This article was originally published in the March/April 2022 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine.
…the club of amply dimensioned steel watches with a fixed connection between the case and the bracelet. Nomos Glashütte relies on a specially created and customized construction to create a fluent connection in its largest and sportiest model. The blue dial also follows a current trend. We tested the new version of the Club Sport Neomatik prior to its market launch.
Nomos Glashütte provided us with a special tool so we could easily adjust the new stainless-steel bracelet of the Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue, our test watch, to our desired wrist size. This tool makes it easy to release the pins and remove or insert individual links in the bracelet. Three different points of attachment in the one-sided folding clasp work together to allow you to lengthen or shorten the bracelet by approximately 4 mm. Nomos designed the clasp in-house for the “Metallband Sport” bracelet about two years ago. A quick-change system in the clasp and one in the case make it convenient to remove one wristband and insert another. As we learned at the Nomos Forum in Glashütte, the classic three-link stainless-steel bracelet was developed and designed specifically for the Club Sport Neomatik, thus expanding the brand’s relatively new range of metal bracelets. The complex Sport bracelet, which contains 145 hand-screwed individual parts, is joined by a more conventional three-link stainless-steel bracelet. In contrast to the Sport bracelet, which connects to the case via ordinary pins, the new metal band relies on a fixed connecting piece and forms the popular integrated case-band connection. The bracelet and case appear to be inseparable and visually merge to form a single object. The case, which resists pressure to a considerable 30 bar and measures approximately 50 mm across, also fits snugly on a slender wrist because the first elements of the link bracelet are movable near the lugs.
The fact that the watch remains slim despite its large case is ensured by, among other things, automatic manufacture Caliber DUW 6101. This movement was first installed inside the brand’s eye-catching Autobahn model in 2018. The following year, it appeared in the Club Sport Neomatik, which, at the time, had a black dial. DUW 6101 was conceived as a slim caliber. This slimness was achieved by giving the movement a relatively large diameter of 35.2 mm, by designing a special arrangement of the gear train, and by creating an unusual method for setting the date display. The date’s patented system relies on two wheels with program control and a switching pawl. Instead of a conventional 24-hour wheel that turns once a day to advance the date, a smaller wheel rotates four times each day but carries the date disk along with it only once every 24 hours. The smaller wheel not only contributes to the caliber’s low height of just 3.6 mm but also engages more quickly, thus quadrupling the speed with which the date switches.
The switching time of the date is only 30 minutes. This means that the restricted periods, i.e., the intervals during which the date display should not be changed manually, are comparatively brief: about 45 minutes before and after midnight. And should you accidentally turn the crown during this time period, a slipping clutch prevents damage to the movement. The large diameter of Caliber DUW 6101 also provides ample space for an uncommonly large and therefore easy-toread date ring. The visible area inside the date window measures 14.6 square mm, which is almost three times as large as comparable calibers. As may be expected from a design-driven brand like Nomos, the date disk itself shares the blue color of the dial. The galvanized dial with its fine sunburst finish shimmers handsomely in the light and thus not only follows a color trend that has been going on for some time, it also reflects this watch’s philosophy.
With water resistance to a depth of 300 meters, this timepiece is suitable for any activity in the water. And although it is not a professional dive watch, Nomos explicitly states that the Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue can safely accompany its wearer into the water. With pressure resistance to 30 bar, the case is exceptionally robust. It has an extra-strong construction and is equipped with special sapphire crystals and seals. It also has a screw-down crown with a red tube that alerts you if the winding button has been left open and must be closed before jumping into the water. Firm pressure overcomes the spring’s slight resistance and securely shuts the crown. After the crown has been unscrewed, you can move from the manual winding position to the quick date-setting and hand-setting position with a gentle tug outward. When the crown is withdrawn to its middle position, the date display can be reset either forward or backward. This is possible because the date correction wheel is fixed and positioned outside the power train when manual date correction is not taking place. This is the constructive difference to a date display that can only be adjusted in one direction.
