Nomos Glashütte Tetra Neomatik: Reinventing The Square
by Martin Green
At Baselworld 2015 Nomos Glashütte introduced its in-house caliber DUW 3001 (see How Does Nomos Glashütte Make A Beautiful Watch With Manufacture Movement For Under $3,000?).
The Minimatik, one of the stars of Baselworld 2015, was the new line in which this caliber was introduced, featuring a new case and dial design. At Baselworld 2016, Nomos Glashütte introduces the caliber in the familiar Tetra case as part of the Neomatik line.
Big deal? Yes, big deal!
To the world, or at least most of it, Nomos Glashütte is better known for its perfect round minimalist watches, in particular the modern classic called Tangente. This perfection is not only found in the carefully crafted shape and minimalistic lugs, but also in the dial with all of its small yet significant details.
But you know how it is with rules: you confirm them . . . but with exceptions.
For Nomos the “exception” is called Tetra, and it is square. Not tonneau and not rectangular, but really square, which is unusual in today’s watch world. Square watches never really caught on, at least not without rounding their corners significantly (or being put into the art deco corner), and that is just not Nomos’s thing. The Tetra’s corners are kept at a straight 90-degree angle.
The result is an unusual watch that appeals to people looking for something out of the ordinary. With humans being herd animals, there aren’t many of those around, so the production of the Tetra has always been somewhat naturally limited compared to the other Nomos models.
But over the years, the Tetra has proven its place in the Nomos Glashütte lineup because it was different, yet at the same time so essentially Nomos.
When Caliber DUW 3001 was introduced in 2015, Nomos created both an entirely new model for it in the form of the Minimatik, and also put the automatic movement into the flagship of the Nomos Glashütte lineup: the Tangente.
Putting this movement in the Tetra makes Caliber DUW 3001 now available in three watches that together represent a great deal of the Nomos universe.
Fitted with Caliber DUW 3001, the Tetra also enters new waters. Originally a manually wound watch, it is now suddenly an automatic one. It’s no secret that many people prefer automatic over manual winding, and this might especially be the case for Nomos Glashütte’s clientele, which alongside watch connoisseurs also includes a lot of “normal” (albeit usually design-interested) people looking for an everyday watch.
They will get a lot to love, because not only is Caliber DUW 3001 a very attractive movement with its Glashütte ribbing on the traditionally styled three-quarter plate and blued screws, but with an overall height of 3.2 mm it’s also comfortably slim. The full balance bridge (in place of a balance cock, which is only secured to the plate on one end) over the balance wheel ensures increased shock resistance and reliability.
Despite the addition of automatic winding, Nomos Glashütte’s designers only added 4 mm to the thickness of the fully encased watch over the original Tetra of 1990. This is quite an accomplishment since the new version comes with a sapphire crystal on both front and back. The original Tetra had a solid stainless steel case back; the option for sapphire crystal came in much later.
The Tetra Neomatik is 33 x 33 mm, which sounds small, but is in fact generously sized, particularly in contrast to the original Tetra measuring 27.5 x 27.5 mm. As the Tetra is square, 33 x 33 mm means there are almost 11 square centimeters of watch on your wrist. As it is a watch by Nomos Glashütte, it is definitely unisex – and comfortably so on every count.
Available with either a deep blue or silvery white dial, it will appeal to either your Ying or your Yang. Both have myriad small details on the dial that are one of the joys of owning a timepiece by Nomos Glashütte.
This entire package might increase the popularity of the Tetra significantly, and that is quite a big deal. Also for Nomos watchmakers, because square watches are so much more difficult to make water-resistant. But then again, those watchmakers in Glashütte have never shied away from a challenge!
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com.
Case: stainless steel,33 x 33 x 6.3 mm; sapphire crystal case back
Movement: automatic Caliber DUW 3001 with 42-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Price: $3,860 (silvery white dial), $3,980 (deep blue dial “Tiefblau”)