Photos by Jake Witkin

As its sole release presented at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2024, NOMOS unveiled 31 different limited-edition colorways of the Tangente 38 Date to celebrate 175 years of watchmaking in the German town of Glashütte. With a different iteration for every day of the month and each colorway limited to 175 examples, the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte series is intended to celebrate individuality and diversity within the industry, although it also serves as a highly impressive showcase of the German brand’s ability to use color in an unexpected yet tasteful manner.

While the 38mm date-displaying NOMOS Tangente is a known quantity and one of the brand’s most popular designs, I initially wasn’t sure how successfully it could serve as the canvas for 31 different colorways. Certain colors simply work with some designs better than others, and creating 31 distinct variations is far more difficult than producing the relative handful of colorways that would normally constitute a collection. Even when I wrote our initial news story about the launch of this series, only a handful of the 31 variations had accompanying images, and the rest of the models were simply represented by an infographic that outlined the name of each version and the colors that characterize its appearance.

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However, after getting a chance to see all 31 versions of the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte (ref. 179) in the metal at Watches & Wonders Geneva, I was ultimately rather surprised by how many of them I would actually consider purchasing for myself. Some colorways naturally appeal to me more than others, and while there are quite a few versions that I could easily see being a person’s daily timekeeping companion, other more vibrant renditions are likely destined to end up playing the role of the “vacation watch” within a person’s collection. While I can’t necessarily see myself wearing every single one of the 31 different colorways, I can honestly say that none of them are total stinkers, and this limited-edition series serves as both a testament to the versatility of the Tangente’s design and a strong reminder why NOMOS is celebrated for its use of color.

Aside from the colorways, all of the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models are identical to the standard 38mm date-displaying version (ref. 130). Additionally, it’s worth noting that despite the “38” name of the watch, the actual dimensions of the case measure 37.5mm in diameter by 6.8mm thick, with 19mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 47.7mm. Just like the standard NOMOS Tangente 38 Date, the 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models feature polished stainless steel cases with sapphire crystals above their dials, signed winding crowns at 3 o’clock, and 30 meters of water resistance. However, while the standard-production Tangente 38 Date is available with the option of a solid or display-style caseback, all of the limited-edition 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models are fitted with display casebacks to showcase their internal movements.

Internally, all of the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models are powered by the Caliber DUW 4101 manual-wind movement, which is one of the German brand’s in-house designs that can also be found inside the standard-production Tangente 38 Date watches. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours, the 23-jewel NOMOS Cal. DUW 4101 features the brand’s signature Swing System escapement, and on the limited-edition 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models, the movements are adjusted to chronometer standards. Additionally, rather than having its date mechanism mounted directly on top of its structure like most date-displaying movements, the NOMOS Cal. DUW 4101 has its calendar disc positioned around the periphery of the caliber, which creates a thinner overall design and allows the date window to be placed closer to the edge of the dial for better visual balance.

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The layout of the dials fitted to the limited-edition NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models follow the same fundamental design as the standard-production version of the watch with printed Arabic numeral hour markers, a small running seconds hand, and a date window at the 6 o’clock location. However, each of the 31 versions features a different colorway, and they get paired with color-coordinated calendar discs that either match or contrast with the other hues featured throughout the dial. While many of the variations feature dials that incorporate four or five different colors, others such as the “Poporange” variant (ref. 179.S13)  simply feature two shades of orange paired with classic black printing. Additionally, while some of the colorways are downright playful and whimsical, others such as the gray and tan “Haifischgrau” version (ref. 179.S20) offer a noticeably more serious overall appearance.

Despite the variety of dial colors that exist among the series, all of the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models are fitted with a two-piece waterproof textile strap in either light or dark gray. The gray fabric straps fitted to the 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte series offer a fairly straightforward design, and they are completed by polished stainless steel buckles signed with the NOMOS logo. The first keeper for the strap is integrated into the structure of the buckle, while the second keeper is constructed from either dark or light gray fabric to match the rest of the strap. Additionally, while the neutral gray hues allow the colorful dials to take center stage, the Tangente 38 Date features standard 19mm lugs with drilled holes, and I imagine that there will be quite a few owners who swap out the included strap for third-party alternatives that match their dials.

Rather unusually, the limited-edition NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte models actually cost slightly less than the standard-production version with an official retail price of $2,310 USD. Since this colorful collection is intended to celebrate diversity and self-expression, NOMOS wanted these models to be as accessible as possible, and the brand views the slightly subsidized price as an investment in the individuals who wear and collect its watches. Additionally, each of the 31 colorways will be produced as a limited edition of 175 examples (creating a total of 5,425 watches), and while they are all currently sold out on the official NOMOS website, you still have the possibility of finding your favorite colorway from one of the brand’s authorized retailers. Nomos excels at tastefully implementing unexpected colors, and the simple fact that the Tangente can successfully serve as a canvas for 31 different colorways is a testament to the success of its minimalist Bauhaus-inspired design. For more information on the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, please visit the brand’s website.

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