Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?
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    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    I haven't been able to find much in depth information about them other than that they're at least quasi-in-house.

    So Nomos pros, are there any interesting advantages or drawbacks to them? I presume that, automatic/hand winding aside, the movements are quite similar (although that may be a false assumption).

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    Man, Citizen, you're on a roll today. :)

    The only real in-house movement is the zeta in the Zurich and one other model. Well, the new Worldtime movement, not sure what it's called, is also in-house. The rest is not inhouse, though not sure if it's ETA.

    The Zurich and new worldtime models are very nice. Tried on the Zurich recently. Would fit well in my collection but was perhaps a tad too boring or just not thrilling enough that I'd part with the money without considering anything else first.
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchalex View Post
    Man, Citizen, you're on a roll today. :)

    The only real in-house movement is the zeta in the Zurich and one other model. Well, the new Worldtime movement, not sure what it's called, is also in-house. The rest is not inhouse, though not sure if it's ETA.

    The Zurich and new worldtime models are very nice. Tried on the Zurich recently. Would fit well in my collection but was perhaps a tad too boring or just not thrilling enough that I'd part with the money without considering anything else first.
    No offense Watchalex but I think you're mistaken. I believe Nomos used to outsource for their movements, but now they are the ones selling movements to other companies as they make all their movements in-house. They are a true watch manufactory, and furthermore are one of the very select group of independent brands to manufacture their own movements. In fact, out of the three brands currently producing in-house movements in Glashutte (the other two being GO and ALS) Nomos is the only independent.

    Their movements are well-made, well-decorated, and the watches are well-finished. The designs can be a little plain, but that is in the eye of the beholder and some even prefer the Bauhaus style.

    PROS:
    In-house
    Hand decorated/ assembled
    High build quality
    Charming independent brand
    Amazing value per dollar

    CONS:
    Movements are by and large pretty simple (the most complicated movement being the GMT Zurich, which is itself a stunning watch)
    Designs are a little stark (matter of taste)
    Shorter power reserve of 42-43 hours
    No quick-set date

    Conclusion: I do not own a Nomos watch, so take what I say with that in mind. I can tell you that some day in the future I will own a Nomos Zurich. Nomos represents everything that I love about watches and nothing that I don't. They are classy, subdued, and of excellent quality and craftsmanship. I honestly believe Nomos watches to be the best value you can get for the money they ask for- the prices are often described as "democratic" - you are not paying for marketing hype, celebrity endorsements, or falsified history. You are paying for a high quality, hand crafted watch and I simply cannot recommend them enough.
    Last edited by fasthandssam; November 29th, 2011 at 19:38.
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    I could almost make a gentleman's bet that I am right, Sam. Epsilon and Zeta as well as the new Xi are truly in-house, meaning built AND developed in-house. The others aren't. Perhaps they are putting their twist on it and build them in-house but I don't think the others are engineered from the ground up by Nomos.

    The Alpha is based on the Peseux 7001. A good movement but not developed by Nomos.
    TZ-UK • View topic - Opinions on Nomos?

    I know they say they are a manufacture but the meaning of that term is not explained. There is a conflation in marketing speak between the terms in-house and manufacture. Manufacture is a production process that is between artisanal and industrial. It does not per se mean vertical integration of development and production. So if they say manufacture they might very well use the term correctly referring to how the watch is produced only. Or they might be using the term incorrectly (or at least in the new marketing speak version of it) intending to say that it is a watch developed and built by the same people from the ground up.

    If so, we'd need to know their degree of vertical integration. I wish to be mistaken in this but I doubt it. The main reason being that it would be virtually impossible for any company, let alone a small independent one in Germany (high labor costs, high overhead) to develop seven (7) real in-house movements in only six (6) years and offer them at prices under 3000 Euros. It took JLC 3-4 years, IIRC, to develop the Autotractor, their technical director stating that it is a much bigger challenge to develop a simple movement from the ground up than to make a complication from something that's already there. And if anyone has tons of experience developing movements and the resources to do so it's JLC. Thus, how the little Nomos would do that as an independent, is beyond me.

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    I think that's taking a pretty harsh definition of in-house. I doubt there are many manufacturers (of any definition) who actually produce as high a proportion of the components of their watches as do Nomos Glashuette. Which is, as you say, the correct definition.

    Even on the alternative thesis - yes, their Alpha movement has the same basic architecture as a Peseux 7001, with different bridges and plates; however, all the others have novel design. They are undoubtedly a manufacture.

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    To name a con, the quick-set date is not really quick-set you have to move the hands back and forth between 9 and 2. PITA. My Zenith has that. It lives on a winder.

