Your Next Watch Episode 5: NOMOS Glashütte expands on the ever popular Tangente and this time, it's sporty...
A couple of months ago now, NOMOS Glashütte released something not many of us expected. When most of us think about sports watches we think big rotating bezels, thick durable cases, solid casebacks and quite a distinctively recognisable aesthetic.
NOMOS look to challenge that traditional look with a new release that honours the distinctive and widely appealing design language of the brand while also being able to perform just as well as any other sports watch.
Ever since I first saw this piece in Baselworld, I was eager to get some real hands-on time with it. Fortunately, today is that day…
The NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik 580
The movement powering the watch and the DNA behind the styling of the piece. These are the only two things for this watch that remain the same when compared to others in the current Tangente line. What does this tell us? Well, to start with there is a lot of new stuff to cover. It means one of the brands most important pillars in their collection continues to grow. And finally, NOMOS really believe this is the next evolution for their most loved models.
The New Stuff
To kick things off, the first noticeable change is the case which now comes in at 42mm wide. This case with crown guards has been seen before on the likes of the Ahoi. Although it’s a larger size (this now makes it the biggest Tangente available today) the thickness remains suitably ‘NOMOS’ at a touch under 11mm (10.9mm to be precise). The lug to lug distance is right around 52mm.
If you’re familiar with the Tangente you’ll know the lugs on the piece are incredibly slender and elegant. It’s worth noting however that the watch doesn’t feel delicate or lacking in robustness.
The hands featured on the piece are once again new for the Tangente line up and strike a great balance between practical legibility and a brand-aware look. The colour scheme now has a fresh feel thanks to the presence of lume.
A thicker, domed sapphire crystal covers the details of this updated dial.
The hands are flooded with light blue Superluminova and the hour markers have neat rectangular cappuccino plots around the dial. Both additions of lume glow green. Wearing the watch in the day, the addition of lume helps to emphasise the symmetry of the dial. The injection of playfulness and casual charm really comes across when wearing this piece.
The crown guards are appropriately proportioned on the side of the case and most importantly, although the crown is pretty small for the watch, it’s still easy to adjust. I personally love how accessible the crown is. I didn’t have any issues at all adjusting the time on the go.
300 metres, 30 atm or 1000ft as NOMOS personally prefer, is the water resistance rating of choice here. Certainly, something you don’t expect when looking at the watch. This has been achieved by the screw down crown, strengthen seals and increased shock resistance over the other Tangente’s.
This seems like a natural time to flip the watch over, and admire the automatic in house movement from NOMOS.
The DUW 6101 NOMOS Movement
NOMOS alway manage to stand out from the rest of the competition. One of the main reasons for this being their movements. They are one of the few companies that truly offer in house movements, something that is rarely found at this price point. The DUW 6101 is the first Neomatik calibre to feature a date. It’s not ‘just a date’ however. Much like the 731 Club Date we took a look at towards the end of 2018 here, on the Tangente Sport, it sits right at the edge of the dial.
This is a hugely beneficial NOMOS trait. It means the watches aren’t held back by movement restrictions and they are very much design lead.
There are plenty of little nuances in watch collecting that people go crazy for, and luckily if this sounds you, NOMOS has you covered. With the 6101 you can go forward or back with the date change. Like I said, a small feature, but something that makes a difference if you regularly have to change the date.
Spending time with the watch I’m pleased to report the movement was absolutely faultless. It just so happens to look pretty special at the same time with fantastic finishing, heat blued screws and bevelled edges. All very NOMOS…
To learn a lot more about the DUW 6101 and their swing system, NOMOS has a great write up here which goes over everything you need to know in detail.
The New NOMOS Metal Bracelet
2019 seems to be the year of metal bracelets for NOMOS. In January we saw the addition of a mesh style bracelet for the new Campus range expansion and now the Tangente Sport Neomatik is next. This bracelet is more reminiscent of a traditional metal strap with links that can be adjusted by unscrewing two screws around the back of the strap. In traditional NOMOS style, we find quick releases around the lugs but also on the buckle.
The strap itself has quite an old school design to it strongly reminding me of expanding metal bracelets of the 60s and 70s. Once on the watch, it really asserts the watches playful, sporty aesthetic. The appeal of a metal bracelet on a NOMOS is something that I very much welcomed.
It’s worthing bringing up the deployment clasp here and it’s unconventional configuration. If you’re a regular metal bracelet wearer, you’ll think the bracelet is fitted the wrong way as the buckle deploys away from your body rather than towards like 90% of other deployment buckles.
What Is It Like In Real Life?
So how do the stats translate to actual on wrist time with the piece? Well, there is no way we can deny the large size of the watch. It’s a big piece at 42mm wide and the crown guards only add to this perception. Silver dials also have a tendency to enhance a watches footprint on the wrist so naturally the Tangente Sport Neomatik is impacted by this. It’s worth adding here however that the thickness works very well on the watch and although wide, I have no complaints about the height of the watch.
