Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Expanding on the success of last year's announcement of the Swing System, Nomos has upped the ante for Baselworld 2015 with a brand new automatic movement and two new watches to get that movement on your wrist. With the all-new DUW 3001, Nomos has expanded their in-house manufacture to offer a very slim and very accurate caliber with automatic winding. Initially found in two new models, the Nomos Tangente Automatik and the Nomos Minimatik, the DUW 3001 is an impressive step for this small but feisty German brand, and it's fun to see Nomos' core values expressed within the design and manufacturing of a new caliber that will strengthen their value-driven core line up.

The DUW 3001 Movement

This new automatic movement is the result of three years worth of development and represents far more than an update to their Epsilon calibre. Nomos' goals with the DUW 3001 were size (it needed to be very thin), accuracy (chronometer grade), and scaled production, which would allow them to use the movement to its fullest without having to significantly raise their prices. Nomos has always offered a recognizable aesthetic, very competitive pricing, and solid technology, and the DUW 3001 will support the future of these values.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On The DUW 3001 is just 3.2 mm thick, making it one of the thinner mass produced and chronometer grade automatic movements in the world. To achieve this thinness and accuracy, Nomos had to reduce their usual manufacturing tolerances by up to 50%. The DUW 3001, which was designed by Theodor Prenzel, places as many of the parts as possible between the base plate and the three-quarter plate, including Nomos' Swing System.

Core pieces like the ratchet wheel and mainspring needed to be made as flat as possible. In the case of the mainspring, flatter means less power storage, so Nomos was forced to rethink the gear train to optimize for efficiency and re-balance the effect of the flatter mainspring. This includes research into the everything from the number of teeth to the angle of each element. The result of this extreme attention? A huge increase in overall movement effectiveness and efficiency; in some cases, an increase of up to 94 percent.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Nomos considers the DUW 3001 their next generation, an accurate and scalable automatic movement that, within the Tangente case, for example, only increases overall thickness by 0.3mm (verses the hand-wound version with the Alpha movement). The DUW 3001 is not limited, and it won't exclusively appear within Nomos' top tier models. Alternatively, it is ready for large scale production and will actually begin its retail life in two models with list prices around $4000.

Running at 3Hz, the DUW 3001 is adjusted in six positions, has a power reserve of 42 hours, with bi-directional winding and incabloc shock protection. The movement will be finished to usual Nomos standards with a blue balance spring, a new Nomos balance bridge, blued screws, Glashutte ribbing, and Nomos perlage.

The DUW 3001 may be just another automatic movement, but I love the way that Nomos attempts to refine any aspect of their business. They already had the Eplison automatic movement, but they knew they could improve on the idea, apply all of their know-how, and strengthen an element at the core of their market. I also respect that they went for thinness and accuracy, two concepts that are very hard to combine, but together reflect a very Nomos ethos.

The Watches

Nomos announced two DUW 3001-based watches at Baselworld this year, the Nomos Tangente Automatik and the Nomos Minimatik. Let's start with the Minimatic, which is the first Nomos (that I can remember) which is specifically stated as having a feminine appeal. Nomos calls the Minimatic "a women's watch without the typical feminine characteristics", and I would agree that this 35.5 mm three-hander is likely more feminine than the balance of Nomos' line up. That said, it didn't feel girly on my wrist and I don't see any specific gender bias in most of Nomos' line up - but I digress.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On The look is almost a combination of the Club dial with an Orion case, but the case is more curved than that of the Orion and the dial more reserved (less sporty) than the Club's. The appeal is pure Nomos, with a silver dial, blue markers and numerals, and deep red lacquered hands with a matching "Automatik" text that confirms the DUW 3001 within. The Nomos Minimatik uses a steel case with a curved sapphire top crystal and, along with the flat sapphire display case back, the total thickness is 8.6mm.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Mounted to a comfy Horween Cordovan leather strap, the Nomos Minimatik has a lovely presence that is a mix of muted colors and refined (not stark) simplicity. I really like the use of color, the blue dots for the non-numbered markers, and the choice to go without a date display, which might have spoiled the symmetry of the dial design. As with most Nomos designs, you either get it or you don't. If you don't, you probably didn't read this far.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On
The second watch to receive the all-new DUW 3001 is the Nomos Tangente Automatik, a new version of Nomos' award winning best seller. Originally designed in 1992, the Nomos Tangente is likely the physical icon of Nomos' Bauhaus aesthetic. While the automatic Nomos Tangomat has been available since 2005, it has a 38mm case, which is some 3mm larger than that of the hand-wound Nomos Tangente. The Nomos Tangente Automatik, thanks to the use of the DUW 3001, maintains the very-successful 35mm sizing of the Nomos Tangente but adds automatic winding. Even in adding automatic winding, the Nomos Tangente Automatik is only 0.3 mm thicker than its hand-wound older brother, coming in at a remarkably thin 6.9 mm.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On The Nomos Tangente Automatik has sapphire crystals front and back, is water resistant to 3 ATM, and comes fitted to a black Horween Cordovan leather strap. Many of you will question the 35mm sizing, as it is considered rather small for today's market. While I would agree that I prefer a 38 mm Nomos, their buyers definitely seem to have a hunger for the Nomos Tangente design at 35 mm.

