The name of Nomos Glashütte’s brand new Autobahn model says it all: Designed by celebrated product designer Werner Aisslinger as an ode to speed—and the vintage race cars from the 1960s and ’70s that embodied it—the piece features a concave dial whose edge is curved like the outside lane of a racetrack. Equipped with the new Neomatik date caliber, the 41 mm timepiece, four years in the making, is available in three dial colors: white silver-plated, “sports gray,” and this midnight blue.
Spending time at work, hours and minutes can often feel slow and deliberate. But when visiting a foreign city on vacation, rules change. Scheduling becomes irrelevant. In a recent issue of Watch Journal, we featured a travel story about Berlin, a city our friends at NOMOS Glashütte know well. Concurrently, the German watch brand brings us a new series of watches with a significant update: Tangente, Orion, and Ludwig, each with a radically redesigned caliber, the neomatik date DUW 6101. These pieces require less maintenance, provide greater precision, and offer super-legible date indicators. Perfect for getting the most out of a day in Berlin, a bustling city that demands punctuality.
The ideal watch to start the day, the Tangente easily synchronizes to local time (GMT +2). Gained or lost a day in transit? A simple turn of the crown sets the date backward or forward, with a cool, red marker that travels around the outer ring of the dial.
“This boutique hotel occupies an old public bathing house [designed by architect Ludwig Hoffmann in 1898]–the rooms still have some of the old features, and, more importantly, the swimming pool is open to all. We held an event here last summer to launch our Aqua series.”
– NOMOS Glashütte
10:30 am – Tour The Boros Collection, but keep an eye on the Tangente. The museum can only accommodate 12 people at a time, and German-language tours start on the full hour, English on the half-hour. Open Thursday thru Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm. (Make sure to book a viewing in advance.)
“Only in Berlin can you find 3,000 meters of exhibition space in a converted war bunker. We share the Boros’ love for clean and creative design, rooted in the 20th century but constantly in dialogue with today’s developments.”
Midday is ideal for contemplating great German design. The Ludwig has it in spades. Its date window sits at the 4 o’clock position, displayed in Arabic type—a smart, contrasting twist alongside the dial’s elegant Roman numerals.
“This is one of our favorite museums in Berlin, as it focuses on local art from the past 150 years, giving a real insight into the cultural history of the city.”
– NOMOS Glashütte
3:00 pm – Visit the Istanbul-inspired Turkish Bazaar. Again, timing is everything here. The open-air market is only open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.
“NOMOS employees can often be found here on their lunch breaks, having a stroll, or getting groceries.”
Nighttime is ideal for the Orion, named after the constellation, with its elegant golden indices, small seconds at the 6 o’clock position, and date window at 3. Ideal for a stylish night out on the town. Here, that means a fabulous dinner at Katz Orange. Reservations can easily be made online via OpenTable.
“We also think [Katz Orange] has great taste in desserts—try the petit fours, to which we have dedicated our latest series of Tetra watches.”
And when it comes to sartorial versatility, nothing beats a fine timepiece inside a steel case. It can take you anywhere and everywhere. This year, reassess your wardrobe by eliminating the unnecessary and paring down to the essential. Here are a few ideas…
The Look: Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 ($5,700); rolex.com + A.P.C. Serge Shirt ($220) + A.P.C. New Standard Jeans ($220); apc-us.com
The Look: Breguet Type XXI Chronograph Ref. 3817 ($13,900); breguet.com + Todd Snyder Striped Brushed Wool Sweater ($298) + Todd Snyder Unconstructed Sport Coat ($598); toddsnyder.com
The Look: Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date ($14,900); glashuette-original.com + Berluti Unlined Supple Wool Double Breasted Jacket, ($3,700) + Berluti Classic Wool Trouser ($1,010); berluti.com
The Look: Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A ($24,836); patek.com + Officine Generale Paul Wool Pants ($370) + Officine Generale Benoit Italian Poplin Shirt ($225) + Officine Generale Cashmere V Neck Sweater ($475); officinegenerale.com
The Look: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 ($4,500); tagheuer.com + Ralph Lauren Cashmere Tickweave 3-Piece Suit ($9,995) + Ralph Lauren Purple Label Tailored End-on-End Shirt ($350); ralphlauren.com
The Look: Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph ($5,050); tudorwatch.com + Louis Vuitton Double Face Jacket ($2,530) + Louis Vuitton Pique Crew Neck, ($920); louisvuitton.com
New York’s architecture and design community is having something of a moment. Over the past decade, the city has played incubator to a fresh crop of talent, business-savvy collaborators and self-producers with an eye on the future and a healthy appetite for risk. They aren’t siloed by specialization. Buildings, interiors, graphics, lighting, product, branding—anything goes. They use 3-D printers, run pared-back studios and are sought after by premier European manufacturers. Basically, they’re making the job cool again.
