Plenty of individual designers have gone on to become famous. Design movements from neoclassicism to Art Deco are rightly well-known as well. But only one design school has gone on to become not just a household name, but a cornerstone of a century of design thinking. I’m talking, of course, about the Bauhaus. The clean, minimal approach the Bauhaus taught has found its way into the watch world in a thousand different iterations through a thousand different designers, but perhaps none have put a better personal spin on the style than Max Bill. In decades of partnership with Junghans, Bill provided the world with starkly beautiful designs with a distinct personality.
Born outside of Zurich on December 22, 1908, Bill showed an affinity for form from a very early age. By age sixteen, he was working as an apprentice silversmith in the town of Winterthur, and after two years he enrolled at the legendary Bauhaus.