The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!
Yes, they are. Only this time round, their arrival is not accompanied by air raid sirens and cries of the ‘Third Reich’. Heck, this is the kind of German invasion we would welcome even! So without further ado, let’s get to know the two stars leading the charge for today’s Quickie segment. First off, we have the Nomos Glashütte Metro Date Power Reserve (ref. 1101) and right behind, the Stowa Flieger 36 90th Anniversary Limited Edition.
For those of you who aren’t exactly familiar with the Quickie, we recommend you check out our first installment here to find out how this differs from a regular review. All clear, then? Let’s move on.
Nomos Glashütte Metro Date Power Reserve (ref. 1101)
When it comes to Bauhaus-inspired aesthetics, no one does it better than Nomos Glashütte. The German watchmaker has been churning out watches with a minimalist approach since its inception in 1990. Of course, historians would know that the region of Glashütte itself is known as the central point in the German watchmaking industry. Aside from Nomos, brands like Glashütte Original and A. Lange & Söhne also call this region home.
Also, here is a bit of trivia for you – did you know that Nomos Glashütte is the largest manufacturer of mechanical watches in Germany? Yeah, it’s true. With that said, let’s zero in on the Nomos Glashütte Metro Date Power Reserve. Case wise, the stainless steel affair measures in at a modest 37 mm with a (slightly) domed sapphire crystal. The see-through case back also features a sapphire unit.
With an officially rated thickness of just 7.65 mm, the Metro Date Power Reserve wears extremely thin on the wrist. While I didn’t get to spend much time with it, my brief encounter was enough to confirm an extraordinary level of finishing. The build quality is more than enough to put certain high-end watches to shame, for sure. All this with a price tag of US$3,780 (RM15,008). While that is not exactly cheap, you do get a lot of watch for the money.
Need more convincing? Well, behind that sapphire crystal case back sits the DUW 4401 calibre. The hand-wound, 23-jeweled calibre is Nomos’ own and features the brand’s proprietary ‘Swing System’ escapement. Power reserve is rated at 42 hours. As for water resistance, you’re looking at just 30 metres so let’s just say it’s splash-proof. Other features include sub-seconds, date display and hacking. The DUW 4401 beats at a rate of 3 Hz.
Finally, the leather strap itself is a black Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan unit. Also, for those who change straps more often than they do with underwear, Nomos has equipped quick-change spring bars to easier facilitate such a habit. Lug width, by the way, measures in at 18 mm.
Stowa Flieger 36 mm 90th Anniversary Limited Edition
Before we continue, let’s get this out of the way – this model is sold out. All 90 units have been snapped up so I guess the price tag of €941 (RM4,373) doesn’t really matter. With that said, a 43 mm version sans logo is still available for order at €1,210 (RM5,618) on the Stowa website.
At a glance, the 90th anniversary model looks close to the original Flieger Classic 36 without logo but there are two key differences. First, the hour markers and hands are painted with “Old Radium” luminous material. Fret not, Stowa reassures us that it is based on Super-LumiNova and therefore, completely safe. The next visual marker is only available if you opt for the automatic version as the rotor features a special anniversary engraving.
Aside from that, most of the hardware is similar to the regular Flieger Classic 36. The stainless steel case measures in at 36 mm and stretches 44.6 mm lug-to-lug. Lug width itself is 18 mm and water resistance is capped at 50 metres. As is the case with the original, buyers of the 90th anniversary model get to choose between an automatic or hand-wound movement.
Opting for the automatic nets you an ETA 2824-2 with 25 jewels and a beat rate of 4 Hz. Although Stowa does not specify a power reserve figure, the 2824-2 is known to store between 38 to 40 hours of juice. On the other hand, the manual-wound ETA 2804-2 comes with 17 jewels and beats at a rate of 4 Hz as well. Once again, Stowa has not stated an official figure but a quick check online reveals that said movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
Although yours truly only got the handle the Stowa for less than an hour, it was enough to make me want one. Badly. The finishing is brilliant and it certainly does not help that this author has a penchant for simple, time-only field watches. The icing on the cake was the inclusion of the hand-wound movement. I had to contain myself from emitting less-than-appropriate moans when winding it up.
“So, you basically teased yourself into a state of horogical blue balls?”
Yes, yes I did. AND I DONT REGRET THAT ONE BIT.
Well, perhaps just a little. I will admit that the price of the Nomos Metro means that it will be out of reach for me for some time. The Stowa, however, has just released unhealthy levels of ‘want’ in me. Truth be told, I’m glad that it is sold out. Why? Because I will have to accept that the only model I can plonk for is the Flieger Classic 36 without Logo.
Which, at €831 (RM3,870), would mean that I only have to feed on instant noodles and frozen wedges for approximately 65 days. What about the rest of you? How much do you have to
punish yourselves save in order to afford your next attainable grail? Let me know in the comments below.