I’ll admit that I never paid much attention to the Nomos Ludwig. It’s always been there—in fact, it was one of their first models—but it just never caught my eye. Nomos is a brand I associate with Bauhaus sensibilities and a flair for contemporary design, unique color combinations, and a playfulness that is lacking from most other brands entirely. The Ludwig, with its Roman numerals and railroad index, is austere and, dare I say, classical. Now, having spent some time with one, I can say that it’s those very elements mixed with Nomos’ practiced use of restraint that make it so refreshing and successful.
With that said, it’s worth noting that the Ludwig featured in this hands-on is not the normal version of the model. It’s a boutique edition limited to 40 units and based on the 38 model, produced in collaboration with Timeless Luxury of Texas. The distinction here is a unique dial coloration that is exclusive to this version with a glossy, lacquer white surface and saturated blue indexes. Otherwise, the remaining details are identical to the hand-wound Ludwig 38.
When looking at the Ludwig in top-down photos on the Internet, you might (as I did) think it shares a case design with the Tangente range, which has a cylindrical mid-case with straight, kinked lugs. After all, from above all you can see are the thin bezel and long, even-width straight lugs. Much to my surprise and delight, the case is actually totally different in person and actually exclusive to the Ludwig range. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Tangente case as it has that classic early-20th century Bauhaus design, but on the Ludwig I was concerned it would be too serious and harsh, building off of the severity of the Roman numerals. In actuality, the Ludwig case is more similar to that of the Orion than the Tangente, or rather it’s a hybrid of the two, combining the soft, rounded-out shape of the Orion with the straight, but not kinked lugs of the Tangente.