Sam MacKinnon | May 19, 2021 | Style & Beauty
German watchmaking icon NOMOS Glashütte builds on its Bauhaus-inspired past while looking toward the future.
NOMOS Glashütte headquarters in Saxony, Germany
Nestled in the small German town of Glashütte lies the headquarters of watchmaker NOMOS Glashütte, a brand that is rooted in the history of its town as well as the Bauhaus architectural movement. One may expect a brand like NOMOS, with such a storied history, to be a multinational conglomerate with factories that mass-produce its products, but the opposite remains true: It handcrafts all of its designs in-house, and has done so for the past 175 years in the Glashütte tradition of watchmaking. This dedication to its craft is embodied by its long-standing involvement in the Deutscher Werkbund, a creative collective founded in 1907 that worked to harness the powers of mass production while incorporating that same spirit into the simple designs of the Bauhaus movement. The aesthetics of the movement are simple, functional designs that fit into the fabric of the lives of working citizens.
The NOMOS Tangente Update features the NOMOS patented ring date with two neon green markers that frame the current date—in the dark too; the NOMOS in-house caliber DUW 6101 is lavishly polished and decorated.
NOMOS remains part of the collective to this day, and its most popular watches follow the aesthetics to a tee. Take, for example, its Tangente wristwatch. One of the most famed mechanical wristwatches in all of Germany, the timepiece has simple, clean lines that emphasize its function rather than extravagance. While many brands today represent the conspicuous consumption of luxury with over-the-top features and rare materials, NOMOS has continued to make clean, practical updates to its line in keeping with its streamlined Bauhaus aesthetic.
Its latest design, the Tangente Update, looks strikingly similar to the first design of the timepiece, but features a plethora of new functions and a gorgeous midnight blue colorway. The brand’s devotion to its past does not hold it back from making strides into the contemporary world of watchmaking—in fact, its devotion to the Bauhaus movement thrusts its concepts toward the future. As Bauhaus school founder Walter Gropius said, “Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material aff air, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.” NOMOS Glashütte continues to make an impact on the watchmaking industry in a way that is more essential than ever.
Photography by: SCENIC PHOTO BY MERK MARK; PHOTO COURTESY OF NOMOS GLASHÜTTE; WATCH PHOTOS BY HOLGER WENS; PHOTO COURTESY OF NOMOS GLASHÜTTE