One of my favorite types of articles to write for Worn & Wound is a piece about something that’s completely unexpected. The MB&F HM9 “Sapphire Vision” comes to mind, as does a watch I reviewed earlier this year with a caseback engraving that I simply can’t get out of my head. The truth is, we see a lot of strange stuff come across the transom here, and it’s always a real pleasure to compose an article that requires a tag we’ve never used on the site before. So with that, here’s the first kitchen clock I’ve ever covered: the Junghans Küchenuhr.
If you’re familiar with Junghans at all, you’re probably aware of the brand’s association with designer Max Bill. The watches bearing his name are very much at the core of the brand itself these days, and have come to define the Bauhaus aesthetic when it comes to watches specifically. The Küchenuhr is a tribute of sorts, as it recreates the very first product that Bill designed for Junghans all the way back in 1956. The teardrop shape and light blue color of the case (it’s made of ceramic, by the way) absolutely scream 1950s, and the design of the dial itself reads as a preview of what would come later in Bill’s watches. It’s simple, easy to read, and finds elegance in prioritizing function. Bill knew that in many households the kitchen clock might be the only timekeeper of any sort, so he designed it with this in mind. In the photo below of an original Küchenuhr, you can see just how careful Junghans was to reproduce Bill’s original design. Once you start digging into these vintage kitchen clocks, it becomes genuinely difficult to discern a noticeable difference between new and old, so credit to Junghans here for the faithful recreation.
While the new version of the clock and the original from the 50s appear nearly identical, the contemporary edition represents a technical upgrade. While the mechanical 60 minute timer in the lower section of the enclosure is basically a direct port of what you’d have found in the clock nearly 70 years ago (right down to the noise it makes), the time is kept via a quartz movement. Junghans is also producing a version with their radio controlled movement that receives an accurate time signal remotely, ensuring accuracy. The quartz version has a list price of $550, and the radio controlled version is $600. The clock will be available in the spring of 2022. Junghans