Nomos’s Metro Neomatik Champagner is just another example of this brand’s innate understanding of good design
Walking around Nomos’s in-house creative agency – the Berlinerblau – you can see why this brand is so synonymous with Design, with a capital D. In contrast to so many watch brands, despite having a lovely HQ in the old train station in Glashutte, Nomos decided to retain its studio in the heart of Kreuzberg, the incredibly trendy, countercultural heart of Berlin (think Shoreditch in the mid-Nineties before rents got hiked, the tourists arrived and the City subsumed it), because it realised that, in order to inject some much-needed modernity into watchmaking, it had to have its creative team in the heart of the action.
All the signifiers are there – the furniture is Vitra, which is practically a byword for innovative, stylish and democratic interiors; the walls are covered with pages of numerals with barely discernable differences in them, lines of almost imperceptibly varied colour swatches and everyone looks interesting in a neatly put together way.
It is here that the gnomically witty catalogues are written, the posters designed, website developed and, most importantly where Nomos’s iconic watches come into existence, such as the recent Metro Neomatik Champagner.
This latest edition is one of ten watches that launched last year to house the brand-new DUW 3001 automatic calibre. The DUW is an acronym that comes from the “Deutsche Uhrenwerke” part of Nomos’s full name that translates as “German watchmaker. It is a detail that emphasises the in-house nature of the calibre, something which isn’t surprising considering the DUW 3001 took three years and around €15m to produce.
As beautiful as the movement is, what is most incredible about Nomos is its ability to consistently launch watches in which all the details are worked out perfectly, without a jarring or slightly disappointing note. Something this iteration of the Metro illustrates.
Champagne with neon orange…
“The idea started with using champagne as a refined, elegant new colour for the dial,” explains Thomas Höhnel, one of the designers at Nomos and the man behind the wonderful Nomos Ahoi, which launched in 2013 and was the brand’s wry take on a sports watch that it called a “swimming watch” because it was good to 200m.
“This shade is modern and contemporary, and sets the Neomatik collection apart.” However, it wasn’t just as easy as selecting something from a swatch and going for it. “Many different drafts and colour combinations were considered, but in the end it was the eye-catching contrast of neon orange that worked best with the champagne-coloured dial,” says Höhnel. “Furthermore, this bright new colour highlights the innovative new calibre at the watch’s heart, which is what makes the Neomatik collection so groundbreaking.”
The original Metro, which was launched in 2014, was the first watch to have been designed by someone outside of the Nomos family. It was Berlin-based product designer Mark Braun’s first foray into watchmaking and was intended to be a reaction to the trend for large dial watches that have all their internal workings on display.
Speaking at the time, Braun said, “The big brands like Patek Philippe and Omega and so on, they really look for big diameters and show a lot of the inside of the chronograph…It’s not really what I like.” With its minimalist details, mint colour pops and a subtle power reserve indicator at one o’clock to mark out the versions with the new Swing System in, it was an instant hit.
Modern and fresh designs from Nomos
For the Neomatik things have been subtly altered, “Metro’s dimensions were revised to fit the new ultra-thin automatic caliber within, DUW 3001. Furthermore, the remborde strap in fine natural-coloured leather and buckle clasp gives Metro an entirely new look—and complements the champagne dial wonderfully,” says Höhnel.
Many other brands would have simply changed the colour and drop in the new movement, but that just wouldn’t be the Nomos way. It may be a brand based on the original Deutscher Werkbund principles from the early 1900s that preceded Bauhaus, but its designs continue to feel modern, refreshing and just what the watch industry needs right now.
Nomos Metro Neomatik Champagner RRP: £2,960shop Nomos