New Hands-On Watch: Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik
The DUW 3001 Movement
This new automatic movement is the result of three years worth of development, and expressed far more than an update to its caliber of Epsilon. Nomos’ target and DUW 3001 is the size (it requires very thin), accuracy (observatory level), as well as large-scale production, which will allow them to use sport to play to the limit, without having to significantly increase their prices. Georgia has been provide a recognizable aesthetic, very competitive prices and solid technical and DUW 3001 will support the future of these values.
Nomos-Tangente-Automatik-duw-3001-4 Nomos-DUW-3001-movement The DUW 3001 is just 3.2 mm thick, making it one of the thinner mass produced and chronometer grade automatic movements in the world. To achieve this thinness and accuracy, Nomos had to reduce their usual manufacturing tolerances by up to 50%. The DUW 3001, which was designed by Theodor Prenzel, places as many of the parts as possible between the base plate and the three-quarter plate, including Nomos’ Swing System.
Core pieces like the ratchet wheel and mainspring needed to be made as flat as possible. In the case of the mainspring, flatter means less power storage, so Nomos was forced to rethink the gear train to optimize for efficiency and re-balance the effect of the flatter mainspring. This includes research into the everything from the number of teeth to the angle of each element. The result of this extreme attention? A huge increase in overall movement effectiveness and efficiency; in some cases, an increase of up to 94 percent.
Running at 3Hz, the DUW 3001 is adjusted in six positions, has a power reserve of 42 hours, with bi-directional winding and incabloc shock protection. The movement will be finished to usual Nomos standards with a blue balance spring, a new Nomos balance bridge, blued screws, Glashutte ribbing, and Nomos perlage.
Nomos announced two DUW 3001-based watches at Baselworld this year, the Nomos Tangente Automatik and the Nomos Minimatik. Let’s start with the Minimatic, which is the first Nomos (that I can remember) which is specifically stated as having a feminine appeal. Nomos calls the Minimatic “a women’s watch without the typical feminine characteristics”, and I would agree that this 35.5 mm three-hander is likely more feminine than the balance of Nomos’ line up. That said, it didn’t feel girly on my wrist and I don’t see any specific gender bias in most of Nomos’ line up – but I digress.
Nomos-Minimatik-duw-3001-1 The look is almost a combination of the Club dial with an Orion case, but the case is more curved than that of the Orion and the dial more reserved (less sporty) than the Club’s. The appeal is pure Nomos, with a silver dial, blue markers and numerals, and deep red lacquered hands with a matching “Automatik” text that confirms the DUW 3001 within. The Nomos Minimatik uses a steel case with a curved sapphire top crystal and, along with the flat sapphire display case back, the total thickness is 8.6mm.
Nomos-Tangente-Automatik-duw-3001-3 On wrist, I found the Nomos Tangente Automatic to be great. Yes, 35mm is small, but I have a couple of smaller vintage pieces and small does not equal a lesser presence. This is especially true for Nomos designs that use as much of the dial as possible and often wear larger than their case size would suggest. Just look at the on-wrist photos, the watch is small, but it’s not crazy. Within the enthusiast community, I have no doubt that 38-43mm is the range for most watches, but for Nomos, 35mm is still their bread and butter.
Even if you dismiss the Nomos Minimatik and the Nomos Tangente Automatik for being too small, if you’re a Nomos fan, these new models will represent great things for the brand. They are developing, growing and innovating to keep their position in the market and they have remained steadfast in offering their watches at a very reasonable price. Framed by their aesthetic, they have no competition. If you zoom way out and include vastly different brands, I could see the argument for competition from Frederique Constant, Alpina, and even Tudor. All of whom offer in-house movements that undercut the pricing of major players like Rolex and Omega.
Nomos-Tangente-Automatik-duw-3001-8 Nomos is a true enthusiast’s brand, showing up at Baselworld just as proud of a new and exhaustively-developed movement as they are of a new model or color way, and I can’t blame them. The Nomos Tangente Automatik will retail for $3780, with the Nomos Minimatik on sale for $4060. With a brand new in-house movement, a fresh option for the ladies and the proven style of the Nomos Tangente, 2015 looks like a banner year for Nomos.