Checking in with the Germans: Nomos, Damasko, Stowa and Archimede

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Any long-time reader of worn&wound knows of our affinity for German watches. From tough purpose-driven brands like Sinn and Damasko to Bauhaus stalwarts like Nomos and Stowa, the Germans are in a league of their own with their unique blend of value, engineering, and design. Last week, we announced two new watches from Sinn, the U212 (EZM 16) and the limited edition 1800 S Damaszener.  Today, we are checking in on some of our other favorite German firms and taking a look at a few of their recent releases, as well as some that you should definitely keep an eye on in the future.

Timeless Luxury Watches x Nomos: Midnight Edition Orion

Earlier this year, Texas retailer Timeless Luxury wowed us with their blue-dialed Club collaboration with German watchmaker, Nomos. This week, they announced their second collaborative watch with the brand and unsurprisingly, it’s quite a looker. Using the versatile 38mm Orion model as a base, the Orion Midnight Edition features a new blue dial similar to the one found on the Zurich blaugold, but a shade darker (hence, the name). There are two versions of the watch: one with silver accents and the other with gold, with each style limited to just 75 pieces. Both are stunning, but the gold variant is especially beautiful with the warm indices contrasting wonderfully against the inky blue of the dial.

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Powering the collaboration is Nomos’ hand-winding Alpha movement modified with the swing system, Nomos’ in-house escapement. Both watches will come paired with a black shell cordovan strap (buyer can specify preferred length).

The Orion Midnight Edition is $2,760, and Timeless is currently accepting pre-orders. If their last release was any indication, these will go fast. To reserve one, click here.

Damasko DK200

Damasko is a relatively young German company known for building watches that are practically indestructible, with proprietary case tech that puts most other firms to shame. But beyond their progressive casework, Damasko is also a full-fledged manufacture, having produced the automatic A35-1 in 2010, and then the manual winding H35 caliber two years later.  And these aren’t run-of-the-mill ETA clones, either. Both calibers feature a free-sprung balance similar to that of Patek’s Gyromax system, featuring little weights called collets (rather than screws) that allow for adjustment without the need of a traditional regulator. This design allows for a larger balance wheel, which in turn theoretically improves overall performance. Damasko’s calibers also have an in-house manufactured EPS silicon hairspring and a silicon escape wheel, two features utilized by relatively few other makers.

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This past week, Damasko began rolling out their newest watch with the latest iteration of their in-house movement, the DK200 powered by the A35-2. The DK200 is a huge aesthetic departure for Damasko, a firm known for its stark design ethos. The DK200 has a new dial design and a Genta-inspired case made of Damasko’s famous ice-hardened steel, and features alternating brushed and polished surfaces–something that I imagine is quite difficult to achieve. The movement is a modified A35 with an added GMT complication, making it the first GMT watch from the brand as well as Damasko’s first in-house GMT movement. Unfortunately, like GMT movements from ETA, the hour hand isn’t independent on the A35-2, but there is a quickset date function for setting the date independently.
The Damasko DK200 isn’t widely available yet, but it will retail for $3,750.

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STOWA Flieger Klassik Sport

In the last couple of years, Stowa has been growing its catalogue by introducing contemporary upgrades to their preexisting lines. Among these upgrades are the TO1 TESTAF and the Flieger GMT, both of which modernized the look and utility of their traditional counterparts. In partial keeping with this trajectory, this past summer Stowa quietly unveiled a new series of Fliegers, a collection dubbed the Flieger Klassik Sport.

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The Flieger Klassik Sport series comes paired with a robust 43mm case featuring a thick sapphire crystal, a screw down crown, and an impressive water resistance of 200m–a welcomed upgrade to the 5atm rating found on the historical series.  The Klassik Sport series wears much like the TESTAF TO1, but the classic dial options–Flieger without logo (with or without date), Flieger with logo (with or without date), Flieger B-dial, and the Ikarus–give the series the look and feel of the traditional Flieger lineup.

The new case comes with a small surcharge–retail is €1,067 without VAT (approximately $1,170 as of this writing)–but it is a price that is well deserved. We had the chance to play with the new line at Wind-Up and it did not disappoint. The fit, finish, and overall feel were spectacular, and had this been a larger Swiss firm the series would easily cost north of $2,000.

To purchase, head on over to Stowa’s e-store.

Ickler 90th Anniversary Archimede Pilot Chronograph

Watch case manufacturer Ickler is synonymous with German quality and value, and the brands under the Ickler umbrella embody those virtues better than most. Archimede is probably the best known of the Ickler family, with a varied catalogue that we’ve reviewed several times in the past. In 2014, Ickler announced their intention to release a limited edition Pilot Chronograph featuring a tricompax layout based on a top-grade 7750 with a Soprod module, a special rotor, and in-house heat blued hands. Unfortunately, Ickler was not able to keep up with the manufacturing demands associated with producing heat-blued hands internally, so the release of the watch was delayed. Recently, Ickler announced their intention to finish the project, with the custom rotors being the only part left for Ickler to manufacture.

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Aesthetically, the Archimede Pilot Chronograph is a stunner with the new symmetrical layout, heat-blued hands, and the heat-blued insignia below 12 o’clock–all of which give the package a high-end feel. It will come in the original Pilot Chronograph case, measuring 42mm wide with an upped height of approximately 14mm to accommodate the module.

Due to the custom nature of the project, no price or release date has been set. To stay on top of the project, follow Ickler’s blog and Archimede’s social media accounts.

Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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