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By Gary Girdvainis

Max is back and minimal is original. Sixty years after the launch of the Max Bill Automatic, Junghans has revisited not only that minimalistic design, but has dared to offer it in the authentic 34mm original size.

An original Max Bill watch from 1961 (left) and a new model, with date. Both are 34mm in diameter.

Tiny by today’s standards (for a men’s watch), the 34mm watch is powered by an automatic movement under a dial bereft of excess – or anything distracting, except, for some, a date display. Two dial options offer a choice between an numeral-free edition or a model with Arabic numerals in a fine font.

Whether with simple stick markers or Arabic numerals, the austere dial keeps the smaller size from feeling too crowded, while the almost-nonexistent bezel adds volume and expanse to the scant case.

Water resistance is nominal at 30 meters and good for splashes and rain, while a double-coated sapphire crystal reaches to the very perimeter of the case. A truly unisex watch, the modern rendition ranges in price from $1,095 to $1,195 depending on the case finish and strap or bracelet choice.

 

Among the watches Junghans debuted this year to celebrate its 160th anniversary is this set of three 38mm Max Bill minimalist-style watches.

Each of the three steel-cased timepieces – a Max Bill Automatic, a Max Bill MEGA Kleine Sekunde (small second) and a Max Bill Regulator – come in their own case and are also housed in a special edition box. Each watch presents the time in its own manner, as delineated by each individual name.

A Junghans ETA-based automatic movement powers two models while the third, the small seconds model, is powered by a Junghans-built multi-frequency, radio-controlled movement. The small seconds model is essentially a perpetual calendar with time-setting precise to a second. Junghans offers an app to control the watch’s settings. 

Max Bill Regulator

As a reminder, Junghans released its Max Bill models in 1956, five years after the German-based watchmaker’s collaboration with the minimalist Bauhaus artist.

Max Bill MEGA Kleine Sekunde (small second).

All three models sport a similar color scheme: anthracite, beige gray and orange.  Junghans places luminous material at the top of each dial within the 12 o’clock index as well as on the hands and the interior lining of the orange strap. The case and the edging of the calf leather strap match in the dark steely anthracite, though the outer strap is beige.

Max Bill Automatic.

The Max Bill Bauhaus minimalist style is evident on the dial of each watch. Luminous twin dots at 12 o’clock integrate in the number 60 while thin hands, markers and font characterize the design over the white dial. Additionally, a special edition engraving is featured on the case back of each watch. Limited to 1,060 pieces worldwide

Junghans engraves the back of each special edition.

 Price for the set of three: $4,900.

 

Junghans celebrates its 160th anniversary this year with an impressive array of new watches that primarily feature the German-based watchmaker and clockmaker’s historically based Max Bill and Meister collections.

The new Junghans Max Bill Regulator is one of three Max Bill watches offered as part of a limited edition set.

In addition, Junghans adds a limited-edition model to its newer, minimalist Form line while also reviving a long-time favorite kitchen clock/timer it originally debuted in the 1950s.

Junghans has revived a kitchen clock/timer originally sold in the 1950s.

Here, we’ll focus on the additions to the Meister line, with special attention to the Meister Signature Hand-winding Edition 160. Look to future postings for details about the clock and the Max Bill collection updates, or check them out here on the Junghans website.

Gold Meister

The new Meister Signature Hand-winding Edition 160 is a manual-wind model cased in 18-karat gold and fit with an interesting Junghans movement that oscillates at a leisurely 18,000 bph. Measuring a wrist-friendly 39mm in diameter, the limited edition (of 160) watch recalls dress watch styling from the 1960s and 1970s, which Junghans underscores with a decidedly retro rendition of its brand name, as seen on Junghans products of yore.

The new Junghans Meister Signature Hand-winding Edition 160.

Junghans produced the original J620 hand-winding movement between 1966 and 1975 and utilized it for a wide range of mechanical three-hand wristwatches. The J620 can also be found in the Junghans Olympic series of 14-karat gold watches made in 1971 and 1972.

The original Junghans J620 manual-wind movement (right) and the new gold-plated caliber.

For the new watch, Junghans has disassembled, decorated and reassembled existing, historical J620 movements, plating each with a coat of 18-karat rose gold for good measure. And Junghans has thoughtfully provided a clear sapphire caseback to view the work.  Price: $9,800.

Meister Power Reserve

Displaying an unusual vertical power reserve indicator just above the 6 o’clock position, the new Meister Gangreserve (power reserve) Edition 160 echoes a similar design Junghans released in the 1950s.

On the steel Junghans Meister Gangreserve (power reserve) Edition 160, the power reserve indicator gradually changes from green to yellow to red as reserve is reduced. 

