NOMOS picks up the pace with adding sports models to its successful bauhaus classics with the new Tangente Sport Neomatik 42 Date Marine. Possibly a response to the strong market demand for beater timepieces, NOMOS’s new sports watch comes with a new bracelet and can now dive to 1000 ft.
The Case and Dial
Sized at 42 mm in diameter and 10.9 mm in thickness, the Tangente Sport Neomatik is surprisingly thin for a 1000 ft water resistant sports watch. This is in part due to its 3.6 mm movement which is 1 mm thinner than the ETA 2824 used in most other watches.
The case bears the same design as the Tangente models with straight lugs and non-taper side case. This works for a relatively thin case, and maximises the amount of dial space for legibility. However, straight lugs on the 42 mm case effectively extends a lug to lug length to 52 mm, which may be large for some wrists. A pointed lug may also get in the way more often than a rounded lug. Comparatively, other brand dive watches use integrated lugs on turtle shaped cases for a more comfortable wear experience.
While most of us may not notice, the Tangente Sport looks very much like the Ahoi collection. The Ahoi line bears the same case design as the Tangente but with added crown guards. The line was also made up of ‘dive’ sports watches with water resistance of 200m.
For most brands in the industry, collections are segmented by case design, which makes it odd that NOMOS decided to add a collection Ahoi which uses the Tangente case with an added crown guard, and then go into reverse and put the new Sport Neomatik 42 under the Tangente line instead. Perhaps the brand is starting to realise it has too many collections and not as minimalist as it could be.
The bracelet – a first for the brand is quite special in construction. It uses an integrated interlocking fit, instead of a drilled hole and pin; like two pieces of lego or bicycle chain links. The links are then fastened together by two screws at the back of each link. Quick release spring lug bars are used at the lugs and the buckle for easy adjustments.
We have not lived with the watch, and do not know for sure how it performs in real life. For those who actually dive with their watches, the Tangente Sport does not have an extension clasp for deeper dives, and the thin case may not pair well with silicon extension after market straps.
In terms of design, while this is subjective, some say that the bracelet does not match the case well. It is a full brushed finish while the case is a full polish, at times, it may appear that the watch and the bracelet were designed independently of each other. Some folks also have a pet peeve with the giant gap between the case and the bracelet at the lugs. But most striking are comments on the NOMOS bracelet’s resemblance with an Apple watch bracelet. Then again, this unusual pairing lends a strong, unique look, that may potentially create an icon for the brand.
Both silver and black dials work well with contrasting hour markers and lume colors. It bears the same Bauhaus design language that has contributed to NOMOS’s success. The key observation however, is in the placement of the date window. The date display is very close to the edge of the case. And that’s a good thing. It usually signals that the movement was purpose built for the case or vice versa.
The DUW 6101 is not just a simple substitute for an ETA or an excuse for an in-house movement. The movement while similar in specifications, 42 hours power reserve and self-winding; is 1 mm thinner than most stock base movements. It is also enlarged to match the size of the case and is fit with a useful back and forth date quick set function.
The NOMOS Tangente Sport Neomatik 42 Date Marine is not the best sports watch choice in its price range. At US$4980, the watch is in thick competition with Tudor, Omega, and just trails behind Rolex (maybe an Explorer or even a Submariner if one is lucky to find in stores). Take the Pelagos for instance, priced at US$4,450. An all titanium case with 500m water resistance and Helium valve with extension clasp and a bunch of technology behind its bracelet. It’s fit with Tudor’s in-house cal 5612 with 70 hours power reserve. The NOMOS is out-speced by the older brands fairly easily.
That said, NOMOS’s merit is not in its specifications, lest it be a Sinn, but in its unique positioning as a hybrid watch. It is neither a complete dive watch, considering it does not have a dive bezel, nor a classic watch. It perhaps fits the needs of those looking for a stealthy sports watch, a dive watch that does not resemble a dive watch, but performs as a dive watch should. A utility tool watch that is still dressy enough and does not stick out like it should only exist on the wrist of Arnold S or Sylvester S.