Design Icons From The Black Forest – Junghans Max Bill
Two 100 Jahre Bauhaus design watches by Junghans: Max Bill Automatic and Max Bill Chronoscope.
The Black Forest-based brand is probably known for having the closest ties with this German design movement that started in 1919. There are of course other companies who drew inspiration for their watches from the Bauhaus but no company has ties as close as Junghans. So it was clear for them to release a number of limited editions this year celebrating this centenary. As you would imagine the timepieces they chose are models that connect Junghans and the Bauhaus. Don’t expect anything crazy, this design movement is not about a cavalcade of colors and shape. On the contrary, simple and clean lines with a lot of white. And a touch of red. We will have a closer look at two watches from the most famous Junghans model line: Max Bill.
I think most of you are familiar with the term Bauhaus. For those who aren1t, here’s a few info about the movement. Bauhaus (German for Building House) was an art school between 1919 to 1933 founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. They used the meaning of the name as “School of Building”, however, albeit Gropius was an architect the Bauhaus school had no architecture department. The idea behind it was to build art of all kinds. During its course of existence, it became one of the most influential currents in Modernism and especially Modernist Architecture. Bauhaus design is modern and different but functional and clean. The buildings were often white (or another light tone) with a splash of color. They mixed round and rectangular forms and often looked futuristic for the people of the 1920s. This is the DNA Junghans implemented in their timepieces.
max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus
An iconic watch from a Bauhaus legend. The Junghans max bill has been around for many years now. It was originally designed by Bauhaus student and renaissance man Max Bill. Throughout the year Junghans released numerous editions. Watches in different sizes with different movements. Some came alone and others in limited edition packages. When the average watch guy thinks of Junghans they think of Max Bill. When he arrived in Dessau where the famous Bauhaus school building is located he was taken aback by how different it looked. This watch incorporates all the features Max Bill noted as a surprise to him. The matt silver dial of the Junghans max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus is a representation of the white walls of the building. The PVD coated anthracite case stands for the facades while the grey strap is meant to symbolize the one material Bauhaus often used; concrete.
The most prominent feature of the watch is the subtle red details. This is a nod to the bright red door the aforementioned Bauhaus building has still to this day. You can find this red on the anthracite hands as well as on the date wheel. If you are not sure how the building looks like turn the watch over. On the case back you can see the Bauhaus school building, where the windows are actually the cut-outs for the display back. As you’d expect from Junghans the watch really looks and feels well-made. The leather strap is soft, the max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus looks cool on the wrist. It’s 38mm so not too large but as it’s a time-only watch that’s about the size other brands should go for too, in my opinion. The retail price is €1.225,-.
max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus
For the fans of Junghans who want a bit more than a 38mm time-only watch, we have a fine timepiece here. You know that Junghans produces many chronographs in their max bill collection as well as some Meister models and beyond. They thought it would be fitting to release a chronograph (well, chronoscope) as well for this centenary. This is how the Junghans max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus was born. Essentially it looks like any other Chronoscope with a few twists. Again, we have a white dial – representing the color of the walls – and the small red details – like the print on the date wheel and the model name on the dial – for the red door of the building. However, Junghans will only produce 100 pieces – for obvious reasons. Furthermore, this is the first tome Junghans releases a max bill Chronoscope in an 18k white gold case.
While the watch comes on a 20mm black leather strap, to match the case, the pin buckle is also 18k white gold with Junghans engraving on it. The back design is very similar to the max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus’ as it also features the Bauhaus school building with the same cut-outs for the display window. Obviously, due to the larger case size, the display window is also enlarged showing more of the Junghans J880.2 (ETA 7750). The case back bears the limitation number XXX/100 and the marking for the white gold case (750/18k). 5 screws hold the back to the case. One feature of the Chronoscope cases is that while the dial is large the back of the case is conoid. As the lugs are small the strap sits behind the bezel. The retail price of the max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus will be €7.950,-.
If you’d like to visit Junghans’ website, please click here. The prices in the article are the German retail prices including tax, which is roughly the same amount across Europe. For prices in the US or Asia, please refer to the website.