Watchmaking goes hand in hand with other art forms. Watch companies often collaborate with artists who turn watch cases to unique works of art. One of the companies that is known for this kind of partnership is Junghans, a German watch brand that is popular for its Bauhaus aesthetic.
If this is your first time to learn about the brand, this article will provide you with the essentials you need to know: its history, collections, and technology. We will also provide information on where to buy their clocks and watches, as well as their warranty policy.
Junghans Company History
Junghans, which is first founded as “Junghans and Tobler” is a German watch and clock company which has been around since 1861. The company was created by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler in Schramberg, Germany.
The company started producing wristwatches in 1927. According to the brand’s website, the company was the largest clock manufacturer in the world by 1903, reportedly producing over three million watches annually. In 1961, it employed 6,000 employees, 20,000 clocks, and exporting to 100 countries.
“Because true style is never loud, it deliberately favors the more restrained approach. It is from this philosophy that many of our classic watches have arisen.”
If you would like to take a closer look at the company’s history, the Junghans website has an excellent, comprehensive “Journey through time” page that narrates their story, complete with pictures and other visual presentations.
Junghans watches, which are made in Schramberg Germany, combines innovation and attention to detail. On their website, you will be able to see what goes on in the entire production process: design, construction, parts manufacturing, quality management, production, and service. Here, you will see why the brand continues to thrive after all these years.
The Bauhaus Movement and Max Bill collaborations
In the 1950s, Junghans was influenced by Bauhaus design, as designer Max Bill, a Bauhaus designer—an architect, painter, sculptor, and product designer—worked for the company creating clocks and watches.
One of the most popular works that he did for the brand was a 1957 wall clock (chrome-plated and painted metal), which is now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.
Bill created the first Junghans wristwatches in 1961. Included in his many collaborations with the brand is the limited edition “max bill Chronoscope 100 Jahre Bauhaus,” watch that not only features a distinct design, but also the first time that the company produced a case made from 18-carat white gold.
“Clear lines ensure that the focus remains on the most essential aspect: optimum readability of the time. Colour arrangement of the watch is inspired by the architecture of the Bauhaus building,” said an article on the Junghans website. “The dial mirrors the white walls within the Bauhaus, and the red display of the date represents the famous entrance.”
Below, we will talk about some of Bill’s most popular collaborations with the brand.
Junghans has a relatively smaller collection compared to other big watch brands. Below, we’ll cover some of the best ones. The entire collection—complete with specs and photos—is available here.
First produced in the 1930s, the Junghans Meister is a collection of mechanical watches. According to the Junghans site, these watches enjoyed the greatest popularity in the 1950s to the 1960s. It was during this period that Junghans produced chronometers, and soon became one of the largest producers of chronometers in the world.
There are many different Meister models to choose from. One of the most popular ones is the Meister Classic, which was first released in the 1930s. This 38.4mm watch with a stainless steel case has four different variations (see all of them here).
There’s also the Junghans Meister Mega, which is a more advanced version of the Meister series watches. This collection has a highly accurate radio-controlled movement and makes use of the Junghans MEGA app (compatible with both Android and IOS). With this, you will still be able to synchronize your time accurately even without radio reception.
Junghans Max Bill Collection
This year, the max bill Automatic 100 Jahre Bauhaus was released in celebration of the 100 years of Bauhaus. This watch has a grey strap inspired by concrete, and a silver dial commemorating the design of the Bauhaus Dessau building. The design is clean and minimalist, with a simple yet striking red date window at 3 o’clock, and red highlights on the hour and minute markers. The back of the watch has a windowed skeleton-style design that shows the movement of the watch.
The watches developed by Bill are still being produced today. According to Junghans, the designs are practically unchanged: “From the puristic dial with the specially designed, distinctly rounded numerals, to the domed glass which emphasizes the historical charm of the watch.”
Junghans Max Bill collection has a wide range of selections that celebrate the talent of the artist—”maximum minimal,” as Junghans puts it. Available in sizes both for men and women, this collection has watches that basically encapsulates Bill’s aesthetic: a focus on lines and shape (and occasionally colors), and clean lines and numerals, such as the watches of the max bill Automatic (check it out here). Junghans refers to this collection as one of the “most fascinating watch collections of recent decades.”
A watch of this collection is included on our list of Best Dress Watches Under $500, which you can read here.
This collection includes two non-watch items, such as the max bill table clock RC, which is available in two styles (wood veneer dark hazel, silk matt white wood, and polished piano lacquer wood).
There’s also the max bill Edition Set 2019, which commemorates the brand’s relationship with the artist. Limited to only 222 units, this set includes a chronograph and a table clock with a mechanical eight-day movement. Bill’s artwork from “variation 15” is also on the back of the casing. This classic max bill design has received a revamp in the form of two mechanical timepieces: the Chronoscope Chronograph and a desk clock. If one is a fan of Bill’s or the Bauhaus design aesthetic, this watch will surely not disappoint.
