A shape like no other – the new Nomos Tetra “Die Kapriziöse”
Square watches are not new, we have seen this shape for a long time now, but for some reason round watches are the norm, not sure if it started with pocket watches or perhaps because of the number layout, it just makes more sense, but we can safely say that round watches are the norm, they look classic and up to certain point they are more legible. There are many shapes that can host our beloved watches, but to be honest a wrist can only fit so much, as soon as watch houses started to experiment with forms, we found unusual cases that really work, as an example we have the Hamilton Ventura, so ahead of its time, then Cartier with the Pebble and the JLC reverso with a rectangular case, the designs got better and better and to be honest more interesting, so when Nomos Glashutte was kind enough to let us try their new Tetra “Die Kapriziöse” model, I didn’t even hesitate. I never had the chance to review complete square dress watch, all the questions that go through you head are: is it going to fit? Would it be too small? Would it be too big? Does it look out of place? ... well, I will try to cover all these questions because the watch feels great on the wrist, but I was concern at the beginning that it was not for me but, I managed to keep my mind open, and I am glad I did, let us begin.
The “Die Kapriziöse” which literally mean the capricious and it is one of the new color shades that came out of their design studio in Berlin, the attention to detail to this dial is something I haven’t seen ever at this price point, the pink/salmon dial is flawless, a grainy texture that is very subtle, it is a very pale pink, but it looks spot on. Nomos being Nomos added a sub second dial with a circular silver finish and a yellow seconds hand, if you ask me the combination of these colors do not make sense but when you put them together in the Tetra, it just works, it is playful but not to the point if feels like a toy, it feel less serious but not less sophisticated, a very hard balance to achieve. I am not entirely sure the exact color shade of the numerals, it’s a mixture of dark red with dark purple, look incredible under the macro and gives this nice contrast without being too harsh. The case is 29.5mm by 29.5mm with a lug to lug of 40.5 mm makes the Tetra a perfect square, I would say is on the smaller side but still has lots of presence on my 6.25-inch wrist, it also falls into the elegant category but with a salmon dial and a yellow seconds hand, can be dressed down nicely.
On the back of the square, we have the famous Alpha caliber which is already and institution for Nomos, it is nicely finished and love how they incorporate a round exhibition case back, of course I would have love to see a square shaped caliber but in order to arrive to that level of craftsmanship, you will have to go to the Nomos Lux collection, that caliber is another level, but the Alpha is here to do work, an in house engine that is proven and tested.
On the wrist
As mentioned above, before I received the new Tetra “Die Kapriziöse” I was concern how it will fit, is a shape that I am not used to and, as much as you read the dimensions, nothing beats the real perspective of trying the watch on. The Tetra feels great, is very thin at 6.3mm which means that sits nicely on any wrist that wants to use it, it is key to understand that because the dial is square and has more surface than an equivalent 29mm piece, it just feels bigger. What I love about all Nomos design cues is that the watches have little or almost no bezel, it leaves the dial breathe nicely and because the numerals are so far out, the hands look long and elegant, thy are simple but fits the overall piece, this is not a design that happened over night, everything is well thought, nothing feels out of place. The quality of the dial can be appreciated on the macros, the printing is crisp, the hands well machined and finished to perfection, even if you feel like this is a simple 3 hander you will always be able to catch up something different every time you see the dial