Conceived to mark a major occasion for its hometown, the Nomos Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte is a limited edition with a glossy lacquer dial that’s unusual for the brand. But it is more notable for being the first time Nomos is making its top-of-the-line watch available in steel. As a result, the new Lambda is far more affordable, despite being a limited edition.
Introduced in 2013 alongside its discontinued, tonneau-shaped sibling, the Lambda was Nomos’ first upscale watch and available only in an 18k gold case. Despite its qualities, the Lambda was expensive for Nomos, a brand that does simple, affordable watches well. Very expensive, in fact, with the base model in gold priced at US$17,000. It was too much of a stretch for Nomos to reach that high in the price spectrum.
So the new steel Lambda makes a lot of sense. It keeps the ultra-clean dial design of the original Lambda, as well as the attractively-finished movement, while making it far more affordable. At US$7,500, it costs less than half the cheapest gold Lambda.
For anyone who likes the original Lambda but couldn’t stomach the price, this is perhaps the perfect watch. That said, US$7,500 is still a lot for a Nomos. While the brand can compete strongly in its core price range of US$2,000-4,000, competition is tougher over US$7,000. For similar money, one can get an Glashütte Original, Ulysse Nardin, or much else.
The 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte is big enough of a deal that A. Lange & Söhne is also marking the occasion; admittedly Lange has more of a direct link to the event since Ferdinand Adolph Lange established the first watch factory in the town.
While Lange is commemorating the anniversary with expectedly elaborate watches, Nomos is doing the opposite with a Lambda in steel for the first time.
Though it looks identical to the gold versions, the steel Lambda has an entirely different case. While the gold versions are either 39 mm or 42 mm, the steel model is 40.5 mm and it’s also a little slimmer than either gold version.
The dial is also unusual for Nomos. While the gold Lambdas have galvanised dials with a finely-grained metallic finish, the steel Lambda is fitted with a glossy lacquered dial that resembles fired enamel and is available in white, black, or dark blue.
Mechanically the steel Lambda is identical: it’s powered by the DUW 1001. A hand-wind movement with double barrels and an 84-hour power reserve, the DUW 1001 is constructed and decorated to a higher level than the typical Nomos movement.
A good deal of the decoration is done by hand, including the polished bevels on the three-quarter plate. Most of the jewels for the going train are secured by hand-polished gold chatons, while the balance cock is hand engraved with “lovingly produced in Glashütte”, but in German of course.
Key facts and price
Nomos Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte
Ref. 960.S1 (white)
Ref. 960.S2 (black)
Ref. 960.S3 (blue)
Diameter: 40.5 mm
Height: 8.9 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: DUW 1001
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and power reserve indicator
Winding: Manual wind
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 84 hours
Strap: Horween shell cordovan with pin buckle
Limited edition: 175 pieces in each colour
Availability: From October at Nomos retailers
Price: US$7,500; €5,653; 10,100 Singapore dollars
For more information, visit Nomos-glashuette.com.
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