As the power reserve recedes, the indicator’s color on the steel-bracelet model gradually changes from green to yellow and finally to red, which indicates that it’s time to wind the automatic watch again. Two leather-strap models are more subtle: When fully charged, the indicator shows the dial color (see example below). At fifty percent power, the indicator turn gray, and when power drops to zero, the indicator shows red. The Meister Gangreserve Edition 160 is limited to only 160 watches in each of three versions. Prices start at $1,700.

Meister Fein Automatic

This very modern design features a new convex case to frame its minimalist dial. Though not technically thin, it appears so on the wrist with a 39.5mm diameter, almost absent bezel and long hands and markers.

The Junghans Meister Fein Automatic.

Only a date window interrupts the finely detailed dial. Inside, Junghans places a self-winding (ETA-based) J800.1 movement with a power reserve of up to 38 hours. Prices begin at $1,450.

A side view of the Junghans Meister Fein Automatic shows the new convex case.

Meister S Chronoscope, Platinum Edition 160

Junghans cases its most limited anniversary model in polished platinum. The Chronoscope is one of the brand’s top sellers, and here Junghans creates a twelve-piece numbered edition, with the limited edition number cleverly noted within the twelve-hour counter.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope, Platinum Edition 160.

The 45mm by 15.9mm watch features a screwed solid platinum case back with edition logo engraving and a platinum screwed crown (and tube). Its dial reflects the precious case with a gold-hued markers and a nice lacquer finish that fades from matte silver-plate in the center to grey at the edge, set with luminous markers.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope Platinum Edition 160 dial

The synthetic rubber strap features an alligator leather inlay and a platinum buckle. Price: $19,200.

 

Specifications: Junghans Signature Hand-winding Edition 160 (160- piece limited edition)

Movement: Historical hand-winding Junghans movement J620 with a power reserve of up to 45 hours, 18,000 bph, rose-gold plated, sunburst ratchet wheel, polished barrel bridge, gear bridge and balance cock with fine longitudinal grinding, stones in polished, bowl-shaped countersinks, outside with fine diamond cut, polished steel screws, Junghans star and caliber number engraving.

The Junghans J620 manual-wind movement.

Case: 39mm by 10.3mm rose gold, five-times screwed gold caseback with sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides. Water resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Matte silver-plated, minute track with applied dots, dauphin hands with diamond cut.

Strap: Leather with 18-kt rose gold buckle.

Price: $9,800.

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer offers a clear, affordable timekeeping option for travellers ­– whenever crossing time zones and lines of longitude again becomes commonplace.

This storied German watchmaker nicely combines a clear dial design with useful functionality with this elegant 40mm model, the brand’s first non-quartz worldtimer.

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer.

The watchmaker presents a fairly classical world time dial layout, with its gray hour disc rotating underneath a radial dial opening that displays the hour in twenty-four different time zones simultaneously.

Junghans designers have echoed traditional worldtimer designs by allocating a specific city to every hour of the day in its respective time zone. To account for the nighttime hours at far-flung destinations, the times between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. are represented in black.

Junghans has placed all the primary indicators in a convex arrangement around the center. The three dauphin-shaped hands provide the local time while the hour disc offers quick location of the hours in other time zones. The clear glass back of the case provides a view into the ETA-based self-winding movement.

Prices: $1,745 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

Specifications: Junghans Meister Worldtimer

Movement: Self-winding ETA-based J820.5 with 24-hour display and power reserve of up to 42 hours.

Case: 40.4mm by 10.4mm steel, five-screw caseback with mineral crystal. These models are available with optional hard Plexiglass with coating for enhanced scratch resistance, or domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides.

Dial: Matte silver-plated, galvanic anthracite or blue with sunray brush.  Two city rings around the 24-hour disc 
with SuperLuminova luminous substance on hands.

Strap: Calf leather (in brown or blue) or horse leather (in black) with stainless steel or PVD-coated buckle
 stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
.

Water-resistance: Up to 30 meters 
with hard Plexiglass and with sapphire crystal up to 50 meters.

Prices: $1,945 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

 

 

Junghans toughens its Meister collection with the new Meister S Chronoscope, a sportier version of the best-selling retro-inspired chronograph.

The Junghans Meister S Chronoscope, here with tachymeter scale.

Known for its convex day-date dial and concave subdials, the Meister Chronoscope here arrives with a larger case (45mm), stronger water resistance (200 meters), a screw-down crown, screwed steel caseback and a thickened thick sapphire crystal doubly coated for serious anti-reflection properties.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope boasts a new case that cuts a contemporary profile. The case’s new, enhanced crown protection and beveled bezel set it apart from the earlier, retro-styled Chronoscope designs.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope boasts a larger, more contemporary case when compared to earlier Chronoscopes.

