2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus and German watchmaker Junghans celebrates its working relationship with Bauhaus Swiss designer Max Bill with the Max Bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus watch and this limited edition of 222 sets comprised of an automatic chronograph and table clock – the Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2019. As you would expect, the tenet “form follows function” and the rational and functional philosophy of Bauhaus pervade the mood of both timepieces.
Two German Institutions
Junghans was founded in 1861 by Erhard Junghans in Schramberg (Black Forest) and by 1903 had become the largest manufacturer of clocks in the world, producing over 3 million timepieces a year.
The Staatliches Bauhaus was founded by architect Walter Gropius in 1919. Known as Bauhaus “building house”, this German art school (1919-1933) would become renowned for its purist, 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.
Max Bill, a Swiss artist who had studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1927-1928 and would go on to found the Ulm School of Design, was commissioned by Junghans to design a kitchen clock. Max Bill’s kitchen clock for Junghans was an expression of purist aesthetics and functionality “as far removed from any fashion as possible“.
The Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2019
The design of this chronograph is based on Max Bill’s watches of the early 1960s where legibility, functionality and understated design were the operative words. The stainless steel case has a 40mm diameter and a thickness of 14.4mm. The thin bezel, with the piston-style chronograph pushers on the right side, allows an expansive view of the domed matte silver-plated dial. The 30-minute and 12-hour counters are aligned vertically and depicted in a subtle grey colour, the same one used for the peripheral minute track. Even the black typography of the hour numerals and the “Junghans Chronoscope” lettering on the dial hark back to Max Bill’s wristwatches.
The hour and minute hands are treated with an “environmentally-friendly” luminous substance. On the reverse side, the screw-down caseback features an abstract geometric design (taken from Max Bill’s Variation 15 spiral design) and the designer’s signature. The watch is fitted with a self-winding movement (J880.2) with a power reserve of 48 hours. Incidentally, the day of the week is also available in English and the watch comes with a black calf leather strap and buckle.
Alongside the chronograph, Junghans includes a table clock with a black piano lacquer wooden case (165 x 175) and a mechanical movement with an 8-day power reserve. A large winding key is also provided in the presentation box.
PRICE and availability
The Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2019 is a limited edition of 222 pieces worldwide and retails for EUR 3,475 (incl. tax). More information at www.junghans.de.