Earlier this month we told you about a new box set of Max Bill watches from Junghans, released to celebrate 60 years of Max Bill’s association with the German brand. For many watch lovers, it’s the Max Bill watches that jump immediately to mind when thinking about Junghans, and it’s easy to see why. The modern design of these watches is, pardon the phrase, iconic, and while many brands attempt a similar style of Bauhaus influenced minimalism, Junghans has a knack for pulling it off in a way that feels wholly authentic, which is not an easy task (try shopping for a watch in a typical mall department store if you don’t believe me). Junghans, however, is much more than just Max Bill, and in addition to the Max Bill related anniversary, Junghans is also celebrating 160 years of operation as a brand in 2021. To mark the occasion, they’ve released a special gold watch in a classic style that’s worlds apart from Max Bill, but still completely Junghans.
The Junghans Meister Signatur Handaufzug Edition 160 is all about paying tribute to the heritage of the brand. This is very much a classic dress watch in appearance, with a simple dial that has been silver plated with a subtle diamond cut minute track, and applied hour markers. The wordmark is in a distinctive script and a throwback to the earliest Junghans signatures found on the brand’s first pocket watches 160 years ago.
As a proper tribute watch and anniversary piece, the Meister Signatur Handaufzug Edition has a few additional tricks up its sleeve (and behind its caseback). First of all, yes, this is a solid gold watch. The 18 carat rose gold case is 39mm in diameter and features subtly twisted lugs that put it squarely in the middle of the last century as far as its key reference points. We certainly don’t normally think of Junghans as a producer of watches in precious metals, but for a watch made for a special occasion it feels entirely appropriate. As surprising as the gold case might be to the casual observer, however, the real draw of this watch is actually in the hand wound caliber, which is actually a vintage Junghans movement that has been given a full rose gold plating (it’s also been disassembled and serviced by Junghans, so this isn’t like buying a mystery vintage watch on a forum). The historic movement combined with the gold case and classic design really makes the Meister Signatur Handaufzug Edition something unique for a dedicated Junghans collector, or a more casual enthusiast looking to get into a precious metal watch with a cool backstory.
Given the nature of the vintage movement being used here, it should come as no surprise that this edition is very limited, with only 160 being made. The retail price is set at €8,160. More information here.