Brian M. Afuang

Less Is More

Nomos Glashutte honors the Bauhaus movement’s centennial in 2019 with a limited edition Tangente

Fourteen years, from 1919 to 1933; that was exactly how long the Staatliches Bauhaus, or simply Bauhaus, existed. But Bauhaus, which translates literally to “construction (or building) house,” subsequently became more than just a school which, over the years, moved its operations across three German cities (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin), and which also saw a succession of just as many illustrious directors (Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe). Bauhaus evolved into a movement altogether, its focus on favoring rationality and functionality in design, rather than on ornamentation, came to influence art and architecture, the various design disciplines, and even typography. Its legacy can still be seen, if not felt, in numerous disciplines until today.

Nomos Glashutte is honoring the 100th year of the Bauhaus’s founding with a limited-edition piece of its Tangente, the brand’s most popular model that has often been considered as heavily influenced by the Bauhaus aesthetic. Besides this significant link, the Tangente is also Nomos’s signature, having been its first model since the brand was established in January 1990, barely two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It could be said then that while it was Bauhaus’s progressive, intellectual leaning which led to its closure, it was the collapse of communist rule in East Germany, in turn, which ironically gave birth to the Bauhaus-influenced Nomos Glashutte brand.

The special Tangente meant to commemorate the Bauhaus centennial will be available (beginning in late August) in a nine-piece collection, with each version limited to only 100 examples. The watches are housed in 33-, 35- and 38-millimeter cases, making them perfectly functional choices for both men and women.

Distinguishing the special Tangente pieces are their colorways inspired by Bauhaus master Paul Klee’s work. Taking off from Klee’s quote—“Art does not reproduce what is visible, it makes things visible”—the three sizes in which the watch come in are each available in a dial encircled by either red, yellow or blue marking. The bright primary color contrasts with the dial’s subtle beige hue, evoking that of a sketch pad’s paper, as well as with the black numerals and hands rendered in the Tangente’s signature font and look. The watches’ hands, Nomos explains, trace the perimeter of the color marking to depict time moving in a circle.

As a Tangente, all the watches, regardless of case size, are fitted with sapphire crystals and Horween shell cordovan leather straps. They are spun by Nomos’s in-house, manual-winding, 17-jewel Alpha calibre, which can be hacked and is decorated by blued screws and rhodium-plated surfaces with Glashutte ribbing and Nomos’s perlage. The Alpha has a power reserve of 43 hours.

The special Tangente pieces—well, if not all Nomos Glashutte watches, for that matter—are, according to the brand’s CEO Uwe Ahrendt, “timepieces that members of the Bauhaus movement would design and wear today.”

He explains; “After all, they went about their work then the same way that we do now when it comes to designing our watches, and the R&D that goes into the calibres… leaving the superfluous to one side, and being incredibly demanding when it comes to the details that remain.”
As Nomos puts it, the special Tangente is all about “concentrating on the essentials.” And that, simply, is so Bauhaus.


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