Naturally, we wondered about their taste in watches.
In keeping with the spirit of our Design Issue, Watch Journal rounded up a selection of fine timepieces, an eclectic mix of classics and newcomers, all of them with blue dials. (Naturally.) Then we met with five of New York’s best young architects and designers, laid out the watches, and let them choose what went on their wrist during our photo shoot.
Consider this an introduction to the design bellwethers of the moment, a snapshot of their personal styles, and an insight into their horological leanings.
Name: Dror Benshetrit From: Tel Aviv Studio location: Chelsea Known for: Architecture on Zaya Nurai Island, named the “World’s Most Luxurious Project” by Newsweek; designing the “Peacock Chair” for Cappellini, featured in Rihanna’s “S&M” music video; his signature line of home goods for Target; designing WeWork interiors Picks: Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième, Girard-Perregaux Laureato
Dror says: “My first important watch was a strange choice. It was a Hamilton Ventura, the famous one with the triangle-shaped case. Somebody gifted it to me, and it really got me into the culture of watches. Then I was wearing, for a very long time, the classic Bell & Ross and also a Hublot. I’m really not so used to small watches. So this one [the Jaquet Droz] feels very good. The Girard-Perregaux, I like the shape. I’m drawn to the elegance of it.”
Name: Stephanie Goto From: New York Studio location: Union Square Known for: Designing three Michelin-starred restaurants in New York (Piora, Corton, Aldea); the homes of several notable chefs, including Daniel Boulud; selecting furniture for the Museum of Arts and Design; overhauling the project space at the Calder Foundation; editing the Journal of Architecture’s fifth volume Pick: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin
Stephanie says: “I’m actually in the process of acquiring [a Royal Oak] right now, so this is sort of my test run. I met an Audemars executive at Art Basel a few years ago, and tried on the watch. It felt a little big, at least for me, but when they came out with the Extra-Thin, I was like, ‘Okay, this is perfect.’ . . . It’s just so classic, that Royal Oak shape, and the stainless band is very in line with the work I do. Understated, but detailed. I think there’s a real beauty in the design of the mechanics, too. It’s so beautiful. I love it! When is mine coming?”
Name: Marc Thorpe From: Nashville, Tennessee Studio location: DUMBO Known for: “The Mark Table” and “Blur Sofa” for Moroso, featured at Salone del Mobile and in Vogue Living; creating retail spaces for Acqua Di Parma and Under Armour; the Ducati Project E electric motorcycle concept; Infiniti Pavilion at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Picks: Panerai Luminor Due, Patek Philippe Complications Annual Calendar
Marc says: “The Panerai is more my style. I like simple watches. Well, simple faces at least. IWC Portugieser, Rolex Explorer, Omega Speedmaster. I’ve got a little collection, you know, just six pieces, my go-to watches. One of them is a Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, which I really love. But the Patek is just so beautiful. If one of you doesn’t ask me to give it back soon, I’m going to walk out of here wearing it. Actually, wait. . . . [retrieves iPhone] Can I take a photo of it on my wrist?”
Name: Todd Bracher From: New York Studio location: Brooklyn Navy Yard Known for: Serving as creative director at Georg Jensen; “Distil Table” for Herman Miller; “The Architect’s Chandelier” for Swarovski; creating 3M Architecture’s award-winning LED lighting installations; packaging for Issey Miyake fragrances; the SodaStream Fountain Pick: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII
Todd says: “I don’t like the Apple Watch, but it opened up my mind to the idea of getting a Garmin watch, which is really big, like 50 mm. It’s funny how dainty another watch feels after that. But the IWC, yeah, this is a proper watch. Quiet, introverted in some ways, while being fiercely precise. I like the [dial] color. The blues tend to be quite polarizing, and this one’s not the most obvious shade…. There’s something about the joy of going backwards, too. I’m in the process of dumbing down my phone, turning off push notifications, that kind of thing. The IWC captures a sophisticated simplicity. That speaks to me.”
