Bauhaus Turns 100: A Guide to the Special Edition Watches Celebrating the Movement’s 100th Anniversary

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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


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DuFa – Bauhaus 100 Years Anniversary Collection

If you’re interested in acknowledging the anniversary of the Bauhaus school on a budget without sacrificing interesting design, DuFa has released a small collection of Bauhaus inspired quartz watches that will likely be of interest. Using largely the same color palette as the Louis Erard x Silberstein collab, these watches have a ton of style and simple, minimal dial features. 

Four watches make up DuFa’s mini Bauhaus 100 Year Anniversary collection: a simple time-only model with a subsidiary seconds register at 6:00; a sleek GMT with a multi-colored handset; and two chronographs, one with a white dial, and one in black, named for architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe featuring vintage inspired case lines. All four use the same custom designed strap that incorporates red, blue, and yellow stitching, and since all DuFas are cased in Germany, these watches boast “Made in Germany” signatures on the dial. DuFa


Nomos –  A Century of Bauhaus Tangente


It should come as absolutely no surprise that Nomos celebrated the Bauhaus centennial with their own limited edition watch. More than any other modern watchmaker, Nomos is often thought of as the Bauhaus brand, even though many of their designs draw on other artistic traditions. That said, there’s no doubt that the Bauhaus movement has influenced Nomos from the beginning, so it’s fitting that the Tangente, the brand’s first watch and still a major part of its stable, received a limited edition treatment for the big anniversary. 

For the A Century of Bauhaus mini collection, Nomos gave the Tangente a dial with a color reminiscent of notebook paper in three different variants, each with an outer ring in either yellow, blue, or red. Nomos has been incorporating color into their watches in unique and sometimes fairly dramatic ways recently, but the tones here are subtle, and the shade of off-white used here gives the watch an almost patinated vintage look without the use of faux-tina lume. This is a sober edition that is at the other end of the style spectrum compared to something like the DuFas, but it honors the Bauhaus school just as appropriately. Released in mid-2018, this limited edition may be hard to find in the actual centennial year, but it’s worth seeking out for fans of the brand or the style. Nomos


Swatch – Bau Swatch Collection 

The Bau Swatch collection consists of 25 watches that take Bauhaus as a starting point and riff on it in a whole slew of unexpected ways. There’s a Sistem 51 variant dubbed the “Sistem Bau” that uses the traditional Bauhaus colors in a uniquely Swatch layout (and made entirely by machine, which is in itself an interesting commentary on the Bauhaus movement that’s probably worthy of an article of its own), and many brightly colored watches in a variety of sizes for wrists of all kinds. One of the clear standouts of the collection is the “SWATCHID,” a red quartz piece with stark white lettering labeling each essential component of the watch. The watch is essentially a pun on how form follows function, providing a manual of sorts to the most basic elements of watchmaking. While a watch like this certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, for $75, it’s an incredibly fun conversation starter. Swatch


While this list includes five notable Bauhaus anniversary related releases, it’s by no means a full account of all the watches released this year in celebration of the school’s centenary, so go ahead and tell us all about your favorite Bauhaus inspired watches in the comments.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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