The NOMOS Two Watch Collection

By Daniel Yong

NOMOS has long been one of my favourite manufacturers due to their accessibility and celebrated reputation for making fine watches. Recently they have been launching sports watches with large modern cases to suit contemporary tastes, and at last, steel bracelets. For me personally, my 6.5 inch wrists can at times be restrictive and so I do prefer the smaller sizes from 33 mm to 38 mm. In addition, my preference in watches is time only and without a date (the Tangente Update is an exception). For this article, I’ll be reviewing two of my favourite models and why I chose them over the other options. Spoiler alert, one of them is a new release, just in time for Christmas. Wink.

Tangente Midnight Blue Reference 132

What can I say about the Tangente that hasn’t already been repeated several times? It’s won numerous awards and NOMOS themselves have labelled the model as their icon. From the Tangente family, one is given an extensive list of choices, 22 watches to be exact. Not to mention, other pieces from the NOMOS collection also share its DNA. You wouldn’t have to look far to find the resemblance in models such as the Tangomat, Ahoi and even the square cased Tetra. So, with 22 options where the difference lies with having date or no date, manual or automatic movements, dial colours and case sizes, why did I choose the new Midnight Blue?

I should probably confess that I’ve been fortunate enough to have owned examples from the Tangente line which included the champagne Neomatik and the white Neomatik. Both of which I adored however, something just stopped me developing a stronger connection. When it comes to mechanical watches, a pastime of mine is to sneak short moments in my day to manually wind them. I don’t know why, I just like the feel and sound of the gears crunching against one another. So, it was only natural (for a watch guy on an average salary) to sell these in order to hunt for a model that ticked the boxes according to my preferences. Although the majority of my watches have dials on the lighter shade, such as white, cream or silver, I have a weakness for blue dials with gold accents. Adding on, the newly released ‘Midnight Blue’ comes with a 35 mm case and the reliable Alpha hand winding movement. Exactly, this edition was a no brainer and something I needed to have.

On the wrist, the dial changes from a dark grey, to a rich blue colour with reflecting gold numerals and hands that manages to keep its wearer interested. I love how NOMOS uses colours on their dials in subtle ways as this always forces you to look closer. It comes on a velour leather beige strap that gives the watch a casual feel. I suspect that this watch would also look amazing on a range of other colour options. Personally, I would stick to using lighter colours, especially grey or tan.

Orion White Reference 331

Those who have long followed me on Instagram know that I love minimal watches with applied indices, light coloured dials and small seconds. To me, the Orion 331 is the epitome of what makes a classic dress watch. The finishing on the case, indices and hands are also outstanding for the price you’re paying and damn it, I had to add this one too.

NOMOS introduces their Orion family as being ‘simply beautiful’ and a watch that is ‘refined, restrained and elegant’. One of the reasons why I love simple three hand watches is because nothing is hidden. When you take away extra complications and unnecessary texts on the dial, the watch is exposed. Leaving the wearer to assess and appreciate its finishing, dial materials and overall design execution. The Orion 331 is the perfect example of what it means to show off what a brand can achieve on a watch priced at under $3000 AUD. Honestly, it’s no wonder why Philippe Dufour recommends NOMOS for new watch collectors. Furthermore, I might remind you all that it’s a rigorous process for German watch manufacturers to be approved to have ‘Glashutte’ stamped on their dials. With the likes of A. Lange and Sohne and Glashutte Original next door, you can sleep with confidence knowing that NOMOS can pull its weight against its two giant neighbours.

So how does it look on the wrist? For your information, my dainty little wrists are 6.5 inches and the Orion fits like a glove. You’d often hear critiques or reviews about the lugs being too long, I personally love this touch. It gives the watch a very “old school elegant” kind of feel, and I’ve got to say, I dig the gaps between the strap and the case. One of my pet peeves, is when the straps rub against the case due to short lugs or dare I say, careless design. I should note, there is another option quite similar to the white Orion, and that’s the equally gorgeous Orion Rose. I do admit though, that one of the reasons why I picked the white option is because white dials look good with anything. It’s that simple.

The NOMOS Tangente Midnight Blue 132 is currently listed for 2610 AUD and the Orion White 331 for 2770 AUD. Note, both of my models feature the steel case back and aftermarket straps.

Model Name: Tangente Midnight Blue 132

Reference Number: 132

Case: Stainless Steel 35 mm

Movement: Hand winding

Dial: Midnight blue with gold numerals

Hands: Gold

Lens: Sapphire crystal glass

Water Resistance: 3 atm (splash proof)

Lug Width: 18 mm

Thickness: 6.2 mm

Model Name: Orion White

Reference Number: 331

Case: Stainless Steel 35 mm

Movement: Hand winding

Dial: Galvanized, white silver-plated stamped indexes, diamond-polished, white

Hands: Polished and rhodium-plated

Lens: Domed sapphire crystal glass

Water Resistance: 3 atm (splash proof)

Lug Width: 18 mm

Thickness: 7.4 mm

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