When does it say “Made in Germany” on a NOMOS watch, and when does it only say “Germany?”
The words “Made in Germany” appeared on our models from mid-2003. With the introduction of our in-house built movements at the beginning of April 2005, we changed the inscription on the dial to the shorter “Germany.” This abbreviated version later reverted to “Made in Germany” again, simply because it sounds a bit nicer. There’s no difference as far as the meaning is concerned.
Is the name “Glashütte” trademarked?
Yes, most definitely. Not every company based in Glashütte is allowed to write “Glashütte” on its watches. A number of court cases have established the precedent that only companies that produce at least 50 percent of the movements’ value in Glashütte may use the name of the town. This helps everyone: the rulings safeguard jobs in the town of Glashütte and you, the customer, are guaranteed the highest watch making quality, a tradition to which we are committed. NOMOS Glashütte designs, develops and builds its own movements, which means that much more than the required 50 percent is produced on-site—up to 95 percent, in fact.
What is the NOMOS swing system?
The swing system, also known as the escapement, assortiment, or reglage, is the heart of a mechanical watch and comprised of the balance, balance spring, pallet wheel, and pallet. It sets the pace and ensures that the watch is accurate. It is a declaration of independence for NOMOS Glashütte to be able to produce its own swing system, and a work of considerable watchmaking skill.
Is the NOMOS swing system at work in all NOMOS models?
It will be in the future. The NOMOS swing system will first be introduced in all models with a power reserve and will then be extended to the other current watch models.
Can I have the NOMOS swing system built into my watch at a later date?
The Nivarox escapement, which we have used in all our watch models until now and are still using in some models, is of very good quality and ensures excellent accuracy. As long as there is no damage to any of the parts, the current escapement will not be replaced with the new NOMOS swing system. NOMOS Glashütte will gradually introduce this new escapement into all its watch movements.
How long does it take to make a watch?
It’s rather difficult to say. When new models are developed, it can take up to many years from the first idea until the watch is ready. Current models go through different production stages, their parts are produced individually, assembled adjusted, tested multiple times. All this takes and needs a lot of time. And the watch is only allowed to leave us when we are sure that everything works perfectly.
How are NOMOS watches tested?
Before they leave NOMOS Glashütte, all watches are thoroughly turned on their head—and that’s not all: NOMOS watchmakers also test in six different positions over the course of several days to ensure that each individual watch ticks just right.
How exact is my watch?
Very exact indeed. NOMOS watches often achieve accuracies that are better than those that apply for chronometers. Accuracy is always dependent on a number of factors, such as when the watch was last wound and how it is placed overnight—even the temperature can play a role.
Allergies: What kind of materials does NOMOS Glashütte use, and is the stainless steel case nickel-free?
The EU Nickel Directive came into force in June 2000. It stipulates that objects that come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin may only release 0.5 micrograms of nickel per cm² of skin per week. In principle, the percentage of nickel an alloy contains is unimportant. What matters is how much nickel it releases into the skin. NOMOS Glashütte uses 316 L stainless steel, also known as surgical steel, for all cases and clasps. This stainless steel is not absolutely nickel-free, but it does not release nickel: The admixture of nickel is about twelve percent. This means less than 0.2 mg of nickel per µg/cm²/week is released—far less than the limit called for by the medical profession. Other stainless steel alloys have a lower percentage, but they release more nickel into the skin. However, allergies don’t care much for rules and limits. Although we very rarely hear about cases where the materials we use have caused allergic reactions, they can never be ruled out entirely. We advise people who are extremely allergic to consult a specialist to help them select a material that is least likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Our aim is always to use materials that can generally be best tolerated. This does not only apply to steel. The Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan watchstraps we use are tanned using a complex, purely plant-based process lasting several months. So far, we only know of two cases where a person developed an allergic reaction to NOMOS watches or straps. That’s two in 20 years.
Can I go swimming, take a shower, or go to the sauna wearing my watch?
