Nomos, founded in 1990 shortly after the reunification of Germany, represents a resurgence of German watchmaking. Founder Roland Schwertner resurrected an old brand name, previously used by a company in the early 1900s that had sold Swiss watches that they then re-branded from “Glashütte.” This caused some contention in the courts when Schwertner wished to use the name for his new brand, but unlike the ersatz Nomos, Schwertner’s watches are now 100% made in Glashütte. The simple elegance of their designs (masterminded by Susanne Gunther), with minimalist dials and thin steel cases, have captivated collectors around the world. They’re truly a testament not only to the ingenuity of watchmakers in Glashütte, but to the enduring appeal of Bauhaus designs.
Their first models–the Tangente, the Orion, Ludgwig, and the Tetra–contained ETA or Peseux 7001 movements, with some finishing done in their facility in Glashütte. But starting in the early 2000s, Nomos began modifying these movements, creating a new caliber: the Nomos T 1. Then, with the introduction of the Tangomat in 2005, Nomos presented their very first in-house manual-wind caliber, which they named “alpha.” In the succeeding decade, Nomos has produced seven different in-house calibers.
Then newest of these in-house calibers is the DUW 3001, which debuted at Baselworld in 2015. The DUW (short for Nomos Glashütte Deutsche Uhrenwerke) 3001 is the fruit of a ten-year R&D process that comprised seven years for development of the “Swing System” (including an in-house escapement and a flattened mainspring, which required an entire redesign of the gear train) and three years building the movement itself. At 3.2mm the DUW 3001 (found in the Neomatik) is certainly one of the thinnest automatic movements around, and is a promise of more innovations to come.