To say five grand is a crowded price point in the world of luxury watches is like saying the Bundesautobahn 565 is a bit busy. Buyers can choose from roughly a bazillion great watches: OMEGA, Grand Seiko, Oris, Tudor and on and on and on. Fresh off the Watches & Wonders online trade fair, the NOMOS Neomatik 41 jumps into the fray with a thoroughly modern-looking and fashionable watch imbued with Glashütte’s credentials for proper mechanical timepieces. Worth it?
Provenance matters. NOMOS has plenty. The watchmaker’s factory resides in Glashütte, a small town half an hour from the Czech border. Glashütte is to German watchmaking what Munich and Stuttgart are to automobiles. The “German Vallée de Joux” is home to aspiring Holy Trinity member A. Lange & Söhne, as well as Tutima, Moritz Grossmann and a few other esteemed watchmakers.
NOMOS sells 213 different watches in 13 families. All combine hip design cues with minimalist restraint. The 57-watch strong Neomatik collection is the latest NOMOS model line to receive a revamp.
At 9mm tall and just under 41mm wide, the NOMOS Neomatik 41 Update offers the standard slim and wide profile. There isn’t a shirt made that won’t slide riiight over it.
Nothing gets in the way of the case’s simplicity, fashioned from a single piece of polished stainless steel. Its curved shape rounds off the bottom as it contacts with the wrist. The lugs are small, staying as close as possible to the edges of the watch. Their wire shape presents rounded edges and pairs nicely with the overall impression; nothing sharp, just round and smooth-to-the-touch surfaces.
As you’d expect from a trendy, urban, more-than-a-little dressy watch, there’s no bezel as such. Only a thin, polished slice of steel circles the dial before handing it over to the dial, the central act of the show.
The NOMOS Neomatik 41 Update packs a lot of info on the dial, distilled in shades of grey. On a silver-plated background, the eye chart-style text at the top of the dial offers capital letter branding, followed by “neomatik” in yellow – a welcome splash of colour in a potentially dour design.
A pair of Hollywood-thin syringe hands dance around the dial of while the small seconds sub-dial at 6-o’clock – enhanced with discreet guilloché – keeps the beat. As they do on the NOMOS Metro neomatik‘s dial, circumnavigating dots mark the five-minute intervals; with the 15, 45 and 60 dots larger, bolder and I’d swear ever-so-slightly lighter than their Freunde.
Also like the Metro, the five-minute indices take the form of double digits. Unlike the Metro, where the minute-marking dots run between the numbers, there’s another ring of 60 dots marking the minutes outside the minute markers. And then things get really complicated.
The patented date complication creates a fourth circle of information on the dial’s outer edge. The days of the month are marked between dashes: recesses in the dial are small windows peering onto . . . mostly nothing. A bright orange indicator on a lower layer highlights the current date. Like two subway cars, this touch of colour runs circles the dial over the course of the month.
A small “Made in Germany” proclamation manages to make it past this date complication at 6-o’clock, to complete the dial. Taken as whole, the outer edge of the NOMOS Neomatik 41 Update’s dial feels busy, packed tight. Not Breitling-tight, but a far cry from NOMOS’ monomaniacal minimalist gestalt.
As RF pointed out in his review of the bolder NOMOS Tangente Date 41, you need excellent eyesight to read the small print date wheel from anything other than point-blank distance. Even so, and despite the NOMOS Neomatik 41 dial’s seeming surfeit of circular logic, the new date complication is brilliant – a new take that makes the world’s favorite horological complication visually simpler.
NOMOS’ DUW 6101 movement is the beating heart of the NOMOS Neomatik 41 Update. Introduced in 2018, after three years of Saxonian research and development, the German engine’s features are the Neomatik model’s defining traits.
Blessed with 27 jewels, the handsome DUW 6101 boasts a 42-hour power reserve and hacking seconds. The bi-directional rotor winding the automatic movement leaves no doubt of the company’s local and national pride, spinning the words “Nomos Glashütte Deutsche Uhrenwerke” embossed in slight relief.
The subject of two patents, the aforementioned date complication is NOMOS’ NEXT BIG THING. One patent protects the display’s look and feel: the day marker rotating around a disc on the outer edge of the dial. The other shelters the intricate off-centre rounded triangle actuating the date changing mechanism.
