Junghans Watches: All You Need To Know – Brief History & 2021 Collections
Discover all you need to know about Junghans watches including a brief history and a look at the brand’s 2021 collections.
Junghans is often perceived as an under-the-radar watch brand. However, with a watchmaking heritage of over 150 years and a collection that utilises cutting-edge technology, there are many good reasons why you should be wearing a Junghans.
Where are Junghans watches made?
Junghans is a German brand, located in the Black Forest area of Schramberg.
Who founded Junghans and when?
The company was founded by Erhard Junghans in 1861.
What are Junghans famous for?
Junghans are known for their Meister (Master) collection that draws on an original design from the 1930s. Also, the iconic Bauhaus-inspired Max Bill collection with its minimalist, pared-back styling. Furthermore, the brand has had many “firsts” in its long history. However, in recent times, perhaps most notable is that in the 1990s they were the first watch brand to produce a radio-controlled wristwatch. Radio-controlled accuracy has gone on to become synonymous with Junghans. Any watch with MEGA in its name indicates that the watch has radio-controlled timekeeping.
Junghans Watches: A Brief History
Founded in 1861 by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law, the company originally produced components for the Black Forest clocks produced in the area at the time. By 1866 they were producing their own clocks. Fast forward to 1903 and the Junghans factory was the largest in the world. With over 3,000 employees, the company was manufacturing over 3 million timepieces per year. 1918 saw the construction of the brand’s famous, now listed, “terrace building”. Built on the side of a slope in the narrow Black Forest valley, Arthur Junghans was determined to maximise the light in his workshops. Therefore, the building was staggered so that it physically hugged the slope.
First quartz movement with in-direct second
Junghans has had many milestones in its history. Firstly, they were the first German company to produce a quartz watch movement with an in-direct central second. This movement lays at the heart of the iconic Meister collection.
Pilot chronograph of the Bundeswehr
Secondly, in the 1950’s, the brand developed and produced the first 19 jewelled, hand-wound chronograph movement with stop-watch function. In 1955, the newly formed German Armed Forces or Bundeswehr were looking for a service watch for their pilots. Junghans submitted details of their newly developed hand-wound chronograph with reliable J88 movement. Subsequently, Junghans won the bid and the Bundeswehr Chronograph became the service watch for German pilots. This pilot watch is still used as an industry standard today.
Collaboration with Max Bill
High design and inspiration for the collection have long gone hand in hand. In the 1950’s, Max Bill (artist, product designer, architect and student at the famous Bauhaus art school) was commissioned to design a wristwatch and clock for the brand. Today, the style of this landmark collaboration is still evident. The purist Max Bill and Max Bill Mega watch designs have remained true to Bill’s original design.
Finally, Junghans are also pioneers in the use of radio-technology in watches. In 1992, they produced the first prototype for a solar-powered watch that always shows the correct time via radio signal. By 1995, the antenna was integrated into a ceramic case and the Mega Solar Ceramic was born.
Read more about the history of Junghans watches here.
Junghans Watches: Collections 2021
Today, the Junghans collection is split into four main groups: Meister, Max Bill, Form and Force Mega Solar. Let’s dive deeper into each group and highlight some iconic models within each range.
The Meister (Master) collection is for the understated man or woman. Each model pays homage to the design and technologies of the time they were created. Consequently, you can expect vintage-inspired design and impeccable craftsmanship. Choose from versions including Agenda, Chronoscope, Chronometer, Calendar and Classic.
Focus on: Meister Chronoscope
The Junghans Meister Chronoscope is a sophisticated timepiece that evokes a bygone era. Firstly, housed within a 40.7mm gold PVD coated stainless steel case is a reliable J880.1 self-winding movement. Secondly, with an impressive 48-hour power reserve, the automatic movement can be easily viewed through the glass exhibition caseback. Furthermore, the movement equips the watch with stop function, hour, minute and seconds functions. Additionally, subsidiary dials display seconds, a 30-minute counter and a 12-hour counter.
A convex, hard plexiglass coated with Sicralan enhances scratch resistance. Underneath, the dial is in a blue sunray brushed finish. Additionally, applied indexes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 and printed markers indicate the hours. Also, the gold PVD coated steel hands are coated with an environmentally friendly luminous substance to ensure maximum legibility in poor light. Finally, a blue alligator strap with gold PVD coated steel pin buckle completes the look.
Focus on: Meister Driver
The Meister Driver collection is a must-have for all classic car aficionados. Designed to evoke the early years of motoring, the collection takes its design cues from vintage cars.