    The power reserve of 42-43 hours is really not adequate for a modern movement. 45 is the least they should do. Better 50+. Rolex does 50. GP does 46-50. Omega does 60 in their new movements. Blancpain does 70-100 depending on movement and beat count. Zenith does 50 even with a 36k beat movement. AP does 60 (ok, lower beat). Breitling does 70+ (B-01 and B-04). Grand Seiko does 72 in auto and in Springdrive version. JLC does at least 45. Just to name some other manufacture movements.

    Other than the manufacture or in-house definition where I am still a bit critical, I agree with Sam. Nice watches and nice movements.

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f8/repo...mos-20961.html

    There are some more reports on their movements, especially on the Tangomat, the CW1 and CW2, inhouse movements, developed by Nomos for Wempe Chronometerwerke, on our German Watches Forum.

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchalex View Post
    To name a con, the quick-set date is not really quick-set you have to move the hands back and forth between 9 and 2. PITA. My Zenith has that. It lives on a winder.

    The power reserve of 42-43 hours is really not adequate for a modern movement. 45 is the least they should do. Better 50+. Rolex does 50. GP does 46-50. Omega does 60 in their new movements. Blancpain does 70-100 depending on movement and beat count. Zenith does 50 even with a 36k beat movement. AP does 60 (ok, lower beat). Breitling does 70+ (B-01 and B-04). Grand Seiko does 72 in auto and in Springdrive version. JLC does at least 45. Just to name some other manufacture movements.

    Other than the manufacture or in-house definition where I am still a bit critical, I agree with Sam. Nice watches and nice movements.
    I will take that gentlemen's bet on the movements being in-house. A little digging and perhaps a few emails may be in order. :D

    Also, your points about the lack of quick-set date and (relatively) short power reserve are valid. I am looking into models mostly without the date, and tend to move around a lot so neither had stood out to me but I will add it to my post.

    EDIT: Alright so I reread what you wrote and I think I better understand what you're saying. They are not designing the entire movement- but taking a pre-existing design and manufacturing it in-house. Well, you may have a valid point. But, as you mentioned, they do have movements that were designed and manufactured from the ground up.

    I guess my question to you is this: should Nomos not call its movements in-house because of this? I mean, there is a difference between getting a movement from Peseux and putting it in a case and literally making the movement yourself. That has to count for something. I don't think you can question that Nomos is manufacturing all of their movements in-house. What do you think?
    Last edited by fasthandssam; November 29th, 2011 at 19:54.

  10. #9
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    I believe we are arguing over semantics.

    As far as I know, Nomos manufactures movements in-house; however, the movements may not have been designed entirely in-house. Not all, in any case.

  11. #10
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Nomos Movements?

    Just a bit off-topic, I shall meander back to what the thread was all about near the end.

    I will repeat what I have said in a few other earlier threads. Just a movement being in-house does not make it an excellent, let alone a good movement.

    The top two high-end brands in the world today - Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin have used various high-quality ebauches (PP till the early '90s and VC even today, on a few models) over the years. They modified these ebauches extensively (plate/bridge redesign, variable-inertia free-sprung balance, higher quality materials, finish and decoration) ... so much so, that they can be called new movements. This art of finishing ebauches is a dying one - only a few master watchmakers still continue doing this for small independent brands. I think the move by the high-end brands to get into manufacturing their own movements was primarily to differentiate themselves at first, and later it became more of a marketing exercise and advertising the fact as one of the brand's USPs. This phenomenon has become so common in the last 10-15 years (high- and mid-end brands) that it has become almost ubiquitous.

    Earlier, there was not only a capital, but also knowledge/skill/tech. barrier (depended very much on the watchmaker's skill/expertise) to overcome to manufacture your own movement. In more recent years, since the advent of more powerful computers, software and hardware, manufacturing tech. (especially micro-machining and micro-fabrication) and materials tech. it has become easier for companies to "virtually" design, fabricate and test new movements before actually manufacturing, assembling and testing them. The product cycle has been lessened, and certain thresholds for tech. have been lowered. It also helps that the parent groups have a lot of financial muscle. It makes sense to manufacture movements in-house if you know there's a market for it (I think the growth in Asia is a huge factor, especially India and China) - initially appealing to the technical-mindedness of the WIS, and later promoting it in the public at large (with attractive ad campaigns).

    *Whew* sorry to ramble on, but getting back to the topic at hand - Yes, certain Nomos movements are based on movements such as the Peseux 7001, but in my mind are modified enough to call them in-house. There can be no doubt about the others which are wholly designed and manufactured by them.

    But anyway, my point is that we should not nitpick if a movement is in-house or not, if it's good enough (and priced accordingly).* A very good example of a superbly modified ebauche (again, a Peseux 7001) would be the movement in the Blancpain 7002 chronometer.

    *I do understand the flip side as a engineering guy, and it's always more interesting to look at a new movement.
    Last edited by v76; November 29th, 2011 at 20:22.
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