A Look Back At The Best NOMOS Glashütte Releases Of 2021 — The Metro, Club, Tangente, And More
I love “end-of-year retrospectives”. It’s very enjoyable to go back through a brand’s output within one calendar year and compare releases and release strategies around the industry. Although change happens slowly in this business, our lives move very quickly. As such, taking a moment to reflect on developments and novelties can be as cathartic as it is useful for understanding context. NOMOS Glashütte has had another impressive year. In fact, it has been one of the more active (and featured) brands on Fratello. That certainly has a little bit to do with my almost obsessive fandom, but I’m pleased to see that the feeling seems to be mutual among the Fratelli.
This year saw a cavalcade of core releases and a raft of new special editions. There was, of course, our very own Weltzeit in September, but we also had the latest Ace Jewelers Collab to entertain us, along with the Atelier DE GRIFF × NOMOS Glashütte Club 36 Limited Edition released even more recently. Let’s take a look back through the models covered on these virtual pages. Let us know in the comments section which one/s was/were your favorite/s.
NOMOS Glashütte Club Automatic 753 Limited Edition
Way back in February (when the COVID pandemic was just approaching its first birthday — oh, how it’s grown!), NOMOS Glashütte gave us a trio of Club Automatic special editions. A black, a blue, and an olive dial joined the collection (for as long as it took 175 pieces of each to sell out). This was a strong start to an even stronger year with this palatable release that looked like something we’d seen before and hadn’t realized we needed until it existed.
“The success of the Campus collection and the rock-solid identity of the Club as the brand’s entry point left its more expensive models on a bit of an island. The bigger and more complicated Club models never stacked up as favorably against their own, in-house price point competitors as perhaps they deserved to. In my opinion, that had something to do with an identity crisis for the Club. Thankfully, this latest release has solved that once and for all.” Read the whole article here…
The NOMOS Glashütte Metro Neomatik 41 Update
April saw the Metro finally inducted into the DUW 6101 family. This striking addition was a sight for sore eyes that had been dreaming of a larger Metro model since the 38.5mm Neomatik debuted three years ago. At 41mm (and with its characteristic no-bezel look) the Metro Update is a truly massive watch on the wrist. The space afforded to the peripheral date complication is plentiful, and the result is a serene, uncluttered dial that takes the Metro DNA and merges it with the technical brilliance of the DUW 6101 for the best Metro yet.
“In 2018, NOMOS introduced the DUW 6101 Caliber, an iteration of their famous Neomatik movement. The ultra-slim automatic movement features a special date mechanism that allows you to change the date forwards and backward. The movement operates at 21,600vph, features 27 jewels, and has a power reserve of 42 hours. It was first introduced in the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update and has slowly made its way into more watches in the NOMOS collection.” Read the whole article here…
The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente Neomatik 41 Update “Seahawk”
This was the watch that won my heart this year (and that’s coming from an Arizona Cardinals fan). I nicknamed this daringly colored watch the “Seahawk” because of its livery’s uncanny resemblance to the uniforms of Washington state’s favorite American football team. The Tangente is a model I own but wear infrequently. This model, in 41mm, stretches my 16.5cm wrist to the limit thanks to the jutting lugs of a Tangente this size. Nonetheless, it is such a wonderfully composed object, I would wear it around my neck as a medallion if I could.
“It has bite. It has guile. Of all the Tangente models I’ve ever seen (and I have seen a lot), this is the first one that’s really grabbed me (quite violently, I might add), and demanded attention. It is so much edgier than anything that has come before it, I can barely put it into words. Mad as it may seem, those two green lozenges make all the difference. They transform the now commonplace midnight blue background from sophisticated to scintillating. And if you don’t believe me, you need to get this one on your wrist to see for yourself.” Read the full article here…
NOMOS Glashütte 50th Anniversary Doctors Without Borders Limited Tangente 38
This release was typically demure but ended up being one of our most-read articles of the year. There is something undeniably cool about the flash of color at 12 o’clock for which the Doctors Without Borders limited editions have become known. It’s a small change but, as is so often the case in watchmaking, the small changes are the ones that make all the difference.
“Charity partnerships with luxury watch brands are always tricky. Some people will cynically dismiss them as PR stunts. Others will nonchalantly shrug and accept them as part of the business and nothing to get excited about. But sometimes (however rarely, I admit) a partnership makes sense on a truly visceral level. There is (and always has been) something that struck me as wholly appropriate about the NOMOS/MSF association. And this was before NOMOS flexed its muscle as an activist brand.” Read the whole article here…
NOMOS Club Campus Absolute Gray And Future Orange Watches
This was a release that caught us all off guard. Before it dropped, not a single one of us knew he or she needed a largely orange or gray NOMOS. But after the models hit the catalog, so did we hit the official site to find out more. The Future Orange Club became one of the most popular watches of our Summer Splash contest, with a groundswell of support from the Fratelli almost pushing it into the final round. Although it missed out on that honor, it won a lot of fans along the way.
