NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte
A few watch geeks are aware that 175 years ago, the small town of Glashütte, which counts more than just 7,000 people today, began setting itself as the "Silicon Valley" of German watchmaking and the most challenging competitor to the Swiss-made industry. Interestingly, NOMOS Glashütte, the youngest and minimalism-inspired brand among the Saxon watch manufacturers, was the first and only brand to celebrate such a remarkable milestone, back in July. With the newly introduced Ludwig anniversary collection, we get our hands on one of the most classic NOMOS timepieces ever and enlarge our brand coverage by extending to something considerably different from Autobahn, Orion, Ahoi.
Available with either hand-wind or automatic movements, the NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig 175 Years of Watchmaking collection comes in three product variations, totaling 175 pieces (each) covering case sizes from 35 to 40,5mm, across. The entry-price option is hand-wound; the other two are self-winding instead. They share the signature in-house approach true to NOMOS Glashütte's company vision. Three are the main attributes that set these new Ludwig apart from the most modern offering; a pure white enamel dial with blued leaf-shaped hands, and a "chemin de fer" minute track. The biggest one is also showcasing a large date window whose date comes in Roman numerals as well.
Regarding date and dial, I guess this Ludwig's full Roman display dial is unique; what a pity the brand's designers didn't dare by turning the number three by ninety degrees clockwise, and making it the twelfth index, once a month. Additionally, as you progress towards the end of each month, the date display becomes too crowded, due to the Roman numerals standard additive logic.
The white enameled dial is among those traits you can fully appreciate from up close and stands out when that dial houses a slightly recessed counter. The enameling is exquisitely executed and flawless and makes the dial shine. The 35mm NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig is my cup of tea; it is unfortunately relatively small for my wrist, but perfect for unisex or women's wrists like Giulia's, the professional violin player who played an opera from another Ludwig, during our photo-shooting session.
The smallest Ludwig is the most classic timepiece NOMOS has ever produced: it houses the hand-wound Alpha caliber, it is thin, and shares Roman numerals and blued hands with its largest siblings. I wonder what a 38,5mm Alpha-powered Ludwig might look like, but, case in point, the NOMOS watchmakers opted for a DUW3001 in-house movement, whose rating precision meets chronometric standards (like the two self-winding calibers).
The top-end model is a 40,5mm timepiece housing the DUW6101 caliber, whose overall size grows to 35,2mm from a DUW3001's original 28,8mm. From a design and engineering perspective, this choice is in keeping with the brand's approach of creating sleek proportioned timepieces inside and out, where form meets function and the other way around. The 40,5mm version is the most refined and the most adaptable to bigger wrists, although it is relatively thin. The NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig 175 Years of Watchmaking product range's thickness starts at 6,8mm, and stops at an incredible 7,7mm, proving how well-thought-through are the NOMOS Glashütte automatic movements. The retail price starts at 1,800 Euros, making the hand-wound Ludwig the more affordable so far.
The 38,5 and 40,5mm neomatik come at 2,800 Euros and 3,300 Euros sticker prices, respectively. Truth to tell, the DUWs offer uncommon technical prowess, including the proprietary in-house developed Swing System and reduced thickness in this class of timepieces. The icing on the cake, NOMOS Glashütte equipped all the Ludwig with a soft Cordovan leather strap crafted by Horween tannery. Dating back to 1905, Horween prides itself with producing premium hand-stitched leather straps and replacement straps for the most demanding watch enthusiasts.
(Photo credit: Luigi Grandillo for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®