Junghans offers two dial options. One of the two steel-bracelet models takes its sportier designation most seriously with a tachymeter scale framing an anthracite (grey) dial set with raised and numbered markers.

A second steel-bracelet model offers a tachymeter-free visage on a green-black dial with un-numbered, raised markers. Even without the tachymeter scale and with its dressier matte/polish case finish, this model asserts a hint of sportiness through its red chronograph hands.

This Junghans black PVD Meister S Chronoscope is a limited edition of 888.

The third design, the only Meister S Chronoscope made in limited production (of 888 units), also offers red accents, but arrives on black PVD, brushed steel case attached to a red-stitched synthetic black rubber strap. This model  features the same grey dial with tachymeter as offered on one of the two bracelet watches, but with red-accented hands and two red markers.  

Junghans has emblazoned its name in raised letters to the underside of the strap. This feature, according to the brand, will provide “an elaborate solution for airing of the synthetic rubber strap, guaranteeing optimum wear comfort.”

Prices: $2,595 (either model on steel bracelet) and $2,795 (black PVD case with rubber strap, an 888-piece limited edition.)

Specifications: Junghans Meister S Chronoscope

Movement: Automatic ETA-7750-based caliber J880.1 with a power reserve of up to 48 hours, date and weekday (also available in English), chronograph.

Case: 45mm x 15.9mm steel or black PVD-coated, convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, 7-times screwed stainless steel back with Junghans star artwork, screwed crown and tube, 200 meters of water resistance.

Dial: Matte anthracite, model 027/4023.44 with green-black-effect lacquer, model 027/4024.44 with tachymeter scale, hands and
indices with SuperLuminova. Hands coated with luminous substance in red and/or white.

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with safety folding clasp and fine adjustment, synthetic rubber strap with leather inlay and stainless steel folding clasp in black PVD-coating (on model 027/4025.44 with red accent strap, limited to 888 watches).

Prices: $2,595 (either model on steel bracelet) and $2,795 (black PVD case with rubber strap, an 888-piece limited edition.)

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, German-based Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world. When it needed new, larger facilities in which to manufacture those clocks, the company teamed with architect Philipp Jakob Manz, who designed Terrassenbau, a dramatically terraced set of workplace buildings for the clockmaker. The building, in Schramberg, is one of the most spectacular industrial buildings worldwide to be built on a sloping site.

The Junghans Terrassenbau buildings.

The building, which today houses the Junghans museum, instantly became the centerpiece of the sprawling Junghans factory. During the 1950s and 1960s, the heyday of firm’s mechanical movements manufacturing era, Junghans created and manufactured numerous calibers in the building just in front of the site, with caliber and watch assembly conducted in the terrace building itself.

The Junghans Terrassenbau assembly room, pictured in 1920.

The long expanse of windowed floors allowed watchmakers to work with perfect daylight on assembly and regulation, uninterrupted by workers conducting other watchmaking processes.

The Terrace Building now houses the Junghans museum.

New watches

Just two years ago, Junghans celebrated 100 years of the architectural history of the facility with a limited edition, 40.7mm gold-cased Meister Chronoscope Terrassenbau. This year, Junghans debuts two steel-cased, non-chronograph Terrassenbau models, each a 1,500-piece limited edition.

Junghans Meister Classic Terrassenbau, an automatic model. ($1,895)

One, the Meister Classic Terrassenbau (Master Classic) is a three-hand automatic watch with date in a 38.4mm steel case. The second is a 37.7mm steel-cased, manual-wind time-only watch, the Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau (the Master Handwind) with small seconds. Both watches feature ETA-based calibers upgraded by Junghans.

The Junghans Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau, a manual-wind model. ($1,695)

In addition to their Terassenbau-colored dials, these new models incorporate elements of the Schramberg facility into their design. For example, the minute track of the matte-silver dial reflects the meandering design of the wall decorations in the terrace building, while the green alligator leather strap echoes the dark green of the wall tiles in the stairways.

The Master Handwind (Meister Handaufzug) Terrassenbau , showing caseback with ‘windows’ exposing the movement.

Even the caseback of each watch reveals a detailed image of the source of inspiration itself, applied using Junghans’ own printing plant. Also from the back, small windows provide a view into each watch’s movement.

The new watches are limited to 1,500 units each. Prices: The Jungians automatic Meister Classic Terrassenbau is $1,895 and the Junghans Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau, the manual-wind model, is $1,695.

