The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente Neomatik 41 Update “Seahawk” Has Landed
In the past, I have spoken at length about the importance of color in watch design. Recently, thanks to a dear friend who suffers from quite serious color-blindness, I’ve come to appreciate just how lucky those of us that don’t really are. The thought of not being able to appreciate the subtle use of shades employed ever more daringly by watchmakers around the world, in their effort to stand out from the crowd, genuinely saddens me. What a loss it would be to not pick up the new NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 41 Update in midnight blue and not be able to enjoy those vivid flashes of “Action” green…
That kind of colorblindness — the kind that makes it difficult to differentiate between blues and greens — is called tritanopia, or “blue-yellow color blindness” if you prefer. It is thankfully quite rare. If we have any readers afflicted with this condition, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. It would be fascinating to know which kind of watches you enjoy looking at the most and whether you think watch manufacturers could do more to cater to color blind customers. I’ve heard that special glasses now exist that correct color blindness. Perhaps this technology could be used in place of a sapphire crystal to offer color blind watch lovers a new experience entirely…
…this piece is without a doubt my favorite yet.
Why do I suddenly care so much about this issue? Because the NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 41 Update in midnight blue is so gorgeous, it should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. I have an extensive but mixed history with the Tangente model, which I’ll dig into below, but this piece is without a doubt my favorite yet. And here’s why:
This watch has claws
I’m a big American sports fan. Those of you that listen to WASP, our “Watching Sports and Sporting Watches” pod column will know that already. My favorite sport? American football. My favorite team? The Arizona Cardinals. Their terrifying division rivals? The Seattle Seahawks…
The Seahawks have one of the most recognizable uniforms in the NFL. A deep navy contrasted with a wolf gray is brought to life by a vivid shade of green known as “Action” green. This watch uses a very similar colorway. As such, I have nicknamed it the Seahawk. This isn’t an official nickname, but I guess very few watch monikers start out that way. Maybe NOMOS will adopt it (probably not). Regardless, the nickname suits the watch in more ways than its color scheme. Simply put, this watch has claws.
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.
How does it wear?
As soon as the NOMOS Glashütte Tangente neomatik Update 41 in midnight blue hits your wrist, you will notice something: this watch is massive. It looks much bigger on the wrist than its 40.5mm diameter would suggest. Of course, we are used to this from NOMOS. There is no brand better at busting the myths surrounding which diameters you can and can’t wear.
Despite the fact that a 36mm watch from NOMOS looks a lot more like a 38mm, and the 38mm stuff appears more like 40–42mm, many die-hard diameter fanatics have remained unconvinced. If you fall into that category, you need to try this watch. It will bamboozle you. In its favor, is the fact that the watch is at least listed above 40mm. For many people that seems to trigger a mental cut-off point. Anything below it is dismissed. Most things within the 40–42mm are treated with cautious suspicion, but still, have a shot of making it. When you try this watch on, you will find yourself reaching for the calipers. It’s not that it wears big (it is, after all, the diameter it says it is), it is simply that it looks enormous in comparison to other watches its size.
Well, there is the edge-to-edge sapphire to consider. The 7.8mm thinness of the watch (thanks to the super-slim, in-house DUW 6101 movement within) makes this watch seem sprawling. The hairline bezel hands over maximum space to the dial aperture. The delicate, angled lugs that are such a trademark of the Tangente line, actually seem to add to the watch’s presence. You see, presence isn’t always about bulk. It can be achieved in an elegant fashion. This watch is proof of that. And it also happens to be pretty good value for money.
The evolution of NOMOS Glashütte is well documented. There are very few watch brands that have navigated the shift from an affordable design brand to a credible in-house manufacture so successfully. One of the toughest aspects of that metamorphosis to manage was the hike in pricing. It was inevitable. The kind of progress NOMOS made does not come for free. Despite that, and the sense behind the price increases over the years, keeping a handle on the public perception was never going to be easy.
We’re now almost six years into the existence of the DUW caliber family. The seminal release of the DUW 3001 in 2015 marked the start of the change. The DUW 6101 used in this model (effectively the same as the 3001 but with a gigantic, peripheral date wheel) is the finest movement the brand has ever created. And yet, it is not its most expensive.
The Zürich Weltzeit, powered by the DUW 5201 movement, is the brand’s priciest steel model (starting at €4,500). The DUW 6101 is used in this Tangente, the new Metro Update, an Orion and Ludwig of the same proportions, and the divisive Autobahn model. The latter family, designed by Werner Aisslinger, represents the high-point for the DUW 6101, with the Autobahn models retailing for €3,800. When you take a look at the classic families to feature this caliber, however, it is a different story entirely.
The perfect balance
The Metro model released a couple of weeks ago retails for €3,500. Then we have two colorful Orion models (one in olive, one in midnight blue) at €3,340. The standard Orion Update costs €3,300. The cheapest of the bunch is the Ludwig, which commands a €3,140 price tag. Just a shade above that, we find the three available Tangente models. In white, black, and this midnight blue/action green. Amazingly, there is no color premium for the black or blue models. Perhaps that shouldn’t be amazing, but it is rather unusual for NOMOS (although not a hard and fast rule). These Tangentes retail at €3,200.
Ten years ago, €3,200 for a Tangente would have seemed a lot. However, the way in which NOMOS has executed its growth strategy (something I talked about here) means that this price no longer feels on an island. Far from it. This price is nestled right in the middle of the company’s higher-end steel automatics. As such, given it features the most exciting movement from a technical perspective, it feels like a bargain. To me, the Tangente neomatik 41 Update “Seahawk” represents the perfect balance between novelty and realistic pricing.
Sometimes I kid myself into thinking I know what NOMOS is going to do next. I don’t. And, to be quite honest, I like it that way. There are too few surprises in our industry. This was one of them and I’m now excited to see what will follow in its wake. Learn more about NOMOS Glashütte here.