I have this theory that I’ve been trying to work out but haven’t quite cracked yet that basically says you can learn a lot about someone by their favorite Nomos case shape. Watch fans have strong, almost territorial, opinions on their favorite Nomos watches. A Zurich Weltzeit owner I know swears they’d never be caught dead wearing any other Nomos. I’ve observed that Tangente fans (myself included) are more casual types, looking for that one nice dress watch to sit in the watch box until it’s time to throw on a suit and tie. Club fans tend to have particularly good taste, and just better at being on the internet than most, a necessity to track down the many limited edition collaborative versions of the entry level Nomos watch. Like I said, the theory needs some work. But one thing I’m absolutely sure of is that if I’m at a watch gathering and need to find someone to talk to, there’s no Nomos owner I’m more interested in speaking with the one with a Tetra. Outside of the rare precious metal pieces, the Tetra is the most unique Nomos watch, and the one that really feels like a conscious and deliberate choice. The Tetra owner wasn’t stuck between a Tetra and an Orion – they were always on team Tetra.
The Tetra is unabashedly weird, and not just because of the square case. Square cases, after all, are nothing new, and they go in and out of favor in a cyclical way much like two-tone watches and diameters larger than 42mm (they’re coming back…). This watch is frequently a showcase for Nomos’s most off the wall color options, and the case itself has a lot of fine detail (particularly in the lugs) that sets it apart from the rigorously simple caselines found on most of the brand’s watches. The new limited edition Tetra Neomatik watches unveiled today maintain a lot of that Tetra strangeness, but add an automatic movement to the mix with dials that have a different approach from the Nomos norm.
Most Nomos watch dials, regardless of color, have a distinctive matte finish. But the new Tetras seen here have been given a coating that Nomos says results in an enamel-like effect, causing light to reflect and thereby giving these watches a sense of depth that you won’t find in a non-reflective surface. Four dial options are available in this limited series (the full name is a mouthful: Tetra Neomatik – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte) including off white, red, blue, and black. The off white and black feel traditional and almost conservative, even with brightly colored seconds hands at the 6:00 position, while the red and blue are playful and worthy of the Tetra’s reputation for provocation (at least according to my still developing theory).
These watches run on the excellent Nomos in-house automatic movement, the DUW 3001. Their thin, automatic caliber is regulated to chronometer specifications and has 43 hours of power reserve. Most importantly, the slender proportions of the DUW 3001 allow for it to be used on the watches like the Tetra and other dressier Nomos watches without significantly changing their case thickness, which is so important to how these watches wear. The new automatic Tetra is just 7.3mm tall, with length and width coming in at 33mm (the lug to lug measurement is 45.3mm).
A limited, automatic version of the Tetra might not seem like an earth shaking release from a brand that at one point was very close to the center of the affordable watch universe, but these watches are objectively very nice if you’re into the Nomos aesthetic at all, and particularly if you’re fond of the Tetra, which sometimes feels like the ignored model in the core Nomos range. As other watches in the Nomos catalog have been upsized and sportified with bracelets and increased water resistance, the Tetra feels more connected to the Nomos that many enthusiasts were introduced to years ago, when the thought of an Orion or Tangente in 38mm seemed downright insane. Yes, this Tetra is a little bigger than previous versions, but at least Nomos hasn’t told us we can dive in it, or put it on a bracelet.
The new Tetras are limited to 175 examples in each color and carry a retail price of $3,860. They’re available now on the Nomos website.