Nomos Watches on Massdrop

Nomos Metro

I love watches, which is a horrible thing to be into if you're not independently wealthy (which I'm not). I just can't help it. And like many watch lovers, tiny details and seemingly minute things will either make a watch for me or ruin it entirely forever. When my in-laws (to be, at the time) offered to buy me a watch for my wedding a few years ago, it took months of research and obsessing to finally pick out the watch I own today and love, my Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche.

Buying a watch in person can be a real pain in the goat, though. You go to an authorized dealer (AD), an associate sizes you up, you talk a little bit and they try and they figure out if you're really serious or not while giving a couple watches a test drive, trying to reflect while you feel their eyes watching you. At some point, they may try and gauge your interest and offer you a certain % off retail to draw you in. I always feel a little awkward accepting their business cards and having to act like I might nonchalantly walk in and drop $10,000 at first blush (or ever, honestly).

If you don't want to go through that process or are trying to get the best upfront price possible, this is where the grey market retailers come in. The term sounds shady, I know, but grey market shops sell genuine watches for larger discounted prices as a trade off for not qualifying for manufacturer's warranty. The most notable of these is probably Jomashop, which usually has some of the most rock-bottom prices out there. 

Well, lately I've been noticing group-buy specialist Massdrop has been on a roll with its watch selection, recently featuring the gorgeous Bauhaus classic Junghans Max Bill line to my surprise. Back in the day, one of my friends was telling me people were voting to get Nomos watches onto the site, and I said it would never happen. Well, I'm happy to say I was dead wrong. They're here and they're fantastic.

German brand Nomos is a relative newcomer to the scene but have quickly become a prominent name in the industry, producing beautiful Bauhaus-style watches with in-house movements at an affordable price point (...for luxury watches - they're still brutally expensive for the average guy). They are minimally designed, yet still managed to have their own aesthetic voice,  well-balanced aesthetically, and beautifully manufactured. When I was trying to decide on my watch (the JLC), Nomos was in my top three (the last being the Omega Speedmaster Professional with Hesalite crystal).

Nomos Orion
Massdrop first started off offering the Nomos Club, the cheapest of their models I think to gauge interest, but most recently introduced the Orion for sale in both 35 mm and 38 mm case sizes. The Orion is probably my favorite of the Nomos lines - simple, yet legible stick hands and markers, a great hand-winding movement, slightly domed crystal, and an understated presence that's perfectly balanced and even more beautiful to appreciate in person. It has the rare ability of being both exceptionally elegant and incredibly versatile, and could be worn with a wide range of casual to dressier attire without looking out of place at all. As a daily wearer, it's perfect.

The price is $1770 from MSRP $2360, which is a bigger discount than Jomashop at $1888 and a great deal overall, even for grey market. Now I'm not expecting anyone to buy the watch on impulse - in fact, if you're not all that familiar or versed in mechanical watches I would actually advise against it until you get your bearings and develop your own sense of what interests you - but that is a solid price on an outstanding timepiece your unborn child will likely never deserve to inherit. I'd also be on the lookout for the Nomos Metro, which is a little quirkier but amazing in its own right, and the Tangente model, which is probably their most popular model.

If you're not into watches but would like to be, check out Hodinkee or Worn and Wound for starters. But a year from now, you may find yourself sitting around writing a post about how a $2000 watch is "pretty affordable" while eating ramen out of a plastic cup to save money. Don't say I didn't warn you.

If you are already into the watch scene, though...Nomos Orion for $1770! I know, pretty affordable, right?

Link to Don't Mourn, Organize Bridle Belt back on sale if you think this is all crazy but you want an amazing belt that hasn't been offered in about a year. Here's my prior review on that.

Here's my referral code for Massdrop, if you're not already a member (it's free and lets your browse their sales easily). I have to say I don't know what happens if I get 5 referrals, but I would imagine Ian Anderson shows up at my doorstep and gives me one of his Eidos Napoli coats or a healthy high five or something. That's probably what it is.

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