Nomos Glashutte is a watch brand based in Germany that has made a name for themselves by creating stylized watches that range from casual to dress to even highly complicated. They are known for utilizing their own in-house movements with beautiful finishing visible through sapphire case backs.
German made watches have a lot of history in the large horological landscape. With brands like Sinn, Damasko, Glashutte Originale, and even A Lange Sohn. Nomos, however, is a relatively new kid on the block.
Founded in 1990 they started out specializing in making hand wound watches that drew a lot of elements from the Bauhausian school of design (see our review on the Junghans Max Bill). In 2005 Nomos debuted an in-house movement that they have continued to develop and expand on. They now have over ten in-house designed movement calibers as well as their own escapement design that is slowly being integrated into their watches.
I was originally drawn to Nomos while I was searching for something that would compliment the rest of my collection but not overlap any area specifically. I wanted something that would easily dress up or down, and would potentially be a good conversation piece if the occasion arose.
- Case: 40mm
- Lug to Lug: 51mm
- Case Thickness: 10mm
- Weight on Bracelet: 2.4oz on strap
- Movement: Nomos Epsilon Automat
One of the things that drew me to the Nomos Club originally was the case thickness. A 10mm thick automatic watch? Sign me up. Nomos also offers the club in a couple different case sizes, with 40mm being the second largest.
The challenge in choosing a case size really comes down to the lug to lug measurement. My 40mm has a 51mm lug to lug measurement, those are some long lugs. On my 7.25” wrist it barely fits, any larger and it would overhang my wrist. If you have a sub-7” wrist I highly encourage you to look at the 38 or 36mm versions of the club.
The movement in a Nomos is really something to behold. Well decorated, well regulated, and a unique in-house caliber. In this way it really becomes a watch person’s watch as well as a exercise in near-haute-horology. Nomos offers display backs on most of their watch models, the in-house nature of what they do basically requires it. In these watches it IS about the movements.
Practically speaking, the watch keeps excellent time. I haven’t noticed any amount of deviation. My time-graphing app is telling me +/- 8s/day, but take that with a grain of salt.
Case and Crown
The cases Nomos use serve to highlight the work they put into their dials and movements. For a simplistic design that in many ways adhere to a very Bauhausian design language it would make sense for the simple steel case to not distract from the basic legibility. The entire case is polished steel with a bezel-less design that leads up to the crystal. The polish does lend itself to a refined “classy-ness” in the overall appearance of the watch. I am guessing that the Club would look considerably more casual if it was brushed.
Again, the crown is simple. It’s on the largish side, delicately serrated for grip, and signed on the end with “NOMOS.”
To boil the case and crown down, I think it’s safe to say that with both of these elements Nomos really wanted to draw attention away from them, and rather focus on the dial, or if it’s off the wrist, they wanted the movement to stand out through the display back. They have made considerable investment to ensure that they have something unique to offer in these areas, and instead of watering that down with an overly “designed” case they kept it simple.
Two additional details that are worth commenting on:
Firstly, the case-back is a sapphire display back show a beautiful Nomos Epsilon movement that is decorated and signed. This really showcases what is, in my opinion, the biggest attraction to the Nomos brand. Secondly, is the water resistance. Nomos rates the clubs at 10 ATM, it should be more than adequate for swimming, hand washing, being drunkenly pushed in a pool, etc… It does not have a screw down crown, but this isn’t something you’d take on a canoe trip anyway. I just like having the peace of mind knowing that if one of my stupid friends throw me in a lake, I’ll only be buying a new phone.
Dial, Bezel, and Crystal
Working top down on this category is pretty easy. The crystal is a flat sapphire crystal that sits just above the simple polished bezel. They both do exactly what they are supposed to, perfectly, and nothing else. Just like with the case, I’d say that the bezel and crystal serve to get you to the dial.
The dial is a slightly off white color, with painted numerals every other hour, and a plain indice between. The dial is signed just below the noon indice a there is sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The dial is accented by small orange details, first and most apparent in the hands, but then also around the outer minute ring which counts up from “05” in small orange script. I think this is a pretty nice use of color, and “grounds” the orange hands. The hands themselves are painted with some sort of black lacquer giving them a really cool glossy appearance, the contrast between the black and orange also pop the hands off the dial making it very legible.
It’s important to point out that this dial is non-luminous. It does not glow in the dark at all, Nomos DOES make a version that has lume, but most of their watches are non-luminous. This, to me, really emphasizes the style of watch that Nomos makes. These are not tool watches.
Strap and Bracelet
Most Nomos’ come on leather straps, but not just any leather strap, they come on OEM Shell Cordovan leather straps. Shell is a really impressive kind of horse leather that will last for a long, long time. It maintains a nice shine, and doesn’t crease or “pull-up.” These straps are great, but they are long. I have a larger then average wrist size, and I wear this on the last hole. Generally speaking, I wear a larger strap, so this is pretty unusual and worth knowing on the front end.
Nomos Club Review – Final Thoughts
Man, how do I sum up the Nomos Club? What I was looking for when I bought mine, was something that would fit the slot of my “fourth watch,” without overlapping anything else. I already had a diver, chrono, and a vintage piece… I wanted something that could be a little dressier, but also had the potential to be casual. Something you’d wear to a jazz night at a winery. Nomos’ watches fit this exceedingly well.
The nice thing that Nomos has also done to make the Club a more versatile piece is by giving it some water resistance. If what you want is a fancy piece, with some legit horological chops, but also has some uniqueness, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Nomos Club.
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