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chrgod

Review of Nomos Tangomat - The 118 USD super rep?

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In the world of watches there are the big players; Brand names which even the average Joe knows.. Then there are a couple of less known expensive brands, and a forest of relatively new brands which are not well known, even to the average WIS.

Nomos is in the latter category. To be honest, I had only a vague knowledge to the brand before I spotted the rep at Trustytime last month. Then, starting to investigate the history of the brand and the accuracy of the replica, I got interested. :)

List of references at the bottom. Much of the information is cut and paste from the net.

THE BRAND

Wikipedia "Nomos": In Greek mythology, Nomos is the daemon of laws, statutes, and ordinances..

Nomos was founded in 1990, by Roland Schwertner in the small but famous watchmaking town of Glashutte. With three employees, Schwertner travelled to Glashutte just two months after the collapse of DDR. The first watches were made in 1992.

By January 2012, the company had 81 employees. Their first building was in the hillside above the village, but in 2005 Nomos moved into the old train station in Glashutte. Just across the road from A. Lange & Sohne. 2005 also marked the release of their first automatic movement. Prior to that, Nomos was most known for their manual wind movement.

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The old building, which is now the Chronometrie. (Picture from TZ.)

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The new office/ factory. The old Railroad station.

Nomos is a true “Manufactory” that designs and builds their own movements. According to their website, they are one of only 3 watchmakers in all of Germany to wear the label of Manufactory. Thereby, they are allowed to type "Glashutte" on their dials. By law, 75% of the value of the movement must be created in Glashutte, to use this name on the dial. Nomos does between 75 and 95 percent of the work on the calibers itself. Nomos has also created several tourbillions for Wempe.

This is the current line of Nomos watches:

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Current line of Nomos watches.

MOVEMENTS

The current line of movements used by Nomos. Note the "Sonnenuhr", which one can wear around the neck.By setting the date and point it to the sun, you can read the time on a lazy summer day.. A truly environmentally friendly watch.. No batteries or polluting oils. :)

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Nomos movements. Manual and Automatics.

Nomos name their movements using letters from the Greek alphabet. The original hand wound models introduced in 1990 used the tried and true Peseux Caliber [ETA 7001], to which NOMOS added continuous improvements over the years and starting in 2005 only the updated calibers alpha (base movement), beta (incorporates date function), gamma (with gangreserve/power reseve indicator) and delta (date and gangreserve) are used for the manually wound models.

The Caliber Alpha is the most basic movement, 23.3 mm in diameter and 2.6mm high, with hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds as the only functions. This manufactory caliber manual wound movement has 17 rubies and a power reserve of about 43 hours. A movement that is perfectly matched for the minimalist watch-a watch like the Tangente, the Ludwig, the Orion or the Tetra.

The automatic movements used in the Tangomat, is called Epsilon. It is a 26 jewels with ca 46 hours power reserve. The finish is nice, with sunburst pattern and blue screws. Sunburst pattern on the cog wheels.

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The Nomos Epsilon movement, detail view. A bit different from the ETAs or Mioyta clones..

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Genuine Nomos movement.

The “Glashutte Ribbing” on the movement plates is different from Swiss style Cotes de Geneves. Apparently it is the angle used which is slightly different.

Nomos has excellent webpages, free from the annoying wait for flash graphics to download and fuzzy design which are so popular with other brands. Easy to find information, even technical stuff. Just in style with their no-nonsense Bauhaus design! :)

Interestingly, Nomos has the following mention of "Fakes" on their online Encyclopedia:

""Fakes

All over the world and in all walks of life, the number of fakes has soared. There are Chanel T-shirts, which aren’t Chanel, Louis Vuitton bags which have never been anywhere near the Louis Vuitton company, there are cigarette lighters, trainers and silk scarves which are nothing more than cheap copies. You can find fake Lange & Söhne watches, toy cars and food processors.

According to the dictionary, a fake is a modified or copied version of an article, a work of art, a literary work, a historical document, a signature. There were already fakes back in the 18th Century: The “Prillwitzer Idole,” fantasy figures of early Slav gods, were made at that time by an East German goldsmith (from Prillwitz).

Even though NOMOS Glashütte is not one of the luxury goods manufacturers which suffer from copyists (because it would probably be too expensive for many of them), fakes, particularly of the Tangente do turn up now and again, on internet auctions. The “Tangete” (sic!) model serves here as one example: a customer acquired it at a supposedly reasonable price on the web two years ago, complete with its own special spelling. ""

(From Nomos' online Encyclopedia)

THE WATCH

All Nomos watches are influenced by the Bauhaus industrial design concept of the 1920’s’ where designs are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Bauhaus was a design school in Germany, from ca 1920 till 1933. Seeking to achieve a modernist design style, the primary intention was to integrate art, as well as technology and craftsmanship. For those interested in cars; Audi referenced the Bauhaus styile in their cars around ca 2000.

