This is not a new watch. It has been around since 2011, updated in 2014, and now available on Mr Porter as well as the Nomos website. It offers the GMT function in an unusual format, and in fact it resembles a world-time watch even though in actual fact it only provides simultaneous times in two time zones, home time and one of the 24 time zones that can be selected using the pusher. A real world-timer shows home time, plus the time in all the time zones simultaneously.
Compact 40mm case
The Zürich Weltzeit is compact, at 39.9 mm diameter and just 10.85 mm thickness. It’s not a dress watch but it can slip effortlessly under a shirt sleeve, in part due to the shape of the lugs which slope downwards. It has the standard 3 atm water resistance – basically splash-proof. The black leather strap has a lovely soft greenish leather lining.
The dial has all of Nomos’ typical minimalism, even more so now that what was previously the word “Heimat” (home time) has been reduced to a stylized house. It marks the disc at 3 o’clock that displays home time with a 24-hour display. That’s the first thing that you set using the crown. Then you use the pusher at 2 o’clock to set your local time zone shown by the rotating cities ring, aligning the chosen city against the triangle at 12 o’clock. Then you press the recessed pusher at 8 o’clock to disengage the hour hand from the city ring, so that you can set the local time.
Easy to adjust to a new time zone
The watch is now set up and ready for use. At any moment you can press the 2 o’clock pusher to see the local time: each push moves the hour hand an hour forward and the city ring a city back. So even though it’s not a world timer, it’s more than a GMT watch, because repeated presses show you the time in any of the 24 time zones, and the city ring gives it the appearance of a world timer.
The Nomos Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit is powered by the in-house calibre DUW 5201, self-winding, with 42 hours power reserve. The movement incorporates the Nomos Swing System, which is their in-house escapement, comprising the balance and balance-spring, running at 3 Hertz, 21,600 vibrations per hour. Only very few watch companies make their own balance springs. Movement finish includes tempered blue screws, rhodium-plated surfaces with Glashütte ribbing and perlage, and Glashütte sunburst on ratchet and duplex wheels. It is adjusted in six positions, and has the stop-seconds feature.
Prices and references
This watch is at the top end of the Nomos Glashütte range, and it costs €4,420 including tax and shipping. It’s a remarkable price considering the complication, the in-house movement and its finish. The white-silvered dial version is reference 805: it is also available in a distinctive blue-grey colour that Nomos call nachtblau. This costs €4,540, and it is reference 807. More information from the Nomos Glashütte website.