For years now, the Lambda has been the horological and stylistic flagship of the ultra-modern German brand Nomos. It represented the pinnacle of the company’s bauhaus vision, thanks to an austere, clean dial punctuated with an enormous power reserve, which celebrates the incredible movement hidden behind the dial. However, Nomos has always been a brand that has been respected as much for its excellent value as its horological pedigree, and for most fans, the Lambda, previously available only in precious metals, was simply out of reach. That might change today thanks to the introduction of three new LE Lambdas available in stainless steel, dramatically reducing the price to a fairly mainstream $7,500, all without compromising the features or quality.
In case you’re not familiar with the Lambda already, let’s take a quick look at what makes it so special. The first thing you notice, of course, is its ultra-modern dial. It’s extraordinarily clean, with no numerals or even applied hour markers to speak of. The hour markers that do exist are small and out of the way. Thin stick hands take up minimal space over the dial.
That is, except for the enormous power reserve complication in the most prominent place on the dial. It’s through the minimization of every other design element that this one is allowed to stand out because Nomos is very proud of its extended power reserve DUW 1001 movement. It’s a polarizing, and avant garde, design to be sure, but in a sea of tasteful, but otherwise unexciting, watches that the Lambda normally is up against, like Calatravas and Patrimonies, it manages to set itself apart in a uniquely German way. I’m somewhat known for my allegedly contrarian views on these things, but I love it.
The Lambda is more than just a beautiful dial, of course, particularly in this anniversary LE. It also has a characteristically Nomos case design, albeit now in steel. Nomos tends to emphasize basic shapes (lots of circles and straight lines) in its cases, as opposed to more complex, curvaceous shapes like those found in, say, an Aqua Terra. In my opinion, Nomos’ goal in case design is basically to get out of the way of the dial, so you usually end up with very thin, unadorned bezels and thin lugs.
The case is also well-proportioned for a modern everyday watch, at 40.5mm—slightly on the large side for a watch like this, particularly given its all-dial look (which tends to make watches appear larger), but not enormous by any means, and likely the smallest it could realistically get due to the size of the movement. Better yet is its thickness, at just 8.9mm. Of course, the most unique feature of the watch is perhaps its most ordinary, namely that it’s made from steel rather than gold.
But my favorite element, is, of course, the DUW 1001 movement, showing Nomos’ finest craftsmanship. In terms of features, we have a large 84 hour power reserve, resulting from dual mainsprings, but also an elegant swan neck fine adjustment mechanism, replacing the Triovis system used in almost all other Nomos movements. Stealing the show, however, is the hand-engraved balance cock, and the gold chatons. Interestingly, these new more affordable models are actually a little better than their counterparts in gold full production cases, if only because these movements are adjusted to match chronometer standards.
These three new Lambda LEs represent an interesting option for the Nomos fan. It’s certainly above what most Nomos collectors are accustomed to paying, yet for the diehard, it’s a chance to own the flagship model without skimping on any quality or features. Personally, because I have no attachment to precious metals whatsoever, I’d get it. I love how they look, particularly the silver 960.S1 and I think the movement is stunning. It’s very difficult to think of a watch in this price range that brings so many unique qualities to the table. Because they’re only making a 175 of each, I expect that they won’t last particularly long either.
Click any of the models below to visit its respective pre-order page.