Hands-On with the Nomos Metro Neomatik 39 Silvercut

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Nomos is a brand that is known for marching to the beat of their own drum. Their watches don’t follow contemporary trends, they aren’t running around talking about what celebrity wore them on the red carpet, and they maintain a relatively affordable (though ever ascending) price point for in-house horology. Another way in which Nomos is different from the norm (norm being Swiss retail) is in their strategy towards new watches. They regularly have new releases, but they rarely release new lines. Instead, they put their focus on increasing the variety of watches within their existing styles, adding complications, using different movements and finishes, etc.

The four silvercut dials of Nomos’ “At Work” series.

Just a few months ago, Nomos exhibited this strategy with the “At Work” line, a series of watches encompassing 14 new models across four existing lines, covered here. All were powered by Nomos’ newest caliber, the DUW 3001, earning them the “neomatik” moniker, and all were a touch larger than their siblings at 38.5mm in diameter. Within this series, they also revealed a new type of dial dubbed “silvercut.” Perhaps the most intriguing element of the release as a whole, the silvercut dial is a dramatic use of the surface, and it’s unlike anything we’ve previously seen from the brand.

The silvercut dial is available on the Tangente, Metro, Orion, and Tetra lines, currently only in the 38.5mm (confusingly named 39 by Nomos) size. In general, it’s a bit of a departure for the brand. Known for their minimal yet playful approach to design and color, the silvercuts are darker, heavier, and a bit more solemn than your average watch from Nomos. Utilizing a multi-step, proprietary (and secret) process, the dials are a steely metal color with random horizontal striations. It’s at once industrial and organic, bringing to mind the surface found in certain wood grains or barks, but rendered in cold, hard metal.

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$4280

Hands-On with the Nomos Metro Neomatik 39 Silvercut

Case
Steel
Movement
DUW 3001
Dial
Silvercut
Lume
No
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Shell Cordovan
Water Resistance
5 ATM
Dimensions
38.5 x 45mm
Thickness
8.35mm
Lug Width
19mm
Crown
push-pull
Warranty
yes
Price
$4280

I had the chance to spend some time with the Metro version of the watch. The Metro is one of Nomos’ quirkiest and most beloved models. In 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing the original version. The 37mm model was a bit of a shocker when it first came out. It’s a weird watch with wire lugs, a pale silver dial, an off-center power reserve, and a mix of minty green and burnt orange highlights. It’s one detail away from being a mess, but as is it works incredibly well. It’s a perfect example of Nomos’ ability to balance eccentricity with restraint, and the result is a great product.

The “At Work” 39 silvercut version shares some basic DNA with the original, but it’s a fairly different watch in the end. First, it’s 38.5mm, so it’s only a touch larger on paper than the original, but it’s a noticeable difference on the wrist. It’s also 8.35mm thick, which is actually a slight increase from the manually-wound original’s 7.9mm. That said, it’s still delightfully thin—especially for an automatic—and that’s thanks to the 3.2mm-thick DUW 3001 caliber.

The biggest change to character comes from the new dial. Here you have the silvercut backdrop with dark, near-black dots and numerals on the indexes. At three, nine and twelve, you’ll also find larger dark red dots adding some subtle color to the dial. Yes, it’s red and it stands out, but it’s not a hot or bright red, so it has less impact than you might expect. At six you’ll find a recessed small-seconds dial with circular graining, black markers and a dark-red hand. Because of the shift and contrast in the textures, the sub-dial really pops and acts as the visual centerpiece of the dial.

The hour and minute hands are the same strange, spindly syringes that they were on the original, but rendered in polished steel here. The use of polished steel is a bit questionable as the hands can occasionally disappear against the dial. Most of the time it was fine, but here and there the contrast was low.

On the wrist the Metro Neomatik 39 Silvercut wears well. Sure, it’s the biggest Metro to date, but it’s also a 38.5mm watch with wirelugs, so it’s never going to wear large. As is, perhaps it’s got a bit more bravado than the original model, but it’s not an oversized or over-inflated version of the watch. The increased size gives the dial ample room to do its thing and it’s warranted with the exceptional texture of the silvercut. Aesthetically, it’s a very handsome watch. They’ve ditched some of the original’s playfulness for a more stately, conservative look. For some, this might be ideal. Regardless, it’s still a unique and creative design.

Ultimately, the silvercut dial is the real star of the show here, and it’s appealing in all four lines in which it’s available. The larger size might be perfect for some who may have wanted a bit more presence from Nomos, but it honestly isn’t that different from the brand’s 38mm models. In regards to the Metro specifically, while a very nice watch, I have to say that I’d still go with the original. That watch felt risky and weird. It’s truly unlike anything else out there, but it’s still totally wearable as a day-to-day watch, whether “at work” or anywhere else.

More over, it’s also a better value. With a power reserve and date complication, the original is $3,780 versus $4,280 for the silvercut. Sure, the former is far from inexpensive, but at $500 less it’s also more feature-rich and it has more personality. This also highlights the confusing price structure of Nomos’ in general. There is a really wide spectrum of prices that can be at times difficult to understand. Even with the new silvercut watches—which feature the same movement, same dial process/concept, polished steel cases, etc.—the range is $3,880 to $4,280. As a brand that was/is exalted for making in-house German horology accessible, this sort of opaque pricing is hard to wrap your head around as a value-conscious consumer. Nomos

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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