The names Junghans and Max Bill are almost symbiotic. You can’t mention one without thinking of the other. Together, they are most famous for the Max Bill watch, a minimalist time-only watch that was designed with strict adherence to the Bauhaus principles of design. But the relationship of Junghans and Max Bill stretches further back than that. Five years before the first Max Bill watch rolled off Junghan’s factory lines, the two collaborated on a wall clock that has since come to be known as the Küchenuhr or kitchen clock. The design is so iconic that you’ve probably seen derivatives of it without even knowing. And now, in celebration of 65 years of the clock, Junghans is bringing back the Max Bill Kitchen Clock but with a modern twist.
The new Max Bill Kitchen Clock is extremely faithful to the original. Apart from having the same elliptical case and dial design, it also has, as far as I can tell, the same dimensions as the original. It measures 25.2mm from head to toe and is only 180mm-wide at its chunkiest point. This isn’t a big clock, but remember, the original was designed to be a kitchen tool to be used for timing cooking events.
The case is made of ceramic and is rendered in an attractive shade of blue that has strong vintage vibes. The dial is white and features the unique typography that Max Bill first designed for the original version of the kitchen clock and was later also used on the Junghans Max Bill watch. To keep things as simple and as fuss-free as possible, there’s no running seconds hand. Interestingly, sapphire crystal is used to protect the dial.
That thing below the dial isn’t a subsidiary seconds dial. It’s actually a 60-minute timer. Remember I said this was a kitchen clock? That timer was designed to be used to measure cooking or baking times. And once the time is up, Junghans says it sounds “a charming chime reminiscent of the 1950s.”
You can get the Max Bill Kitchen Clock with two different movements. One version comes with a regular Junghans J738 quartz movement. For those who are sticklers for precision and punctuality, there’s another version that features the radio-controlled Junghans J761 movement. This movement syncs with the DCF77 time code transmitter in Germany. With a range of around 1,200 miles, you would need to be in Europe to take full advantage of its time-syncing capabilities.
There’s no denying that this is a super charming clock. I like how they remained faithful to the original design, though I wish there were more colors to choose from. Imagine how stunning it would look in black. This new clock is part of Junghans’ celebration of its relationship with Max Bill. Earlier this year, it launched the Max Bill Edition Set 60, a trio of watches celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic Junghans Max Bill watch. It will be available in spring next year with the regular quartz version priced at $550 and the radio-controlled version costing $600. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.