NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin
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  1. #1
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    NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Hi everyone, I need help please.

    I'm very close to getting my first serious watch and I've narrowed down my shortlist to either the NOMOS Zurich/Tangomat or the JLC Master Ultrathin.

    I'll be honest here, I'm a 20 year old, about to enter university. No wishy-washy "get what you like" kind of comments, thanks, I need your biased opinions. The stereotype of each brand, the heritage, the workmanship, the bang-for-buck, the versatility of the watch, the kinds of messsages it puts out to people who are in the know and to people who are not in the know, the suitability for my maturity level can all be judgement criteria. Of course, you could always just answer your preference without justifying your choice, im OK with that too.

    If you'd like to, you can recommend another watch altogether that's somewhat similar in theme.

    Thanks for reading and responding!

  2. #2
    Member brummyjon's Avatar
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Get what you like.

    But seriously, I have always had a soft spot for the NOMOS Zurich. I think it is genuinely stunning. As for what others think, it's not so important for me. I like smaller watches, and more sober styling. The main point is you liking what is on your wrist. I expect that the NOMOS or JLC would put a smile on your face, and you could justify your purchase with any WIS. As for people who are not into watches, don't expect them to understand. They will all think you are crazy to spend that kind of money when a 'Timex will do'.

    Have you looked at Zenith? They have some amazingly classy watches. I think the one that may suit you is called the 'elite'.
    Last edited by brummyjon; June 28th, 2011 at 16:38. Reason: adding some thoughts.

  3. #3
    Member tom_hanx's Avatar
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    Gift Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    First off... I have walked this road myself, so I hope you are ready for some serious biased post

    The JLC Master Ultra Thin is nice but somewhat washed out and sterile. For 2k more than the Zenith Elite Ultra Thin, I could just not live with this. Bear in mind, both JLC and Zenith have a VERY special place in my heart.

    With above said, I started a thread here: http://devforums.watchuseek.com/show...=511709&page=1

    Now, what transpired out of this one is that I stumbled upon a Nomos Zurich Datum and I fell in love. The finishing, the detailing - sublime. Soldered lugs (this is reserved for high end pieces only, as it is more expensive than milling a case with lugs) are perfectly curved. Small seconds and date are dead on, symmetrical and well proportioned.

    NOMOS is a full-fledged manufacture - don't let anyone pull that "but JLC is all in-house" crap on you. Not only this, it is THE ONLY independent Glasshutte manufacture. GO belongs to Swatch, ALS belongs to Richemont. So, for a budget between Zenith and JLC you get a unique, superbly finished and mind-numbingly accurate watch. My runs roughly at +1sec/day.

    On top of it all, the winding mechanism is efficient enough to wind it. What I have had with all my previous automatics is occasional need to wind by hand to top it up. The Nomos is 12hrs on my wrist + 12 hrs in the box. Never stopped since I got it.

    Movement is finished in black gold (yes, BLACK gold), blued screws and all... telling you, the works.

    In addition, the folks at NOMOS are very, very nice. I called the factory several times before I found my Zurich Datum. Random guy, calling from nowhere, asking for availability and information... I was treated well and with respect and this tipped the scales for me.

    So, to your question and with all my love to JLC - in this specific case I vote Nomos. Not just with my keyboard and words, but with my wallet. Enjoy





















    Last edited by tom_hanx; June 28th, 2011 at 17:08.
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  5. #4
    BDH
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    DISCLAIMER: You asked for a biased opinion, and I am going to give you one! There will be a lot of extra verbosity, and maybe even a little bit of snobbery involved... I don't mean it to offend, but rather give my opinion while also giving a splash of sarcastic humor! I am not always this sarcastic.....

    With that said......

    First off, you are 20? These are VERY impressive watches for a young man your age. I'm very impressed, and hope that you are a very careful 20 year old with watches of this quality!

    Now, that Nomos is gorgeous, and frankly, may be the more appropriate fit for a young man your age.

    HOWEVER, while I am semi-new to this REAL watch collecting stuff (though it has always been a hobby, it hasn't been to quite the same extent until the last couple of years), I didnt know ANYTHING about Nomos til arriving to WUS, nor do I really know much about Nomos now! On the other hand, I knew about JLC before I arrived on WUS, and I know about them even more now. I do not think, in my heart of hearts, that the Nomos holds a candle to the horologic masterpiece that is the JLC Master ultra thin.

    Yes, I admit that my opinion is slightly based on prestige, but to me, while not worn to gloat, I think that owning something that is known by real collectors everywhere, and is respected by all, frankly does matter a little bit. The JLC is revered as a masterpiece by MANY in the watch collecting world. I would put the brand among the top 5 watch brands, based on history, beauty, craftsmanship, and pure class. The ultra-thin is a prime example of the advancements in watchmaking that JLC exemplifies. It is like 1.8mm thick (or something insane like that)!