See the entire max bill collection here.
Junghans Master Pilot
In the 1930s, Junghans made onboard clocks for planes and airships. In the 1950s, the company launched the Bundeswehr Chronograph, a pilot’s watch with a dodecagonal bezel. The Meister Pilot collection models follow this tradition.
Rugged and sleek, this vintage-inspired designed pilot’s watch is legible with its luminescent hands and numerals. Compared side by side with the 1950s model, there is really not much difference in terms of the general design. Junghans stayed true to the classic look—they just made this one a bit bigger with a 43.3mm case. This model comes in two leather strap colors (black and brown).
To learn more about this line, check out this review.
Junghans Radio Control & Solar Collection
It was in 1985 that Junghans first produces the first radio-controlled table clock, which the brand says “is accurate to a single second in a million years.” Fast forward to the 90s—always pushing for innovation, the brand then expanded the same technology to a wristwatch: first is the Mega 1, the world’s first ever wristwatch, and then the Mega Solar, which, as the name suggests, gets its energy from the sun.
Since the release of these two watches, the company has produced a bigger radio control and solar line, which includes the 1972 Chronoscope Solar, which was the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games in Germany; and the Milano, a high-precision radio-controlled movement that’s an evolution of the Mega from the 1990s.
Junghans Form Collection
The watches off the Form collection have a convex shape, which makes the watch look flat and slimmer. Junghans promises that these watches ensure “a good fit and promotes ergonomic wearing comfort”—this line has watches that are simple yet elegant, having the sleek minimalist design that Junghans is known for.
One of the most popular watches off this collection is the Form A, which received an excellent review by Hodinkee, citing the reasonably cheap price tag (less than $1,000) and the attractive concave dial as some of the best features.
This collection includes its own homage to Bauhaus, with the Form A 100 Jahre Bauhaus, which has a playful design of colorful hour markings, which is after the color circle of Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten. This collection is limited to only 1,000 pieces.
Are Junghans watches good?
Junghans has generally excellent reviews. In this forum, one reviewer pointed out that the company used to be the biggest manufacturer of personal timepieces, and that in terms of credentials, the company definitely delivers.
The brand produces many models based on their vintage designs, retaining the excellent design but constantly improving the technology. This is why they are popular to those who want a vintage aesthetic, as well as those who are into Bauhaus design.
One of the brands that are commonly compared to Junghans is Nomos, a German company that concentrates on automatic mechanical and manual-winding watches.
Both of these brands have a Bauhaus-inspired design. The two models that are usually placed side by side are the Junghans Max Bill and the Nomos Tangente. This article compares the two, highlighting their differences such as the movement and price range.
One of the issues that are commonly raised by people curious about Junghans watches is the brand’s popularity. The watches are not cheap, but compared to other big brands, they’re pretty low-key. This forum, which has a question regarding quality, has also received good recommendations from Junghans users.
Where to buy Junghans watches
Junghans watches can be purchased from the Junghans online shop. This is what we would recommend, so you can be sure that you’re getting the full warranty (more on this later).
This website has a very comprehensive content of everything you need to know before you purchase a watch—prices, best sellers, watch guides, frequently asked questions, shipping information, company information, and so on.
Junghans has a company museum, which is a former production site and a heritage-listed building. The Junghans Terrassenbau Museum is located in Schramberg, Germany, and provides a rich history of the brand’s production of clocks and wristwatches from the 18th century to today. If you would like to learn about the museum and what it has to offer to visitors, visit the website here. This place also has a shop where you can try out and purchase watches, and consult Junghans experts on what’s the best watch to buy.
Junghans warranty policy
Junghans offers a two-year guarantee from the date of purchase. Within this period, the company will fix any production defect for free, or replace the watch with a new similar unit (this is the company’s discretion, and will depend on the company’s estimation). According to the Junghans website, damages “by incorrect used or undue strain,” as well as the battery, strap, and glass, will not be included in the warranty guarantee. You can read more about the policy here.
Customers who would like to claim the warranty would need to present a proof of purchase, as well as a completed warranty certificate to an authorized Junghans dealer. You can search for Junghans retailers here.
Thanks for reading!
We hope this article was helpful! Junghans continues to enjoy popularity all over the world—they might not be as widely-advertised as other luxury brands, but they are celebrated by anyone who appreciates clocks and watches: experts, collectors, and art appreciators. The company’s history is a testament to its dedication to the craft, and their passion for the art of design and timekeeping is what makes them stand out.
Header Photo by Schwarzwert