Thursday, 17 May 2012

feature : Nomos Glashütte, Germany

photo thanks to : watchuseek


For some time now the men’s watch market has been all about wearing something hefty, and the more complicated the better, even if most wearers never press one of the buttons that could tell them how long they’d taken to walk to the pub.


In Germany there’s a little watch company that do it very differently.  The biggest watch they make is the size of the smallest of the hefty-sized ones, with the watch that may best exemplify their design ethos being a mere 33mm in diameter.


When they began watch production in the former East German watch town’s old railway station straight after reunification, Nomos Glashütte were reviving a fine watch making tradition that had begun in 1845, with Lange & Sohne (now arguably the world’s best), but had been emasculated during the Soviet era.


Right from the start, Nomos, or more particularly their inspirational founder Roland Schwertner, were determined that everything about the company would be modern, even if the pure designs of their watches were based on those from that greatest of design periods, the Deutscher Werkbund and Bauhaus of the 1920/30s.


Initially the watches had Swiss movements, but in 2005 Nomos became a prestigious “manufactory”, producing almost all of their watches’ components in-house.  But since their formation, not only were Nomos steadily developing their watches, they were also creating their very own design object in which to make them.


The names of great designers like Eames and Aalto are heard used around the Nomos name, and rightly so, because in a short time the company have managed to create beautifully modern, many say iconic, watches to match those of the biggest brands.


But what surprises people most about Nomos watches happens when they first lay eyes on one.....and are told its price.     


by Richard Woollen, guest author

photo thanks to : Gunther Ullrich

photo thanks to : nomos-glashuette

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