When is a Monaco not a Monaco?
The answer is when it's a Nomos Glashütte Tetra Neomatik. To celebrate 175 years of watchmaking in the small village of Glashütte in Germany (close to Saarbrucken, by the French border) Nomos has created a square watch. But this is nothing new: the distinctive Tetra model is already part of Nomos history, now updated to reflect another landmark in the history of German watchmaking. Nomos is one of around eight watchmakers that happen to have converged on Glashütte, which is to German watches what Melton Mowbray is to English pork pies.
The latest Tetra models come in white, red, blue or black - as opposed to the more muted shades of its predecessors - and subtle they aren't. But they are also designed to stand out with the sort of clean minimalism that has become a Nomos' hallmark. What makes this release particularly special is the lustre of the dials, giving the watch an almost enamel effect that suggests it's actually more valuable than the £3000 or so that Nomos wants to charge for it. The size is 33mm by 33m, which makes it a bit smaller than the Monaco (which is 39mm by 39mm). In other words, it's impressive but not imposing. It's also nice to see a much more playful side to Nomos, whose watches have been somewhat sober in the past.
Square watches are always going to be polarising but personally, I really like it. And if you're going to go for it, you may as well go bold - so the red is the model of choice, for me at least. You might have to be quick though, as there are only going to be 175 of them in each colour worldwide.
As usual, there's an in-house DUW 3001 movement and the watch comes with a deployment clasp on a handmade Horween leather strap, adding to the overall feel of quality. That automatic movement, by the way, is a work of art - and you can gawp at it through the display case back all day long.
Nomos says that this watch will appeal to: "individualists and aesthetes, nonconformists, connoisseurs and masterminds, opinion-makers and people-makers, scholars, party-goers and night owls... in short: people who know their own mind."
Flattery gets you everywhere. Despite not falling into any of the above categories, I can't wait to get some proper hands-on time with it in person.
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