You are currently viewing Nomos Tangente vs Metro – When Modern & Classic Clash

Nomos is one of the most sought-after German watch companies on the market. When mentioning the brand, people often think of the iconic (and best-selling) Nomos Tangente.

However, the Nomos Metro is a relatively new up-and-comer that gains more ground each year. With such a price disparity between the two, it can be hard to make the jump from Tangente to Metro.

Today, we will explore the differences between these two amazing pieces to see which one's right for you!

Nomos tangente (REf: 101)


Nomos Metro (Ref: 1101)


Case Diameter



Lug Width



Case Thickness





The Nomos Tangente collection has 22 variations, while the Metro's available in 13 iterations. For this reason, I chose to focus on the two original models for this review (REF101 Tangente, REF1101 Metro).

However, you should know that both watches are offered in different sizes (33-41mm for the Tangente,  33-39mm for the Metro). Also, they're both available with different functions such as date or no date, power reserve indicator or not, small seconds hand, etc..

Nomos Tangente vs Metro on wrist

From the table above, you can conclude two things: the Nomos Tangente is the slimmest of the two, and its lugs protrude significantly more. Indeed, the Tangente has a 1.3 length-to-diameter ratio, this figure is 1.2 for the Metro.

This means that for the same case diameter (ex: 38mm Tangente vs 38mm Metro), the Metro will look great on small-to-medium wrists whereas the Tangente will look better on large (7''+) wrists.

It's very important to take this into consideration before buying either watch since a normal 38mm piece can look great on you, but the 38mm Tangente might have a slight lug overhang.

Nomos tangente (REf: 101)


Nomos Metro (Ref: 1101)













43 Hours

Power Reserve

42 Hours

Hand-Wound, Hacking


Date display, Power Reserve Indicator, Hacking

Once again, the table above is true for the Tangente REF 101 and Metro Ref 1101. This doesn't mean that every other watch in the collection uses the same movement. As a matter of fact, the Alpha movement is also used in certain Metro models, and a DUW4401-powered Tangente is available too.

Nomos Alpha Caliber

As you can see above, functionality isn't the main selling point of the Nomos Alpha caliber. While it's a pretty accurate and reliable movement, the low frequency, 17 jewels, and 43 hours power reserve are comparable to the most basic Seiko movement.

However, this doesn't mean that the Alpha caliber isn't a true masterpiece. Where it shines the most is in its shape and style. For example, this caliber is 2.6mm thick, an outsandingly slender figure for a mechanical movement.

Nomos Tangente Thinness

This is what allows the Tangente to be so thin and gracious. Furthermore, the Alpha caliber is truly a feast for the eyes with its temperature-blued screws, rhodium plate, and Nomos perlage.

The DUW4401 caliber found in the original Nomos Metro is a bit more sophisticated. This one adds a few key features for certain types of collectors; a date display and a power reserve indicator.


The latter is particularly important for a hand-wound movement like the DUW4401 since it's not always charged like an automatic caliber. Also, the date display might be important for anyone working full-time, but not mandatory for a retiree.

What amazes me the most about this movement is that it's only 0,2mm thicker than the Alpha caliber. This is truly impressive considering the additional functions and the six extra jewels. It's also good to note that the power reserve is basically unaffected by these changes.

DUW4401 Caliber Nomos

While both movements are created in-house by Nomos, the DUW4401 has a bit more Nomos DNA since it uses their proprietary escapement. In their words, this officializes their independence from large corporate movement manufacturers.

Like the Alpha caliber, the DUW4401 is truly a gorgeous movement that's a pleasure to watch. Fortunately, the Metro #1101 comes with a sapphire case back that allows you to peek at it. I would've loved to see such a case back on the Tangente also, but apparently it's not "Bauhaus" enough.

Nomos tangente (REf: 101)


Nomos Metro (Ref: 1101)

Flat Sapphire


Domed Sapphire

3 ATM / 30M

Water Resistance

3 ATM / 30M

3-Piece Steel


Steel w/ Sapphire Back

Horween Leather


Horween Leather w/ Quick Change Spring Bars

The components of the two watches are very close to each other. This can be a bit disappointing since the Metro is much pricier than the Tangente. However, the price of these pieces is much more related to the craftsmanship behind them than the value of the parts.

