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Thread: NOMOS Zurich Weltzeit - Review

  1. #1
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    NOMOS Zurich Weltzeit - Review

    Nomos is a brand that needs no introduction on watch forums; the plucky independent “manufacture” from Glashütte that could. The Zürich Weltzeit however, is not one that is seen too often, it is after all their most most expensive flagship serially produced model, setting aside the limited Lux and Lambda.



    As stated in my recent SOTC thread, although I owned a couple of nice mechanicals before, Nomos is where my journey into the WIS rabbit hole truly started. In house, independent, often unique, sometimes quirky and always superb value, it is no wonder Nomos is held in such high esteem by nearly everyone who knows something about watches.

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...ned-afterwards

    I have always liked the idea of a world timer watch. Practically though, they tend to be a bit messy in that they often have rather busy dials; different daylight savings policies around and the adjustment system as outlined by Rdenny's thread here can mean they don't actually make great travel watches sometimes.

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...and-Worldtimer


    The Weltzeit, meaning world time, however, is in fact not a world timer at all, rather it is a dual time zone watch. The main hands display the time in your local frame of reference whilst the little disc at 3 o’ clock shows the 24hr time in your home time zone. This set up is an important feature for me in a true travel watch.

    Like the world timer though, the city ring gives it a certain air… a certain romance.



    Many dual time zone watches such as the JLC Master Geographic or the Lange 1 Time Zone conceptually similar yet show the local time on a small sub dial whilst displaying the home time on the main dial. Even worse they are date watches with the date connected to home time... Such watches are office travellers watches IMO. Useful for checking the time zone of a colleague overseas but not ideal for when you are travelling yourself.






    On the Nomos, the local time is selected using a push button at the 2 o’clock position. The action is lighter than some chronographs I’ve used and the whole mechanism clicks with a wonderfully tactile and solid manner.


    Initial set up does require the use of a recessed pusher near the lug at 8 o’clock. First you select your home time zone on the ring using the button at 2 and set the time. Then adjust the home time disc using the recessed pusher to match.



    All in all the complication is beautifully executed, well thought out, and very convenient. However there are a couple of minor issues which worth bringing up.

    As with true world timers, the issue of daylight savings can come up. Whilst the JLC has extra markers next to cities observing DST, the Nomos omits this. Although my home doesn’t use DST, many places I travel to do. However, I don’t mind as I prefer the clean look of the Nomos. And rather than messing around with adjusting the watch, if I’m heading to London during the summer, just set the ring +1 to Berlin.

    The use of a pusher means changing time zones isn’t as quick as using the crown as on the JLC, nor can it be set backwards. Again not a big issue for a travel watch but not so helpful if you like to use it as a quick reference.

    It also doesn’t play nice with half hour or quarter how time zones. So the complication is useless when travelling to places like neighbouring Sri Lanka which observes GMT +5.30

    I think the most sophisticated time zone complication might be from another neighbour, Glashütte Original in fact. Seen first in their limited Grand Cosmopolite Tourbillon with Perpetual Calendar and recently at Baselworld 2015 in the new Senator Cosmopolite. The GO mechanism supports all 37 time zones around the world including x.30 and x.15 hours time zones as well as optional DST for every time zone. Day night indicators for both home and local time, grande date tied to the local time, local time displayed by the main dial with home time in a sub dial, backwards and forwards time zone adjustment; they got everything PERFECT in terms of the complication. However, as usual, many publications didn't give the coverage GO deserved or failed to pick up on the significance of how well executed the complication is.




    Anyway I digress, we are talking about Nomos, which despite its limitations compared to the GO, is I think better looking (from the front at least!). The most striking thing about the Nomos aesthetics is of course that dial. Although not strictly minimalist, the dial is the cleanest I’ve seen in a watch with a fully visible city ring. There is incredible depth to the dial created by the multiple layers; the outer ring, the city ring, the small seconds, and the home time ring are all on different levels and there is a dramatic gap between the centre of the dial and the outer chapter ring. The dial is silver plated and the sub seconds dial has some circular snailing. The polished and faceted hands are quite legible against the white dial too. Along with the anti-reflective crystal giving a "direct" view of the dial, the overall effect is quite stunning.







