Nomos Glashütte | Launching Our Watch Handbook
Our handbook is full of good memes and great info
Nomos Glashütte: A Brief History of the Young German Watchmaker
I hate “brand histories” that are really just repeated PR fluff from the brand itself. But full disclosure: I fucking love Nomos. The combination of in-house movements, relative affordability and that minimalist, Bauhaus aesthetic seemed perfectly attuned to my millennial sensibilities when I first got into watches a few years ago. Nomos make legit watches, almost completely in the small town of Glashütte, Germany, with a minimal, form-follows-function design that other brands could only dream of executing half as well.
Nomos is an independent German watchmaker, based in Glashütte, Saxony, Germany. The small town of 7,000 is squeezed into a valley about 2 hours south of Berlin, and is dotted with almost a dozen watchmakers and manufacturers, including A Lange & Sohne and Glashütte Original. While A Lange has the highest revenue of the Glashütte manufacturers, Nomos delivers the most watches. Nomos was founded by Roland Schwertner in January 1990 — a photographer and computer geek with no watch experience — just two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This article provides a brief history of the German watchmaker. The good, the bad (I promise, there is some), and what’s next.
Chicago April 13 Meetup RSVP
We’ve gotten great responses for our meetup on Saturday, April 13! We’ll start with drinks at 4pm, followed by a casual dinner (for those who can stay). Location is still TBD, but will likely be somewhere in the Loop or West Loop, close to the train stations so that it is accessible to both city and suburban travellers. I’ll do my best to find a private, secluded location so that our precious mechanicals are safe.
If you can make it, RSVP here (and feel free to share this link!)
In other news, we’re doing a giveaway: tell your friends to subscribe to this very newsletter by March 16 for a chance to win a Seiko SNK 807! Subscribe here.
An Ode to the greatest Patek Phillipe? Last fall, I wrote a Brief History of Patek Phillipe, primarily through the lens of its legendary perpetual calendar chronographs. From classic rockers like Eric Clapton to modern hip-hop/rockstars like Lil Uzi Vert, Patek Phillipe has a timeless appeal that draws in the rich and famous, no matter the generation. Well GQ has zeroed in on one of Patek’s modern perpetual calendar chronographs, the Ref. 5970. It focuses on what is said to be the rarest of those 5970s, the yellow-gold version, a bad ass watch if every there was.
This week in “smart watches will end us all”. Fitbit had a pretty good 2018. Its smartwatch business continued to grow, and its healthcare business, after the acquisition of Twine Health in 2017, grew by about 25%. Fitbit is the number 2 player in the smartwatch market, and while it may seem like little consolation when Apple is the far-and-away number one player, it’s something. Fitbit is continuing this successful strategy with the launch of the Versa Lite. Selling price starts at $160, $40 cheaper than the normal Versa.
Some opinions on whether Blancpain is dying. Over on Watchuseek, one of the most heated discussions of the week was whether Blancpain is dying, or the next grail-status brand. Jean-Claude Biver’s original pet project, Blancpain is proving to be as divisive as his more modern efforts (cough Big Bang cough).
The RESCAPEMENT Watch Handbook
Introducing our latest project
Listen. I started RESCAPEMENT because I think the watch blogging industry is largely full of pretentious assholes sucking themselves off by waxing poetically about A Lange’s latest hand-engraved balance cock or whatever. Most readers just want (1) a good watch they can wear pretty much everyday, and (2) a lunchtime distraction. These publishers have also become extensions of the brands themselves, now just writing quick write ups about the latest releases and not really getting into the history of the brands or references. Info isn’t organized well, and if you’re just getting into watches, you have to search all around the internet to figure out that rattrapante is just the French word that some jerk watch blogger who took two semesters of French uses to describe a chronograph with two sweeping seconds hands. We’ve started a no-frills handbook (with memes!) to help you navigate the watch industry terms. some highlights:
Chronograph: The chronograph is for wannabe Paul Newman race car drivers who prefer messy dials yet actually drive a Prius. It's a stopwatch function built on top the time-telling watch, allowing you to time things like how fast you can walk from the couch to the fridge to get a beer, if your dog can do it faster, and how fast you can drive your Prius around your cul-de-sac.”
Date and Day-Date: A date is something you do with an individual you want to have sex with. Usually you start a date by talking about your watch collection, and what you want to get next #incoming #newwatchalert. This will so arouse the other individual that they'll likely jump across the table and take everything off you, except your watch. "Leave it on!" They'll say. "I want to watch that smoooooth seconds hand the whole time."
Equation of Time: It's calculated by: (a) adding up the number of people who care, (b) multiplying that by the number of people who can't afford a perpetual calendar but still wanted something that looked complicated, and (c) dividing that number and shoving it up your ass.
Ticks and Tocks
A photo report on Hodinkee’s Todd Snyder event (Rolex GMTs everywhere). The most popular book in each of the 50 states. Virgil Abloh: GQ’s oral history on the man who can “sell” anything. The attention economy is dead. The collector’s dilemma: what to wear, from Tinder dates to BBQs. A review of the new Citizen Eco-Drive One (it’s super thin). Five affordable dive watches that aren’t the Seiko SKX007. What really determines your coffee’s flavor. Why did Philadelphia ban cash-less stores?
Thanks for reading, and look for more Chicago get together information soon and remember to RSVP here!
Questions/comments/tips? Send them to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM @rescapement
Meme of the Week, in honor of Leap Day: