NOMOS Tangente Automatik: The Tangente has been NOMOS’s best selling model since its launch in 1992, and now the flagship piece from this quirky brand comes with a brand new automatic calibre – DUW 3001.
Baselworld 2015 saw NOMOS debut the Tangente Automatik – a new version of their original, much-loved model. After three years of development, the brand new DUW 3001 automatic calibre is here, inside the Automatik. This movement is just 3.2mm thick – an impressive technical achievement considering the watch will still sit within NOMOS’s already reasonable price bracket. At 6.9mm high, the Automatik is only 0.3mm taller than its manual-wind equivalent, so NOMOS have been able to maintain their 35mm sizing whilst incorporating automatic winding. This means that choosing between a manual or an automatic is no longer a question of size. This is clearly a great step for the German brand, as it will allow scaled production of a chronometer grade movement, without diverting from any of their core values in terms of design, size or price.
Theodor Prenzel, deputy head of the NOMOS department for research and development, has overseen the DUW 3001 project. He estimates that his team spent around 1.5 million minutes on its development. “DUW 3001 is an entirely new automatic calibre. It allows us to construct such slender automatic NOMOS watches that their height will be almost indistinguishable from the elegantly flat, hand-wound versions from our brand.” With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see DUW 3001 incorporated into other NOMOS models in the coming months and years.
To achieve this breakthrough, NOMOS reduced the normal production tolerances by up to 50%. “Our new movement is produced with such high precision that it can be both—extremely flat and accurate.” Almost all of the parts in DUW 3001 are placed between the base plate and the three-quarter plate. “Our construction space was on average only a millimetre high,” says Prenzel.
The watch itself is distinguished from its manual-wind counterpart by a few subtle differences to the dial: ‘Automatik’ under the NOMOS logo, a slightly altered subsidiary seconds dial, and the addition of the small numbers to the minute markers. The archetypal black and white dial is nicely accented with two splashes of colour – the word ‘Automatik’ and the subsidiary seconds hand, both in red. It is waterproof to 3 ATM, sits on a Horween Shell Cordovan strap, and comes with an exhibition caseback so it’s easy to admire the movement – typically well-finished with blue balance spring, NOMOS perlage and tempered blue screws.
With the general size trend in recent years being between 38 and 42mm, some may argue that the Tangente is a little on the small side at 35mm, but I would disagree. Not only does the watch wear bigger on the wrist due to its thin bezel, but it is also a size that sits perfectly with the brand’s minimalist, Bauhaus aesthetic. Collectors and frequent wearers of vintage pieces may also find themselves more comfortable with this type of size. We must not forget that the Tangente has been the brand’s best-selling model since its launch, so there is a proven demand for this size.
With all this considered, NOMOS continue to impress with their pricing. The Tangente Automatik will retail at £2,390 – which is undoubtedly great value. It’s hard to think of many other brands – if any – producing watches of such an individual style with in-house movements at this price level.
The Tangente Automatik will be available from retailers from Autumn 2015. For more information, visit the NOMOS website.