with a solid caseback. But, I am glad the company has expended the effort and conformed with horological etiquette, ensuring the movement shape matches the form of the case.
Despite its noteworthy shallow height, the movement is laden with a myriad of fine details. The DUW 2002 Caliber features a three-quarter plate with gorgeous sunbeam polishing. Whilst I adore the straight lines of Glashütte Ribbing, the decoration emanating from the crown wheel of this movement is ike the sun’s rays on a warm day and is simply exquisite.
Some of the jewels are set in gold chatons, secured with two or three blued screws. It is a feature that is exceedingly attractive and is often found on other prestigious timepieces from neighbouring watch companies.
A swan-neck regulator, screwed balance and engraved balance cock are further indications of high-end watchmaking. Twin barrels collaborate to provide an impressive power reserve of 84 hours.
Adorning the balance cock are the words, “Mit Liebe in Glashütte gefertigt”, meaning “Lovingly produced in Glashütte”. Based on my observations, I see little reason to disagree. The execution of the movement is to a high standard.
The three-quarter plate is rhodium plated although I would have preferred to have seen the use of untreated German silver. I have a couple of watches in my own personal collection which feature German silver components and they have acquired a highly desirable patina which is most endearing.
NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold – Conclusion and Price
The NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold is a stunning timepiece. It brilliantly conveys the impressive ability of this brand located in Saxony, a mere 30 kilometres from Dresden.
This is a watch which provides a dignified depiction of time. It fuses a noble metal case, with highly legible display and virtuous movement. Indeed, in many respects, it is the movement which is most impressive.
As a “halo” piece, to using marketing parlance, it successfully reaffirms to the prospective purchasers of Tangente, Ludwig and Tangomat models that NOMOS is a serious watchmaking concern.
The asking price of £13,800 does feel a little high. Where I do feel NOMOS could truly realise the potential of this product though, is by removing some of the added value of the DUW 2002 to reduce costs. This approach, in combination with presenting a version of the Lux in stainless steel and pricing it at a similar level to its existing model range, would certainly prove a most tantalising proposition.
NOMOS Glashuette Lux Weissgold – Technical Specification
Model: NOMOS Glashütte Lux Weissgold (Ref: 921)
- 18-carat white gold,
- Dimensions 40.5mm x 36mm,
- Height 8.95mm,
- Water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres),
- Sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Subsidiary seconds.
- DUW 2002,
- Hand-wound movement,
- Frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz),
- 23 jewels,
- Power reserve 84 hours.
- Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan black,
- Hand stitched,
- Solid 18-carat white gold pin buckle.