Name: Joe Doucet From: Terrell, Texas Studio location: DUMBO Known for: “Duet Task Chair” for Bernhardt; “Alba Decanter” for Nude glassware; “Minim” playing cards for Areaware; the bottle design for SŌTŌ sake; packaging for Hugo Boss bodywear; cofounding the 3D-printed premium household products brand OTHR Picks: NOMOS Glashütte Metro at Work
Joe says: “My first real buy was a Panerai. I got it when I made partner [at New York creative agency KBP]. It was my little treat to myself, you know? Now I’ve got a few watches. Got the vintage [Rolex] Submariner. But my daily go-to is an IWC Portofino. Simple, blue dial. I tend to go for things that look and feel quite understated. The NOMOS, I like the overall aesthetic, especially that little pop of color on the subdial hand. Plus it feels really light on the wrist. I know it’s not the most expensive, but it’s the one I’d go for.”
While company headquarters are two hours south, NOMOS Glashütte’s in-house design studio is located in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. The area’s hipper than all get-out, a sprawling collection of third-wave coffee shops, art galleries, and vintage shops, home to punks, poets, students, and a strong contingent of Turkish expats. NOMOS maintains that the influence of Kreuzberg, and Berlin in general, is central to the handsome, modern aesthetic of its timepieces. We asked the brand’s design team to give us the lowdown on the city’s coolest spots.
1. Michelberger Hotel
“This beautifully converted factory building is a favorite of ours. [Award-winning furniture designer] Werner Aisslinger—who recently collaborated with NOMOS—designed the interior of this vibrant, homey, and creative hotel in Friedrichshain. The restaurant and bar are always worth a visit, too.”
2. Hotel Oderberger Swimming Pool
“This boutique hotel occupies an old public bathing house [designed by architect Ludwig Hoffmann in 1898]—the rooms still have some of the old features, and, most importantly, the swimming pool is open for all. We held an event here last summer to launch its Aqua series.”
3. Lode & Stijn
“Contemporary, inventive, and down-to-earth in the heart of Kreuzberg, Lode & Stijn is a beautiful little restaurant that has built its reputation on local, seasonal cooking in a relaxed but elegant little space. It’s great for a drink and some bar snacks, or a leisurely evening with their carefully selected five-course menu.”
4. Katz Orange
“Tucked away in the sweet courtyard of a converted brewery, Katz Orange is a treat. There’s a cozy bar with delicious cocktails, which opens out onto the courtyard in summer. Then there’s the menu of slow-food delights, put together by the brilliant German chef Daniel Finke. We also think they have great taste in desserts—try the petit fours, to which we have dedicated our latest series of Tetra watches.”
5. Kranhaus Café Schöneweide
“This small café is on a ship, on the banks of the Spree river, anchored between the AEG Hall and the so-called Behrens Bau—the former flagship buildings of Berlin’s industrialization. Our watches are made in Germany, and are influenced by German industrial design in the traditions of Bauhaus and the Deutscher Werkbund, which makes the place even more special.”
6. Turkish Market, Maybachufer, Kreuzberg
“Every Tuesday and Friday, countless vendors set up their stalls along the Landwehr Canal, selling everything from fabric and fruit to falafel wraps. NOMOS employees can often be found here on their lunch breaks, having a stroll, or getting groceries.”
7. Berlinische Galerie
“This is one of our favorite museums in Berlin, as it focuses on local art from the past 150 years, giving a real insight into the cultural history of the city. Besides the beautiful permanent collection [which includes works by Max Liebermann, Otto Dix, and Hannah Höch], there is always a temporary show worth visiting.”
8. Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design
“It’s no secret what a source of inspiration the Bauhaus movement is to our aesthetic. This iconic building, designed by the great Walter Gropius [in 1964], houses one of the largest collections of Bauhaus material.”
9. Boros Bunker
“Only in Berlin can you find 3,000 meters of exhibition space in a converted war bunker. We share the Boros’ love for clean and creative design, rooted in the 20th century but constantly in dialogue with today’s developments. [Famed art collectors] Christian and Karen Boros have built their home onto the top floor of the bunker; on the many floors below, they put on an impressive exhibition.”