Just a stone throw from the craziness of BaselWorld along the side of Hall 1 lays the Hotel du Commerce. For a week during the fair the building becomes the headquarters of Junghans. Since years now, the Schramberg-based company holds their annual BaselWorld meetings here and we are always in attendance. It is not a regular catch-up though, Junghans offers more than an espresso and a chocolate from the bowl. They occupy the restaurant and invite their partners for a casual lunch & product presentation. It is a very rare occasion for us to get out of the halls to see the sunlight, sit down, have a proper meal, a nice glass of wine and do what we do best; discuss watches. This year we sat together with Mr. Matthias Stotz CEO of Junghans who gave us the “grand tour” among the novelties of this year.
We saw more affordable time-only pieces than ever before this BaselWorld. Junghans also follows this trend. They will launch a new collection called “FORM” referring to the classic watch form paired with modern design. Junghans FORM A will be the time-only models while Junghans FORM C will have chronographs. We saw both collections and I quite like them in all honesty (as always). FORM A watches are beautiful and simple pieces only 9.5mm thick and 39.1mm wide. They feature white concave dials where the square minute track is embossed.
Inside you can find the caliber J800.2 a self-winding ETA-based movement with 38 hours of power reserve and quick-set for the date feature. While the design is very similar to the Max Bill watches, the Junghans FORM A models appeal more to the younger audience. They come with four different calfskin straps. Two out of the four models have straps where the back and the edge of the strap color matches the color of the accents on the dial. The price of the Junghans FORM A will be €840 in Germany. A price that is more than fair in this range, I believe.
For those of you who fancy chronographs, Junghans also offers the FORM C collections. These watches have a chronograph movement. Though the movement here is not automatic but quartz (€449 in Germany), it is a no-brainer if you prefer the comfort that a quartz movement offers compared to mechanical movements. Only a tad bit larger than the Junghans FORM A with a thickness of 10.5mm and diameter of 40mm, the Junghans FORM C features the classic 2-sub dial chronograph layout. The sub dials are at 12 and 6 with a date at 3 o’clock. Just like the FORM A, the FORM C comes in a stainless steel case with flat sapphire crystal, anti reflecting coating and flat pump chronograph pushers. Dial is again concave; one version only has indexes and the other features the hours with Arabic numerals, just like the time-only versions.
The Meister Driver line also received a few new additions this year. If you are not familiar with the collection: Junghans has a strong tie to the automobile industry. Arthur Junghans was friends with the Daimler and the Maybach families; the Steim family (current owners of Junghans) has an amazing car collection of more than 110 examples. These classic automobiles are of big influence for the Junghans designers. The Meister Driver models are an example of that inspiration. The Automatic is the smaller one, only 38.4mm in diameter and 9.9mm thick. The Day Date is a tad bit larger 40.4mm in diameter and 11.9mm thick. Both watches house an automatic movements with up to 38 hours of power reserve.
The dials resemble the outline of a vintage car’s dashboard. This is mostly recognizable with the Meister Driver Day Date. Here, the wide and narrow windows for the day and date are at 12 and 6 o’clock. The Meister Driver Automatic comes in both stainless steel and gold PVD cases. The steel version is €990 and the gold PVD is €1090 while the Meister Driver DayDate comes only in steel with a price tag of €1290.
Junghans also showed us the new DLC version of their Meister Pilot watches. These pieces are nothing new to the readers of Fratello Watches. We have reviewed the piece and also went to the official launching in Schramberg two years ago. Now they offer the same watches but in DLC coated steel cases at €2440.
Another interesting set we saw was the Junghans Max Bill Edition 2017. This box features quartz Max Bill watches (38mm) with a special caseback. The print on the back is called “grafische reihen” (graphic series) and Max Bill created it in the late 1930’s. The box also contains a booklet and a table clock. It has the same dial layout as the watch and the exact same art print on the back. The price for this collector’s set is €990 and if you only wish to buy the watch it can be yours for €495.
For further information on Junghans please visit their website.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more