Review: new NOMOS Tetra neomatik red – 175 Years of Watchmaking Glashütte Edition

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The NOMOS Tetra collection has always been an interesting watch, with the combination of its atypical square case with the distinctive design language of the Glashütte-based watch manufacturer.

NOMOS Tetra neomatik red – 175 Years of Watchmaking Glashütte

To commemorate the 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, NOMOS had tapped into the Tetra collection to produce four limited-edition timepieces – each with a different dial option. The particular piece that we are reviewing today is the Tetra neomatik red, a timepiece which we thought is perhaps the most outstanding and remarkable timepiece in the lot.

We spent a couple of weeks with the timepiece, and here are our thoughts on it.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

The Tetra is one of the iconic models from the NOMOS line-up, all thanks to its distinctive square case. This particular model is incidentally the larger one, which has a 33.0mm x 33.0mm dimension. While it might sound like a small watch on paper, it certainly does not feel so on the wrist. This can be attributed to the long straight lugs, as the lug-to-lug length of the watch is around 45.3mm.

On the subject of lugs, one of the characteristics that we like about the Tetra is its rather well-designed lugs. While many brands would have settled for a pair of typical straight lugs (without any other inputs), NOMOS had decided to integrate a pair of art deco-inspired step-down lugs for the Tetra. Given the more minimalistic nature of this square case, the lugs certainly do stand out here.

The thinness of the case is another noteworthy point to mention. The Tetra neomatik – which features a self-winding movement – is only a mere 7.3mm thick. This makes it rather comfortable to wear on the wrist, and in some instances, it does feel as though you are not wearing a watch on your wrist at all.

The key highlight of this watch certainly lies in its dial. For this particular edition, NOMOS had fitted the timepiece with a bright red dial – and this is notably the most vibrant one amongst the four limited edition variants. There is no doubt that this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but we definitely applaud NOMOS for choosing an unusual colour option as one of the variants for this limited-edition series. On that note, we are also fairly sure that there will be collectors who will appreciate the boldness of this timepiece.

Complementing the red dial are the mellower beige numerals and indices, a combination that we reckon works rather well altogether. An interesting thing to note is that the dial features two circles – one in the form of a smaller sub-dial, while the other is achieved with the placement of the hour markers (which forms a large circle). This provides an antithesis to the square case, which we thought was a rather interesting design element.

Beyond that, the Tetra features all the hallmarks of a NOMOS timepiece – with its iconic typography and the brand’s signature minimalistic cues. Completing the package are the three thin sword-shaped hands, which reinforces the style and language of NOMOS timepieces.

The Movement: DUW 3001

The watch is powered by NOMOS’ in-house produced neomatik movement – the DUW3001. The movement has been used in several NOMOS watches, most notably the timepieces under the neomatik series.

The self-winding movement does not have any other complications. What it offers is a decent power reserve of around 43 hours, as well as superb accuracy as this run of movement is also adjusted according to chronometer standards.

Moving away from the technical bits, the movement features several forms of finishing and characteristics: Glashütte three-quarter plate, rhodium-plated movement surfaces, Glashütte ribbing, as well as the NOMOS perlage. The movement is actually quite a sight to behold, and at this price point, we are pretty satisfied with what NOMOS has to offer in this aspect.

Competitive Landscape

The NOMOS Tetra neomatik red – 175 Years of Watchmaking Glashütte is priced at S$5,350, and it is limited to a production of 175 pieces for each of the four variants.

When it comes to interesting and slightly unusual watches, or timepieces with uncommon dial colours, there are definitely a few watches that can be considered as alternatives to this NOMOS.

First, we have the True Square Tej Chauhan by Rado. We selected the Rado purely for the fact that it is also an interesting watch, with bold and unique touches to it. The commonality here is the emphasis on design, and the Rado is also aided by the fact that it is designed by an award-winning industrial designer. Retailing at S$2,710, the Rado also offers great value especially if one is looking for a fun and exciting watch to add into their collection.

Next, we have the Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein II. This piece is the second collaboration between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein – with a total of three watches being presented in this collection. Our pick is the Regulator, which offers a nice blend of style and quirkiness. We particularly like the design (especially the interesting lug concept), as well as the use of bright colours (in which the red, yellow, and blue are a signature of Alain’s). The recommended retail price is CHF 3,500 (approximately S$5,120).

Finally, we have the Tank Must de Cartier, available in burgundy, blue, or green dial options. This series of Tank Must watches features a very clean and minimalist look – in fact, the dial is completely devoid of any detail sans the brand’s logo, the “Swiss Made” mark, and a pair of hands. However, it is worlds apart when it is compared to the NOMOS, as the Tank is classier and more discreet of the two. We certainly love the trio, but this is perhaps an option for someone who prefers a timepiece that is more restrained. The watch is priced at S$3,950.

Concluding Thoughts

The new limited-edition variants of the NOMOS Tetra neomatik offer collectors something slightly evocative, and the red dial model is certainly an eye-catching one indeed. During the period when we wore the watch out, the NOMOS had actually brought about a surprising number of conversations with people, as it is definitely outstanding in the eyes of collectors and non-collectors alike.

There is so much to love about NOMOS, from its design to the compelling in-house produced movement. While the prices of its watches have creeped up over the years, the watch still arguably offers a great value proposition, especially when one compares it to other timepieces with the same price point in the market.

For someone who is looking for a bold and expressive timepiece, look no further. The NOMOS Tetra neomatik is a great watch through and through, and the red dial is definitely something different – which makes it a rather special timepiece in a way.

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