Easy Love: The Nomos Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit
There are times that your love life is complicated. There are periods in your life where nothing comes easy. You have to fight to make things work: relationship, job, hobby, or sports.
Like the saying goes, “the struggle is real.” But there are times, and a lucky few get them, when love is easy. The moments when your relationship just makes perfect sense, and everything fits between you and your mate.
There are exciting days when your job is a cinch, or when your adventure into needlepoint pays off, and every stitch just flows from your fingers. And at least once in every athlete’s life comes the moment when his or her body and muscles finally “get it” and can perform with ease the feat they have been practicing for months.
These are the moments to live for, the rare moments when you have no complaints, no worries, and are experiencing things perfectly clearly and with absolutely no effort.
This also happens to watch enthusiasts, but it is certainly different from the watch lust that many of us experience as well. No, this moment comes when you find something simple, something clean, and something entirely unostentatious that ticks every box you didn’t even know you had.
It’s the simple truth, the simple right answer, and it has a simple response: yes.
This happened to me a few years ago when I was going down the rabbit hole of new-watch-spelunking and I came across a new watch by an already favorite brand. That brand was Nomos Glashütte and the watch was the Zürich Weltzeit, a worldtimer.
I had discovered Nomos Glashütte a few years prior, back in the mid-noughties, when I started to digest the true ins and outs of the watch industry and everything it had to offer. I immediately fell in love with the brand, even if I knew I couldn’t afford one of the watches. Granted, I was a college student at the time, eating ramen and peanut butter sandwiches, so affordability was dramatically less than what it is now.
Even so, I loved the brand and the aesthetic, and I really liked a lot of the pieces. Mostly, I loved Nomos Glashütte for what it stood for: creating manufacture movements and selling watches with little pretense and a whole lot of charm.
That being said, Nomos Glashütte didn’t have that standout piece that made me say, “Yup, that’s the one I would definitely buy.”
That was by no means a problem, it just meant that I loved the pieces pretty much equally and would have a tough time deciding which I would choose if I was in the position to buy one.
But then the day came sometime during 2011 when everything changed. Suddenly, there was a model that I would choose, hands down, over every other already awesome Nomos Glashütte model. That was the Zürich Weltzeit.
It was Nomos’ way of simple, through and through: it was clean and classic, and it was exactly what I had been waiting for. Simply put, it was easy love.
While the watch was complicated, my love was not. I didn’t have to weigh any options. The only thing I needed to do was love it.
And so I did
In case you hadn’t realized quite yet, this isn’t exactly a watch review. This is more of a love story. This isn’t like Love, Actually; no, this is like the two kids who lived next door to each other, grew up together, and got married because of course they would. They are the easy love, and maybe the fantasy, but it’s clean, simple, and straightforward.
Just like how I feel about the Nomos Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit. The perfect lines, the simple text, and the ability for the dial to convey so much and at the same time still seem so open and restrained.
That was the beauty of the new complicated Nomos Glashütte model: it didn’t feel complicated, just complete. At least for me.
But the looks alone aren’t what make this an easy love story. The true reasons go much more to the core of what the watch is, and what Nomos Glashütte is.
Watchmaking, for real people
I have not met a single person who claims that Nomos Glashütte is a luxury watch company. In fact, when Nomos Glashütte released its first two luxury watches back in 2012, this was exactly what the headlines pointed out: could Nomos Glashütte, not a luxury watchmaker, actually make a luxury watch?
Well, duh, of course it could. Ask any company what is more difficult: making a handful of anything exquisitely nice or making thousands of that same thing consistently nice? Any company will always answer the latter.
As has been said before, especially by our illustrious leader Elizabeth Doerr in her article How Does Nomos Glashutte Make A Beautiful Watch With Manufacture Movement For Under $3,000?
Nomos Glashütte thinks and works in an industrial manner instead of the luxury mindset. That is why it has created the range of watches with in-house movements that it has: Nomos keeps things simple and straightforward, constantly making things a bit better and focusing on progress over pizzazz.
This is also the reason that the movement inside the Zürich Weltzeit is so incredible.
