Fratello’s Top 5 Recently Released German Watches — Featuring A. Lange & Söhne, Sinn, Nomos, And More
Another Friday, another Top 5! Last week’s list focused on field watches, a very popular genre for people who are not looking to spend a fortune on a luxury watch. This week, we’ll shift our focus to something completely different. This Top 5 focuses on the best recently released German watches. Scanning the landscape of German watchmaking is interesting. There are a lot of great brands that produce some amazing timepieces. It makes this Top 5 just the tip of the iceberg of what is out there. Nevertheless, we feel that these five picks stand out and deserve attention.
When we started discussing this Top 5, several brands instantly sprung to mind. And that’s understandable as they are popular for good reasons. But German watchmaking also holds quite a few lesser-known names that are worth checking out. That’s why this list is not intended as a Top 5 of the best German watches. It’s merely a list of five recent releases that stood out to our editors for various reasons. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph
As a fan of A. Lange & Söhne, it only makes sense to start this list with one of the brand’s latest creations. But which of them would best fit a list like this? The answer to that is “it doesn’t matter.” Any Lange timepiece is worth a spot on this list. But regarding technological novelties, the Odysseus Chronograph stands out as the most remarkable release of 2023. It is the first automatic chronograph for the Glashütte brand. However, as we would expect, it is not just a “basic” chronograph version of the regular Odysseus. When I first read about the Odysseus Chronograph, I had my doubts. As I explained in my introduction article, I had to warm up to the Odysseus line.
With last year’s Odysseus in titanium, I finally saw the Odysseus that I loved. But then a chronograph? I am generally apprehensive when a regular model is translated into a chronograph. It usually leads to design constructs in which compromises abound. But leave it up to A. Lange & Söhne’s designers to come up with something that doesn’t compromise the design in any way. Rather, the design and the development went hand in hand. As you can see, the dial does not have the usual two or three registers. This keeps the design clean and in line with the elegant overall look of the Odysseus model. To make it possible, the brand developed the new L156.1 Datomatic caliber.
Where design meets technical brilliance
The new movement is housed in a 42.5mm stainless steel case that is 14.2mm thick. Those dimensions make it 2mm wider and 3.1mm thicker than the regular version. It comes on the familiar Odysseus stainless steel bracelet. The finishing on both case and bracelet is in great Lange tradition. The black textured dial is also similar to those of the regular models. You will find the running seconds at 6 o’clock, and the day and date windows are placed at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively, just like on the regular models. This gives the impression that you are not dealing with a chronograph. But the magic is in the central hands. The red chronograph seconds hand is the first giveaway.
The second giveaway is the additional central hand with a lozenge-shaped tip. This hand tracks elapsed minutes. Therefore, it replaces the chronograph minutes totalizer and can record up to 60 minutes instead of the usual 30. The party trick, though, is in resetting the chronograph. That’s when the chronograph’s minute hand makes one sweep back to its starting position. However, the red central chronograph seconds hand covers the entire elapsed time backward at lightning speed. It’s a brilliant phenomenon. In another marvelous solution, the chronograph pushers also function as day/date correctors if you pull out the crown. The automatic caliber L156.1 that makes this magic possible consists of 516 parts, operates at 28,800vph, and has a 50-hour power reserve. It is a brilliant movement that makes this roughly €135,000 100-piece limited edition the perfect first pick for the best recent German watches.
Nomos Glashütte Club Sport Neomatik
We’re staying in Glashütte for our second pick with the Nomos Club Sport Neomatik. When we were discussing the different options that Nomos released recently, we quickly agreed that the Club Sport Neomatik is our favorite. In his review late last year, Daan called the 37mm version a home run, and Lex picked the petrol version for his list of the best watches under €3K. The 37mm model has a case measuring 8.3/mm8.4mm thick (depending on the case back you choose) and 48.5mm from lug to lug. It is water resistant to 200 meters and is powered by the in-house caliber DUW 3001 Neomatik. On the bracelet, it looks sporty without losing that typical Bauhaus-inspired touch. But thanks to the dial colors, it doesn’t feel minimalistic but warm and inviting.
That’s something that surely can also be said of the new 39mm “Indian Summer” models. I adore the new bigger size and the amazing dial tones. The dark brown Tabac color and the lighter brown Ember shade look stunning, and the gray Smoke version rounds out the trio. The new case measures 39.5mm in diameter, 8.4mm/8.5mm in thickness with a solid/sapphire display case back, and 49.5mm from lug to lug. The models are powered by the same DUW 3001 Neomatik movement. It operates at 21,600vph and features 27 jewels and a 43-hour power reserve. The new 39mm version is €2,820/€3,120, while the 37mm version is €2,680/2,980 depending on your choice of case back. Overall, we think the Nomos Club Sport Neomatik has all the potential to become an absolute hit, which is why it is our second pick.
