Nomos Zurich Weltzeit
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Nomos Zurich Weltzeit

Oh, Glashütte.

This sleepy town a few miles from the Czech border is the cradle of German watchmaking. Over the centuries, several brands have called it home. Though the privations of the Cold War temporarily stilled the gears of the German watch industry, Reunification saw the pendulum swinging again.

Brands like A. Lange & Söhne led the way, with Walter Lange revitalizing the brand his great-grandfather founded and bringing it to new life after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Nomos was another brand that saw life after Reunification.

Nomos was founded by Roland Schwertner in 1990. Like Lange, Nomos drew from the rich tradition of German watchmaking. However, unlike Lange, which used sketches drafted by founder Ferdinand in the 1800s to revitalize its brand, Nomos drew from another period in German history—the minimalist Bauhaus designs that dominated German art shortly before the Second World War.

The chief tenet of Bauhaus is gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” in which every piece of a work—whether a building, a sculpture, or a watch—had to be completely functional.

That became the law of Nomos, and the brand has spent the past two decades in meticulously crafting watches that are exercises in minimalism without brutality, functionality without sterility.

Unlike most brands, which fit their watches with automatic movements—thus adding to the thickness of the case—Nomos primarily uses manually wound movements, which they’ve made in-house since 2005.

And though most of their watches are time-only, in 2011 they released a complicated wristwatch—a world timer.

The Zurich Weltzeit adheres to the Bauhaus principles that have informed the brand since the beginning. Though the movement that powers it, the in-house Epsilon 3007 calibre, is automatic, the case is still slender. The dial is minimalist, with the cities visible on a disk inside a chapter ring. Additionally, the home time—“Heimat”—is visible inside another ring at 3 o’clock.

Though the Weltzeit doesn’t quite live up to its name (showing only two timezones rather than multiple ones), the watch more than makes up for it in looks and wristfeel.

At 40mm it ranks as one of the largest watches made by Nomos, and the long chamfered lugs extend its lines on the wrist. And since function is first, the city disk is rotated by a pusher at 2 o’clock, which also makes the hour hand jump forward when it’s depressed. The Heimat disc can be adjusted by a micro-pusher at 8 o’clock (and also doubles as a 24-hour indicator for those who don’t need to know the time in another timezone).

Little details like rhodium-plated hands, and multicolored hash marks in the chapter ring, draw home with just how much care and attention Nomos makes their watches. While not as showy or intricate as similar pieces from the likes of Patek or JLC, the Zurich Weltzeit goes to show just how much watch you can get for so little money. Complete with box and papers, this is a Worldtimer that simply begs to be shown a good time.

Details

SKU: AS02334

Steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Epilson 3007 Manually-Wound Movement.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with faint signs of light use and wear. Dial is in excellent, as-new condition.

Includes one 20mm shell Cordovan strap signed by Nomos. Also includes box, booklets, polishing cloth and Nomos strap changing tool.

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