The movement has gone through a bit evolution over the years. The original Xi movement giving way to the new DUW 5201, which incorporates the new in-house Swing System (balance and escapement assembly), a huge breakthrough for Nomos Glashütte.
The fully realized in-house movement is truly a feat for any company, let alone a smaller company the size of Nomos Glashütte. Adding to that a complete balance and escapement assembly made in-house puts the brand above many higher price-bracket competitors.
There is something to be said about a world time movement and the flexibility that brings. Such a simple idea requires a fair amount of complication allowing for the added components of adjusters, star wheels (ooh, just like in a jump hour), ratchet wheels, springs, and levers.
The stacked dial layout is also no easy feat since it requires a lot of careful design and spacing to make everything rotate while hovering so closely to something above and below.
The details make it real
The home time is located on that smaller dial and was originally marked in German with the word “Heimat” (it is now marked by a little house symbol.) This word was an unusual choice – yet one so very “Nomos” – in that it means “home place” or “homeland.”
But it means much more than that, too: it is an endearing word that kind of means the love of home, which is entirely fitting.
Now the home time is simply denoted with the red triangle and the red icon of a house that is to the left of the wheel. The home time is adjusted with a corrector at about 7:30, and the local time (the main hour hand) is adjusted via the pusher at 2 o’clock. The system is so easy to operate that it actually might be enticing to “fly” around the world whenever you look down at your watch and just want to touch it.
The watch is the perfect size (seriously, 40 mm is the perfect size for many wrists, and at 39.9 it is right there), and 10.85 mm is the perfect thickness to feel like you have something real and worthwhile on your wrist, but not big and bulky enough to disturb a cuff.
The Horween Shell Cordovan strap cannot be argued against. No, really, your argument is invalid when it’s Horween Shell Cordovan. This lovely material is likely the most robust leather strap on the planet, lasting years.
And, finally, taking a gander through the sapphire case back at the, what was that, oh yeah, in-house movement that has its own built-in pedigree from Glashütte rounds out the experience of the Zürich Weltzeit.
Easy love, it happens
This design combined with the complication required a leap for Nomos Glashütte as well, as it strayed from the extremely simple roots of the brand. But the simplicity is still there, and it captured the hearts of many when it first appeared. I am not the first one to extol its virtues.
I also won’t be the last since it is an amazing part of the ever growing pantheon of pieces at Nomos Glashütte.
But this piece is really an idea, a concept, the objectification of hope realized. It is, and always will be an easy watch to love. If you don’t believe me, just strap it to your wrist and fall so deeply that you’ll never want to take it off.
It suddenly occurs to me, I may be a tish biased about this watch.
Let’s break it down anyway!
Wowza Factor * 10 A truly easy and perfect love can get none other than the best. It wowed me from the word go.x
Late Night Lust Appeal * 100 » 980.665m/s2 An easy score to remember and an easy number to understand. It perfectly complements the simple love for this watch.
M.G.R. * 65 This movement is amazing for what it isn’t. It isn’t an off-the-shelf movement and it wasn’t produced by anyone other than Nomos Glashütte. Adorable little Nomos Glashütte.
Added-Functionitis * Mild A GMT function is nothing to scoff at for any brand, let alone a brand like Nomos Glashütte. I would recommend standard-strength Gotta-HAVE-That cream for that easy swelling!
Ouch Outline * 10 That serious bump on the head from fainting! When you fall in love, even if it’s easy love, you may have the tendency to faint. And I would do it again for this watch to be on my wrist!
Mermaid Moment* What part of easy love didn’t you hear? It may have taken a few years to finally see the Zürich Weltzeit after I discovered Nomos Glashütte, but it feels like I’ve always known the Zürich Weltzeit. If you felt it, you too would be on the phone inviting your whole family for the ceremony!
Awesome Total * 1 Because there is no other. Obviously.
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com/zuerich-weltzeit.
Case: 39.9 x 10.85 mm, stainless steel
Movement: self-winding Caliber Xi or DUW 5201 (with in-house Swing System)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; world time and 24-hour indication (second time zone)
Price: $6,100 (yes, you read that right)