    The case is well made and all polished, and doesn’t draw much attention away from the dial. The polished surfaces means its a bit of a scratch magnet. The first scratch bothers you of course, but once it picks up a few its just charming evidence of its travels around the world. The 39.9mm case is a good size although the lugs are a bit long. They are fine on my 6.7 inch wrist but might make the watch wear too large for some.

    It originally came on a very comfortable black shell cordovan strap but very recently I’ve discovered that it looks excellent on a vintage style tan strap. Has a great smart casual look with the brown strap but can suffice as a dress watch on the black.



    The watch is powered by the Xi caliber developed and built in house by Nomos. It beats at 28,800 bph, has bi-directional automatic winding and a power reserve of 42 hours. It is in fact a very interesting and beautiful looking movement with blued screws, “glashutte stripes”, perlage and a sunburst on the main barrel. There is also a nice view of the bi-directional winding system. The edges are also beveled but they are not so apparent except in direct light as they don’t seem to be highly polished. Still the level of finish is excellent for the price point.









    One of the most interesting aspects is that the main plates on the movement are finished in what Nomos called on their website “black gold”. The rotor on the hand is plated in Rhodium as is standard. Under some conditions, when the light catches the rotor just so, the difference between the dark grey finish of the movement and the bright Rhodium can be very apparent. However, most reviews I’ve read on this watch don’t mention this. Moreover the DUW 5201 with in house Swing System escapement that replaced the Xi seems to have regular Rhodium plating all over. I still don’t know what that “black gold” finish is, perhaps I should write to Nomos and ask for a clarification.

    A clever lighting mix brought out the following picture... the darker main plates reflected the warm light better whilst the white lights reflected off the rotor cleanly.





    Nomos has of course recently released a Weltzeit True Blue model with a great looking blue dial. Personally I still prefer the white. I do like the quirky looking house symbol replacing the more severe looking “Heimat” on mine. On Nomos’ website the white model shows a house symbol too now but again an all Rhodium plated movement rather than the more interesting contrast finishing on mine. Anyway, I have no buyers remorse due to the newer releases nor the swing system update.


    So what can I say in conclusion? I think the Nomos is excellent value for money. In my opinion, functionally it is the second best watch in its (rather niche) class ahead of far more expensive watches from the likes of Lange, surpassed again only by a GO that costs at least five times as much if not more. It represents superb horological value. It looks unique and beautiful without being flashy. More than anything, its been a trusty travel companion.



    Last edited by tempocalypse; Apr 15, 2015 at 04:02 PM.
    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

  2. #2
    Nice review w/ even better pics.It's for sure a beauty-Thank You for sharing your thoughts..

    IMO it looks better on the minimal stitch shoes
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  3. #3
    Great review! Really liking it on that tan strap.

  4. #4
    Thanks for yet another great review. Your attention to details, and as usual, fantastic shots make these reviews very, very meaningful for someone who needs just that little bit more to help them decide.

    Thanks again.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watchdaddy1 View Post
    Nice review w/ even better pics.It's for sure a beauty-Thank You for sharing your thoughts..

    IMO it looks better on the minimal stitch shoes
    Quote Originally Posted by -JP View Post
    Great review! Really liking it on that tan strap.
    Thanks a lot guys! I am really digging the brown strap too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutty28 View Post
    Thanks for yet another great review. Your attention to details, and as usual, fantastic shots make these reviews very, very meaningful for someone who needs just that little bit more to help them decide.

    Thanks again.




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    You're welcome, glad its been helpful! Thanks for reading.
    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

  6. #6
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Excellent and informative review of a fascinating watch. Thanks for taking the trouble.

  7. #7
    A really great insightful review and fantastic pictures. The Nomos is just beautiful (and I love your camera too)

  8. #8
    Happily unadjusted 😜 popoki nui's Avatar
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    Excellent review! So much detail in both the information, and photography. Nicely done!


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  9. #9
    Excellent review of a very unique watch! Seeing what they could do with a worldtimer/GMT watch makes me wonder what they would do with a chronograph. Nomos is such a great brand.

  10. #10
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Great review. I had a chance last October to try on both the White and blue versions. Generally if true white is an option I'm in, but I do kind of liked the house icon on the blue. Good to know it's now on the white.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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