Precision, quality and austerity. When I think of Germany, I see a giant whose great esteem has been earned through perseverance and rationality. German design has gone down in history for its noteworthy functionality and for a reinvention of elegance expressed in the simplest of ways.
The Bauhaus is one of the great precursors of this refined style that even today – a century on – the rest of the world still tries to imitate. They say that the hardest thing is to make something look simple, and that is where the success of this renowned school lies. Simple lines that endear us to an object, that humanise it and, in the end, invite us to incorporate it into our lives.
Founded by Roland Schwertner in January 1990, just two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, NOMOS Glashütte is today a leading example of the ‘Made in Germany’ label. Their watches are made following the traditions of the Deutscher Werkbund movement. A predecessor of the Bauhaus, rather than an artistic movement, the Werkbund was a state association whose aim was to integrate traditional crafts into industrial production techniques. The goal was to develop new artistic expressions for The Machine Age. The aesthetic principles of the movement were based on the idea of separating what an object looked like from its material quality by replacing everything ornamental with abstract forms.
At NOMOS Glashütte, construction, craftsmanship and design are given equal importance. None of the steps in the construction of a piece are taken for granted. Each phase of the production process is as relevant as the previous one. There are no hierarchies and every process is viewed in the way a surgeon would approach an operation. Good design offers solutions for users of all ages, from 9 to 99. At NOMOS Glashütte they are aware of this, which is why, whenever possible, things are stripped back to basics.
But it’s not all about looking back to the past, and long-term research doesn’t faze this intrepid firm. In 2014, after seven years of research, NOMOS Glashütte started manufacturing its own escapement series: the NOMOS Swing System, also known as the ‘clock generator’ or ‘heart of the watch’. A revolution that, at the time, broke the almost exclusive monopoly of Swiss producers and allowed NOMOS Glashütte to become technologically independent.
The brand, which exports to over 40 countries around the world, is expanding its business in two major markets: The USA and Asia. However, NOMOS’s focus for the coming years goes beyond just driving growth, and its goal is to advance its core business of creating unique pieces that are made to last.