Watches usually get assessed based on their performance and aesthetics, but what about their ability to help people in need? The new limited-edition NOMOS Tangente 38 earns high marks in that category too. Produced by German watchmaker NOMOS Glasshütte, the Tangente 38 50 Ans Médecins Sans Frontières celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and a portion of each sale supports MSF’s lifesaving work around the world.
MSF was founded in Paris in 1971 by a group of French doctors who saw a dire need for medical help in developing countries around the world. While it began as a rag-tag group of doctors and 300 volunteers, it’s since grown into a prominent aid organization with over 30,000 employees. Since 1980, MSF has treated over a hundred million patients and responded to pressing humanitarian disasters across the globe, from earthquakes to famines and more. It also helps with more routine work, like vaccination efforts, in places that lack adequate healthcare.
While the overall aesthetic is subtle, the new Tangente 38 includes several unique design details that honor the organization’s five decades of work. The bright red “12” on the dial helps the watch stand out from similar timepieces in the NOMOS lineup, and it also references the red MSF logo. The minimalist black-and-white dial has “50 ans de Médecins Sans Frontières” inscribed along the bottom, near the six o’clock position, and the same phrase is also engraved on the case back.
Aside from that, the watch comes with a handsome polished 37.5mm stainless-steel case, a separate chronograph dial at six o’clock, and a muted gray textile strap. A manually wound Alpha movement ticks away underneath the sleek exterior, and it offers a 43-hour power reserve.
It’s easy to overdo it with lots of extraneous details, especially for a limited-edition timepiece like this, but we appreciate that NOMOS kept things simple. The pop of color at the top of the dial and the small engravings make it clear this is a special Tangente 38, yet they allow the clean, minimalist aesthetic to shine through. It celebrates a great organization without looking like an advertisement on your wrist.
It’s also highly collectible: NOMOS will make just 2,021 examples, a reference to the year of the watch’s release. And if you decide to grab one, your purchase will support MSF’s vital healthcare projects around the globe. According to NOMOS, 100 euros (roughly $121) from each sale will be donated directly to the organization.
A watch with a story and a mission—that’s something worth owning.
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