Bauhaus watches are somewhat of a staple in a watch aficionados lineup. Inspired by minimalist and historic buildings in Germany, the designs are beautiful. But an emphasis on functionality by German craftsman Walter Gropius was what really mattered.
With some of its seriously recognized watches (Nomos Tangente, Junghans Max Bill, Orient Bambino), Bauhaus is not always easy to locate for purchase through Amazon and other retailers. Fans of this style need to scour to find their match.
But let’s break down why it may be worth the scavenger hunt.
What is Bauhaus Watches?
Bauhaus is a style. Simplistic. Functional. And performs exactly as a watch should. Bauhaus is a style inspired in Germany based on minimalism. The term Bauhaus actually comes from a design school founded by Walter Gropius with the same title. As mentioned, Gropius put a massive emphasis on:
- Then Design
Watches are the perfect concept to implement this style. While many luxury brands seek to overdo the process by adding bedazzled jewels and technology, Bauhaus seeks to do one thing, tell the time.
That’s why you will rarely see any color or additional design features besides the basics on an authentic Bauhaus watch.
Here are some of the key elements we notice about design.
- The design is minimal meaning thing frames, basic dials, and simplistic hands.
- No extra technology is added.
- No extra design features or flashy inspired designs.
- Typically thin casing and simplistic leather bands.
Top Watches and Brands that Resemble Bauhaus
So what are some of the best examples of Bauhaus-style watches? Once you understand the concept, it is easy to see who works with the style. After seeing the style, it’s actually important to read about its functionality. Does it hold up well? This is the priority in the architectural thinking of design.
Let’s talk about some of the best Bauhaus watches on the market right now.
NOMOS, interestingly enough, does not attach themselves to the name of Bauhaus despite their watches clearly reflecting it. Instead, when reviews come out, it is others who accredit them for some of the best present-day Bauhaus watches.
A veteran of German-made watches has a line called the Max Bill that speaks Bauhaus. The line is accredited after their own designer who built the line in the 1950s, inspired by the Bauhaus style.
Brand: Watch Uniform Wares 152
Taking on the exact design details above, this simple thin frame watch is a timeless piece. A dial, without numbers, accompanies its brown leather band. Just lines to distinguish minutes and the hour. This watch is Bauhaus to the core.
Since Bauhaus glasses are a style rather than a company, it is hard to put a price range on the entire look. The Uniform Wares 152 comes in just under $300 making it a very affordable watch despite looking like a luxury piece.
You can find Bauhaus styles in all different kinds of prices ranging from hitting the high luxury thousands to under $100. That’s why it is a style that most love. Everyone has access to it.
Don’t mistake expensive styles for a good Bauhaus. Not all Bauhaus luxury brands make a good product. This is why it’s important to look at in-house-made German manufacturers that have studied the Bauhaus school of thought.
Pros and Cons
The Bauhaus style gets the job done. With any kind of watch, there are pros and cons to be considered. Let’s break down the most common talked about setbacks and desirables about this German-style watch.
- Functionality is at the forefront of the watch meaning you never have to worry about it doing what it’s meant to. Tell time.
- The designs are almost always elegant due to their simplistic nature.
- They are typically lightweight watches.
- Great for those who prefer minimalism style.
- Not ideal for those looking for tech additions to their watches.
- May be considered to be boring or no-frill for certain style preferences.
- Can be difficult to depict whether it meets Bauhaus styles based on companies not always associating with the terminology.
- Brands knocking off the style but using cheap materials can leave a bad taste in the name for customers. Remember functionality.
What’s the Catch
As you may have noted, the thing with Bauhaus style is that it is still very much present throughout some of the most popular watches. One of the issues is that its history is slowly being forgotten thanks to brands not accrediting the style. Minimalistic is the word that is replacing Bauhaus.
So, how do you know whether it’s true Bauhaus style? Well, minimalism is not the priority. Functionality is. A good Bauhaus watch will function as it should and be quality-made. The best place to ensure this is working with a German brand that can appreciate the history.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is luxury pricing only. Bauhaus can come in a range of prices which is why so many love the style.
If you’re sold on the minimalist look, take a look at our pick of 13 great minimalist watches or if you want something a little more engaging, take a look at these stunning skeleton watches.
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Last Updated on November 16, 2021
Brittany Collens is one of our top sports writers. She is also a professional tennis player which helps her authority on subjects such as health and fitness.
She has a degree in journalism and has previously written for well-established sports magazines in Massachusetts.
Brittany lives in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States.