When I say the word “NOMOS,” what probably pops into your mind’s eye is a slim, modern-looking watch with a silvered dial. Those traits have been finely honed over the last two-and-a-half decades, giving NOMOS an instantly-recognizable design language. But sometimes the German watchmaker likes to break its own rules. The new Nachtblau collection is a perfect example of this, four classic NOMOS watches rendered in inky midnight blue with bright accents and the manufacture’s latest movements.
This is far from the first time NOMOS has opted for colorful dials. There have been tons of limited editions and such over the years, plus releases like the Zurich Weltzeit in True Blue, the Ahoi Atlantik, and even the collection of champagne Neomatik watches from just a year ago. However, to my eye, this is the boldest set of dials we’ve seen from NOMOS as part of a regular collection, with a deep, interesting ground and bright, quirky flashes of color throughout.
The three watches we have here are the Minimatik Nachtblau, the Metro Neomatik Nachtblau, and the Tangente Neomatik Nachtblau (there is also a Tetra Neomatik in the collection, though we were not able to secure a sample for this story). The first is a 35.5mm watch while the latter two are 35mm even, making them slightly smaller than most modern watches, but still extremely wearable (more on that in a bit). The best part though is how slim the watches are, with the Tangente coming in at just 6.9mm high and the other two both between 8mm and 9mm thick. The dark dials are a nice counterpoint to NOMOS’s usual light-and-breezy dials, so fans who already own one (or more) NOMOS watches can add a new dimension to their collections.
The blue used for the main dial ground is really outstanding. This is one of those simple things that would be really easy to get wrong, so don’t pass it off as table stakes. It looks slightly purple in certain light and almost black in other light, changing throughout the day, as you go about your business. The only real downside is that it’s a giant pain to shoot photos of (avid Instagrammers, you know what I’m talking about here) and it shows dust and dirt prominently. Overall though, I’m a big fan.
When you start to look closer at the dials, you’ll notice a ton going on. The dials combine various colors of printing, including a bright shade of blue or teal that NOMOS calls green, a flashy neon orange (deployed for the seconds hand as well), a golden yellow color, as well as actual metallic gold in the case of the Minimatik. Luckily, smart design has kept the overall impression from a distance much more understated than this would make the watches sound. When you want the bit of flash, you can lean in. Otherwise you can enjoy from a normal viewpoint.
One thing unifying these three watches is the use of the in-house caliber DUW-3001 movement. This caliber debuted last year in the Minimatik and is the brand’s first ultra-flat automatic movement. It’s just 3.2mm thick, has a 42-hour power reserve, and carries the in-house NOMOS Swing System escapement as well. The finishing, which you can admire through the sapphire casebacks of these watches, is very nice, if not ornate, and is definitely better than anything else you’ll find on an automatic caliber at this price. It’s hard to overstate how big of a deal this movement is to NOMOS, as it’s the culmination of loads of technical developments and gives the manufacture a thin, elegant base movement to build on for years to come. Plus it looks great and works great here, as is.
On the wrist, these three watches all wear extremely well. The smaller sizes make them very comfortable and help balance out the relative boldness of the dial colors. Sure, some men aren’t going to love the idea of wearing a 35mm watch, but unless that’s a no-go for you, I think you’ll really enjoy all three models. In particular, I enjoyed the Tangente the best (disclaimer: I’m a proud owner of a 38mm Tangente) because the steep case sides and sharp-edged lugs grounded the new dial nicely, though the Metro was a close second. The Minimatik still just isn’t a watch for me, though this new version is, without a doubt, the best one yet.
The Nachtblau collection is a new addition to NOMOS’s main line of watches (read: they’re not limited edition). The Tangente Neomatik Nachtblau is the entry point into the collection at $3,580, with the Minimatik Nachtblau priced at $3,800 and the Metro Neomatik Nachtblau priced at $3,960. The Tetra Neomatik Nachtblau, not pictured here, is priced at $3,980.Â
For more, visit NOMOS online.