Cultural Perspectives • 08 Nov 2016

Who Was Max Bill, Designer Extraordinaire?

by Victor Toth


As we see fads come and go, there are a few remain evergreen, those that seem to never lose their appeal no matter what is the latest prevailing taste in design. If there ever was a style that fits this description, it would have to be Bauhaus. And if we are talking Bauhaus and watches, then who else but Junghans and its Max Bill collection.

First, a quick rundown on this unapologetically Germanic school of design: formally known as Staatliches Bauhaus, it was an art school that operated between 1919 and 1933 in Germany, combining crafts and the fine arts, quickly making a name for itself for the approach to design that it publicised and taught.

Trademark elements of Bauhaus include the absence of fancy ornamentation, with the form and function of an object working together seamlessly in creating a design ruled by clean lines and basic geometric shapes.

Max Bill, after studying at the Bauhaus school under Wassily Kandinsky, the famed Russian painter and art theorist, went on to dedicate his life to perfecting Bauhaus design. His works ultimately became one of the biggest influences on Swiss graphic design.

Bill, having worked as an architect, artist, painter, as well as an industrial and graphic designer, created elegant clocks and watches for the German watchmaker Junghans in the ’50s and ’60s.

Historically, the Junghans Max Bill three-hand watches have always been either manually wound or automatics, with the chronograph models and quartz versions later joining the line.

Today there are five main Max Bill models from Junghans, namely the Chronoscope automatic chronograph, as well as the self-explanatory Max Bill Automatic, Max Bill Quartz, Max Bill Hand-Winding and Max Bill Ladies lines of watches.

Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope

Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope

 

All of these are made available in a wide range of dial, case and strap color combinations, as well as sizes for every wrist. The Chronoscope measures 40mm in diameter, the Automatic and Quartz models 38mm, the hand-wound versions pieces a more vintage-like 34mm, while the ladies’ watches are a very wearable and feminine 32.7mm.

Junghans Max Bill Ladies

Junghans Max Bill Ladies

 

With their highly competitive pricing as well as all the different color combinations – all of which seem to perfectly work with Max Bill’s clean and refined design – the Junghans Max Bill collections are worth checking out.

For more information, please schedule an appointment with our Sales Consultant here.


Victor Toth

Victor Toth is a Prague-based, professional photographer-turned-watch enthusiast and freelance journalist, whose journey into the complex world of fine watchmaking had begun a number of years ago. Over this time it has become his passion to share his understanding of the finer details of beautiful timepieces, all in an effort to encourage a more thorough appreciation of this wonderful and complex universe of fine mechanics.


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