Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nomos Glashütte Watches - Brand Info

Nomos Glashütte is a German watch brand founded by Roland Schwertner in 1990. Today, NOMOS Glashütte is the largest producer in Germany—no other brand builds more mechanical watches. In the price range of 1,000 to 4,000 euros, NOMOS Glashütte is also the market leader in mechanical watch sales.

There are approximately a dozen watch manufactories in the world, three of which are in Germany and all of these are in Glashütte. One of them, the smallest, is NOMOS Glashütte.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, much of the GDR's industry was dismantled,including the East German state owned watch making factory, GUB, situated in Glashütte. The town had a proud watch making tradition that existed long before the wall was erected. But back in the late 1980s all the industrial facilities were antiquated, most of the specialists were gone and almost all of the watches produced in the GDR had quartz calibres. Gray houses, streets that weren't fit to drive on and depressed people. Hardly a house had an inside toilet and in winter a thick cloud of smelly brown coal dust hung over the town. In 1990 Glashütte looked like most places in what was still East Germany.
Roland Schwertner
Roland Schwertner, a MBA from Dusseldorf, dared to make a new start of things – even before Germany's reunification – with a name that had already existed once, nearly 80 years before: NOMOS Glashütte. In his dilapidated three-room apartment, Schwertner – together with three employees – started creating a watch workshop factory. Subsidies only became available in the 1990s; initially it was friends who lent the small firm money. It took a while, though, until things started to look up. Water, sewage and gas pipes were laid in the town; new streets were built. Buildings and facilities were renovated and restored like mad and the town's watch making companies were able to deliver their first models. But not with their own, real Glashütter movements as they do today: back then NOMOS made do with calibres bought in Switzerland that were then finished and refined in Glashütte.
NOMOS's Headquarters
That was all just a short while ago – and yet a world away. Today, in NOMOS's headquarters – Glashütter's renovated old train station – lots of new art hangs on the walls and about 70 people make watches that are sold all over the world. And in 2005 Tangente, Orion, Tetra and Ludwig – the firm's already well established design classics – got a new sibling: NOMOS's first automatic watch, the Tangomat. Ever since manually wound calibres were produced by NOMOS Glashütte and ever since the first automatic movement was constructed here in its entirety, NOMOS has been a manufactory and is one of the aforementioned dozen in the world. Glashütte – even if not idyllic and lovely – has long been up to West German standards and its watch industry, which, back in GDR times, preached to be so without practicing, is now up to „world standards." NOMOS Glashütte, the only one of the town's three manufactories that is still independent, has grown up. In addition to all the affordable manual and automatic watches for which NOMOS is renowned, the company has also long since produced its own chronometers and tourbillons, right here, in Glashütte.

Today, the watchmaking company belongs to five partners—with four of them working there. NOMOS Glashütte is therefore independent and not part of any conglomerate. NOMOS Glashütte currently has a staff of 250 employees. The great majority of them, around 220, work in Glashütte—including the company’s own department for research and development. This department is responsible not only for the development of calibers but also for their extreme production depth. Furthermore, it can take credit for several patents. Over 30 employees work for the subsidiaries NOMOS Glashuette USA in New York and the in-house creative agency Berlinerblau in Berlin, which is responsible for branding, designing watches, and everything else that goes with it.

Time Line
  • 10 January 1990: Roland Schwertner establishes NOMOS Glashütte.
  • 1992: NOMOS has three employees; production begins in private dwellings. The company produces four models: Tangente, Orion, Ludwig and Tetra.
  • 1997: The firm expands to a workforce of 14 and moves into its own facilities in Altenberger Straße.
  • 1997: With the construction of a second stop for the existing movement – a refined ETA caliber – NOMOS’s takes its first step towards becoming a manufactory.
  • 2000: Uwe Ahrendt becomes the company’s second manager.
  • 2000: NOMOS grows and now has 31 employees. The chronometry becomes NOMOS’s second location in Glashütte.
  • 2001: NOMOS presents the first date mechanism. It is patented.
  • 2003: NOMOS presents the first power reserve mechanism. This is also awarded a patent.
  • 2004: The town‘s former train station is chosen as the company’s new headquarters. NOMOS buys and substantially renovates it.
  • 2004: The special edition model, Super30, is a hit: it sells out within a few months.
  • 2005: The train station opens. With the construction of its own first automatic calibre (Tangomat), NOMOS becomes a manufactory.
  • 2006: The first chronometer watches, which NOMOS developed for Wempe’s chronometer facility, are presented.
  • 2007: NOMOS introduces a new watch model – the Club.
  • 2008: NOMOS introduces a new, second automatic watch; the Club is now available in four different models: Club, Club Date, Club Automatic, Club Automatic Date.
Manufacture Movements
NOMOS Glashütte is the watchmaking company that makes everything in-house. All ten calibers are proprietary and produced on-site in Glashütte. This is exceptional in the watchmaking industry. Thus, NOMOS Glashütte can ascertain the quality of its calibers. NOMOS Glashütte crafts its own timepieces without external know-how and with a proprietary escapement, the NOMOS swing system. This makes the company technologically independent. Only a few producers in the whole world are at all capable of independently producing this vital component of a mechanical watch movement. In the future, all NOMOS calibers will be equipped with this system.
A true innovation in the market is the new and extremely thin automatic caliber DUW 3001. This movement ticks in the neomatik series—and sets a new standard in watchmaking. Automatic movements by other producers are considerably larger, less precise, or markedly more expensive. This is due to the fact that they cannot be produced in series. With DUW 3001, NOMOS Glashütte can grow further: In the future, automatic timepieces will make up the larger part of the production.

In-house Movements
α (Alpha): Manually wound movement
ε (Epsilon): Automatic movement
ζ (Zeta): Automatic movement
DUW 4101: Manually wound movement
DUW 4301: Manually wound movement
DUW 4401: Manually wound movement
DUW 2002: Manually wound movement
DUW 1001: Manually wound movement
DUW 5201: Automatic movement
DUW 3001: Automatic movement

The Watch Collection
The NOMOS Glashütte collection consists of twelve model families with around 80 watch versions; mechanical timepieces in the price range of 1,000 to 4,000 Euros. The two haute horlogerie models in 18-karat rose or white gold, Lambda and Lux, are the icing on the cake at NOMOS Glashütte. Only three of these timepieces are crafted a week; they cost between 12,800 and 15,800 Euros.
NOMOS Lambda Rosegold
Most NOMOS watches, however, are made from stainless steel and retail for under 4,000 Euros. Whether in gold or in steel: All timepieces from NOMOS Glashütte represent outstanding watchmaking craft, top quality materials, modern design, and excellent value-for-money.

Prizes and Awards
NOMOS Glashütte is a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, the precursor to both Bauhaus and the Ulm School. Straightforward German product design with a dash of Berlin: Renowned designers such as Werner Aisslinger, Mark Braun, and Axel Kufus work alongside young creatives on the best timepieces. Their work has been recognized with over 130 international prizes and awards—including the iF Product Design Award, Red Dot, and the Good Design Award, each multiple times.

Distribution Network
Nomos Glashütte watches are being exported to Australia, China, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Canada, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Hungary and United States.

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