A list of the best German watches would not be complete without something from Sinn. The absolute standout for us was the introduction of the new T-50 series. Most of you will know that the T50 was introduced in three different versions. The first was the special limited-edition T50 Goldbronze, which sold out quickly. In my opinion, though, the two regular models are even better. The first is the full-titanium T50, which will surely attract many fans. But my favorite is the T50 GDBR, which combines a titanium case with a Goldbronze bezel. This two-tone version was created for functional reasons, as any Sinn is. But it also is a great style statement and one of the very few watches out there that combines lightweight titanium with Sinn’s proprietary Goldbronze.
The brand used a Goldbronze bezel because of its better compatibility with the skin and higher corrosion resistance in seawater. As a bonus, it looks super cool too. The watch has a 41mm bead-blasted titanium case that measures 12.3mm thick, 47mm long, and 20mm between the lugs. It features drilled lug holes and is also water resistant to 500 meters. Both T50 models have an Ar-Dehumidifying capsule and are Tegimented to help prevent scratches. Inside the case, all T50 models are powered by a Sellita SW300-1 with 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. You can choose from various bracelet/strap options, as with all Sinn watches. The variant with the silicone strap is our favorite, bringing the titanium version to €3,380 and the T50 GDBR to €4,140.
Glashütte Original Sixties Small Second
After three sports watches, let’s mix things up a bit. Another no-brainer is Glashütte Original. The brand has some amazing pieces in its collection, with the Panomatic and the SeaQ as the standouts for me. But I also have a huge soft spot for the brand’s Vintage collection that takes inspiration from designs from the 1960s and ’70s. The first watches from that collection that come to mind are the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date models. Another series I love is the Sixties Annual Editions. The round cases combined with brilliant dials and the characteristic font type create an instantly recognizable design. Recently, Glashütte Original also added the Sixties Small Second to the lineup.
Upon first look, I adore the overall color scheme of the white dial, rose gold case, and bright green leather strap. It’s a combination that pops, although I do understand that the green strap is not for everyone. But when we zoom in, we see many brilliant details that the brand is known for. The first is the domed galvanic silver-opaline dial. It is combined with rose gold markers and hands and the characteristic numerals at 3, 9, and 12 o’clock in black. The additional small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock is the element that spices up the dial perfectly. With a 42mm case that is 12.4mm thick, it is a bit larger than I prefer for a dress watch that looks this good, but the details are stunning. Inside the case, GO uses its in-house 39-60 movement, which operates at 28,800vph and has a power reserve of about 40 hours. At €17,900, this ’60s-inspired dress watch is proof of what makes Glashütte Original so special.
Moritz Grossmann Tremblage
For this last spot, we picked the Moritz Grossmann Tremblage. If you follow the Glashütte-based brand, you will know that the original Tremblage was released in December of 2021. The wonderful piece celebrated the 13th anniversary of the current Moritz Grossmann brand that was brought back to life in 2008 by Christine Hutter. The dial of the Tremblage is a true work of art that immediately takes center stage. The decorative tremblage technique is a traditional art form of finishing a dial that not too many people master these days. It takes a master engraver years of practice to perfect the technique.
Without getting into too much detail, the exquisite dial finish is realized by hand using a range of engraving burins. As the tools are moved across the metal in a trembling motion, it is where the technique gets its name from (the French word trembler means “to tremble” in English). The result is breathtakingly beautiful. Especially for Only Watch 2023, the brand brings back that unique finishing technique for the one-off Tremblage Only Watch. The tremblage is applied to a rhodium-plated dial but not before the numerals, indices, the manufactory logo, and the inscriptions “Only Watch” and “Made in Germany” are carved in relief so they become raised elements.
A unique watch in all its facets
Moritz Grossman offers the original Tremblage with a stainless steel or rose gold case. For the Only Watch version, the brand chose a stainless steel case that is 41mm in diameter and 11.35mm thick. Inside it, the brand uses its in-house-created hand-wound caliber 100.1. This movement consists of 198 parts, operates at 18,000vph, and has a 42-hour power reserve. The hand-finished caliber looks stunning and bears the “M. Grossmann” signature in cursive script. While you can only bid on the Only Watch edition at the auction on November 5th, the regular stainless steel version can be yours for €39,500, while the rose gold version is €53,900. All three models are wonderful displays of the exceptional talent, skills, and level of craftsmanship at Moritz Grossman.
Final thoughts on the top five recently released German watches
As mentioned, finding five great German watches is easy, but picking the five best German watches overall is impossible. Inevitably, one will leave pieces out that deserve a spot on the list, so this is “just” a compilation of five recent highlights. Besides excluding specific watches, we are also leaving out many other German watch brands. We could have picked pieces from Junghans, D. Dornblüth & Sohn, Kudoke, Benzinger, Grieb & Benzinger, Marco Lang, Lang & Heyne, Laco, Hanhart, Wempe, Tutima, Meistersinger, Alexander Shorokhoff, Stowa, Damasko, Mühle Glashütte, Archimede, Union Glashütte, Guinand, Hentschel, and the list goes on. Let us know what your favorite recently released German watch is in the comments section, and we’ll see you next week for a new Top 5.