If you’re like us, you have a long list of watches you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, and your desires remain unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series “Want This, Get This” presents a lust-worthy timepiece along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. This week, we’re celebrating German reunification and the Bauhaus design movement with two Teutonic tickers.
A watchmaker whose roots coincide with the reunification of Germany, NOMOS Glasshütte has become known as one of the best bang-for-your-buck values in the industry. Though NOMOS’s original lineup was powered by ETA ébauches, since 2005 they’ve completed manufacture of seven in-house calibers. Today, no matter which NOMOS you choose, you can rest assured that it’s powered by one of their exclusive movements.
The Tangente ($1750), like most of NOMOS’s watches, takes its design cues from the early 20th century German art movement known as Bauhaus. While the Tangente line has over a dozen variants, the example simply known as the “Tangente” is the quintessential Bauhaus option. The minimalist dial, with its small seconds hand and textbook Bauhaus numbers, lends a clean and striking appearance. This piece is powered by the hand-winding Alpha movement, NOMOS’s first in-house caliber. At 35 millimeters, the Tangente is classically sized, a breath of fresh air amidst the trend of ever-growing cases.
Little more than $1,700 will get you a Tangente with a stainless steel caseback (though we recommend springing for the sapphire caseback for a few hundred more), an amazing value for an in-house movement.
Stowa Antea KS
If the Bauhaus look suits you but the price tag doesn’t, don’t worry — NOMOS doesn’t have a monopoly on Bauhaus design. German brand Stowa, originally established in 1927, has seen a resurgence since it was bought by watch maker Jörg Schauer in 1996. Since then, the brand has maintained the history and reputation of its respected name.
One of Stowa’s original pieces, the Antea, relied heavily on Bauhaus design. The modern Antea KS ($1,000) closely resembles its historical predecessor, and side by side with the NOMOS Tangente it looks nearly identical. In fact, the Antea KS is powered by the Peseux 7001, the same movement NOMOS used prior to 2005, and the movement upon which NOMOS’s Alpha caliber is heavily based.
Since its resurgence in the late ’90s, Stowa has created a bit of a cult following. With the Antea KS coming in around $1,000 (without V.A.T.), they’ve proven that a worthy Bauhaus alternative is only a short trip away from Glashütte.