Editorial credit: pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Discussions about watches are always around brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer, Mont Blanc, and other major and well-known brands. Perhaps that’s because a well-known watch brand is often seen as a status symbol. But what about all the other brands that make excellent watches, often better than the well-known ones but are sadly underrated? What is the most underrated watch brand?

According to to watch enthusiasts and professional watchmakers, the most underrated watch brand is Nomos Glashütte. This stylish, high-quality German brand has won numerous awards within the watch industry for design, watchmaking craft, and sustainability, among other things.

It’s strange that a watch of such high quality is so unknown and underrated. Yet, very few people, even within the watch industry, have even heard of Nomos Glashütte. Let’s look at what makes these German watches so unique and why they aren’t more popular than they are.

Nomos Glashütte: The Most Underrated Watch Brand

Everyone has their personal opinion when it comes to underrated watch brands. Some would even say that some of the well-known brands are underrated despite their popularity, claiming that the particular brand deserves more recognition than it’s getting. However, when talking to impartial experts, the name Nomos Glashütte always seems to come up, and there are many reasons why.

Nomos Watches Are Excellent Quality

Nomos Glashütte was founded in early 1990 and is based in Glashütte, Germany. The company is already the largest watchmaker in Germany, despite being so young compared to Swiss watchmakers.

We all know that Germans are recognized for their attention to detail and fine-quality workmanship. Nomos carries this standard over into its watches. One of the things that makes Nomos different is that the company manufactures all of its own watches and components; none of it is outsourced. Very few watchmakers manufacture all of it on their own.

This quality and attention to detail are evident in how solid the watch is, including its weight, and also in the feedback you get when you send it in for a service. The Nomos technicians who service your watch write a detailed and complete report about the condition of the watch and what exactly they did during the service. That speaks of commitment and effort on the part of the manufacturer.

Nomos Won Several Awards

Nomos Glashütte received no less than 160 awards for various aspects of its watches. Some of these awards resulted from public votes, and others through professional juries who know the watchmaking industry inside and out. This is an incredible achievement for a watchmaker that’s barely 30 years old.

The awards that Nomos won include:

  • Capital Watch Award: three years in a row (2018 to 2020).
  • Chrono Award: Nomos won this Austrian award nine times. The award is based on style and commercial criteria for different classes of watches.
  • German Brand Award. Nomos won this one in 2016 and 2017 for being an exceptional German brand (which says a lot since Germany has many brands that people often consider exceptional).
  • European Product Design Award (ePDA). Nomos won it in 2019 for the Tangente neumatic 41 Update, Platinum model. The award’s deciding criteria are innovation, aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability.
  • Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. This is probably the most prestigious award within the watchmaking industry, awarded to promote Swiss watchmaking and its values. Remember that this is a German watchmaker winning a Swiss Watchmaker’s award. The model that won is the same Tangente neumatic 41 Update, Platinum, which won in 2018.
  • Uhr des Jahres. The name means “Watch of the Year,” and it’s an award given based on the votes of watch magazine readers. Nomos Glashütte models have won this award no less than 16 years since 2000 when Nomos first joined the competition.

The list goes on. There are too many awards to mention; they all focused on four things: style, quality, sustainability / green manufacturing, and commercial viability. If this incredible list of awards doesn’t convince you how underrated and underappreciated Nomos Glashütte watches are, then nothing will.

Nomos Is Incredibly Stylish

Nomos watches all have a distinct look and style about them. They are understated but with specific highlights that stand out. In fact, it’s that clean, understated look that draws attention to Nomos watches. Many Nomos owners claim that people who wear some “big brand” watches have stopped to compliment them on their stylish watches, often without knowing about Nomos.

A notable example is the Nomos Club Campus 38. The watch has a classy but understated look. The design is simple and clean, with no flashy colors or trinkets to make it stand out except for the second indicator, which is in its own little ring at the bottom. The second hand is tiny, but it’s in some unexpected color, like bright orange (there’s also a pink variant for Breast Cancer Awareness).

These delicate, almost imperceptible details make Nomos watches unique. They feel special, and they are calming to look at. Wearing a Nomos watch makes you feel like you’re a part of something incredible.

Editorial credit: pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Why Isn’t Nomos Glashütte Better Known?

The elite watch industry is not an easy one to break into. Swiss and Japanese watches tend to dominate the industry and, especially in the case of Swiss watches, created the perception that you go Swiss or leave it (and rightly so). But this leaves many German brands, including Nomos Glashütte, at a bit of a disadvantage.

It’s evident that this disadvantage is quite sizeable. Even after winning so many awards over the last decade, it’s still tricky for Nomos to become mainstream. Only recently have some watch retailers started stocking and selling Nomos Glashütte watches.

A big part of the reason is that people are creatures of habit, and once a person has an established idea about which brands signify quality, it doesn’t happen quickly. With Nomos, that change started to happen when colleges and universities began to give out Nomos watches as graduation gifts.

It means that a younger generation, who may not know watches well yet, will begin to recognize the brand by seeing and experiencing its quality first-hand. This effectively expands the market and makes Nomos watches more sought-after.

So, the solution comes down to a bit of creative marketing, which takes time. Just like luxury cars, if a person already knows they like a BMW, they won’t easily change their mind by seeing a Mercedes ad on TV. However, getting them to drive a Mercedes might do the trick. So standard marketing tactics won’t work.

It’s the same with luxury watches. Seeing an ad won’t change your mind about TAG Heuer or Rolex being the best if that’s what you believe. But when you actually get a Nomos Glashütte watch and start wearing it, you will experience the quality and elite character of the watch yourself, and you will be sold on the brand.

This takes time to implement effectively, but Nomos is making progress in that regard, and we’ll likely see more Nomos watches in stores over the next decade or two.


Nomos Glashütte is still a relatively unknown brand, even though the company’s watches have won numerous awards over the last decade. Awards and users all speak of exceptional quality and value, and Nomos watches are stylish and built to last. This watch brand is the most underrated in the industry, but you can make a statement by investing in a high-quality Nomos watch.


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