NOMOS – 3 of the Best

NOMOS square watch

If NOMOS Glashütte was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they’d be singing Bauhaus, is a very very very fine haus. All of the German watchmaker’s timepieces conform to the artistic movement’s form-follows-function minimalism. Choosing “the best” is difficult – a lot of NOMOS’ watches look like a lot of their other watches. So I’ve selected two of the more distinctive models and one that’s [relatively] affordable. Here we go, from high to low . . .

NOMOS Tangomat GMT – $4920

NOMOS Tangomat GMT

There’s a metric ton of GMT (second time zone) watches with a hand pointing at an outer track of hour indices. There are almost as many GMT watches with a rotating list of foreign cities. If that’s your jam, the $6100 NOMOS Zurich World Time does just that.

The Tangomat GMT listens to the beat of different drummer. Pressing the pusher at the 2 o’clock selects an airport city code in the 9 o’clock window. The selection automatically displays the local hour for that airport’s time zone in the window at the 3 o’clock position.

NOMOS Tangomat GMT caseback

The setup requires familiarization with a dozen or so of the hundreds of airport codes. You may also need to Google which airport represents the time zone for a desired location. And the patience to scroll through all the options.

The reward: a 40mm GMT watch that’s as clean as a freshly laundered dress shirt. Your six grand also buys you the top notch German watchmaking (e.g., in-house automatic caliber DUW 5201 with patented swing system) and the custom finishing (blued screws!) for which the brand is justifiably famous.

NOMOS Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue – $3980

Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue

The original Tetra was, is and will remain a niche product. No surprise there. By the watchmaker’s own admission, the 27.5 mm × 27.5 mm Tetra is for “more delicate wrists” (i.e. women). Although most women abhor the drudgery of a manual wind watch, and NOMOS lacks fashionability (by design), the Tetra is still a solid little earner. Emphasis on little.

Four years ago, the horological sultans of Saxony rejigged the Tetra for XY chromosome buyers. They upsized the square timekeeper to 33mm × 33mm (46mm corner-to-corner), equipped it with their new in-house automatic caliber (DUW 3001) and offered it in Midnight Express. I mean Midnight Blue.

NOMOS Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue caseback

These pictures fail to highlight the Tetra’s killer app: its thinness. The watch stands 7.3mm tall. But don’t get to thinking the Tetra is best worn as a flat-sitting funky chunky dress watch. In the blue hue, the Tetra is as casual as you wanna be – as long as you don’t wanna be casual in a swimming pool. Or perform a hand-washing demo for COVID-free kids. Otherwise, once again, it’s hip 2B square.

Club automatic – $2620

NOMOS Club Automatic

Scanning all the watches in NOMOS’ 13 collections brings you face-to-watch face with over 200 timepieces. You’d be forgiven for thinking they’re all pretty much of a muchness. And find a great many models small by today’s standards (NOMOS considers 37mm a unisex size).

I reckon the the Club Automatic offers the best combination of whistle clean design (with enough color not to be a snoozefest, blissfully bereft of the dreaded date window), a modern size (40mm) and daily practicality (water resistant to 100m). The Club automatic transcends fashion without breaking the bank.

Club automatic caseback

Although it may damage the bank. Assuage your guilty conscience/significant other by focusing attention on the in-house automatic caliber DUW 5001 keeping near-perfect time underneath that screwdown caseback. If buying the Club leaves you cash-strapped, console yourself with the quality of the Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap.

And the fact that you’ve joined a club of German watch aficionados who appreciate the fact that less is more – except for the aforementioned bank balance. But with refined taste like yours, it’s only a matter before you top it up, congratulating yourself on the wisdom of “investing” in a NOMOS Glashütte watch. Or something like that.


TTAW is a fully independent watch website. We’ve received no compensation for our recommendations or the links to NOMOS’ website.


  1. Some men have more delicate wrists too! That is one clean GMT, even if pedantry requires me to clarify that the Tetra’s calibre is 3.1mm thick. In case, the watch is a still slim 7.3mm.

    I have to credit Teddy Baldassarre for pointing out that the NOMOS long lugs are long.

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