The look of the Jungans Meister Driver Hand Wind Watch is reminiscent of a classic car. Housed within a 37.7mm stainless steel case is a J815.1 hand wound movement with impressive 42 hour power reserve. The convex, hard plexiglass is coated with Sicralan to enhance scratch resistance. Underneath, the anthracite grey lacquered dial resembles a speedometer with large, sand-coloured hour markers based on the speed indicators of cars. The outer minute track is in white which gives the watch a vintage feel. The steel hands are coated with an environmentally friendly luminous substance to ensure maximum legibility in poor light conditions.
Finally, the Meister Driver Hand Wind Watch is completed with an elegant grey calf leather strap to contrast with the numerals on the dial. The underside of the strap is perforated, a detail taken from the interior of a classic car.
Designed in 1961 by the famous Swiss architect Max Bill, the collection has remained true to Bill’s original design ever since. The Bauhaus values of clarity and precision underpin this iconic collection. Whether quartz or automatic, timepiece or chronoscope, there is a Max Bill watch for everyone.
Focus on: Max Bill Automatic
Firstly, with a 38mm stainless steel case, the Max Bill Automatic has a large dial opening. Secondly, the case has minimal bezel and a pared-back design. This ensures that the time is the focus of the watch rather than what is surrounding it. Designed with legibility and accuracy in mind, the dial is matt white with printed indexes. The hour markers are taken to the extreme outer edge of the dial to draw the eye in to the time. Furthermore, the hands and hour markers are shaped for precision and are coated with a luminous substance to ensure legibility in poor light conditions.
Fitted with a reliable J800.1 automatic movement, the watch has a power reserve of up to 38 hours. Finally, a green Nato strap made completes the look. Made from recycled PET bottles, it has eco-friendly credentials too.
Focus on: Max Bill Mega
Max Bill Mega watches are a marriage of Max Bill’s purist design with the latest radio-controlled movements including solar-powered calibres.
Firstly, the Junghans Max Bill Mega Solar Watch is equipped with the latest J101.85 connected radio-controlled movement. Additionally, it has a titanium case and is solar-powered. Furthermore, it will run for up to three years on a full charge. Moreover, the dial is the solar cell and also has a quick-charging function allowing it to go from flat to running after just eight minutes of exposure to light.
Thanks to the recently developed Junghans Mega smartphone app, the watch will work anywhere in the world. Available for both iOS and Android, the smartphone app broadcasts a time signal that synchronises the watch within “less than 30 seconds on average” according to Junghans. Even within synchronisation to either smartphone or radio signals, the watch will run within eight seconds a year as an ordinary, high-precision quartz watch.
With an emphasis on simple, modern design, FORM watches are pared back and contemporary. Additionally, choose from automatic, quartz or radio-controlled options. Also, in addition to stainless steel cases, new Titanium versions are also available.
Focus on: Form A Automatic
The Form A Automatic is sober, refined and unadorned. Firstly, it has a crisp, silver-plated concave dial. Interesting square embossed minute markers add an unusual detail. Furthermore, the layout of the dial has been carefully considered with the legible printed hour markers and arabic numerals. These are designed for accuracy and ease of use. Secondly, Arabic numerals printed in orange highlight each five minute interval. Additionally, a date indicator is a useful function and is framed by a subtle shaping of the dial surrounding it. Moreover, a side view of the watch reveals that it is ergonomic in design. The case is a convex shape which underscores its flat appearance and enhances comfort for the wearer.
The watch has a J800.2 self-winding movement with a power reserve of up to 38 hours. Furthermore, the movement can be viewed through a tinted mineral glass caseback. Finally, a black calf leather strap adds the finishing touch. Deliberately plain, it has no stitching. However, a closer look reveals that the edge of the strap is discreetly tailored to match the orange numerals on the minute track.
Force Mega Solar
Whether you opt for the sporty Spectrum Mega Solar or the Force or Milano Mega Solar, all are powered by the sun. Also, they benefit from the accuracy of a radio-controlled movement.
So now you know All You Need To Know about Junghans Watches including a brief history and overview of the brand’s 2021 collections. For your convenience, all the Junghans watches featured in this article (and many more!) can be found on our dedicated Junghans Pinterest Board.
Here at watchspecialists.com we have a fantastic selection of the latest Junghans watches. All watches on our site are supplied by UK Independent Watch Retailers and come with a full Two Year Warranty. Our family-owned High Street Heroes even offer free UK delivery and gift wrapping. Great watches with a feel-good factor too!