Better grab this up-and-coming luxury watch before everyone learns about it
When I visited Glashütte in Germany a few years ago, one thing that stuck in my head was a roadside sign that said “Hier lebt di Zeit” which translates to “Here Lives Time.” It’s a fitting motto for a town known for the world’s biggest watchmaking industry outside of Switzerland.
Located about 40 minutes from Dresden, Glashütte’s population is only about 5000, and most of them are involved in watchmaking in one way or another. While the biggest brands here trace their history back about 200 years, one of the most recent upstarts has carved a name for itself for quality and excellence after less than three decades of existence.
Nomos Glashütte was founded two months after the Berlin Wall fell in 1990. Named after the Greek word for “law,” the brand arrived in Manila after a chance meeting between Nomos Glashütte Vice President Merlin Schwertner and young entrepreneurs Jason Soong and Ian Dy at the Basel Fair last year. Soong and Dy are the men behind It’s ‘Bout Time, a premium timepiece distribution company that counts among its roster brands like U-Boat, Glycine, Dietrich, and Jean Richard.
Soong is also known for his family’s luxury car distribution company, which includes Ferrari, Land Rover, Maserati, Jaguar, and, most recently, Aston Martin.
“We just hit it off and I knew they were as passionate about quality timepieces as we are so I knew that the partnership was going to work,” said Schwertner.
I asked him what made the German watch brand unique and he was quick to answer that, in an industry dominated by brands under giant conglomerates, Nomos Glashütte is one of the few remaining watchmakers that is entirely independent.
“We also make our own movements in-house, which not a lot of other watchmakers can claim,” he added.
One other thing Nomos Glashütte is proud of is how it has developed its own escapement, or the system that powers a mechanical watch. Schwertner said that most top-end brands source this part from Swiss experts so for a small, independent watchmaking company to produce and use its own is nothing short of revolutionary.
At the official Manila launch, which happened at the Aston Martin showroom in Bonifacio Global City, Schwertner introduced the current lineup of Nomos Glashütte watches, including the Tangente, Tangomat, Tetra and Orion. The timepieces are elegant and understated and should appeal to those who like their watches subtle and functional.
Industry reports say that the German watch industry, led by the brands in Glashütte, is thriving even as many brands in Switzerland are facing challenges particularly with a slowdown in sales in China, where a government crackdown on corruption has created a ripple across different luxury brands. For Nomos Glashütte, while Schwertner declined to say exactly how many watches they produce annually, he says it’s enough to make the company profitable. And their expansion into developing countries like the Philippines should only add to their bottom line.
Nomos Glashütte is available at Washington Watches at Powerplant Mall, Makati City; and Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.