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Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Angus Davies reviews the Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum, a watch which delivers many notable attributes and provides exceptional value for money.

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

Many of the watches featured on ESCAPEMENT are chosen because they represent the pinnacle of haute horology irrespective of retail price. However, a brand which has recently come to my attention on several occasions of late is Nomos Glashütte.

I have always had a penchant for Glashütte manufactured watches as regular readers of ESCAPEMENT will know.

Nomos Glashütte represents fine manufacture, incorporating traditional features typical of watchmaking from Saxony. The watches feature three-quarter plates, blued screws, Glashütte ribbing and understated elegance.

The dials have a Bauhaus influence with a simple clarity underscoring the mantra “less is more”.

One thing differentiates Nomos, the high quality of manufacture not ordinarily found in timepieces at this price point.

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

A watch which caught my attention at Salon QP recently was the Nomos Glashütte Zurich Weitzeit. A complication seldom found in watches costing only four figures (UK Sterling). In this instance, it is the Nomos Ludwig Automatic Datum I wish to focus upon though.

The dial – a clean appearance 

The model is available with two dial colours, I personally favour the white, silver-plated dial. The markings alternate between plain indices and Roman numerals at 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 o’clock.

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The case diameter is a modest 40mm and bucks the trend of late for oversized watches, but it is no worse for that. Blued hands for hours and minutes are simple and clean. A small subdial shows seconds, again featuring a blued hand.

A date window is shown at 6 o’clock with one aperture. The date is delivered on one date wheel, not the split date wheels typical of more costly watches from Glashütte but then this is one of the few savings visible.

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The calibre

Nomos Glashütte has fitted a sapphire crystal to the case back and those of us who while away hours staring at finissage with loupe in hand will appreciate this.

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatic Datum

Image – Copyright: NOMOS Glashütte

The Zeta movement is a Manufactory self-winding calibre.

The specification is very impressive: a three-quarter plate; perlage; blued screws; Incabloc shock protection; stop seconds mechanism; 26 jewels and a balance spring made of Nivarox 1A.

For watch connoisseurs, the calibre is deeply impressive, especially considering the price point.

Conclusion

The appeal of Nomos Glashütte is that it does not appear on billboards, television commercials and numerous glossy magazines. It is not mainstream with strong brand awareness. Its wearer has done their research, they are not paying for marketing hype, but seeking a timepiece with integrity synonymous with the name “Glashütte” on the dial.

I would not be surprised to see Nomos Glashütte grow in popularity as watch collectors discuss the value of these teutonic thoroughbreds.

Ah, I hear you ask what is the price? Well, I seldom mention price on ESCAPEMENT as they change all the time and vary from market to market, however, in this instance I will make an exception.

£2200 is the price for this watch in the UK at the time of writing including VAT. I think you will agree that represents great value for money.

I would not refer to Nomos Glashütte as “cheap”, as that would devalue the work of the small group of skilled workers who create these superb watches. I would rather say you get a lot of watch for your money.

Definitely a watch worthy of close examination.


Technical specification

  • Model: Nomos Glashütte Ludwig Automatik Datum

  • Reference: 271
  • Case material: Stainless steel. Diameter 40mm, height 8.4mm. Sapphire crystal to both front and rear.
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date.
  • Movement: Nomos Zeta calibre. Self-winding Manufactory movement. Frequency 21,600 vph (3hz). Three-quarter plate; perlage; blued screws; INCABLOC shock protection; stop seconds mechanism; 26 jewels and a balance spring made of Nivarox 1A. Power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap: The straps are made out of Horween Shell Cordovan, coming from one very particular firm: Horween Leather Company in Chicago. NOMOS Glashütte uses this leather for watch straps because they are four or five times more durable than those made of crocodile, shark, ostrich or cowhide. Also, the straps made of this leather never wear out, but acquire instead a chic patina.

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