I recently purchased this modern-classic beauty and I'd thought I post some of my thoughts about this watch.
Firstly, Nomos Glashütte is not widely distributed in North America and there is only ONE authorized dealer in Canada, and they are located in Winnipeg. I'm in Vancouver. So right at the beginning I had a road block - how was I supposed to evaluate this watch for purchase if I couldn't see it it the flesh? My calls went unheard as I couldn't find a Nomos owner in my city. I combed the web for as many personal reviews and pictures that I could find. After reading only positive Nomos owner accounts (I really couldn't find someone saying anything really negative about the current Nomos models) I decided to purchase the Orion on blind faith.
The watch arrived in a simple and clean Poplar wood box, stained in black, with the Nomos Glashütte logo printed in silver on the top. It's lined with black velvet and the watch is held in place by two black elastic straps. There is also a pocket which holds the warranty and information booklet.
Case and Dial
I'm very aware of today's trend for large, thick and heavy watches. I was somewhat concerned over the small 35mm case diameter of the Orion. I didn't want it to look as if I was wearing a woman's or child's watch but was delightfully surprised at how nicely it wears for its size. Even though the case is small, the dial itself, is quite large.
Let's look at a few dimensional comparisons to the popular Omega Planet Ocean 42mm.
Dial Diameter = 30mm
Lug end to lug end (tall)= 42mm
Dial Diameter = 31.5mm
Lug end to lug end (tall) = 44mm
By these numbers, the Orion isn't as puny as one would expect. Then again, this watch will not jump off your wrist as the Planet Ocean will. It doesn't have the same type of presence larger/thicker watches have. But it doesn't make itself out to be that type of wristwatch. You can find dozens of other dress watches that speak louder. The Orion, and for that matter, all of the Nomos models, are understated and elegant in design. The dials and cases are clean and straightforward in their approach. Their beauty is pronounced in its subtlety. The Orion is very reminiscent of vintage dress watch designs and one could mistaken it as such. This watch is thin and light. You will forget that you have it on your wrist. The gently curved sapphire crystal (front and back) and lugs also contribute to its no-nonsense appeal. The display back is large enough to see the decorated in-house movements at play.
I chose the silver opaline dial with gold indices and tempered blue hands. Classy and sporty at the same time. The hour markers are stamped and then gold plated. The gold plating only covers the top portion of the index. All indices are evenly spaced and cleanly printed as well, a problem Nomos has had in the past. The indices and hands are very thin. For the best legibility I would probably recommend the anthracite dial with silver indices. The dial is slightly convex towards the edges, a trait not apparent in Nomos' marketing photos of this watch. It is obviously done to match the curvature of the sapphire crystal. The minute hand is also slightly bent towards the tip to follow the curvature. The small seconds dial has a subtle concentric pattern.
Pretty from any view, but notice the small gap between the dial and the case.
This may not be indicative of Nomos' general assembly quality but the dial on my watch is not pressed flush against the inner edge of the bezel around the entire circumference. If you compare the gap between the dial and the case on the left and right side photo of the watch you'll see what I'm talking about. It's not enough for me to worry about, but I will bring it to the dealer's attention when it is time for a service.
Looks good from this angle as well...no gap between dial and case.
All Nomos watches come with the the highly touted handmade Shell Cordovan leather strap. It is supposedly exclusive because the Shell Cordovan leather is obtained from a small section on the hind quarter of a horse. The strap is very smooth and stout, and from the looks of it, will last a particularly long time. It is very simple and matches the Bauhaus design approach of the entire time piece. The tang buckle is as modest as one can get, with the Nomos logo stamped on the end. As a whole, the strap is a bit underwhelming - it reminds me of a standard pants belt. I understand why Nomos chose this strap but the watch deserves something with a bit more character. I think a padded alligator strap, 3-4mm in thickness, would work nicely with the Orion.
I have a thin wrist at 6.5 inches. The regular strap length that ships with the watch proved to be too long for me so I purchased the short length. A long length is also available. Here are the lengths for the regular and short straps.
Punched hole end = 118mm
Buckle end = 75mm
Punched hole end = 103mm
Buckle end = 69mm
Accuracy and Power Reserve
I've only had the watch for a very short time but the power reserve seems to be as advertised at 43 hours. The manually wound Alpha movement is currently running about 0.75 seconds fast per day.
As with any watch, buy what talks to you, not what impresses others. This is especially true for the Nomos Orion. At a glance it can be easily overlooked. But if you are in the market for a clean and quiet dress watch without breaking the bank, the Orion is worth considering.