I don’t have any way to scientifically prove this, but I’m willing to bet that most people, if asked to close their eyes and picture a Nomos watch, will imagine a Tangente of some kind in their head. Nomos has been around long enough to create a whole bunch of beautiful watches, and some that are not the Tangente have become icons (or close to it) in their own right. Every model family has its ardent supporters, from the Zurich world timers to the funky and colorful Tetras, you can find watch enthusiasts who are obsessive about each and every Nomos watch. But the Tangente remains the halo piece, the signature. It’s the one that you can most easily see all the things that make Nomos special within it. The Bauhaus influenced design, the playful use of color and shape, and, above all, a very specific type of casual elegance.
Perhaps understandably, Nomos has iterated almost endlessly on the Tangente over the years. I’m sure someone is keeping track of the many variants, case sizes, dial colors, and so forth, but that task is well beyond my own capabilities at this point. Suffice it to say, they’ve made a lot of Tangentes. And the new one, which they’ve dubbed the Neomatik Blue Gold, is a very nice looking one indeed, if not immediately easy to understand based on name alone. That’s OK. I might not have an encyclopedic knowledge of every Tangente ever released, but I’m a professional watch person, and you better believe I’m up to speed on the new one.
The “Neomatik” part of this is probably fairly self explanatory by now. It refers to the latest generation of automatic Nomos movements (this watch is powered by the DUW 3001) which are made in-house and notable for their remarkable thinness. When Nomos first came on the scene, their watches were powered by simple hand wound calibers that allowed for their cases to be remarkably slender, and that barely there feeling on the wrist has become a brand trademark. It was critically important that their automatic movements, once they began developing them, allowed them to continue to make watches with largely the same impression on the wrist. The DUW 3001 is only 3.2mm tall, which allows the case of this particular Tangente to come in at just 6.9mm for the larger Neomatik 39 Blue Gold (the smaller variant is 6.7mm tall, and 35mm across). It’s worth pointing out here for the enthusiasts who criticize Nomos for going “big” with watches that come in close to 40mm and sometimes above that this Tangente, like the very first one, is available in that classic 35mm size, which I personally think is perfect for most people when it comes to this particular case.
OK, let’s talk about “Blue Gold.” The designation here is for the dial, which is quite obviously a very deep shade of blue. It has a sunburst finish which Nomos claims shimmers and has a luster that is similar to a precious metal, and comes from a galvanization process that involves coating the base layer of the dial with a thin layer of gold. Not having seen this watch in person yet, it’s hard to know if the impact is dramatically different from a dial created through a more traditional process. But regardless, the color looks great, and this represents yet another take on the classic Tangente format. The traditional silvered dials are quite understated, but one can imagine that an almost electric blue that reflects light in a manner reminiscent of gold will leave a very different impression.
Other details on the Blue Gold pieces are fairly typical of the Tangente and Nomos in general. We get the same typography that has come to define the product line, and of course the classic Tangente case lines are unchanged. It’s a simple, circular case with straight, spindly, downturned lugs. Nomos frequently refers to the Tangente as a dress watch, and it’s certainly a watch that you can wear with a suit, but I think the sharp angles of the lugs contrasted with the perfect circle of the case actually make for a great casual design. There’s something playful about it, the architectural nature of the lugs in particular that I think goes a long way to making the Tangente work so well in so many different environments, and in so many different variations.
The Nomos Tangente Blue Gold is available to order right now on the Nomos website. The smaller 35mm version starts at $3,070, and the larger Neomatik 39 (which actually measures 38.5mm – kind of confusing) starts at $3,390. Nomos