As we’ve already mentioned in previous articles, this year German brand Junghans is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus, the German school of design – which is closely related with the brand, and to its famed designer, Max Bill, resulting in minimalistic watches with excellent design. Following this commemorative collection, the brand introduces a special version of its signature chronograph, the Junghans max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus.
Bauhaus + Max Bill = Junghans
Junghans was founded in 1861 by Erhard Junghans in Schramberg (Black Forest). By 1903, the company would become extremely successful, becoming the largest manufacturer of clocks in the world, producing over 3 million timepieces a year.
On the other hand, you have “The Staatliches Bauhaus”, a movement founded by architect Walter Gropius in 1919. Known as Bauhaus “building house”, this German art school (1919-1933) would become renowned for its minimalistic, modernist approach to the arts and would exert an enormous influence on graphic, interior and industrial design. The tenets of Bauhaus included the absence of ornamentation and the harmony between the function of an object and its design. Knowing that, you can probably see the link with Junghans now.
To conceive some of its watches and clocks, Junghans commissioned Max Bill, a Swiss artist who had studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1927-1928, to design a kitchen clock – an expression of purist aesthetics and functionality that would later be the base for Junghans’ design codes.
The Junghans max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus
With this background in mind, this year Junghans is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school of design, by launching limited editions based on their most iconic models. After the Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2019 and the Junghans max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus we selected in this buying guide, it is time for the brand’s chronograph to “suit down”.
The main point of this “100 Jahre Bauhaus” collection is to express minimalism, both in design elements – reduce to the bare minimum – and the colours – monochromatic with just a hint of colour.
All Junghans watches feature extra-thin bezels, pure dials and soft cases. The Junghans Meister Calendar, a classic from the brand, already demonstrates that. But with the Junghans max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus, the brand goes even further in its modernist, purist approach.
The case, which measures 40mm in diameter with almost no bezel, is executed in matte anthracite obtained by a PVD-coating on steel. It is combined with a light grey leather strap, for a modest scheme in shades of grey. The watch is protected by a sapphire crystal, highly domed to follow the curves of the case.
The dial is also all about functionality, with no distracting elements. It is presented in matte silvery-white, with thin, almost tone-on-tone markers. The hands are black for better contrast, with red, environmentally friendly Super-LumiNova. This “nude” dial is surprisingly elegant and recognizable. The date is also treated in red, a colour often found in Bauhaus design.
Powering this max bill Chronoscope, under a mineral glass caseback with printed Bauhaus logo providing partial views of the movement, is a classic automatic 7750-based calibre. Nothing fancy here, just a good, reliable movement.
Price and availability
The Junghans max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus (ref. 027/4902.02) is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, available from October 2019. It will be priced at EUR 1,995. More details at www.junghans.de.