Mr Prenzel, you redesigned this caliber from start to finish. What does that mean—and where did you begin?
For neomatik date, we examined each of the 188 parts individually, since we wanted to make an entirely new, easy-to-use, and quick-setting date mechanism. It was a challenge to achieve this within a height of just 3.6 millimeters. We already had a lot to draw on from the development of other NOMOS calibers, the NOMOS swing system, and our proprietary gear train over the years. We had a lot of knowledge to work with, which helped. And of course, these days we have entirely new technical options in comparison to the watchmakers that designed calibers in the 1970s—which incidentally is when the majority of calibers working within watches today were created. There are a few very expensive exceptions. And NOMOS Glashütte.
What exactly makes your new date mechanism so special?
The new date mechanism allows you to travel half a month with only a few turns of the crown. Not only forwards, but backwards too. You can occasionally find this feature elsewhere, but it is unique in our price range. The placement of the date ring around the caliber is standard at NOMOS Glashütte. But this time we’ve taken it to the next level; the date is not only easy to set, but the display window is also generously proportioned and placed at the edge of the dial. My colleagues in the product design department were delighted about this new caliber—as it has opened up new opportunities in design.
How is it possible to fit all of these advantages into a height of just 3.6 millimeters?
Since we design every individual part ourselves and make nearly of them ourselves too, we had several options to work with. These options keep us thinking creatively. We redesigned the winding system from start to finish as well. And to save space, we let the double click gear, duplex wheel, and rotor intermediate wheel take over the function of the stopwork.
How long did it take to develop the new date caliber?
It took a good three years from the first specifications with sample parts, tools, and drafts of the caliber until the finished movement could be produced in series. And that’s our whole department—which is a great deal of work, given that there are twelve of us working in research and development. But we weren’t only working on neomatik date during this time.
neomatik date consists of 188 parts. Do you have a favorite one?
The program disk, a triangle with rounded edges. It allows us to save a great deal of space within the caliber; we could place a smaller wheel at ten o’clock. It only changes the date forward once a day, but it turns four times within 24 hours. Thanks to the program disk, there is a program at the heart of this watch that will never need an update—as it’s completely mechanical.