In my last Post I referenced a few of the Bauhaus styled watches around at the moment. Each trying to emulate the philosophy of the German Bauhaus movement earlier this century and showing how this could be represented in watches. And the trouble with the Bauhaus criteria of Form, function and structure, results in a minimalist style, which does not allow much in the way of variation. So, many of the watches, by definition, can look very similar.
However, as a retired person, whilst I like the simplicity of a straight timekeeper, I do like to know what the date is and if possible, the day too. Those of you who are retired, know that weekends and weekdays are all the same – no differentiation – as our working week is long gone. So, how to fit this in to my love of Bauhaus style watches, when their dials are often taken to semi minimalist extremes.
And this shouldn’t really be a problem, as Bauhaus is NOT truly minimalist, it is more what I would call, ‘functional simplicity’. It needs what it needs to provide it’s function, clearly, and without too much in the way of that which is not needed. If you get my meaning.
And for me, my own favourite, the Bauhaus Classic 2162-1 Automatic Day/Date watch does it rather well and for reasons not immediately obvious.
It’s a decent size without being too large, at 41mm diameter and 13mm depth. The case is really very fine in polished 316L stainless steel with a 5 bar or 50m Water Resistance. The dial is somewhat unique in that it has two-tone hands – the minute one, being in red, plus a full size centre seconds sweep hand and a date only window @3. AND it has that nice, wide, full Day indication @12. So much better that the usual abbreviated style. I confess to always having a fascination for the full centre seconds mechanical sweep hand, rather than a sub seconds layout, which you barely notice.
The numeral fonts are also small, so a departure from most of the other Bauhaus offerings, which in this case adds to it’s discretion, and dial text is also quite small and thin and therefore non-intrusive, which I also like. And to make things even better – the entire set up is very clear to read, assisted by the subtle emphasis of the thicker width black hour hand. So not just a clone of so many other Bauhaus watches on offer today at all. In fact a lot of thought has gone into this model.
The movement is the 21 jewel Automatic Citizen/Miyota 8285, with a 42 hour power reserve. It has quick date setting and supports hand winding too, so all in all, a really excellent choice of movement.
Some descriptions refer to this watch calendar as Fecha, which in this instance I can only guess means the Day is separate from the Date, but I’m no linguist.
The crystal is an Extra Scratch Proof K1 mineral and the watch has an exhibition back, through which you can view the movement. The strap is a medium thick 20mm fine brown calf skin leather and on the wrist it looks very stylish.
There is also a quartz Bauhaus model, the Classic 2140, which has a date only @6.
It is powered by the well known Swiss Ronda 505 Quartz movement, though personally I find the mechanical automatic is more in keeping with the Bauhaus idea. But it is very affordable and in my opinion, if quartz is not an issue for you, then with it’s very neat and precise dial, it is a real alternative to the Bauhaus rivals listed in my previous Post. And it still features these clever hands.
Both models are Made in Germany in Ruhla, where Iron Annie and Zeppelin watches are also produced. The POINTtec Company manages the entire line and it’s not the first watch I’ve had from them. What I have found is that every watch (6 to date) I’ve had from this stable, has given me many years of exemplary service.
In my own mind, I consider that the Bauhaus brand watches featured here, are a step up in overall design from any of the ones featured in the last Post. Whilst the Nomos Tangente is the best of them, the Bauhaus 2162-1 in my opinion is superior to all of them.
However, both Bauhaus branded models featured here, have something about their under-stated design, which is difficult to beat and the 2161-1 as I say, transcends even the Nomos. The small numeral delicacy and the two-tone asymmetric width hands, just lifts the watch into a much more considered and refined category. And yes – absolutely, to another level. The designers here, have really, really thought about the details and have managed that subtle and elusive ‘something’ extra.
Personal I know, but in the end, that’s what it’s all about and maybe the rivals have forgotten that having virtually the same dial, same fonts, same straight hands and plain white background, maybe isn’t the be-all and end-all of what makes a watch ultimately attractive to the buyer.
There’s always that ‘something’ – that draws you in – and whilst all are attempting to reflect Bauhaus, it maybe takes a little more than just more of the same, or just copying what others are doing.
For me, I think the Bauhaus Classics here manage that ‘something’ – very well indeed.
So, what would I do to improve the above models? Well, to be perfect for me – a slightly enlarged date window and a 28,800 A/h ticker would do it
Splitting hairs and unfair, I know, but . . . . .
Best Bauhaus? – The Bauhaus 2162-1 is my No1 and my No2 has to be the Junkers (see last Post).