The movement is finished with Côtes de Genève (called “Glashütte stripes” locally) at the top of the movement, and perlage circles on the base. Both aim to pick up dust. Both look stunning through the transparent caseback, blued screws and all.
The caseback informs us that the watch’s water resistance is rated to 5 ATM. Translation: 165 feet. Translation 2: the NOMOS Neomatik 41 Update is a watch you’ll want to keep away from anything more H2O-intensive than a spring shower. Dive bars are OK. Diving not so much.
The Neomatik Update 41 is fitted with an impeccably finished grey nylon strap. Paired with the wire lugs, the strap gives a sporty, laid-back look to the whole – in addition to being supremely light and comfortable.
Micro-adjusters need not apply. Regardless, no doubt some OCD German engineering spec’d the appropriate rigidity and the treatment applied to the strap’s edges. It feels right, looks tight and can go all night (and day).
The buckle is signed discreetly: the keeper’s shape matches the lugs. I only wore the watch for a week so can’t comment on how much the strap would soften and “fluff” around the points of friction.
NOMOS’ cocktail of traditional yet innovative watchmaking, paired with cool not-to-say cold design, offers a distinctive alternative to the usual suspects. The Neomatik Update 41 may be a bit much for some, not enough for others. Regardless, the date complication is a bold move – in its own refined way – that keeps the German brand relevant. And enticing.
Model: Nomos Glashütte Metro Neomatik 41 Update (ref. 1165)
Price: $4660 (3,850 CHF)
Case material: Polished 316L stainless steel
Lug width: 20mm
Dial color: Galvanized, silver-plated
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal glass
Case back: Sapphire crystal glass
Movement: DUW 6101, developed in-house
Water resistance: 5 ATM / 50 meters
Manufacturer’s limited warranty: 2 years
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * * *
Elegant, smart, sharp and full of subtle details. The complex (not to say crowded) dial may not be to everyone’s taste.
Legibility * * *
The crisp lines and design require good eyes to make out all the details. It’s easy to tell the approximate time, squinting is required to tell it precisely; you’ll need to squint and peer to make out the exact date.
Comfort * * * * *
It’s light timepiece worn on a textile strap, with a slim and thin profile. Wearing one is a forgettable experience in all the right ways.
Overall * * * * *
The Neomatik 41 Update offers a beautiful in-house movement in a sharp and elegant design. Modern and traditional at the same time, the watch is firmly within NOMOS’ wheelhouse. While some may ding the dial for overkill, I don’t.
TTAW is a fully independent website. No commercial consideration provided by Nomos Glashütte. No payment for links. The model reviewed was provided by the manufacturer and sent back after review.
I like the aesthetic yet wonder if I’d ever buy it even if I were able. Takes a certain sort, no?
The bottom-half minute digits flipping orientation when the date digits do not is a bit odd, at least in photos.
I too like this genre more in theory than in practice. In my mind, every wearer is some architect/artist in a black turtleneck with slicked back hair and round wire-rim glasses.
The flip of digits below the watch equator usually gnaws on me, but the eye chart font (so accurate) size here made it slip past me even in enlarged photos. But I see them all doing the flip?
I checked out a Tangente at my local store intending to buy. I didn’t though. It has the same commitment to quality and precision described in this article. I admire Nomos for that. And for being in-house at an attractive price point. The problem I had is that somehow 41mm in a Nomos just wears much larger. Not Invicta large (god forbid) but large enough that it felt like it was trying too hard to be noticed on the wrist. Kind of a shame because the watch was very nice otherwise.
These sort of thing often risk looking a bit generic, so the added dial subtleties are welcome. The overall layout always looks like a blood pressure cuff gauge to me, but again, this one less than the others.
That buckle is a mystery. The wire lug motif on the keeper is really neat, but it introduces asymmetry and imbalance to the part. Not that anyone would really notice, but it seems less thought out than everything else.
I think this watch looks a little too simple. Nice looking movement though, for the price.
That’s a great press release you wrote there.
Little Hodinkee dot com.
From a practical and accuracy perspective its a pity they don’t do a quartz movement. That would tempt me