The Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope chronograph completes the German manufacturer's Bauhaus-inspired collection. Its caliber, based on the automatic Valjoux 7750, features a date and day display.
The success story of the Junghans Max Bill collection can be traced back to the company's collaboration with the eponymous Swiss artist and architect. Bill studied at the Bauhaus in the eastern German city of Dessau in the late 1920s. There, he learned to connect art with craftsmanship in order to create designs that were as attractive as they were functional. His later work was clearly influenced by his time at this pioneering school of art and design, as evidenced by the first product designed by Bill for Junghans in 1956: a kitchen clock with an integrated timer. The first Max Bill wristwatch followed in 1961. Its minimalist design was strikingly similar to that of the wall clock.
The Max Bill Chronoscope adds a stopwatch to this collection. While Bill didn't design this watch himself, it's clear that Junghans intended to stay close to the original concept. Like the other Max Bills, this timepiece features domed plexiglass and a round case. The distinct Arabic numerals sit inside the indices and are the same simple shape as those of its sister models. There are also models without Arabic numerals for those looking for something even more understated.
The dials are available in multiple colors, such as black, anthracite, or silver.The 40-mm case is largely made of stainless steel. Some Max Bill Chronoscopes are covered in a golden PVD coating. A leather strap or Milanese bracelet keeps these chronographs on the wrist.
Junghans relies on the proven ETA Valjoux 7750 to power this timepiece. It is one of the most successful chronograph movements in the history of watchmaking. Other renowned manufacturers, such as IWC andBreitling, also use this popular caliber in their timepieces. The subdial at 12 o'clock serves as a 30-minute counter, while the 12-hour counter occupies the subdial at 6. This movement usually has a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock, but the Max Bill Chronoscope replaces that with the "Junghans Chronoscope" inscription. Every model features a date display, however, a day display is optional.
|Model||Price (approx.)||Reference number||Day display|
|Max Bill Chronoscope||1,400 USD||027/4600.00||‒|
|Max Bill Chronoscope||1,500 USD||027/4003.44||‒|
|Max Bill Chronoscope||1,500 USD||027/4500.44||✓|
|Max Bill Chronoscope||1,500 USD||027/4501.00||✓|
|Max Bill Automatic||790 USD||027/3501.00||‒|
|Max Bill MEGA||760 USD||058/4820.00||‒|
|Max Bill Hand-Winding||630 USD||027/3004.44||‒|
|Max Bill Ladies||450 USD||047/4542.00||‒|
If you're looking to purchase a mint-condition Max Bill Chronoscope, be sure to have around 1,400 USD on hand. That will get you a model with a matte silver-plated or black dial on a black cow leather strap. On the dial, you'll find hour indices, two subdials, and a date display. Luminous material on the hands and dots at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock guarantee optimal readability, even in the dark.
The addition of Arabic numerals raises that price to just under 1,500 USD. These numerals mark the hours as well as the minutes in five-minute increments. Paired with indices, this model has a more technical feel while still maintaining its characteristic minimalism. The Max Bill Chronoscope on a Milanese bracelet costs about 60 USD more. Versions with a day display also sit in this price range.
A slightly updated version of the Max Bill Chronoscope debuted in 2015. It has an anthracite dial and demands around 1,500 USD. The beige strap perfectly matches the color of the luminous numerals. This edition does without the dot markers and instead features a day-date display.
The stainless steel case of the golden Max Bill Chronoscope gets its color from a layer of PVD coating. The final result is a highly refined timepiece. The main hands and those of the subdials are also gold in color. The entire look is rounded off by a brown leather strap. The final watch sells for about 1,600 USD.
The Max Bill collection is most famous for its simpler, three-hand models, which are also available with quartz movements. In fact, the Max Bill MEGA uses a precise radio-controlled movement that will only deviate by 0.006 seconds in one million years. This is far more accurate than any mechanical movement. Even COSC-certified mechanical chronometer calibers are allowed to deviate by +6/-4 seconds per day. The Max Bill MEGA has a date display and costs around 760 USD.
The Max Bill is also available as a women's watch with a 32.7-mm case. These models are quartz-powered and worn on elegant, felt-like leather straps in fun colors, such as red or light beige. A polished gray dial completes this watch's understated look. New, this version of the Max Bill Ladies costs 450 USD.
The Max Bill Hand-Winding requires a regular supply of energy to keep ticking. This is the perfect model for anyone nostalgic for the daily ritual of winding a watch. Its flat manual caliber allows for a final thickness of 9 mm, meaning this timepiece can fit comfortably under any shirtsleeve. The 34-mm version on a Milanese bracelet changes hands for around 630 USD.
If you want a mechanical timepiece you don't have to remember to wind every day, you should take a closer look at the Max Bill Automatic. At 38 mm in diameter, it is the ideal unisex watch. Here you also have your choice of dial colors like silver or black. The simplest models have no date display and demand about 790 USD. Those with a date display cost some 60 USD more.
The Max Bill Chronoscope has two additional push-pieces at 2 and 4 o'clock for operating its chronograph function. Press the pusher at 2 to start the stopwatch and push it again to stop. You can continue your measurement by pressing the same pusher a third time. If you're finished or want to start over, you can reset the chronograph hands to their initial position by activating the push-piece at 4.