A luminous ring in orange red on a white dial face: NOMOS special model Autobahn A3 was named by Werner Aisslinger after the tourist route with which the designer has a love-hate relationship—the congested freeway stretches from Holland through Passau into Austria. The watch with the same name is one of three “Director’s Cut” editions from the renowned designer. The inspiration for these watches comes from the dashboards of beautiful vintage cars. And from other NOMOS timepieces: The typography of the hour numerals, seen here, shows the connection.
Back in 2014, world-renowned designers and partners Werner Aisslinger and Tina Bunyaprasit began collaborating with watchmakers, NOMOS Glashütte. Charged with creating a new timepiece, they drew inspiration from memories of road travel. Aisslinger explained: “The watch reminds my partner and I of holidays and outings in our childhood; memories of fun times spent with family on the road.”
But road travel isn’t always regarded in such idyllic terms, and motorways are rarely seen as wells of artistic inspiration. Increasingly, they are treated as stains on natural landscapes or deadly sources of pollution. Essentially, necessary evils, useful only as logistical means to economic ends.
But humans long for freedom and roads offer that. They’re the first lines of a novel, the arteries of adventure through which protagonists flow. It’s no wonder that driving is, for many, such a liberating experience. With the NOMOS Autobahn, Aisslinger captured that joy, that thrill of a high-speed twilight cruise, giving it material embodiment in an exquisite little timepiece.
The watch’s aesthetic inspiration is clear. Aisslinger says: “The zenith of automotive design gave us not only spectacular vehicle bodies and silhouettes but also interior designs and dashboard instruments.” Indeed, this watch looks and feels like a vintage two-seater.
The Autobahn’s luminous ring, gently sloping concave rehaut, and inclined seconds are all reminiscent of a classic car dashboard. While a quality car must be reliable over long distances, a great watch is reliable over time. So, instead of an odometer, the Autobahn features a 3-lane date function at its edge, a complication made possible by the in-house calibre, DUW 6101.
Three years later, the NOMOS Autobahn is back. Aisslinger said: “We launched Autobahn in 2018, and the models were well received. This success persuaded us to issue a special edition: the ‘Director’s Cut’ edition. These are watches with colors which appeal to me, but are a little too bold for a standard edition.”
There are three of them - the A3, A7, and A9 - each named after and inspired by one of Germany’s famous motorways. To celebrate 175 years of Glashütte watchmaking heritage, only 175 pieces of each are being released. These new editions also come with a new lightweight metal strap. Aisslinger says: “Cuts in the bracelet hearken back to driving gloves and so-called racing straps of another era.”
But owning a beautiful watch has always been about more than the final product. It’s about the process, the journey, about having something that has passed through multiple hands; the designer’s, the craftsman’s, and finally yours. For Aisslinger, the concept of the journey was always paramount: “NOMOS Autobahn signifies travel, an eye on the speedometer and a love of mechanical watches. An Autobahn on your wrist is more than just a timepiece.”
A special feature at night too: The orange red luminous ring of the white version of Autobahn, A3, shining brightly. All three watches, designed by Werner Aisslinger and made by NOMOS Glashütte, mark the occasion of 175 years of watchmaking heritage in Glashütte. They are each limited to 175 pieces.
As the longest German freeway, the A7 connects the north and the south. The designer, Werner Aisslinger, also loves it because it often takes him to his home, the Allgäu region, giving him a feeling of homecoming. He named the dark blue model with the yellow luminous ring after this route—an evocative and masculine watch that is typically Glashütte despite its striking features. Seen here: The beautiful Directors‘ Cut bracelet.
Even during the times of the Berlin Wall, the A9 freeway was the fastest route between Northeast and Southeast Germany for Werner Aisslinger. The black and gray tones of the dial are like a night trip along this freeway, which gives the watch its name. The designer still frequently takes this route from Berlin toward Italy. The deep curvature of the dial is particularly beautiful on this black dial face.
Set into the curve of the dial: The date display of NOMOS watch Autobahn—an elongated window showing yesterday, today, and tomorrow all at once. The date mechanism has received a patent: Positioned far out on the edge of the dial, controlled by a program disk (and not by the usual 24 hour wheel), this design saves space and downtime. The bidirectional quick correction with a special clutch is user-friendly and uncomplicated—a rarity in this price range, in other words.
The limited-edition engraving on the case back of the special model Autobahn from NOMOS Glashütte: The collector’s piece for 175 years of Glashütte watchmaking craft is also the “Director’s Cut” edition by the renowned designer Werner Aisslinger. The watches in three new colors are each limited to 175 pieces.
Makes a dashing impression: The movement of Autobahn, in-house caliber DUW 6101, is extremely slender. This enabled the designer Werner Aisslinger to add depth to the front side. The edge of the dial and the sub-seconds dial each slope into a curve—a completely new feature in this form. Despite this dynamic design, the elegant automatic watch measures only 10.5 millimeters in height. It is water resistant to 10 atm, 100 meters.
Autobahn A3 from NOMOS Glashütte, designed by Werner Aisslinger: The white version of the “Director’s Cut” editions features a luminous ring in orange red. Like the watch, the bracelet is also a creation of the renowned designer—manufactured in stainless steel, inspired by racing straps from decades ago. To mark the 175th year of watchmaking in Glashütte, the watches are also limited to 175 pieces worldwide. All three timepieces are adjusted according to chronometer standards, but this has not affected the price.
A new three-way for Autobahn: A9, A3, A7 (from left to right) are the names of the special edition versions of NOMOS watch Autobahn. All three are the favorite freeways of their designer Werner Aisslinger. To mark the occasion of 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, each is limited to 175 pieces worldwide.