For those of you who scoff at a 35mm men's watch, Nomos offers many larger case sizes, from the 40mm Ahoi and Zurich Worldtimer to the 41.5mm Club Automat Datum Dunkel. Only time will tell if Nomos will update the current 38.3mm Nomos Tangomat with the DUW 3001, but it would certainly seem in keeping with their statements about the future of this new movement.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On On wrist, I found the Nomos Tangente Automatic to be great. Yes, 35mm is small, but I have a couple of smaller vintage pieces and small does not equal a lesser presence. This is especially true for Nomos designs that use as much of the dial as possible and often wear larger than their case size would suggest. Just look at the on-wrist photos, the watch is small, but it's not crazy. Within the enthusiast community, I have no doubt that 38-43mm is the range for most watches, but for Nomos, 35mm is still their bread and butter.

Even if you dismiss the Nomos Minimatik and the Nomos Tangente Automatik for being too small, if you're a Nomos fan, these new models will represent great things for the brand. They are developing, growing and innovating to keep their position in the market and they have remained steadfast in offering their watches at a very reasonable price. Framed by their aesthetic, they have no competition. If you zoom way out and include vastly different brands, I could see the argument for competition from Frederique Constant, Alpina, and even Tudor. All of whom offer in-house movements that undercut the pricing of major players like Rolex and Omega.

Nomos Minimatik & Tangente Automatik With New In-House DUW 3001 Movement Hands-On Hands-On Nomos is a true enthusiast's brand, showing up at Baselworld just as proud of a new and exhaustively-developed movement as they are of a new model or color way, and I can't blame them. The Nomos Tangente Automatik will retail for $3780, with the Nomos Minimatik on sale for $4060. With a brand new in-house movement, a fresh option for the ladies and the proven style of the Nomos Tangente, 2015 looks like a banner year for Nomos, and we haven't even gotten to the new Metros (stay tuned).

What do you think?
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  • Baerli Baer

    Love both these watches. Love the small size. Have been waiting for fashions to to come full circle and give us smaller watches again. Unfortunately it looks like we are a long way off this happening, so it’s great that pieces like these are being made. Fabulous price too.

  • IanE

    Yes, a brave, innovative and good-value brand. I am myself intending to get a Metro when they become available again (something that seems to be receding into the distance, alas). I just got their (free) well-illustrated catalogue and was slightly amused (but could be I will be proved wrong) to see that they claim “If you sell the watch later, you almost always can recoup the purchase price – although it often increases remarkably”!

  • DangerussArt

    I really like the style Nonos offers , but they’re too small for me. 35 / 37.5 / 38.3mm looks like a child’s watch on me. Since they’re not going to produce this in a size I can wear (42mm), can anyone recommend a suitable offering in a larger size? Junghans Max Bill comes close, but still too small, and I don’t like it as well as the flat crystal Nomos. Stowa looks and feels cheap. I’m coming up with clones and cheaper watches like Tsovet but the size remains an issue.

  • DG Cayse

    Excellent review. Thank You Mr. Stacey.

  • I don’t scoff at 35mm watches, I just don’t want to wear them. It looks as polarizing on my wrist as a 65mm watch would.

  • I_G

    I’ve bought a Tangente Leipzig in 2002 for about $690 MSRP. Nomos nicely creeped up to the higher price slots in the last decade 😀

  • I_G

    DangerussArt I think this minimalist Bauhaus-aesthetics with thin typography and hands works only up to a certain size. If you make a HUGE dial with this design it will look like you strapped an empty white plate to your Ahhnold-sized wrist 😀

  • socrates35

    Love that Automatik! But at 35mm, just too small to consider. At 38mm I’d be all over it!

  • MarcusMak

    For me, Nomos Glashutte represent innovation & excellent value for $ now.  However, with the inclusion of swing system last year & DUW3001 this year. Plus it’s capacity to produce more DUW3001 movements. I have a feeling that within 1-2 yrs, Nomos Glashutte should be pricing upwards. So i told many friends, get a Nomos Glashutte now before it’s too late.

    I won’t mind a 35mm size watch, they stay true to themselves unless IWC whom bowed to mainstream for making larger sized vintage & heritage line watches. I truly wish them luck and continue to promote them.

  • Rupert Muller

    A completely newly developed movement with 3Hz and a power reserve of only 42 h? Uuuhh… I don’t know….

  • DangerussArt

    Fair point. I may make a paper dial cheapie to test that theory.

  • DangerussArt Meistersinger kind of fits the bill. They also have three handers.

  • Going through a Nomos phase at the moment. Their 35/36mm wear extremely well on my 7” wrist. I usually wear 45-48mm and I happily alternate between 35 and 48.

    One thing though, i know it’s very Bauhaus but those lugs don’t do it for me!!! The Club or Orion lugs are nice and curvy. These are just so unrefined compared to the rest of the watch!

  • Shawnnny

    Nice, classy looking watches. Love the see through backs.

  • bichondaddy

    I’m not a fan of their minimalist dials and sizes.  Just too small for me.  I do appreciate the new movement though.

  • spiceballs

    Bravo Nomos and nice review Mr Stacey but, as expected too low a water resistance for me.

  • egznyc

    I like these offerings and while they might be in the small side I think I’d have to try one on and then I’d know. They hark back to a bygone era but boast modern movements that are beautifully finished.

  • One thing about the DUW3001 is that it’s not only thin, but also small, I think even smaller than the ? movement. This means that even in the Tango case the DUW3001 might look dime sized. Still, here’s to hoping that an automatic Metro be released.

  • Peter Byford

    Putting the size issue aside, I’ve always liked Nomos offerings. Maybe it’s because the overall impression has a passing resemblance to an IWC Portuguese, a flattering comparison I know.
    At this price point there’s plenty of competition, but Nomos would be in the frame for sure.

  • Pingback: Nomos Metro Neomatik Watch Hands-On | aBlogtoWatch()

  • Ed

    The red hands are too feminine for a non-sport watch. It was quite a bad decision by Nomos. They should have stayed with blue.