NOMOS Glashütte Ahoi for Doctors without Borders
Welcome to Doctor NOMOS.
If we set the Tangente Sport, which is the top-performing NOMOS Glashütte diving watch so far, apart, the Ahoi collection embodies the brand's take on the Sports watches par excellence. Those prominent, and squared, crown protectors are the hallmark of a timepiece (also) designed to ensure water tightness at up to 200 meters. With the recently revealed Ahoi for Doctors without Borders, NOMOS Glashütte adds two new options to this collection, while promoting an admirable project, aimed at actively supporting the German subsidiary of the Nobel Prize for Peace awarded NGO.
Before explaining what makes these two models, offered in two sizes (and mechanical movements), and each produced in 250 specimens, remarkable, let me highlight that NOMOS Glashütte will donate 250 Euros to Doctors without Borders for each sale. I believe you agree with me in praising the brand for such a high-value collaboration, even more so given the tough times we're living through, although the coronavirus usually has originally nothing to do with the organization's mission statement.
The NOMOS Glashütte Ahoi for MSF's (acronym for "Medecins sans Frontieres," in French) new variants are 36,3mm and 40,3mm, across, respectively (with their thickness differing by one millimeter from each other). Did the brand conceive products geared towards women and men, respectively? I guess they didn't, on paper at least, given the 36,3mm wide Ahoi has no date at all, and will undoubtedly attract many die-hard collectors whose 40,3mm sibling, with the date window, is just too much. Conversely, I'm sure the larger Ahoi might draw the women's attention too. To summarize, sizes and two tones (white and red) color combinations cover a broad audience across the board. From a product portfolio, they add to the Ahoi collection's fresher look and feel.
When taking a look at the timepieces once wrapped around your wrist, you perceive the design smoothly flows from case to bracelet, and back. The Ahoi for MSF showcases the Sport mesh bracelet, with virtually no visible gap between the links. The satin-brushed surface finish is so regular to provide a kind of "frosted" effect to it. It is something I once experienced when holding the brushed steel Octo Finissimo where, first and foremost, design meets function, and you end up feeling it is not an ordinary stainless steel bracelet. Kudos to the Saxon engineers for crafting a comfortable, top-notch, flawless multi-link bracelet whose only letdown regards the mirror-polished folding clasp, that I expect be prone to scratches pretty rapidly.
Although most watchmakers opt to integrate their bracelets into the case, the Ahoi for MSF comes with a Milanese-mesh inspired design instead. The end links are robustly attached to the squared lugs through a quick-release mechanism; by turning the bracelet upside-down, you can appreciate how consistent has been the micro-engineering effort. You can't adequately describe any NOMOS Glashütte timepiece unless you spend the right amount of time explaining its mechanical movement: small and big Ahoi for MSF come equipped with different in-house calibers: the 36,3mm wide one adopts the DUW 3001. In contrast, the 40,3mm houses the DUW 5101 instead (DUW is the German acronym for "Deutsche Uhrenwerke" - German Watch movements).
They share the signature 3/4 main plate design, a mainstream among Saxon watchmakers, and ensure slightly more than 40 hours of power reserve each, placing NOMOS Glashütte behind most competitors. However, it's wrong to draw any conclusion by just reading this part of the specs sheet, where each caliber stands out thanks to reduced thickness, exquisite finishes, and the proprietary Swing System escapement entirely developed by NOMOS, and quickly identifiable by the blue spring. Specifically, the DUW 3001 caliber is exceptionally thin and mechanically efficient (the gear train exceeds 94% efficiency) thanks to the adoption of low friction alloys too. Such a refined technical package proves how NOMOS Glashütte is committed to providing class-leading products, designed and manufactured to the highest standards possible, and explains the 3,440 Euros and 3,780 Euros price points, which I believe are fair.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori per Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®