Watches: New limited edition from Nomos pay homage to Bauhaus

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 28, 2018.

The Tangente comes with faces in 33mm, 35mm and 38mm diametres. Photos by Hodinkee

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ONE of the words most often used to describe Nomos Glashütte’s watches is “Bauhaus.” While that might be used as shorthand to cover things like “minimal” and “sleek,” it is important to remember that the Bauhaus is an actual place. the world-famous school of art and design was founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919, meaning that next year will be its 100th anniversary.

Despite closing in 1933 (as most of its faculty fled the country in the lead-up to World War II), the impact of the Bauhaus on 20th century design really can’t be overstated. Teachers at the school included founder Walter Gropius, husband-and-wife duo Josef and Anni Albers, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and more. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

So, taking all of that into account, it’s only fitting that Nomos would release a collection of limited edition watches to celebrate the Bauhaus’s centenary. The Tangente “A Century Of Bauhaus” collection is a series of nine watches, all variations on a theme. The Tangente is sort of the ur Nomos, and here we see the original, hand-wound version in all three major sizes — 33mm, 35mm, and 38mm — each with three special dial treatments. The base dial colour is “sketch paper”, which is a matte, slightly yellowed hue, and then the circumference of each is ringed in one of the three primary colours, which were considered especially important to the Bauhaus artists. Anchoring all of this is a set of black hands that match the printed markers and complete the understated look.

Each of the nine versions of the watch is limited to 100 numbered pieces, with engravings on the solid steel casebacks for each.

To surprise absolutely nobody, I’ll just say it: I’m super into these and really like that Nomos is doing something to celebrate the Bauhaus’s big anniversary (if a little early). Most people think Bauhaus and assume it means all white everything and a certain dose of sterility. Not so. The fact that Nomos is leaning into the more artistic principles of Bauhaus teachings and is taking inspiration from the actual practice of creating (hence the “sketch paper” coloured dials) is both smart and a good way to veer away from what people might have been expecting from a limited edition like this.

Since there are actually nine watches here, there’s a pretty healthy dose of variety, all things considered. For me, I think I’d choose the 35mm Tangente with the blue accents if I had to pick just one. The contrast between the warmth of the dial and the cool ring around the outer edge makes it stand out from the other two colourways, and the 35mm version of this watch still has the best balance and proportions (it is the original, after all). — Bloomberg

The Basics
Brand: NOMOS Glashütte
Model: Tangente — A Century Of Bauhaus
Reference Numbers:
Diameter: 33mm, 35mm, or 38mm
Thickness: 6.4mm (33mm), 6.2mm (35mm), or 6.6mm (38mm)
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: “Sketch paper” with blue, red, or yellow accents
Indexes: Arabic numerals and batons
Hands: Black oxidised
Lume: None
Water Resistance: 30 metres
Strap/Bracelet: Black Horween Shell Cordovan strap

The Movement
Caliber: NOMOS Alpha
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Diameter: 23.3mm
Thickness: 2.6mm
Power Reserve: 43 hours
Winding: Manual
Frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vph)
Jewels: 17
Additional Details: Stop-seconds mechanism, adjusted to six positions, blued screws and rhodium-plated bridges

Pricing & Availability
Price: US$1,660 (33mm), US$1,800 (35mm), and US$1,930 (38mm)
Availability: Pre-order opens on nomos-glashuette.com on Thursday, August 23, with watches hitting authorised retailers later this month
Limited Edition: 100 individually numbered pieces in each configuration (900 total pieces)


This article first appeared in Hodinkee.