 

Junghans cases new models in its Force Mega Solar collection with a dark matte or polished ‘premium grade’ ceramic material and a sapphire crystal. The watch is also now available with a choice of three rubber strap, hand and marker  hues: black, brown and khaki.

The new Junghans Force Mega Solar.

The watch, which boasts the latest generation of Junghans’ multi-frequency movement that accesses time-signal transmitters worldwide, features a fairly minimalistic dial set with hyper-efficient solar cells.

While a digital date appears at 6 o’clock, the analog hands belie decades of technological development within the moderately thin (8.2mm) case. Indeed, German-based Junghans first developed its own radio-controlled solar watch in 1993 and has updated them frequently in the decades since.

This latest-generation Junghans Mega Solar movement features a power reserve up to twenty-one months with an automatic sleep mode that kicks into effect if the watch has not been exposed to light within a consecutive seventy-two-hour period.

The new ceramic cases are either dark polished or matte-finished and arrive with lightweight rubber strap in contrasting black, brown or khaki to match the hands and markers. A PVD-coated titanium folding clasp secures the strap.

Price: On pictured rubber strap: $ 1,195. The model is also available with a ceramic bracelet, priced at $1,495.

 

Specifications: Junghans Force Mega Solar

Movement: Multi-frequency radio-controlled solar movement J615.84
Big date display, perpetual calendar, App-connected automatic reception of time signal transmitters DCF77, MSF, JJY40/60, WWVB60, power reserve up to 21 months, automatic sleep mode after 72 hours without exposure to light.

Case: 40.4mm by 8.2 mm polished or matte ceramic with sapphire crystal, 4-times screwed ceramic case back, water resistance to 50 meters. 

Dial: Glass solar cells. Dial markings with environmentally friendly SuperLuminova in white, brown or khaki.

Hands: With environmentally friendly luminous substance.

Strap: Synthetic rubber strap with titanium buckle, PVD-coated.

 

 

Four new Junghans Max Bill watches emphasize their core minimalist tenets thanks to a sharp black-and-white color scheme, a fine numeral font and thin, darkened hands. 

Germany-based Junghans, which has long associated itself with the Bauhaus less-is-more ethos, has placed a matte white dial within a darkened PVD-coated steel case on each of the watches.  

One, the well-known Max Bill Chronoscope, is a 40mm automatic chronograph. Two additional models include a 38mm automatic three-hand watch and a 34mm automatic watch. Junghans is also offering the 38mm model with a quartz movement. All four sport a date indicator and are fitted with a grey calf leather strap with matching PVD-coated buckle. The Chronoscope includes a day-date indicator. 

With the black and white contrast, the Chronoscope, a longtime a favorite dress chronograph here at iW, is even more instantly readable than we’ve seen in prior incarnations. The watch’s minimalistic style in fact enhances its basic time-display function, which doesn’t always happen with design-focused dials. 

Likewise, the smaller, time-only models confer the same unfussy attitude, while also offering not a single distraction—unless you count the handsome domed hard-Plexiglas crystal, which I find myself admiring (and touching) far too often whenever I wear my own Max Bill Chronoscope. 

Junghans wisely enhances the visibility of time, and the usefulness of the black-white color contrasts, with a generous daubing of SuperLuminova of both dial (on the black font) and on all the hands. Prices: $2,095 (Chronoscope), $1,195 (Automatic), $1,095 Small automatic) and $625 (38mm quartz)


Specifications:
Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope

Movement: Self-winding ETA 7750 -based movement J880.2 with a power reserve of up to 48 hours, Date.  Chronoscope: Second stop, 30-minute and 12-hour counter
Case: 40mm by 14.4m stainless steel anthracite matte PVD-coated, domed hard Plexiglas with coating for enhanced scratch resistance, screwed case back. Water resistance to 30 meters.
Dial: Matt white, dial printing with black, environmentally-friendly
Superluminova.  Hands: Black silk matte with grey Superluminova
Strap: Calf leather with anthracite matte, PVD-coated buckle

 


Specifications:
Junghans Max Bill Automatic and Small Automatic 

Movement: Self-winding ETA-based movement J800.1 with a power reserve of up to 42 hours, date
Case: 38mm or 34mm by 10mm stainless steel anthracite matte PVD-coated, domed hard Plexiglas crystal with coating for enhanced scratch resistance, screwed case back. Water resistance to 30 meters. (Quartz model is 7.9mm in height)
Dial: Matte white, dial printing with black, environmentally-friendly
Superluminova.  Hands: Black silk matte with grey Superluminova
Strap: Calf leather strap with anthracite matt, PVD-coated buckle