Next week, from Friday to Sunday, dozens of German and Swiss watchmaking brands will present their new creations at the Munichtime 13 watch exhibition. Among them, will be this stunning Nomos Glashutte Lux hand-wound timekeeper.
Soon to be officially presented, the watch features a vintage-styled tonneau-shaped body, which is crafted from 18-carat white gold and features a pair of delicate wire lugs. Featuring the same design language that was so popular among European manufacturers back in the 1920s and 1930s, this new version of Lux looks as simple and understated as it is elegant and refined. Despite the lack of any kind of engraving, the galvanized silver plated dial of the timekeeper is a study in legibility and good taste.
As usual, the timekeeper’s dial features that daringly simple, Bauhaus-inspired design with very thin hands and threadlike markers on the minute track that the Glashütte-based brand is usually associated with. In fact, the dial looks even simpler than their famous Tangente Alma Mater watch.
While some may frown at the choice of hands, it still quite successfully connects the opposite ends of one hundred years of evolution of industrial design. It is a fine example of how a watch manufactured in early 20th century could look if designers and engineers of that time had access to sophisticated machinery and computer equipment of today.
Some may lament that the needle-thin hands lack luminous compound on them, but in 1930s there was a great deal of dressy timepieces that, while featuring traditional for the time Mercedes-style hands, too, didn’t have a single drop of lume on their surfaces. It is just how it goes in this niche.
As you can see, the watch is animated by a very finely executed DUW 2002 hand-wound movement. With its quarter plate rhodium-plated and sunbeam-polished, and five of its 23 jewels set in gold chatons, the caliber (which is, by the way of speaking, is crafted solely in-house), too, looks deceptively simple. However, the mechanism features a twin mainspring barrel design with guaranteed power reserve of 84 hours (3.5 days) and is adjusted to 6 positions, which makes it a de facto chronometer (I don’t know whether it was officially certified as such or not).
Offered as a dress watch for the kind of people that would prefer a vintage Rolls-Royce to a high-end Lamborghini sold at the same price, the Nomos Glashutte Lux is quite compact measuring just 40.5 x 36 millimeters in length and width and being just 9 millimeters thick.
Still, it must be noted that the watch covers a lot of space on a normal wrist basically spanning over all of its width. Some may like, some not. Like with many barrel-shaped watches, the importance of trying a real thing on your own arm can’t be stressed enough. Blindly trusting wristshot photos on specialized forums may result in wasting your money trying to sell one on an online auction to yet another sucker.
Frankly, I am not really sure about that light-blue are printed on the galvanized silver-plated dial, but otherwise this watch looks almost painfully perfect.
Photos: Nomos Glashütte
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Nomos Glashutte Lux watch specification
Movement: Manual, DUW 2002, in-house, Made in Germany
Number of jewels: 23
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 84 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-engraved balance cock, rhodium-plated quarter plate with sunbeam finish
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case material: 18-carat white gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Tonneau
Case size: 40.50 mm x 36.00 mm
Case height: 9.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Galvanized silver-plated
Hour markers: Printed black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan leather strap with 18-carat white gold buckle
Case back: Sapphire