Nomos Metro laying on side

Of course, sapphire is a given for crystals at this price point. The Tangente uses a flat crystal, which helps it stay as thin as possible and keeps the focus on functionality before anything else.

Conversely, the Nomos Metro has a slightly curved sapphire glass which makes it 1.3mm thicker than the Tangente (excluding the movement). Nomos says this helps the Metro look more modern, but I've always associated domed crystals with vintage pieces.

Both timepieces are rated for 30m of water resistance, so they will resist a few splashes but nothing more. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone since most people cringe at the idea of swimming with a $2-5,000 watch anyway.

Nomos Tangente case back

As I mentioned earlier, the Nomos Tangente sticks with a plain stainless steel case back, whereas the DUW4401 caliber can be looked-at through the Metro's sapphire case back.

For the strap, Nomos trusts the Horween Leather Company for almost all of their watches. This is a reputable company founded over 115 years ago that focuses on quality over quantity.

Both watches reviewed today feature the same Black Shell Cordovan leather material.  This is a rare and labor-intensive piece of leather that's exceptionally durable.

Nomos Horween Leather Black Cordovan Shell strap

The only difference between the Tangente and Metro's bracelet is the presence of quick-change spring bars on the latter. This allows you to change straps without the need for a tool.

Nomos tangente (REf: 101)


Nomos Metro (Ref: 1101)




Galvanized White


Galvanized Off-White

Temperature-Blued Pencils


Empire State Building

Arabic Numerals


Colorful Dots

The main thing you should know about the styling of these two timepieces is that the Nomos Tangente is classic & traditional, whereas the Metro tries to be a bit more modern & contemporary.

This mainly means that the Tangente will be more conservative and functional while the Metro is a bit more playful and adventurous.

Nomos Tangente Indices (Arabic Numerals)

For instance, the Nomos Tangente has highly legible Arabic numerals straight from the Bauhaus school of design. They're easy-to-read, simple, but frankly nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

Conversely, the Metro uses tiny black dots for most hour marks, with larger mint-colored dots for the 3/9/12 indices. This definitely looks good, but it might leave you scratching your head for a moment before reading the time accurately.

The Tangente's straightforward pencil hands are temperature-blued to increase the contrast with the glossy white dial. This makes for a very legible dial that looks good at the same time. Also, the Tangente's second count is measured on a separate subdial, which makes for a totally uncluttered look.


On the Metro, the hour and minute hands are completely black. According to Nomos, the shape of these hands is loosely based on the famous Empire State Building. The seconds hand is much simpler and features a red paint for increased legibility.

Of course, the Metro's dial is a bit more crowded, but it's definitely worth it. The power reserve is both useful and gorgeous, while the date display is big enough to read easily and blend in with the dial at the same time.

Nomos tangente (REf: 101)


Nomos Metro (Ref: 1101)










At this price point, the Nomos Tangente and Metro aren't only attracting millionaires with plenty of disposable income. The Metro being almost twice as expensive as the Tangente, some of us will definitely have to think twice before getting it.

Nomos Tangente Packaging

As you've learned above, the specs difference between the two watches isn't large enough to justify a $1,900 price gap. For instance, you can buy a Nomos Tangente with the same DUW4401 movement (power reserve indicator + date display) for $3,500, still $280 cheaper than the Metro.

In my mind, there's no doubt that the Tangente REF: 101 is the best bang-for-the-buck watch in Nomos' collection. However, if you prize the power reserve indicator and the date display, the Metro might be the better choice as it will stick out a bit more.

In conclusion, the Nomos Tangente and Nomos Metro are two excellent timepieces that should both be considered. The two main factors that should affect your decision are:

1- Which case shape you like better (long lug base for the Tangente vs short for the Metro).

2- Which dial layout you like the most (Clean & Uncluttered for Tangente vs Stylish & Functional for the Metro).

Also, you should get the Tangente if you're on a tighter budget and want something a bit more classic/conventional. Conversely, the Metro should be your next timepiece if you're looking for something modern(ish) and more exciting.

Get the Tangente if you:

get the Metro if you:

  • Have larger wrists
  • Like traditional styling
  • Are on a tighter budget
  • Have smaller wrists 
  • Like modern styling
  • Prioritize form over function

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