NOMOS Watch Club: An Interview with a Nomos Product Designer

Design sketches of the classic NOMOS Tangente case (left) and typography of the Ahoi (right) | NOMOS Watch Club

Design sketches of the classic NOMOS Tangente case (left) and typography of the Ahoi (right) | NOMOS Watch Club

This is our first partnership post, from our friends over at NOMOS Watch Club. We’re always looking for fun and interesting partnerships, so if you’re interested, please reach out.

Our friend Christopher over at NOMOS Watch Club recently paid a visit to Berlinerblau, the Berlin-based in-house design and marketing firm of Nomos Glashutte. Berlinerblau is home to about 40 Nomos employees, all of whom are singularly focused on created the “Nomos look”, perhaps the finest modern execution of the Bauhaus aesthetic, in watches or elsewhere.

Christopher sat down for an interview with Nomos product designer Thomas Höhnel, who provided some insights on the watch design process, working at Nomos, and the future of the Glashutte watchmaker.

Nomos Berlinerblau’s Kreuzberg District home

Nomos Berlinerblau’s Kreuzberg District home

When asked what the first steps were in designing a watch, Thomas said:

"The work on a watch always starts with the caliber, the heart of a watch. While design engineers, tool makers, and watchmakers in Glashütte are working on the caliber, we are simultaneously working on the design of the watch — in sketchbooks, on screens, and paper napkins. We ask ourselves: Who would wear this watch, who should it appeal to? What would it be if it were a car, a piece of furniture, or a men’s shoe?”

I particularly love the last thought: If a Nomos Tangente were a car, what kind of car would it be? I’m inclined to say a Tesla 3, with the caveat that Nomos doesn’t actually have an issue delivering its products.

Here’s Thomas when asked about the value proposition of a Nomos watch (an entry level Nomos Club runs $1,550 MSRP)

"At NOMOS Glashütte, we call it “democratic luxury” — as we produce watches that are affordable for many and are a market leader in the price category up to 4000 EUR. We still follow the principles of Bauhaus and the Deutscher Werkbund by offering good design at an accessible price for many — while not compromising on quality. Our gold watches, however, serve a different price category. They are crafted in our specialist atelier and feature — among other things — a screw balance, a hand-engraved balance cock, and twin mainspring barrels."

For the full interview and more insights see the post at Nomos Watch Club