Since 1845, the tiny German town of Glashütte, which is tucked away between forests and hills in the eastern Ore Mountains, has been synonymous with world-class watchmaking. In the face of world wars and global recessions, the town's watchmaking industry has taken hits, but the unparalleled knowledge and expertise of its people have helped it to endure. Leading Glashütte's production of mechanical watches is NOMOS Glashütte, a label that was only founded in 1990 but has become integral to the town's rich watchmaking heritage. Its expert craftspeople – around 260 employees – are responsible for assembling some of Germany’s finest watch components in a factory that was formerly the town's train station.

Only a few products around the world have their designations as strictly protected as watches from Glashütte. The appellation “Glashütte” is under special protection, so only companies that create at least 50 percent of the value of a watch’s calibre in the town are allowed to classify their timepieces as 'Glashütte watches'. NOMOS goes far beyond the required 50 percent, making up to 95 percent of each of its movements on site. Typical 'Glashütte watch' characteristics include:

  • The three-quarter plate, the barrel, and the gear train culminating in the escape wheel: a particularly robust and particularly beautiful construction with a good 150 years’ worth of tradition behind it.
  • The Glashütte stopwork, a part of the winding mechanism. Unlike Swiss-made winding mechanisms, its jumper spring is long and curved.
  • The most elegant form of rate accuracy: the swan neck fine adjustment.
  • Tempered blue screws, which get their cornflower blue colour during the heating process: the steel is baked at over 290 degrees Celsius. This also protects them from corrosion.

When it comes to NOMOS' manufacturing approach, almost everything – from milling plates and wheels to bridges and beveling edges – is made by hand. It often takes years from the first design drawing to the watch being sent out into the world. And when it is, the Glashütte difference is clear.

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