November 29, 2022

Following last year’s sell-out collaboration, the hotly anticipated NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit sequel is out now! The new “Blue Panda” limited-edition model features an exclusive windmill icon for the home time and comes in a series of only 100 pieces.

If you did not manage to get into the Fratello Shop last year within the first minute of the sale and missed the chance to pick up one of the original “Panda” Weltzeit watches, you may not want to hang around here too long. So, let me give you a gist of what we have in store (literally) for you this time.

The “Blue Panda” model

The new Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit limited edition is a gorgeous midnight-blue rendition of the German watchmaker’s flagship collection. This 39.9mm globetrotter’s watch brings a unique take on a popular complication — a GMT mechanism that gives the feel of a world timer. The DUW 5201 caliber and the majority of the timepiece are made in-house. The signature Fratello touches are the orange seconds hand, an orange triangular hour marker, and a windmill icon at 3 o’clock for a bit of Dutch flavor.

The travel-time function

Since I have no part in any of the brand collaborations, it is of as much pleasure as always to dispense an independent review. As such, I am going straight in for my own favorite feature of this watch. I absolutely adore the execution of the GMT function in the NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit. Evidently, I am not alone in this, given how popular the model has been since its debut in 2011.

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As a frequent world traveler, a multiple-time display is one of the most useful complications in a wristwatch. Even a GMT watch beats my iPhone because it tells me the home and local times at a glance. For someone like me, then, the Weltzeit is a dream. It offers the look and feel of a world timer and a GMT function that could hardly be simpler to use.

An outstanding GMT complication

Now, the dial of a world timer often looks a little busy due to the display of 24 cities representing 24 time zones, the extra 24-hour ring, and the map that usually decorates the center. Well, that’s not the case with the Weltzeit. NOMOS, being NOMOS, just has to do what it does best and stays true to its minimalist Bauhaus design codes. Et voila! Even for a watch that is somewhat busier than the rest of the Saxon watchmaker’s lineup, the Weltzeit simply looks clean and consummate.

In no small part, it is thanks to the partially hidden 24-hour home disc at 3 o’clock. It allows the display to open up and forgo an extra disc encircling the dial. Because of this, the Weltzeit is technically a GMT watch and not a true world timer. But if I am using it as intended when hopping between time zones, great looks and ease of use are all that matter to me.

The Blue Panda’s smooth operation

Another big win of the Weltzeit construction is the pusher at two o’clock to operate the travel-time display. Gone is the need to use the crown to adjust both home time and local time. Not only is setting the local time effortless, but it is also gratifying to see the global-city ring and the pair of slender hands shift in motion. If you would like to see how it works in a video, head over to the one Rob did last year for the inaugural edition here.

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Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit "Blue Panda"

The Fratello signature

The rest of the dial is characterized by the “Blue Panda” engine-turned subsidiary seconds indicator and the same color for the minute track. Dave told the saga of coercing NOMOS into using the windmill home-time icon just for this special edition. The front of the watch is fitted with a slightly domed sapphire crystal to its narrow bezel, while the back features an expansive, flat sapphire crystal. Both the front and back are designed to maximize your visual pleasure of the dial and inner workings.

Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit "Blue Panda"

A high-value engine

On the rear side is the aforementioned DUW 5201 caliber. This automatic movement features the manufacture’s proprietary Swing System escapement, a traditional German three-quarter plate, and 26 jewels. It beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The extent of the finishing on the movement is exceptional. It’s a feast for the eye with Glashütte ribbing (the equivalent of Geneva stripes in Germany), snailing, perlage, beveled edges, blued screws, and Glashütte sunburst polishing.

The Hannes Wettstein Case

This whole “Blue Panda” execution is housed in the Weltzeit case created by the late Hannes Wettstein. The lauded Swiss designer was known for mixing industrial lines with organic curves. The Weltzeit’s deceptively simplistic form is, in fact, NOMOS’s most complicated case construction. The lugs are individually finished before being attached to the body. It is an old-school and costly way of making a case. To smooth out the solder joints between the case and the lugs as if it were a one-piece construction requires intensive manual labor. The result is outstanding and clear to see. The perfect cleft seams give the impression of “suspended” lugs from a top view.

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The worldly style of the Blue Panda

And with that said, the stainless steel case measures 49.4mm lug to lug, 39.9mm wide, and 10.9mm tall. On the surround of the case back, it has an engraving with the watch’s limitation number (x/100) and an inscription of “The Hague Blue For Fratello”. The lugs sit 20mm apart and hold the new navy-blue woven strap for the “Blue Panda” model. This is the first time that NOMOS has paired a Weltzeit with a fabric strap. I believe it makes the watch even more versatile for business and casual settings and keeps it comfortable on the wrist while traveling through time zones.

Available now! The NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit “Blue Panda”

The Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit “Blue Panda” limited edition is available now in the Fratello Shop. The retail price is €4,620 including 21% Dutch VAT, or €3,818.18 excluding VAT. At the point of checkout, VAT will be adjusted according to your region once the shipping information is entered. The shipping cost is included, and the watches will be ready to ship in 3-5 business days.