To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, German brand Nomos revisits its square watch with its Tetra Symphony quartet. The Tetra Divine Spark is a member of this quartet and comes with a subtle yet warm copper-coloured dial, an in-house manual-winding movement and the stylish Bauhaus minimalism associated with the brand.
Nomos likes people to know that its watches are made in Glashütte – the cradle of German watchmaking – but also wants people to know that its design team resides in Berlin, in the Berlinerblau studio. Hip, young designers, with a keen appreciation of the design tenets postulated by Walter Gropius of the German Bauhaus art school, have created a refreshing line of watches with linear and geometrical forms, a marked absence of ornamentation and accessible prices. The motto ‘less is more’ might be the guiding light, but that does not mean that Nomos skimps on details. Michael Paul is the designer behind this Tetra Divine Spark and wanted the rich coppery colour of the dial to bring “light and warmth” to the wrist. Watches issuing from Nomos’s Glashütte manufacture are proudly ‘Made in Germany’ and are synonymous with high quality and a contemporary urbanite style.
It’s hip to be square
The Tetra (tetra meaning ‘four’) is the only collection of square watches at Nomos. There is the top-of-the-line gold Lux collection with its rounded rectangular case, but for a pure square shape, the Tetra is unique. Available in three sizes – 27.5mm, 29.5mm and 33mm (with automatic movement) – most of the models in the Tetra collection are straightforward two-handers with subsidiary seconds, although there are a few models with a power reserve indicator.
The Tetra Divine Spark measures 29.5mm x 29.5mm and has a very slim case height of just 6.3mm. The case is made from stainless steel with a screwed-in steel or sapphire crystal caseback and 30m water-resistance. Deceptively simple, the polished case is square, but the sides of the case and edges are rounded to produce a smooth, inviting surface. The double-stepped rounded lugs, clearly inspired by Art Deco motifs, add a sophisticated touch to the square case. The crown is large to facilitate winding.
Although the dimensions might seem small and perfect for women’s wrists, a 29.5mm square watch has a diagonal of 41mm, making it a very acceptable size for men’s wrists as well. In fact, if you look at the picture of the wrist shot, you can see that on a woman’s wrist, it is by no means diminutive and will get noticed.
Coppery salmon dial
This Tetra Divine Spark is meant to be inspired by the opening verse of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” (Joy! A spark of fire from heaven) which Beethoven set to music in his 9th Symphony. Michael Paul’s choice of a coppery or salmon colour for the dial no doubt references the ‘spark’ Schiller mentions. The attractive dial colour features a slightly grainy, matte surface for an understated effect.
The Arabic numerals are hallmark Nomos with the somewhat erratic minutes track that deviates from its course at the corners with longer, more separated markers that accentuate the four corners of the case. The simple baton-style hour and minute hands are crafted in gold, as is the shorter subsidiary seconds hand in the snailed counter at 6 o’clock.
The Tetra Divine Spark is equipped with the manual-winding calibre Alpha. The brand’s first in-house movement, Nomos uses the Alpha calibre across the board. With a sapphire crystal opening or a closed caseback option, the movement is ultra-thin measuring just 2.8mm thick and features a stop-seconds mechanism and a Glashütte stopwork.
Classic Glashütte details like the three-quarter plate and the Glashütte ribbing, along with the sunburst finish on the rachet and crown wheel and the blue tempered screws, denote the high level of attention devoted to the finishings. The movement has a 43-hour power reserve.
The Tetra Divine Spark comes with a light-grey velour leather strap. Supple and thin, the strap complements the lean profile of the watch perfectly and is attached to the wrist with a Nomos-branded pin buckle. The retail price of the Tetra Divine Spark with a closed caseback is EUR 1,660 and with a sapphire glass back EUR 1,880.
More information at Nomos.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.