Introducing The Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 60
Founded in 1861, the German brand Junghans is enjoying its 160th birthday this year, but that's not the outfit's only anniversary of note. 2021 also marks the 60th year of the watch design that Max Bill created for Junghans back in 1961. Bill, who passed away in 1994, was a prolific creator and is known the world over for his work in everything from industrial design to architecture, typeface, and more. Earlier this year, Junghans announced a special limited edition set of three Max Bill watches in honor of the 60th anniversary of Bill's minimal-but-beautiful design legacy.
Sold exclusively as a set and only via Junghans retail locations, the Max Bill Edition Set 60 includes three similar-looking but surprisingly different takes on the original design. Spanning a standard three-hand automatic, a regulator, and a high-tech quartz-powered model with a small seconds display, all three watches are based around 38mm steel cases with dark grey anthracite PVD coatings.
Packaged as a trio and carrying Max Bill's signature, the set is destined for collectors that appreciate this specific blend of watchmaking and Bill's own Bauhaus-informed take on industrial design.
The regulator uses an automatic movement based on the ETA 2824 and, with its distinctive hour subdial at twelve and fun orange accents, manages to have a vibe that feels almost Ressence-adjacent. Balance is ensured via the inclusion of a small seconds display at six and the omission of a date display (which is commonly found at three on Max Bill watches).
The automatic follows the well-established format of the standard Max Bill model with stark legibility, an expansive dial, and a date display at three (powered by a movement based on the ETA 2824). While this format is likely the most common introduction to the Max Bill world, the limited edition colorway and case treatment ensure that even the automatic model feels fresh and distinctive – while also remaining collector-focused.
The final of the three, the small seconds model (or kleine sekunde in German), is perhaps the most interesting and modern of the three offered in this set. Instead of an ETA-based mechanical movement, this model uses one of Junghans's "MEGA" movements. A techie quartz caliber with radio-controlled time calibration, the Junghans J101.66 is an in-house quartz movement with multi-band radio calibration, app time-setting support, half-second motion for the seconds hand, and a system that actively checks (and corrects) the position of the hands for maximum alignment with the verified time.
Housed in a commemorative box that holds an inner box for each watch, each of the three watches comes on a light grey strap with matching orange lining and anthracite hardware. The whole set is being sold for $4,900 and Junghans is only producing 1060 sets.
Admittedly, I missed this news when it was first shared a couple of months ago, but when a more recent version of the press release graced my inbox, I was immediately curious. While I have yet to make the leap to become an owner, I've always really enjoyed the Max Bill watches from Junghans for their compelling mix of value, style, and enduring adherence to Bill's specific take on watch design.
While the classic choice is easily the automatic – and I've suggested above that the small seconds is likely the most interesting (such a subtle format for that movement functionality) – my heart would certainly go for the regulator. I love a good regulator and I think that the Max Bill aesthetic works really well with the function and layout, even if only as a vehicle for further use of that handsome typeface.
Ultimately, it's a moot point as Junghans is only selling these watches as part of a complete set. And hey, there are harder decisions to make in the morning than picking between three distinctive and good-looking flavors from the now 60-year legacy of Max Bill's designs for Junghans.
Model: Max Bill Edition Set 60
Reference Number: 27/4109.00
Thickness: 10mm (automatic), 9mm (small seconds), 10.5mm (regulator)
Case Material: Steel with anthracite PVD coating
Dial Color: Matte white
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Light grey leather with black stitching, orange liner, and PVD anthracite hardware
Caliber: Regulator – Junghans J800.5 (ETA 2824 base), Automatic – Junghans J800.1 (ETA 2824 base), Small seconds – Junhangs J101.66 Mega radio-controlled quartz movement.
Winding: Automatic (regulator and automatic), Mega movement uses a battery
Chronometer Certified: No
Additional Details: Mega J101.66 scans all five radio time calibration frequencies, time setting, and time zone changes via Junghans Mega app with date correction (perpetual) and to-the-second accuracry.
Pricing & Availability
Availability: Available now, only sold as a full three-piece set.
Limited Edition: Yes, 1060 sets worldwide.
THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON www.hodinkee.com