German watch company Junghans has built their business around the modernist tenets of Bauhaus design. That minimalist approach lead to the creation of the watchmakers’ Max Bill collection, and now they’re adding to that collection with a chronograph and two three-hand watches done in black and white.
Erhard Junghans founded the company that bears his name in 1861 in Schramberg (Black Forest). By 1903, Junghans had become the largest manufacturer of clocks in the world, making over 3 million timepieces every year. During this time of unparalleled success, Junghans turned to Swiss architect, sculptor, painter and product and graphic designer Max Bill to design a new kitchen clock. The design Bill came up with became the Exacta of 1957. That clock soon became a table clock (in 1958) and then was adapted into a wristwatch model in1961. Throughout it all, the Exacta design remained true to Bill’s study of Bauhaus in Dessau from 1927 to 1928. The watches were expressions of aesthetics and functionality that were “as far removed from any fashion as possible.” Those same principles still hold true today and are reflected in the new additions to the collection.
The Chronoscope looks like it was plucked from a black and white photograph. Gray and silver dominate the looks of the watch, and the matte finish underplays any ostentation. The watch is made of a 40mm case done in steel with a matte anthracite PVD coating. Classic piston pushers activate the chronograph, while the thin bezel provides a wide view of the white dial. Max Bill’s typeface is used for the numbers, logo, and inscription. Two sub-dials—a 30 minute and a 12-hour counters—are found at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. At 3 o’clock there are two apertures for the day and date. The watch comes with a matte grey calf leather strap that holds a PVD-coated pin buckle.
Following the same mold is the automatic addition to the Max Bill collection. This watch is also done in greys and comes in either a 38mm or 34mm case. These watches use an automatic Sellita SW-300 movement with a 42-hour power reserve. A bevelled date window sits at 3 o’clock.
The Chronoscope is listed at EUR 1,895, while the automatics are available for EUR 1,095 or EUR 995, depending on the size.