“Browsing through the NOMOS catalog has never been the best way to experience these watches. Rarely, is that true of any brand. However, with NOMOS Glashütte’s watches, the difference between their appearance on paper and their appearance on the wrist is stark. In fact, I would go as far as to say there are few watches as surprising as those produced by NOMOS when they are first tried on. The interplay of the surface finishes — the grainy silver-plated dials and the polished blue hands of the traditional models — makes for a constantly shifting and endlessly enthralling wearing experience.” Read the full article here…
Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit “The Hague” Limited Edition
Yeah, we did a thing. As it turned out, it was a rather successful thing. Some would call it a bit too successful, considering the model (limited to 25 pieces) sold out in under ten seconds. The project turned out to be a learning curve for those of us responsible for creating special products for the Fratelli. As such, we got straight to work on a follow-up, which is slated for release next year. If you liked the panda model but missed out, sign up to the waiting list to be on the front line of new releases.
“There was no temptation to have “The Hague” text printed in a different color (as is common when it comes to Weltzeit special editions). I wanted things to be crisp and clean. I wanted the concept of the Zürich Weltzeit panda to stand alone, completely uncomplicated by its surroundings. A vivid orange arrow (as a nod to our Dutchness) replaced the red pointer at 3 o’clock and that was it. I even insisted upon using the same color NOMOS has deployed with success on the Neomatik champagne models and the Club Campus’s seconds hand. It was, in my mind, the perfect splash of flair that made this Weltzeit entirely different from every other one before it and yet still within the NOMOS design canon.” Read the full story here…
ACE × NOMOS Glashütte Club 36 Blue Limited Edition
This was the sixth collaboration between the Amsterdam-based jeweler and the Glashütte-bound brand. Producing six limited editions in five years is no mean feat, but the endless energy and enthusiasm of team Ace mixed with NOMOS Glashütte’s willingness to spread its wings internationally has proved a winning combination. The latest limited from this dynamic duo was no different.
“I know I frequently wax lyrical about the way team Ace does business and how it differentiates them from their peers, but there’s a reason for that: I’ve worked with over 200 retailers directly and hundreds more indirectly. I’ve seen all kinds of oddities, foibles, and personal gripes get in the way of good business being done and I’ve seen weirdly regressive behavior when it comes to building plans for the future.
These people love being here and doing what they do. That, above all else, is infectious.
“Everything I ever saw from Ace was the opposite. This team is in the industry not just to create joy (which every smart business should aim to do), but also for their own. While you might have expected that couplet to be arranged in reverse, it is the latter trait that is far less common and the one that actually sold the brand of Ace to me in the first place. These people love being here and doing what they do. That, above all else, is infectious.” Read more about this collaboration here…
NOMOS Glashütte Autobahn Director’s Cut
Who saw this one coming? That’s right, we did not. Without a doubt, the Autobahn Director’s Cut (courtesy of designer Werner Aisslinger) is the most controversial release of the year. This Marmite product may be the best thing you’ve ever seen, it may be the worst, but I defy anyone to come away from trying this watch on without a strong opinion one way or another. Good design pushes the envelope. This design pushes the envelope so hard, it was last seen entering Earth’s orbit. What do you think? Let us know below.
“As far as NOMOS watches are concerned, it’s big. Incredibly stout lugs, however, keep the watch wearable. In fact, the NOMOS’s fabric two-piece strap combined with those lugs turned out to be a bit of a stroke of genius. The immediate “drop-off” and forgiving drape of the strap means this watch sits low and flush with the wrist and doesn’t threaten to roll around or cause discomfort throughout the day at all.” Read more here…
NOMOS Glashütte Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date With A Sunray Blue Dial
What’s this witchcraft? A proper sporty bracelet on a NOMOS? You bet! And it arrived on the model that most needed it. The Club Sport was a winner the moment it debuted but there was no getting around the fact that those lugs split opinion. The bracelet now completes a “total wrist” aesthetic that the brand has never offered before in this way. This could turn out to be the most impactful release of the year, and I can’t wait to find out if that bears out.
“Sure, I could rock this blue beauty on a fabric NATO to eliminate the lug gap (and I just might do that), but the bracelet really dresses this piece up. Given the new NOMOS Glashütte Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date is powered by the brand’s most recent (and accomplished) caliber (the DUW 6101) this watch remains super slim. At 10.9mm thick, this watch boasts “dinner plate” like proportions, which should be music to the ears of any larger-wristed types that always fancied adding a NOMOS to their stable, but felt they were a little on the small side. This capable sports watch has a 1,000ft water resistance (don’t ask me why NOMOS went for imperial measurements here, but I love it) and a high polished stainless steel case more than capable of standing up to the rigors of daily life.” Read the full review here…
Atelier DE GRIFF × NOMOS Glashütte Club 36 Limited Edition
What a way to round out our round-up! The Atelier DE GRIFF × NOMOS Glashütte Club 36 Limited Edition is certainly one of the hottest pieces ever produced by the brand. It’s one of those models that you just wish was in the regular collection, but these collaborative successes the brand and its partners are enjoying can only serve them well in the future.
“The brushed bracelet might look similar to those stretchy ones your granddad wore, but it is a silky smooth piece of German engineering. With a slide clasp for easy adjustment and a brushed finish, it complements the round case with panache. It comes with quick-release spring bars, surely to the joy of fellow strapaholics. That said, it seems almost too comfortable to swap out.” Read more about this collaboration here…
Let us know in the comments below which NOMOS release was your favorite this year. And while you’re at it, please share what you hope to see coming out of Glashütte in 2022!
This is a preferred position post. Learn more.