SPOTLIGHT ON A NOMOS OBSESSED WATCH COLLECTING DUO
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Watch collecting or geeking out on movements, is something us watch idiot savants do with other nerds while our partners shake their heads at our weird obsessions. But what happens when your spouse is just as guilty as you are? Meeting Rod at his local coffee shop (I bought a watch off him) inspired this story as I found him interesting. Side note, if you like me are a huge fan of the German brand Nomos, I think you might enjoy this one.
Rod and Kitty, thank you for agreeing to be a part of the Spotlight Series. Could you give our readers some background information on who you both are and what you do for a living?
R: We both work within finance and first met while working together twelve years ago. Our careers are an enjoyable and challenging way to spend the day, and enable us to explore our true passions in life. I’m interested in architecture and design, books on art and horology, watch photography, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I also collect Indigenous paintings from Warakurna in Western Australia, a remote community where all proceeds go to the artists and their Art Centre.
Our shared hobby is watches. Part of the joy of collecting is interacting with likeminded people, so to share that watch passion with my wife is particularly special. For one, it makes propositioning your unrelenting itch for another watch, a watch you don’t need, much more reasonable!
What is it about Nomos that you both love?
R: I first experienced Nomos around four years ago with the Metro Gangreserve. It was instant watch-love. The Metro encapsulates many of my interests, it’s my kind of watch - characterful, contemporary and modernist with a quirky nod to early 20th century design and elements of Bauhaus. The Metro was the beginning of my obsession with Nomos and Saxon watchmaking. I finally acquired one just recently.
Nomos are also very inclusive and interactive with their customer base. There’s not many brands running annual advent calendars giving away incredibly generous gifts, even including covetable timepieces. It’s satisfying to wear a watch made from such enthusiastic and lovely people.
K: There are many attributes that make Nomos so appealing to collect as a couple. I love that we can comfortably wear each other’s pieces. Nomos do not really design or specify their watches as gender based. There are no diamonds or mother of pearl dials, which is a nice change from the norm. They may suggest some models are ‘for smaller wrists’, and so while Rod probably wouldn’t wear a 33mm Orion with rose dial and I wouldn’t wear a 42mm Tangente Sport Neomatik, nowhere in their marketing would it lead you away from those watches based on ‘his or hers’ options.
R: And the watches are democratic in both design and purchase price. A Nomos watch is still a sizeable investment, but for someone afflicted with the collecting gene you recognise Nomos as incredible value for an independent brand with 95% in-house capabilities. So particularly as a couple, it’s a great accessible brand to build a collection around.
Nomos has a strong emphasis on minimalism, how does this play into your own lifestyle?
K: Nomos makes perfect sense to Rod with his interest in design. For myself it’s the right fit in other ways. I have smallish wrists and Nomos pieces are perfectly sized and quite discreet. I’m drawn towards simple classic styling with a touch of quirkiness, and that’s Nomos. In design we both like clean lines and our home also reflects this with our furniture choices and arrangement of objects and art. The minimal aesthetic of Nomos kind of fits in perfectly.
What does your current watch collection look like? Are there any stories to share?
R: My collection has changed a lot recently, there’s been some heavy culling and my interest is now on German watches, particularly from Saxony. I have the Nomos Club Campus 38 and Metro Gangreserve with another piece on the way. What survived the cull is a Datejust, Tudor Black Bay 36, and a re-issue Eterna 1948 chronometer, my first mechanical watch.
Not really a watch story, but I bought Kit her first nice watch, an Omega De Ville Prestige Orbis. The dial has the Omega teddy bear patterned as a mosaic of cuteness in rich sunburst blue. It’s quite restrained and you wouldn’t notice the bears unless up close. The design reflects part of her personality and was a great way to get her interested in watches. This piece planted the watch collecting seed and it’s been fun seeing her interest evolve from perhaps more of an aesthetic leaning, to an appreciation of mechanical watchmaking.
K: My Nomos pieces are the Club Campus 36 and Minimatik with white silver-plated dial and red handset. I’d like to add the Tetra Pearl next. Other pieces I own are a Tudor 1926, Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Winter Scene, the Omega De Ville, a Longines Presence Heritage, and Cartier Tank.
I gave Rod his Tudor Black Bay 36 as his wedding gift. With his collection that tends to shift about, this one has been a ‘keeper’ as he likes to say. It better be!
Outside of Nomos, are there other watches that you appreciate?
R: The A. Lange & Sohne 1815, for me it’s the most beautiful and perfectly formed time-only watch. Various Moritz Grossman pieces, the finishing on their movements is distinctive with componentry unique to the brand. The Glashutte Original Panoreserve in steel is exceptional value with hand engraving and finishing to the movement. And Grand Seiko, having owned an SBGR051 and the 1960 re-issue SBGW253, I know another GS will find its way back into my collection. Lastly I’ll cheat a little here as it doesn’t exist, and it would be Nomos, but the Lambda 39mm in a stainless steel case. Make it happen Berlinerblau!
K: I love the romance of moon-phase watches. I have my eye on the 37mm IWC Portofino Moon Phase.
And for our final question, how do you both unwind?
We regularly visit galleries and exhibitions in Sydney and travel down to Melbourne whenever something interesting is showing. It gets the creative juices flowing. Getting out for a walk. We live near a natural bushland reserve surrounded by the Georges River with beautiful views and bushwalks. And coffee, reading up on watches while drinking coffee and having a laugh. The simple things.
Follow Rod on Instagram @bullochtime and the husband/wife team @thenomosapiens