April 8, 2020
Since the brand’s founding in 1992, NOMOS Glashütte has been revered among collectors for its devotion to clean, minimalist German Bauhaus design and exceptional quality. Although each NOMOS Glashütte timepiece begins with the same design principles, the marque has created a wide variety of styles and personalities each with their own distinctive charm. There are perhaps no better examples of this than the Tangente Midnight Blue, Orion Olive Gold, and the Ludwig Reference 201. This diverse trio perfectly illustrates the classical, modernist, and eclectic sides of the brand, all while remaining unmistakably NOMOS Glashütte.
While the Tangente, Orion, and Ludwig all begin with a stainless steel case, the similarities end there. For the Orion Olive Gold, long tapering wedge lugs offer a more traditional dress watch profile, while the 41 mm case diameter and wraparound lug curve ensure a look that is equal parts boldly contemporary and effortlessly comfortable on a wide range of wrist sizes.
The Tangente Midnight Blue, however, begins with a 35 mm case design that has been at the heart of NOMOS Glashütte since the brand’s inception. Every element is pared down to its basic form, and perfected in true NOMOS Glasütte style. The straight lugs with their characteristic kink are a perfect example of this, allowing the case to comfortably hug the wearer’s wrist while remaining simple, geometric and perfectly proportioned. While at first glance the 35 mm case of the Ludwig Reference 201 might look identical to the Tangente, it is in the fine details that the Ludwig develops a classical personality of its own. The crown at 3 o’clock receives a small tapering flourish, calling to mind the ornate dress watch crown designs of yesteryear, while the elemental straight lugs without that signature kink offer a more understated and traditional profile.
Likewise, the dials of the Tangente Midnight Blue, Orion Olive Gold, and Ludwig Reference 201 all share the same elemental NOMOS Glashütte DNA but interpret those common threads with dramatically different results. The Ludwig Reference 201 continues its classical inspiration here, offering a very traditional twist on the Bauhaus style. The thin, airy printed Roman numerals include the classic “watchmaker’s four” at 4 o’clock, a clean and balanced element that keeps this simple dial design harmonious. The other great traditional touch here is the inclusion of a tempered blue treatment for the simple stick hands. While blued hands have been sought after in traditional watch design for centuries, the blending of this timeless element with NOMOS Glashütte’s crisp modern design results in a refreshing and distinctive pairing.
The dial of the Tangente Midnight Blue, however, takes a more thoroughly modernist approach. While still refined and understated, the combination of deep blue with the gold accents of the hands and printed Arabic numerals provides a handsome and dramatic interplay of color that feels bolder than the traditional white dial.
The larger size of the Orion Olive Gold allows the elements of the dial to breathe, creating a more spacious and atmospheric overall texture. The almost military olive green of the dial intersects playfully with the brilliant gold of the applied stick indices and hands, referencing the warm tones of autumn. The useful addition of a date window at 3 o’clock is made minimally intrusive thanks to a matching date wheel, allowing this functional complication to maintain the overall balance of the design.
All NOMOS Glashütte timepieces are powered by an in-house mechanical movement, and these three models are no exception. Both the Ludwig Reference 201 and the Tangente Midnight Blue feature the manufacture Alpha handwound movement, offering a dependable 43 hour power reserve and a clean striped finish across the plates and bridges. The Orion Olive Gold, however, utilizes the DUW 6101 automatic date movement, featuring 42 hours of power reserve, striping across movement plates and bridges, and a handsomely decorated cutout rotor featuring gold lettering.
While all three models are presented on leather straps, as with the rest of the designs it’s in the fine details that these models develop unique personality. Both the Ludwig Reference 201 and the Orion Olive Gold are fitted with black Shell Cordovan leather from one of the world’s greatest leather makers, the legendary Horween Tannery in Chicago. Each, however, is fitted with hardware befitting its personality. The Ludwig is finished with a traditional pin buckle and double keepers, while the Orion is graced with a clean and dramatic winged clasp. For the Tangente Midnight Blue, a sandy gray velour leather strap adds texture and ruggedness while contrasting with the darker tones of the dial.
Despite all sharing the same Bauhaus ethos, each of these three dress models offers a unique and unforgettable experience for the wearer. All three are available now online and through NOMOS Glashütte authorized dealers, and all are eligible for the brand’s new zero percent interest 12 month installment payment plan. Starting MSRP for the Ludwig Reference 201 is $1,840, while the Orion Olive Gold is priced at $4,350 and the Tangente Midnight Blue retails for $1,900. For more information, please visit the NOMOS Glashütte website.
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