The Tangomat has Nomos’ first automatic movement, launched in 2005. The case size of the gen is ca 38.3mm and 8.2mm thick, quite similar to the replica.

Current Tangomat models in sale includes Date models, GMT-models and a black case. The black case model seems to be rare.

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The current line of models in the "Tangomat" range. PVD-case, GMT-functions and date-models are available.

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Genuine Tangomat. Note the shape of the "8".

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Genuine Tangomat. Note shape of lugs and the lugholes.

All the Nomos I have seen on the net have display casebacks. There are great varity in the details of the design of the caseback varies. Some say “30 meter”, others “3 atm”, some say “Geschutches” other “gesch.”. So, I guess the replica caseback is ok.

Nomos watches can have different lug designs. I recon both designs are inspired from the Omega Seamasters of the 1960ties.. The lug design on the Tangomat seems quite boxy and rigid. The lugs stand out 44mm.

THE REPLICA

The first Nomos replicas came out on Watcheden some months ago, without any fuzz..

The large, white dial and thin bezel makes the watch wear larger, and will satisfy those who are used to wearing 40-42mm diameter watches.

The flaws I have spotted on the dial is a slightly thinner text, and a more square “8”. For me, none of these are dealbreakers. The slightly thinner “Nomos” text is more elegant.

The strap is ok. It is a thin leather strap that feels very cheap and nasty at first encounter but it quickly gets better. Its minimalistic design flatters the watch. Nomos uses Shell Cordovan for their straps. Engraving on the strap buckle is ok. I like the slightly wider "M" in the "Nomos". :)

The case design with the odd lugs does not feel familiar at once. The lugs are very thin compared to the case, and you immediately think that this is not a “Tool watch”. But, it is stylish.

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Replica crown and case.

I like the dial, with the silvery shimmer and crisp text and numbers. The subdial has a very slight concentric pattern, like the genuine.

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Replica. Note the difference in the shape of the "8".

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Very slight cocentric pattern on the subdial. Lenght of the seconds hand is ok.

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Good finish on case. Well made. Minutes hand too short.

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Replica crown is good.

Hand length on the replicas is one of my replica “obsessions”. As usual for many replicas, the Nomos rep has a slightly too short minute hand, ca 1mm. For most buyers this will not be a problem.

The movement is of course the biggest tell. The display caseback immediately communicates that this is not a manufacture German movement, but rather a run of the mill Seagull ST16? Nice finish, never the less. Quite loud rotor, but all in all it does the job.

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Replica movement.

Position of the seconds subdial seems to be correct. The crystal is flat and has no AR. To my knowledge this is correct.

All in all, I am happy. I have a test of "Would the watch fool a "normal" watch interested guy?" From the front, the watch definently pass the test for a watch interested guy who has heard of the Nomos brand. From the back, the watch would not fool a normal WIS, who knows the look of a basic Chinese movement.

If you like the style, buy it! Keep in mind that the genuine is not expensive and you can get a true Manufatcure movement for less than the price of a basic Tag Heuer or Breitling... This replica has opened my mind for a new brand.. A sign that "fakes" are not all bad.. ;)

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References.

Nomos homepage

Nomos Glashutte. Article on Timezone

WUS Review on the Tangomat Datum

Details on the Epsilon movement ( clubnomos.de)

Edited by chrgod
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I am jealous :) ! Mine is/was delayed cause of Qingming festival. Thanks for the review. Do you happen to know why these newer ones have different caseback and movement than the one offered by Watcheden? I would imagine since this is more of a niche watch, not many factory would produce the parts so it seems strange that there are two version of those parts. Of course I am a noob to these things so it may not be strange at all or there is another reason.

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One other thing I spotted: the gen has "Made in Germany" at 6, while the rep just says "Germany".

You'd have to be *really* familiar with the gen to catch that without a side-by-side.

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One other thing I spotted: the gen has "Made in Germany" at 6, while the rep just says "Germany".

You'd have to be *really* familiar with the gen to catch that without a side-by-side.

That is curious :g:. I saw some other Tangomat gens online that just said Germany; maybe it varies like the caseback text?

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Wow Quality looks great, but not my style :(

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Nomos is my kind of watch..thanks for this review

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Why oh why do the chinese keep replicating see-through case backs even when the same model is available with a closed case back (ref. 641 instead of 601) which would be scarily accurate instead of the typical rep [censored]?

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Thanks for the comments! :)

Yes, there are minor differences in the dials as well, when it comes to "Germany" or "Made in Germany"... In order to be in line with the caseback it should have stated "Hergestellt in Deutschland". ;)

I assume the replica makers are used to display caseback being easier to sell, even though this replica targets a more "upmarket replica customer". I doubt if they sell this rep to tourists in Chinatowns..

