The Germans have built a reputation for their precision and proficiency over the past century particularly when it comes to anything mechanical. Alongside this reputation they have also built a name synonymous with luxury. The cars that come from Germany are something to behold and the watches are following suit.
Nomos take their craftsmanship seriously. Everything that makes up their timepieces is made in-house. Yes, even their movement is literally manufactured right in their very own backyard. This is quite impressive because movement is where craftsmanship is put on show, usually with a sapphire crystal caseback. The 26 jewel movement has up to 42 hours of power reserve and the surfaces are Rhodium coated to give them an extra safeguard against corrosion.
The polished stainless steel case demands your attention and is noticeably reflective. It isn’t too broad at 41.5mm and is an unobtrusive width at just below 10mm. You might feel like there is something missing when looking at the outside of the case and this is most likely due to the case being made from two parts as opposed to the more common bezel, middle case and caseback being separate. This gives the piece a unified look and adds to the durability of the case. The water resistant rating is an impressive 20atm and to boast this we see a simple little whale etched in alongside the rating at the back. The crown serves the purpose it was made for in that it does nothing but seal and change the time or date.
The dial is the show stopper. The designers have left the outside of the watch with no fancy frills which allows the dial to take centre stage. All the even numbers are Arabic numerals except the 6 o’clock which has been replaced with a date window, and the odd numbers are simply lines. The indexes are all coated in a SuperLuminova which gives off a bright green. The chapter ring features lumo orange minute indexes counting up in fives. Just above the date window there is a small subdial with a lumo orange hand tracking the seconds. The watch hands are polished pencil shaped hands with lume in the middle and they are also quite long. All of this is displayed on a serene, unassuming but quietly elegant pearl coloured dial. The nylon strap doesn’t scream luxury but overall this piece is definitely one of the best.
Where some of the other pieces on the list would probably appeal to a fairly wide range of watch lovers I feel the Tutima, due to its intentionally divergent design, will appeal to a specific few. The watch isn’t too large at 42mm in diameter but because of the square appearance, for lack of a better word, it looks thick. The Saxon One range all have the same pyramid style that is raised at each of its edges surrounding the bezel.
The blue dial is captivating and thankfully steers away from the ever present dark/navy blue dial which seems to be doing the rounds. The hour indexes are relatively bulky and just above them on the raised lip are the 5 minute intervals in Arabic numerals. The chapter ring has markers for split seconds as well between each of the smaller second intervals. In sizeable window at 3 o’clock is the day and the date just to its right. The watch-hands are arrow-styled and have a bold presence about them. The silver on blue is by no means revolutionary so the touch of red that the second hand brings is a welcome detour from the overall colour scheme. There is a domed sapphire crystal on the front and another on the back to exhibit the gold coated Tutima 330 caliber movement.
The stainless steel band just accentuates the bulky look that this piece gives off and even though it could still fit a normal wrist I think this timepiece actually requires somebody with a more bulky wrist.
The Partito Klassik epitomises vintage. It is a throwback to the watches from the early 19th century and it does quite an incredible job of getting this right. The watch characterises the Bauhaus movement that was happening in Germany at the time which focused on minimalist functional design. The dial is black with the most notable branding being the Stowa name at 12 o’clock and the smaller font ‘Partitio’ down at 6 o’clock. The indexes are Arabic numerals and are quite bold but have a nice round shape which is quite pleasing to the eye. The indexes and the watch hands have a quality lume on that stands out clearly in the dark. The whole idea behind the minimalist movement is that the design should not sacrifice the visual attraction to achieve its goal. The chapter ring is indexed to the millisecond true to the old style but, in my opinion, a bit unnecessary due to the fact that it adds no value.
As you would expect from an artistic design team, they have taken a feature that is often overlooked and made it the identifying mark of this timepiece. The red second hand contrasts well with the black dial and demands some attention but not too much due to its thin nature. Protecting all of this is a strong domed sapphire crystal that doesn’t have an anti-reflective coating which could’ve been a nice touch since the polished stainless steel case is quite reflective.
The polished stainless steel case gives the watch its luxury look but it comes with the task of regularly wiping marks and the risk of picking up scratches that are more noticeable. Powering this classic, as you would probably expect, is the timeless Swiss ETA 2824 movement with a 38 hour power reserve. The 25 jewel movement runs at 28,800 bph and has the same 5 bearing system, slightly improved, to this day. The screw crown is simple and has the Stowa logo precisely cut into the top. There is a genuine calfskin strap which will do the long yards in terms of daily wearing and most likely get more comfortable with time. With this piece you find the luxury in its classic appearance and not necessarily in intricate finishes.
The Teutonia has one of the oldest heritages on this list having been around for almost 150 years. If anybody knows how to make a luxury watch it has to be them. Like the other time pieces on this list we find the Teutonia sporting an exhibition caseback to show us the ever reliable Sellita SW 290-1 movement. It has hacking seconds, a 38 hour power reserve and is self-winding. There is nothing spectacular about the rest of the back but as we turn this piece over it is impossible to not be amazed. The middle of the case is brushed stainless steel and the bezel is polished. The variation gives a piston style look to the case. The domed screw crown is polished and has the Muhle Glashutte logo placed on the top. The lugs are 20mm and have screws to fasten the band which is a fiery red rubber resembling a tyre which is covered by a tough nylon with some red stitching down the sides.
The multi-layered dial is reminiscent of a speedometer which is another field of expertise for these watchmakers. There are two options on the dial colour and I find that the black dial is the more menacing of the two. There is a date window showing the day before and after and a sub-dial for the second tracking in the centre of the dial. There is a brushed ring that then forms around it which has all the polished indexes on. There is then a raised chapter ring featuring orange sub-second markers between white indexes for seconds/minutes. At every hour marker there is an increment of 5 in Arabic numerals. There is an anti-reflective sapphire crystal giving you a consistently clear view of this dial.
This is a wonderful timepiece and it isn’t too large at 41mm but is pretty noticeable on the wrist at 12.8mm in height. It might be a bit uncomfortable for daily wear if you are a suits and tie person but otherwise this is a stunner.
The Sinn is an interesting addition to this list. The watchmakers threw back a little here and made use of one of their older cases and with a dial that resembles an older pilot watch. The first thing that came to mind when looking at this piece was a memory of the old Nintendo handheld game sets. The piece is fairly large at 43mm in diameter but is still surprising comfortable for its size and due to the curvature of the case has such a sleek look to it. The case is bead blasted which might take a bit away from the luxury look and feel but if you know Sinn then you know you are getting only quality. There is an internal bezel and the workhorse hiding inside this case is the Stellita SW 220-1. You can grab a peak at the movement through the exhibition caseback as well. There are two identical crowns the 2 o’clock crown being for the internal bezel and the 4 o’clock for time.
The lume is an icy blue which is quite clear due to the size of the indexes on the black dial. The sword watch hands are as simple as they come with an orange second hand bringing back memories of the watches of the late 20th century styles. There is an elongated date window showing the day and date at 3 o’clock. The chapter ring has minute markers and the bezel has numerals counting up in 5’s every hour.
I feel the black leather strap gives the piece a more luxury look as opposed to the chain link stainless steel option but all-in-all I think this piece punches slightly above its weight due to the Sinn name it carries.