NOMOS are the masters of minimalist watch design and they’ve done it again this year. The spunky Glashütte brand introduces the Autobahn, a new automotive-inspired automatic watch with a date display. The Autobahn is the culmination of a four-year collaboration between renowned designer Werner Aisslinger and his partner Tina Bunyaprasit of Studio Aisslinger, and the NOMOS design department.
The Autobahn case is decisively large at 41 mm in diameter but has down-turned lugs to improve wearability on smaller wrists. Where the watch really stands out is in its dial. It transitions from curve to curve, once around the edge and again on the sub-seconds dial.
The most striking aspect is perhaps the depth of the dial. Its edge is curved, like the outside lane of a racetrack – or the fender of a vintage race car. With a gentle swing, it flattens out into the watch face. And the sub-seconds dial repeats these curves – Werner Aisslinger
The dial also features what NOMOS calls the three-lane date window at the 6 o’clock edge of the dial which displays three dates at once and is inspired by the odometer.
Above it, large, raised bars of superluminova allow the Autobahn to be legible at night – well sort-of, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The hour hand, but not the minute hand, is inlaid with superluminova. This makes sense from a design perspective as it achieves the look of a speedometer. From a functional standpoint, however, it just doesn’t work. Between the 20th and 40th minutes, the minute hand would not be visible under no-light conditions as it would not be backed by the strips of lume. This defeats the purpose of having lume for night-time visibility.
Beating inside the Autobahn is the new in-house-built Calibre DUW6101. The movement is wound by a bidirectional rotor and has a power reserve of up to 42 hours. The date ring for the date display runs along the outer edge of the movement and can be set bidirectionally.
The NOMOS Autobahn comes in three different designs, all with a price tag of USD4,800.
Case: stainless steel, domed sapphire crystal, glass back
Glass: domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating
Dimensions: diameter 41 mm, height 10.5 mm
Water resistance: up to 10 atm
Dial: 1) galvanized, white-silver plated, light gray luminous ring with superluminova (blue luminescence), elongated date window; 2) midnight blue, white luminous ring with superluminova (blue luminescence), elongated date window; 3) galvanized, rhodium-plated, blue luminous ring with superluminova (blue luminescence), elongated date window
Hands: 1) rhodium-plated, hour hand with superluminova inlay in white (blue luminescence); 2) rhodium-plated, hour hand with superluminova inlay in blue (blue luminescence); 3) rhodium-plated, hour hand with superluminova inlay in neon orange (blue luminescence)
Strap: textile strap, blue-black, woven, waterproof, lug width 20 mm
References: 1) Ref. 1301, 2) Ref. 1302, 3) Ref. 1303
Calibre: DUW 6101 – in-house built NOMOS neomatik calibre with automatic winding, neomatik date mechanism, and bidirectional quick correction feature
Movement height: 3.6 mm
Movement diameter: 35.2 mm
Power reserve: up to 42 hours