I would love if it was possible to buy the closed caseback somewhere.

One "Fun fact" from the Nomos' Watch encyclopedia:

"Winding a NOMOS watch with the help of chocolate

If one could completely invest the amount of energy of a bar of chocolate (about 1,020 kJ/ 244 kcal) in the winding of a manually-wound NOMOS watch, it could be wound 3,400,000 times with the energy gained from the chocolate bar. The watch would thus run for 5,950,000 days. In other words, if 16,346 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age, a person living at that time had eaten a bar of chocolate and had used this energy to do nothing more than winding a watch, then he would just be running out of energy today."

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Regarding "Made in Germany" and "Germany" on the dial at 6 o'clock: they changed back and forth in time (changed sometime around 2005-08). Same goes for "Nomos Glashütte" (now) and "Nomos Glashütte S/A" (old) at the the 12 o'clock position (changed early 2000s).

Lugbars where screwed at first, then they switched to springbars.

Regarding the caseback: The only caseback that gets screwed on is used on the Nomos Club which has a water resistance rating of 100 M. On all other models (30 M) the caseback is either snap on or held by 6 tiny screws. I'm not sure about the Tangomat but all the handwound models like the Tangente come with optional closed or see-through casebacks (+~250 Euros if you want a see-through caseback.. LOL). The writing on the caseback varied in time.

All the watches come on Shell Cordovan straps. (Cordovan imported from the US company, not the less expensive japanese one.)

The Glashütte on the dial really means nothing more than that the company is located in Glashütte. It's a company from the 90s that tried to cash in on the Glashütte image. They started using Peseux movements and later on came up with their own movement which based on the Peseux.

The automatics were completely designed by themselves though (and they are priced accordingly...). Unfortunately not only are they overpriced but went a bit overboard with the size on the automatics (imo).

If you can live with 30 M water resistance and are looking for a 36/35mm handwound that uses a kind of unique movement, Nomos makes real nice dress watches that were priced accordingly around 5 - 10 years ago and that are favored by many German politicians.

In the range of almost 3000 Euros for some of the Automatics there are too many alternatives though (imo) unless all you care about is the movement not being ETA. But then you could still get a cal. 8500 from Omega or a pre owned Rolex. (Although someone considering Nomos probably has no interested in a Rolex.. ;))

Edited by Tom Hawkes
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Got mine today :clap2: . I immediately felt the rotor when the mailman handed me the package, like there was a gyroscope inside. Great rep and likely gonna be wearing it quite often.

Edited by blazed7

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I was still curious about the other rep offered by WE and other dealers, so I did some more searching. It looks like it was a different run or from a different factory altogether (idk how these things work still :bangin: ) give all the differences.

So what I found was there are several notable differences, such as the movement (still A21 but engraved differently) and caseback (6 screws). But the dial on those older reps have more inaccuracies. The printing on the dial seems more bold, and the serifs on the 1,2,4 are really fat! The seconds hand is skinnier and more tapered than the gen's, and the entire seconds subdial seems to be shifted upwards. And it had Made in Germany on the dial. I think this version is more accurate and I'm glad it came out before I found and bought an older one.

But I am still wondering how come this one came about when there was already an ok rep. Is it just factories competing? This whole system is interesting and it looks like I got more reading to do :g: .

Edited by blazed7

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I was still curious about the other rep offered by WE and other dealers.....But I am still wondering how come this one came about when there was already an ok rep. Is it just factories competing? This whole system is interesting and it looks like I got more reading to do :g: .

Not that long ago the same WE had the Nomus Tetra - except it was badged as a Patek!!!

At the time I posed a question on the WE forum to hear if a Nomus version would come out, but the whole thread has gone now, as has the model on their website.

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Hmm.. The replica makers moves in mysterious ways..

I am a bit stunned that this thread seemingly has reached 122 300 views! :g::1a:

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I like it.. Pity about the display back, if there is a closed back version that would have been a much better idea. Still I might have to grab one just for fun

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lol @ 123.000 hits.. I don't understand why this page is getting listed on google.. Whoever looks for a review of the nomos will end up here. :)

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Not that long ago the same WE had the Nomus Tetra - except it was badged as a Patek!!!

At the time I posed a question on the WE forum to hear if a Nomus version would come out, but the whole thread has gone now, as has the model on their website.

Just found it:

http://www.replica-watch.info/vb/showthread.php/patek-philippe-classic-87843.html?t=87843&highlight=nomos

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Just got one and oh my....it´s even better then then described. Even the strap is decent.

It somehow just pops out at you in a subtle way!

Only one issue really, the rotor is a bit noisy but nothing too bad.

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