By Eleanor Pryor
While many luxury watch brands’ ethical efforts remain confined to flashy fundraising galas, this year’s Baselworld saw a number of companies demonstrate a concerted undertaking to integrate a more conscious element into the core of their business – from Shinola Detroit, whose Made in America timepieces aim to bring life back into the US city’s now bankrupt economy to Fonderie 47, with profits from watches and jewellery constructed from AK47 parts going back into rebuilding the lives these weapons have destroyed.
Having made a name for itself with its subtly offbeat approach to the industry, Saxony brand NOMOS Glashütte is, perhaps unsurprisingly, keen to use its continued success as an opportunity to make a difference. Following on from its batch of limited-edition watches produced for Germany, the brand is now bringing to the UK market its range of special models made in aid of Nobel Peace Prize-winning emergency aid organisation Doctors Without Borders.
An adaptation of NOMOS Glashütte’s most popular model, the special-edition Tangente – a minimalistic, Bauhaus-inspired piece of horological design – comes in two different versions, 35mm or a more petite 32.8mm in diameter, each bearing unique traits that sets it apart from the brand’s normal offerings. Most notably, each bears a red ‘12’ on the dial – a nod to the charity’s official colour, while NOMOS Glashütte’s trademark blue tempered hands are replaced with black ones. What’s more, the typical ‘Made in Germany’ motif is also eschewed in favour of the name of the charity. This is of great significance, as NOMOS Glashütte timepieces more than exceed the quota for the amount of a watch’s movement to be made in the country to qualify for the accolade, with up to 95 per cent of a NOMOS Glashütte calibre’s value added in-house.
‘The brand is now bringing to the UK market its range of special models made in aid of Nobel Peace Prize-winning emergency aid organisation Doctors Without Borders.
Each version will be made in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, with £100 from the sale of each watch going towards the life-saving work of Doctors Without Borders, which provides essential relief operations for millions of people worldwide. Far from using the charitable connections to up the cost, however, each of these watches will retail at the manufacture’s standard, impressively low prices – £1,350 for the 35mm and £1,220 for the 32.8mm – meaning that, should all the timepieces sell, NOMOS Glashütte will be donating £200,000 to the charity from this run alone.
NOMOS Glashütte has always presented good value, with quality, well-designed watches powered by in-house movements for little over a grand, but with this proposition you are getting a collectable watch that gives back, without spending an extra penny.