In the past, the engraving on our watches said “water-resistant to 30 meters”; on the sports models "to 100 meters". However these terms often lead to confusion, because "30 m water resistance" sadly doesn't mean that you can dive 30 meters deep with it. According to the DIN norm, watches may be called water-resistant if they are protected against splashing water, sweat, and rain and will survive thirty minutes under one meter of water. Swimming, and above all diving, are not recommended due to the arm movements and the resulting change in pressure conditions. For this reason, nowadays we describe most of our watches as water-resistant “to 3 atm”, the Club models as water-resistant “to 10 atm”, and the Ahoi models as water-resistant “to 20 atm.”
Watches that are water-resistant to 10 atm or 20 atm can tolerate a swim in the pool, a relaxing afternoon at the sauna, or even a cold shower. However, temperature changes, chemicals, and such have an adverse influence on your watch. They attack the sealing materials, eventually leading to less or no water resistance. For this reason, you should have your watch checked once a year; your local watchmaker can do it very quickly. In order to protect your watchstrap as well, we recommend taking off your watch before you go to the sauna or the pool—unless you sport our Ahoi and waterproof textile strap on your wrist, that is, as they are specially designed to make a splash.
How, how often and when should I wind my watch?
If you wear an automatic NOMOS watch, then you don’t have to do much at all: Generally, a self-winding watch should be able to gain all the energy it needs through the motion of your arm. The spring in the self-winding mechanism will tighten regardless of how you move. For owners of hand-wound watches, we recommend regular winding—preferably in the morning. That gives the watch enough energy to run reliably throughout the day. All you need to do to wind up the watch is turn the crown clockwise (towards the 12). After just a few rotations, the balance will start to move. Continue to turn the crown until you notice obvious resistance. Once your watch is fully wound, it will run for about 43 hours—in other words, for around two days without needing to be rewound. Watches with dates need to be rewound slightly more often (around 42 hours) because switching the date also takes a little energy from the watch.
Our new models, Lambda and Lux, even run for three-and-a-half days, 84 hours, before they need rewinding.
Will it damage my NOMOS automatic watch if I always wind it manually?
With some movements, the wheels all turn almost as far as the rotor when
the watch is wound by hand. You also notice that when you are winding
However, the designers of NOMOS self-winding watches have fitted
their pieces with a clutch, which means that all the self-winding
mechanism components stop moving during manual winding, thereby
preventing wear and tear. So you can happily wind your NOMOS
self-winding watches by hand every day if you want—and if you ever
forget to, the automatic movement will quietly do it for you.
How do I set the date on my NOMOS watch?
Changing the date on a NOMOS watch is quick and easy: Just pull the crown out and turn the hands forwards until the date changes, then turn the hand back three or four hours until you hear a slight click. Move the date on further by repeatedly moving the hands on by at least three hours (approximately between 8 and 12 o’clock) and keep on doing so until you have reached the correct date. If it’s after midday, you have to move the hand past the 12 to stop the date jumping on to the next day when it’s only 12 noon. This may sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Just try it out. Everything is also described in detail in the small guarantee book you received with your watch.
Why register your watch?
In the event that you lose your watch, it can be very helpful if your watch and its serial number are listed with us. In fact, it happens quite frequently that an honest finder or the police contact NOMOS about a found watch. In such cases, we make sure that your watch finds its way back to you.
Will I receive confirmation when I have my watch registered?
Registration cards seldom get lost in the post, and we receive pretty much everything that is sent to us online. That’s why you can safely assume that your registration has reached us. We do not currently confirm its receipt simply because we get a great deal of post from our customers and retailers. We also suspect our customers are also happy not to receive too much mail from companies. And happy that we simply make such great watches.
And what should I do if I encounter some unexpected problem, or if something doesn't work as it should?
Ever since the first one we produced (Number 1), all NOMOS watches have been consecutively numbered. This serial number can be registered under the purchaser's name if they so desire. You can register your watch with us on our website here
. That way, if a watch is lost and then somehow turns up later at NOMOS, we are able return it to the owner. Even after the warranty has expired, we at NOMOS will try to help out our customers as rapidly, obligingly and inexpensively as possible. We are always eager to serve our customers in word and deed.