In the year 1845, a 30-year-old journeyman watchmaker from Dresden named Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his atelier in the Saxon town of Glashütte in eastern Germany. Three years later, he would become the mayor of the town. An hour’s drive now from the nearest city Dresden, Glashütte would eventually be transformed from an agricultural village into a modern industrial town.
The town flourished as Germany’s watchmaking hub producing high quality pocketwatches and marine chronometers right up to the end of World War II. After the war, the East German government nationalised the town’s many watchmaking companies into one state-run enterprise called the VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). Post the reunification of Germany in 1990, the GUB was dismantled and marked for privatisation and would lead to the re-establishment of A. Lange & Söhne (the company founded by F. A. Lange) and spawn the birth of brands like Glashütte Original and Nomos. In less than two decades, the town would re-establish itself as the heart of German watchmaking again.
To mark 175 years since the establishment of the town as a centre of fine watchmaking, Nomos has unveiled a trio of limited editions that pay homage to the Glashütte tradition. Nomos, the most prolific of the companies based here, chose its Ludwig range for these limited editions. Ludwig was a bit of an obvious choice as it is the most traditional of all their models, cue the pristine dial with Roman numerals, subtle indexes, railroad minute markers, and a slender case that’s reminiscent of a pocketwatch.
The three models come in three different sizes – 35 mm, 38.5 mm and 40.5 mm – but all of them feature polished white enamel dials, like those seen in pocketwatches, and tempered blue leaf-shaped hands to indicate the time. The sapphire crystal glass back features a limited edition engraving and the addition: “175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte.”
All three versions are powered by in-house movements. The 35 mm ‘Ludwig Neomatik’ (Ref. 205.S2) is slim at 6.8 mm, water-resistant to 30 meters, and powered by the hand-wound Alpha caliber, the first in-house movement made by the brand. The ‘Ludwig Neomatik 39 – 175 Years’ (250.S1), as the name suggests, has a 38.5 mm case that’s a smidgen thicker at 7 mm, and is powered by the self-winding Caliber DUW 3001. Measuring 28.8 mm in diameter and an ultra-slim 3.2 mm in height, it offers a power reserve of 43 hours and features the Nomos swing system with a tempered blue balance spring.
The ‘Ludwig Neomatik 41 – 175 Years’ (261.S1) has a 40.5 mm case that’s 7.7 mm thick. This version has a date window with the dates printed in Roman numerals too. DUW 6101, a self-winding movement equipped with a date mechanism with a bidirectional quick correction feature. All three movements are finished to a high quality with tempered blue screws standing out on rhodium-plated surfaces with Glashütte ribbing and perlage decoration.
The 35 mm version is priced at $2.260, the 38.5 mm version is $3,800, and the 40.5 mm version is $4,200.