DUW 6101 is Nomos’s 11th in-house caliber. It follows the DUW 3001 as the second caliber in the Nomos Neomatik series. Nomos coined the term “Neomatik” to stand for “new automatic,” in other words, entirely newly designed Nomos automatic movements. “DUW” refers to Nomos Glashütte’s manufacturing expertise as a manufacturer of “Deutsche Uhrenwerke” (German watch movements) and also identifies those movements that originate from calibers originally designated by Greek letters. The difference can be seen in the architecture of the bridge, which is visible through the window of sapphire crystal in the screw-in back of the Club Sport Neomatik’s case. A three-quarter plate covers most of the movement, including the self-winding mechanism. A cutout in the plate reveals only a few wheels of the manual winding mechanism. The balance oscillates at a frequency of 3 Hz inside a specially shaped cutout. A sturdy bridge and not, as is usual, a cock holds the balance from above. Equipped with a thermally blued hairspring and a DUW fine adjustment mechanism, the balance is part of the Nomos Swing System. Nomos Glashütte adjusts all movements in six positions. We measured the timekeeping in five positions on our timing machine, where we discovered that the watch ran slower as its power reserve ran down, i.e., as the tension in the mainspring declined. It kept time very well when the mainspring was fully wound. On the wrist, the watch gained nearly 5 seconds per day.
Rhodium-plated hands with well-chosen lengths and widths show the time. White Super-LumiNova, which fills these hands, along with bold bar-shaped indexes and expressive numerals, glow in a particularly beautiful shade of azure blue when it gets dark. The galvanized dial is recessed under the numerals and indexes to accommodate plenty of luminescent material so it can shine brightly. Each hour is marked by either a numeral or an index; only the numeral 6 is missing. In its place, a subdial hosts the seconds hand and the inscription “1000ft,” which discreetly refers to the Club Sport Neomatik’s water resistance.
Nomos Glashütte Club Sport Neomatik 42 Date Blue Specs:
Manufacturer: Nomos Glashütte/SA Roland Schwertner KG, Ferdinand-Adolph-Lange-Platz 2, D-01768 Glashütte, Germany
Reference number: 782
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds subdial, date display with patented quick-set mechanism (forward and backward)
Movement: Manufacture Caliber DUW 6101, automatic, 21,600 vph, 27 jewels, stop-seconds, quick-set date adjusts in both directions, Nomos Swing System balance, Incabloc shock protection, Carl Haas thermally blued hairspring, DUW regulation system, 42-hour power reserve, diameter = 35.2 mm, height = 3.6 mm
Case: Stainless-steel case, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides above dial, sapphire crystal in caseback, water resistant to 300m
Bracelet and clasp: Stainless steel with quick-change system, pressure-activated one-sided folding clasp
Rate results: Deviation in seconds per 24 hours (Fully wound/after 24 hours)
Dimensions: Diameter = 42.08 mm, height = 10.43 mm, lug width = 20.0 mm, weight = 146.0 g
Variations: With black dial and Sport strap (Ref. 781, $4,060)
Bracelet and clasp (max. 10 points): New stainless-steel bracelet, in-house construction, functional clasp, quick-change system 9
Case (10): Slim case despite strong pressure resistance, special construction, threaded crown, integrated connection between case and wristband 9
Dial and hands (10): Trendy blue dial; the numerals, indexes and hands are tidy and clear. 9
Design (15): Nomos’ characteristically clear design language, slim case, readily recognizable as a Nomos watch. 14
Legibility (5): Optimum legibility by day and by night, strong contrasts, large date display. 5
Operation (5): Secure threaded crown snaps cleanly into place and is user-friendly; the bracelet has the Nomos quickchange system. 5
Wearing comfort (5): Slim case despite strong water resistance, high level of wearing comfort despite the comparatively large size of the case, integrated construction assures that the bracelet fits well. 5
Movement (20): New, modern, in-house caliber; secure, patented switching mechanism for the date display; Glashütte-style finishing; the power reserve is somewhat shortlived by today’s standards. 18
Rate results (10): The rate behavior showed a slight imbalance between the timing machine test and the wearing test; the rate went into the loss column as the mainspring tension declined. 7
Overall value (10): Alongside the iconic Tangente, Nomos Glashütte positions a sporty, trendy line with a modern movement that’s in sync with the brand’s philosophy. 9
TOTAL: 90 points