Junghans Introduces the Latest Max Bill Set, a Two Watch Limited Edition in Black & White

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Junghans is a brand that shouldn’t need an introduction to faithful Worn & Wound readers. Their Max Bill lineup in particular is a favorite here, and with good reason. The Bauhaus inspired design is clean and simple, but never boring, and the watches are imbued with a sense of style that comes right from the middle of the last century. And, of course, they wear incredibly well, with sleek cases in proportions that are often right in line with the vintage aesthetic these watches are inspired by. One of the great pleasures of following Junghans as a brand is that they really try to honor Max Bill’s legacy as an artist and designer by periodically releasing extremely well produced and packaged limited editions, and that’s what we’ll be looking at today. Let’s get right into the Max Bill Edition Set 2020.


Max Bill Edition Set 2020

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 40 x 14.4mm (Chronoscope), 34 x 10mm (Kleine Automatic)
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Water Resistance: 3 bar
  • Crown: Push/pull              
  • Movement: J880.1 (Chronoscope), J800.1 (Kleine Automatic)
  • Strap/bracelet: White and black leather
  • Price: $3,345
  • Reference Number: 027/4018.02
  • Expected Release: Late summer 2020

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The first thing to know about this set is that it’s actually two watches from the Max Bill line: the Chronoscope and the Kleine Automatic. The Chronoscope is the iconic Max Bill chronograph design, with registers at 12:00 and 6:00, a day/date display at 3:00, and clean white numerals and minute markers all around. The Chronoscope is 40mm in diameter and 14.4mm thick, and is powered by the J880.1 automatic caliber with 48 hours of power reserve. It’s a really nice modern interpretation of a vintage inspired design, and is a great modern size that wears well on a variety of wrists. 

The Kleine Automatic is perhaps the sleeper hit of the set. This is a simple automatic time and date watch with the familiar dial layout and typography that we expect in a Max Bill, but at 34mm in diameter it’s exactly the same size as the original design from 1961. In this day and age of repurposing vintage designs in upsized modern packages, it’s almost unheard of for a heritage piece to have the same dimensions as the watch that inspired it. Junghans deserves a ton of credit for making the Kleine part of this limited set, shining a light on good design that has truly stood the test of time. I’m enjoying the thought of modern enthusiasts getting this 34mm watch on their wrist and being pleasantly surprised by how well it wears. 

So, what makes the box set special? The idea behind this 2020 limited edition is to pay tribute to Max Bill’s “variation 5” from his graphic series “quinze variations sur un même thème.” This particular work deals largely with the interplay between black and white. To that end, both of the watches in this set have been given black dials and cases, with stark white accents in the Arabic numerals and lume filled hands. The further emphasize this idea of contrasts, each watch is mounted on a white leather strap (a black strap for each is also included in the set). The caseback of each watch features a reproduction of “variation 5”, further deepening the connection between the artist, his work, and these watches. 

The Max Bill Edition Set 2020 is limited to 222 sets, with a retail price of $3,345. Junghans

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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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