One of the four original models that Nomos launched as its inaugural collection in 1992, the Tangente is the brand’s longest-running model, having grown both literally and metaphorically – the case has expanded from a tiny 35 mm to today’s 41 mm, while the line has grown to include dozens of models.
Now the Glashütte watchmaker has just given the automatic model an update to create the Tangente Neomatik “Platinum Gray” with a restrained dial that has a subtly sparkling grained finish and a case available in either 35 mm or 39 mm.
Despite being a simple iteration of an existing model, the Platinum Gray is a pleasing addition to the range. The highlight is the elegant dial, which calls to mind another watch made in Nomos’ hometown, the platinum Lange 1 nicknamed “Stealth” for its silver-on-silver palette.
But the Tangente is clearly different – and far more affordable – as it looks less formal with its large Arabic numerals (and ironically the typography was inspired by vintage Lange wristwatches).
Like other recent Nomos watches, the Platinum Gray is a variation on a theme – essentially just a new dial – which makes it repetitive. The lack of innovation or novelty can leave Nomos feeling unexciting at times, though the strong design identity and affordability of the brand remains appealing, as does its affordability.
With a price tag that starts at US$3,070 and rises to US$3,780 depending on the case size and back, the Platinum Gray costs over 50% more than its hand-wind counterpart, largely due to the in-house automatic movement.
Given the slightly more complex dial finish as well the the in-house movement, the price is fair, though it stretches the value proposition historically associated with Nomos. Still, the Tangente Neomatik is accessible both in price and availability, which adds to its appeal.
Grey and grained
Even though all versions of the Tangente, regardless of price or movement, share a similar dial, the self-winding Neomatik variants, and specifically the new Platinum Gray, look more upscale as befits their premium pricing.
The Neomatik models get additional and thoughtful details on the dial, albeit in such a subtle manner they are indiscernible at a distance. On the Platinum Gray for instance, the hands and markers are rendered in shades of the same colour ranging from silver to a medium grey, giving it a more posh feel than the basic, hand-wind Tangente with its blue-on-white dial.
Comparing the 35 mm and 39 mm models makes it clear that the smaller watch has a more balanced layout since the movement suits the 35 mm case better. On the 35 mm model, the seconds register sits almost equidistant from the hands and edge of the dial, while on the 39 mm model it sits high up, seemingly touching the axis of the hands.
Beating inside all Tangente Neomatik models is the DUW 3001, an automatic movement developed by the Glashütte watchmaker.
The highlight of the proprietary movement is the finishing, which is simple yet attractive with its blue and gold parts set against the clean striping on the rhodium-plated, three-quarter bridge.
But for movement geeks, the appeal continues on with its technical features, including the full balance bridge that is a rare sight in movements at this price. A balance bridge with two anchor points not only looks better in its symmetry, but also provides more stable support for the balance wheel, ensuring better timekeeping when met with shocks.
Key facts and price
Nomos Tangente Neomatik “Platinum Gray”
Ref. 188 (35 mm, steel back)
Ref. 189 (35 mm, sapphire back)
Ref. 143 (39 mm, steel back)
Ref. 144 (39 mm, sapphire back)
Diameter: 35 mm or 39 mm
Height: 6.7 mm (35 mm steel back); 6.9 mm (35 mm sapphire back and 39 mm steel back); 7.1 mm (39 mm sapphire back)
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: DUW 3001
Functions: Hours, minutes, and small seconds
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 43 hours
Strap: Black Horween Shell Cordovan with steel pin buckle
Limited edition: No
Availability: At Nomos online boutique and retailers
35 mm steel back – US$3,070, 0r 4,240 Singapore dollars
35 mm sapphire back – US$3,460, or 4,760 Singapore dollars
39 mm steel back – US$3,390, or 4,480 Singapore dollars
39 mm sapphire back – US$3,780, or 5,000 Singapore dollars
For more, visit nomos-glashuette.com.
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