    Again, take what I said above as my biased and exaggerated opinion. I am 25 years old, and I was given my JLC master control ultra thin as an engagement gift from my future father-in-law's personal collection. He and I have bonded over our shared love of watches. He has a collection of fine pieces including Roger Dubuis, JLC, Breguet, IWC, Ulysse Nardin, Patek, etc., among other watches. Nowhere in there is a Nomos. He passed on his JLC ultra thin to me, a sign of his respect for me, and his approval of me marrying his daughter. It is one of my most prized possessions, something that I hope to pass on to the next generation, when the time comes.

    A JLC is THAT kinda watch... classic, with real history, understated elegance, and something that can be passed down and admired through the generations.


    So, if looking for the watch that is perhaps more age appropriate, and perhaps more versatile, go with the Nomos. If looking for a truly special dress watch, a "special occasion" watch, that isn't going to be worn all the time, and a globally admired piece, go with the JLC.

    Mine says hello.... it is the yellow gold version and a few years old (1996 I believe). For you, if you go JLC, i'd probably go with stainless steel, and the current models are a bit bigger in diameter.

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    Last edited by BDH; June 28th, 2011 at 21:20.
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Not much more of value can be added.
    It is more of a "feeling" which watch you prefer. I assume you are going to try both watches before you commit?

    One aspect to think of is the servicing.
    Personally I do not let a normal watchmaker service any of my High End pieces, I like an authorised watchmaker to do it. Is there an authorised watchmaker close to you for these brands?
    BDH likes this.

  7. #6
    Member abowloffire's Avatar
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    The Zurich and Master Ultrathin Moon 39 (not the one you want, but close enough) are two watches that I am saving for. I love both watches and find them absolutely beautiful.

    They are both amazing watches so it's really tough to choose between them.

    As a young man myself, I would go with the Zurich first. Why? Because it looks younger, can be worn with less worry, feels more versatile.... and it's cheaper. Yes, those sound like really shallow reasons, but as your first "serious" watch these are important factors. It needs to be a watch you can wear most of the time, to most places. It needs to be a watch that you can easily bond with and form a relationship with. It needs to be a watch that you can comfortably afford. That's why I'd get the Zurich first if I were you. And I'd get the JLC for another important event in my life, like graduation, or engagement.

    For reference I own a Nomos Club Datum and I absolutely adore it. The finishing is top notch and it keeps time like a champ. The only thing I wish it had is applied indices, which the Zurich has. Nomos may not be a well known brand but they deserve to be.

  8. #7
    BDH
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Quote Originally Posted by abowloffire View Post
    The Zurich and Master Ultrathin Moon 39 (not the one you want, but close enough) are two watches that I am saving for. I love both watches and find them absolutely beautiful.

    They are both amazing watches so it's really tough to choose between them.

    As a young man myself, I would go with the Zurich first. Why? Because it looks younger, can be worn with less worry, feels more versatile.... and it's cheaper. Yes, those sound like really shallow reasons, but as your first "serious" watch these are important factors. It needs to be a watch you can wear most of the time, to most places. It needs to be a watch that you can easily bond with and form a relationship with. It needs to be a watch that you can comfortably afford. That's why I'd get the Zurich first if I were you. And I'd get the JLC for another important event in my life, like graduation, or engagement.

    For reference I own a Nomos Club Datum and I absolutely adore it. The finishing is top notch and it keeps time like a champ. The only thing I wish it had is applied indices, which the Zurich has. Nomos may not be a well known brand but they deserve to be.
    While I expressed reasons for my opinion on the superiority of the JLC, this is very sound advice for why the Nomos, for this poster, may be the best choice, for now.
    Last edited by BDH; June 28th, 2011 at 21:19.
    Current:
    - Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Ultra Thin
    - Longines Heritage 1954 Chronograph
    - Baume et Mercier Classima
    - Tag Heuer Aquaracer Quartz
    - 1948 Omega Bumper Automatic
    - Seiko SNZH53
    - Seiko Orange Monster
    - Swiss Army Officer


    Gone but not forgotten:


    - Omega Speedmaster Professional "Moon Watch" 3570.50 cal. 1861
    - 1969 Omega Speedmaster Professional cal. 861
    - Omega Geneve
    - Breitling Colt Auto
    - Tag Heuer Formula One Grande Date Lume Dial
    - Kadloo Ocean-Millenium
    - Swiss Army / Victorinox Ambassador Automatic
    - Oris Automatic
    - Tissot Automatic
    - Orient Mako
    - Steinhart Ocean

  9. #8
    Member usc1's Avatar
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Both watches are works of art.

    Purely on aesthetics I would go with the Nomos.
    "It is the hour of pearl—the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself."
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  10. #9
    UJU
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    Why settle for second best? Go for the JLC. Pure class.
    Ray MacDonald and Psycho_love like this.
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  11. #10
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    Re: NOMOS vs JLC Master Ultrathin

    I love Nomos and would be proud to wear one. However in my rather biased handwind-loving view the JLC is one of the world's great watches. Just sayin'...
    For the record, when I was 20 and in university I had a Timex Electric.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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