When you have a design movement that has been going strong for 100 years, how do you commemorate it? Just as its tenets adhere to a rule of elegant understatement, Junghans has done precisely that. To celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus design, the brand has released the Junghans Max Bill Automatic.
While I am not familiar with the actual building (that’s right, the Bauhaus is an actual place), the Junghans Max Bill Automatic is chock full of references to the iconic edifice. The matte silver dial — which presents as white — recalls the white walls of the interior. The anthracite case is a nod to the facade, and the grey strap evokes the concrete of the building. Or, you know, another way of looking at things is that it’s a simple gray-and-white palette that keeps things crisp, modern, and legible. There is another splash of color on the dial — red. This is most obvious in the date window (and I am a big fan of that) but it is also there on the handset. Again, this pulls from the Bauhaus, this time from its famous red doors.
Flip the Junghans Max Bill Automatic over, and you see the Bauhaus writ large — or should that be small? Regardless, Junghans has been quite clever here. Along with putting the fascia onto the caseback, it has used the large windowed surface of the building to give us a window onto the movement. Apparently, this is the first time the brand has done an exhibition caseback, so we’ve no doubt upset some “purists” somewhere. Me, I like it. Exhibition casebacks are interesting but they’re generally little more than a cutout with some sapphire slapped in there. Done as it is here, there’s an artistic element that just feels less forced.
So, that answers the question of how one commemorates 100 years of design. Rather than dip back into some older catalog design (and try to claim roots even further back), you just take an already established, almost timeless design, and link it back to one of the most renowned hotbeds of 20th-century design. If you’re looking to put some clean minimalism on your wrist (and not that stuff that so many Kickstarter watches try to lay claim to), one of the 1000 examples being produced of the Junghans Max Bill Automatic can be yours for $1,395. Visit junghans.de to learn more.
Tech Specs from Junghans
- Reference: 027/4901.02
- Movement: Self-winding movement J800.1 with a power reserve of 38 hours
- Stainless steel anthracite matt PVD-coated
- Ø 38.0 mm, height 9.7 mm, convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, 4-times screwed case back with mineral crystal and printed Bauhaus logo providing partial views of the movement
- Dial: Matt silver-plated dial, luminous dots
- Hands: Hands with environmentally-friendly Superluminova luminous substance
- Strap: Grey calf leather strap with PVD-coated buckle
- Water-resistance: Up to 3 bar
- Special feature: Date wheel and luminous substance in red