Another aspect of the watch is that people notice it. Whether that’s down to the size, silver dial, all-metal look or just overall style, the watch gets glances and comments. This acts as a perfect pivot into my next point, legibility. If you take a look back at our NOMOS 731 Club Date review, you’ll see mentions of how legible that watch is. Well, I’m pleased to report this isn’t a feature reserved just for that watch, as all the Tangente Sport needs is a quick glance to the wrist and you have all the information you need.
The date window placement right at the edge of the dial is a functional feature of the watch that seems very considered. Many watches with dates can look sloppy in design with a date function feeling like an afterthought. Not with the Tangente Sport. The date sits right at the edge of the dial and it’s large font really helps to balance the dial.
Not something you expect from a watch with a date at the 3 o’clock position.
Watch Straps for NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik 42
As we always do here at WatchGecko, let’s take a look at a few straps to add a different dynamic to the Tangente Sport. Something to note when picking straps for the NOMOS is its lug width. The watch is actually only 20mm at the lugs. This isn’t something you see every day on a 42mm wide piece so straps that have a heavy taper down to the buckle will emphasise the larger size. 4mm is really the maximum taper I would consider.
Geckota Dawlish Italian Calf Leather Watch Strap - Tan
If you want to change up the look completely of the Tangente Sport, then the Dawlish Italian Calf Leather is the way to go. This strap may come with a higher price tag than other straps, but it’s genuinely justified, with perfectly neat painted edges, a great balanced amount of padding, accurate stitching and a pop of colour on the underside.
This tan option matches the silver dial and bright colours well to create a comfortable very ‘NOMOS’ look.
Geckota Classic Mesh Strap - Polished
This is a fantastic option if you want to build on the NOMOS bracelet and just make your Tangente Sport a little different. The Milanese mesh design of this strap will keep it nice and breathable and with an easy to adjust buckle, you can always have that perfect fit.
ZULUDIVER Iridescent Linen Weave - Blue with Grey
This is actually a surprising favourite strap combo of mine. The Iridescent Linen really embraces the new direction of this NOMOS Tangente Sport. Of course, we have combined the blue hands with the blue on the strap to draw more attention to those new lumed filled hands.
Is the NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik a diving watch?
I think it’s time we address the elephant in the room. I’m sure there will be a few of you reading this thinking this watch would technically qualify as a diving watch because of the water resistance rating.
Realistically, this is marketed as a ‘sports watch’ rather than a diving watch. The perception of a diving watch is heavily linked to the historical ideology and design of icons in that category.
Only a select few people who have a passion for watches will actually dive with diving watches, regularly making the most of their capabilities. This watch is capable of going 300m deep, but that rating doesn’t define what it is.
With the advancement of technology, diving computers dominate the market for true divers. So that now old school ideology of what we imagine to be a diving watch is exactly that, an old school ideology.
I believe this is much more suitable for what wrists are expecting today when it comes to watches they can wear during sports, during exercise and during swimming that effectively tells them the time clearly and stylishly.
If you’re someone who adores NOMOS with a growing collection, you’re looking for a more practical piece and you have potentially a little larger wrist then the NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik would fit the brief.
Things I’d Like To See Done Differently
There are always things that can be improved or changed. Let’s run through a few aspects of the Tangente Sport that are worth knowing before you add another NOMOS to your collection...
The buckle - As I’ve mentioned previously if you’re a watch collector who regularly wears metal bracelets, you’ll think the buckle is on backwards when you first attach it to your wrist. The watch also doesn’t come with a lock safety on the buckle and having only three micro-adjustments is a little limiting.
It’s worth considering that you can, of course, add more links to the bracelet. These links are smaller than a conventional link so you may have to play around to get that perfect fit.
The case size - This is a big talking point of this watch. Personally, I believe the watch needs to remain in the 40s rather than 30s for it to strike an appealing balance and also to justify it’s position the Tangente collection. I believe 40mm would be the golden size here and would enable the angled lugs to really come into their own and hug more wrists effectively.
This was one of the most memorable watches from Baselworld for me. It was such an interesting direction for NOMOS.
I enjoy the look of the metal bracelet on the watch and think it’s a well-needed addition for NOMOS. The lack of micro-adjustments and backwards buckle do result in a product with room for improvement which is no bad thing. Once they start to offer it on other watches/available on its own then I can see it being a popular choice for people.
The watch really adds more diversity to the Tangente range and fills a gap for people looking for a more robust version of the model. It’s worth adding if you prefer the Club, then there is always the new Club Sport Neomatik ref. 781.
Maybe we’ll get a detailed look at that piece soon…
The NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik 42 ref. 580 is currently available on the NOMOS website for £3,980. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank NOMOS for sending this watch out to us for review and to be featured in this new series, if you're interested in learning more about the Tangente Sport or any other NOMOS watch, click here.