The German Bauhaus School—which ran an aggressively futuristic design agenda from 1919 until 1933, when the Nazis forced its closure—will turn 100-years-old in 2019. To celebrate, Nomos has issued three limited edition Tangente watches that pay tribute to the stripped down, post-Victorian aesthetics ushered in by The Bauhaus. Nomos is offering these watches in three primary colorways and with 33-, 35-, and 38-millimeter cases. Just 100 of each model are available, for a total of 900 pieces.Nomos cites artist Paul Klee as the inspiration for the dial colors. It’s not hard to see the connection to Klee’s Bauhaus period, with the dial’s “sketch paper” background and thin primary-color outer ring echoing his series of “guardian angels” drawn as the Nazi threat was mounting in the early 1930s. The Nazis singled Klee out, the Gestapo sacked his house, forced his removal from his teaching position, and he and his family emigrated to Switzerland toward the end of 1933. The historical and artistic associations add a compelling—if somewhat chilling— gravitas to these Tangentes which, otherwise, appear quite playful and innocent.
Under the sapphire crystal hover black anodized hands, and all markers are also in black, creating a striking yet muted dial that’s fully in keeping with The Bauhaus School’s anti-bling aesthetics. Lugs are long, thin, and utilitarian on all Tangente models, and the case is a mere 6.6-millimeters thick on the 38-millimeter watch (and marginally thinner on the other sizes).
That impressive thinness is due largely to the in-house Alpha movement, a tried and trusted hand-winding caliber from Nomos. It’s such a handsome unit—including blued screws, exposed rubies, perlage, rhodium plating, and more—that some may wish the case back were sapphire, but in keeping with the original design it is solid steel. The movement will hold 43 hours of power on a full wind, and it features hacking seconds for accurate synchronization with any reference time-keeper.The only thing that isn’t German on these watches is the black leather of the straps, which are sourced from Chicago’s storied Horween Leather Company. Nomos chose Horween’s premium genuine shell cordovan leather, and the strap is either 17-, 18-, or 19-millimeters wide, growing larger along with each case size.
The Tangente “A Century of Bauhaus” watches are available from selected retailers. Pricing is $1,660 (33 millimeters), $1,800 (35 millimeters), and $1,930 (38 millimeters). Nomos