As we’ve reported previously, this year marks the centennial of the Bauhaus school, and a number of brands have been paying tribute with special watches to mark the occasion. When people hear the word “Bauhaus,” many think of a very specific look, but the school and the art movement that sprang up around it represent a surprising variety of aesthetics. One of the things that makes art fun is taking a single movement or style, and seeing how different individuals (or, in this case, watch brands) interpret that style and make it their own. In that spirit, we’ve compiled a guide to five interesting Bauhaus-inspired collections released to celebrate the school’s 100 year anniversary.
Max Bill – 100 Years of Bauhaus Collection
First on the list is a watch that will be familiar to regular readers, the Max Bill Automatic 100 Years of Bauhaus by Junghans. We wrote about these watches back in March, and continue to be impressed by the dynamic caseback design and playful take on Bauhaus’s trademark minimalist approach. Perhaps the most important concept of the Bauhaus design language is that form must follow function, and dials used in the various Max Bill watches throughout the years really drive this point home. Everything is simple, legible, and bordering on rudimentary, all in the name of creating something spare and useful. The red date window would seem to be a stylistic flourish that Bauhaus wouldn’t accept, but consider the importance of the date, and the way the red window draws your eye to that section of the watch, and I think a decent case can be made that this is well within the Bauhaus tradition.
In addition to the traditional time and date model, Junghans also released two very special editions of their Max Bill Chronoscope, their popular and similarly functional two-register chronograph, to really round out the collection. Junghans
Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein – Excellence Regulator
This is a pretty special watch, and it has a lot going for it besides a link to the Bauhaus movement, so let’s break this down in a few ways. First, lest we bury the lede, Alain Silberstein is back. Although he never really went away, his brand no longer exists, so whenever he partners with someone else it’s kind of a horological event. Silberstein, for those who don’t know, is a French watch designer whose creations are truly unlike anything else on the market. Under his own name, his brand made watches with a variety of interesting complications (including a tourbillon) using his one of a kind, colorful, whimsical, design language. Using a combination of shapes and bright, primary colors that you don’t usually see in high-end watches, his creations have a toy-like quality that stands in direct contrast to the more serious work of many of his peers who work in traditional old-world watchmaking.
This collaboration with Louis Erard serves as a sort of reintroduction of Silberstein and also a subtle and fitting tribute to the Bauhaus movement. Large arrows and snake and triangle hands certainly don’t scream “Bauhaus,” but the traditional regulator dial layout makes sense in a Bauhaus framework for the way it reduces time telling to its most essential elements. And, importantly, the colors used by Silberstein here (blue, red, and yellow) are the cornerstones of Bauhaus color theory. This Louis Erard collaboration with Alain Silberstein is a limited edition of just 178 watches in each of two variants. Louis Erard