If you’re a regular to this site, you’d already know that we appreciate watches almost as much as we appreciate cars. A fine mechanical timepiece can be just as enjoyable to own as a fine sports car or luxury car. There’s something special feeling about wearing a nice mechanical watch on your wrist, knowing that it’s ticking away on its own underneath the face. It’s like wearing a tiny little machine. Actually, it is having a tiny machine on your wrist, as a mechanical watch is exactly that. And if you’re a fan of BMWs, or any premium automaker for that matter, you can probably appreciate the art of fine watches. BMWs, though, are rather simplistic on the surface, hiding the impressive mechanics underneath. If you want a watch that can mimic that ideal, then the NOMOS Tangomat Datum could be for you.
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NOMOS is one of my personal favorite watch brands, as it’s a brand that focuses more on substance rather than sizzle. It’s not trying to be flashy, just to provide impressive mechanical watches, with superb build quality at a reasonable price. The Tangomat is one of the brand’s most popular watches and for good reason. Its subtle design and minimalist looks make it attractive while still being stylish. It also boasts a completely in-house movement (as do all NOMOS watches), which isn’t something that can be said for most watch companies. And, NOMOS is based out of Glashütte Germany, one of the finer areas in the world for watchmaking.
The classic NOMOS Tangomat Datum comes with a stainless steel case and just a single crown with two simple lugs. The case itself is about as simple as it gets. It spans 38.3 mm in diameter and measures 8.3 thick, making it a small and subtle watch. The small size is refreshing nowadays, as most luxury watches are just growing to almost ridiculous sizes, now. The average Hublot seems like a manhole cover by comparison.
On the surface is sapphire crystal glass that covers a white face with plain black numbers and blued hands. It’s all very simple but very elegant and easy to read. There’s a 60-second subdial at the “6” position with a single date window beneath that. You can get a standard Tangomat without the date but it looks a bit better with it. If you flip the watch over, though, it’s true beauty is revealed. The sapphire crystal caseback gives you a view of the beautiful handmade movement underneath. The beautifully machined rotor, gold gears and blued screws make for mechanical art work on the back of the watch. The movement itself is an in-house, handmade, 26 jewel, bi-directional automatic movement, dubbed Caliber ζ (Zeta) by NOMOS.
The NOMOS Tangomat Datum is a beautifully made watch with a genuinely superb movement underneath and it’s handmade in Germany, yet is completely reasonably priced. The Tangomat Datum runs $3,860 USD, which is considerably cheaper than anything of its caliber from Switzerland or Germany. If you can afford a new BMW, you can afford the NOMOS Tangomat Datum and it’s a great watch to accompany your sine, yet subtle, German car.