The Bauhaus style is a famous art movement that originated in Germany. It’s often seen in paintings, architecture, and furniture. However, the Bauhaus style is also prominent in the watch industry, especially for German watch brands. If you’re curious about getting a Bauhaus watch of your own, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll not only be showing you 25 of the best affordable Bauhaus watches, but we’ll also discuss the Bauhaus style in general and how it is depicted in a Bauhaus watch.
What is Bauhaus?
In a literal sense, the word “Bauhaus” means to “build a house” in German. Originally, Bauhaus referred to the German art school, but would later on be known for the art movement that the school produced. The Staatliches Bauhaus was a very influential modernist art school that ran from 1919 to 1933. Walter Gropius, a German architect, founded the Bauhaus school with a specific philosophy in mind. This philosophy is what drives what we now know as the Bauhaus Art Movement.
The Bauhaus Art Movement
When Walter Gropius first started the school, he intended to put the spotlight on the union between art, technology, and society in his teachings. The philosophy behind the movement can be summarized in the phrase, “form follows function.”
The drive behind the movement came from a fear that art had lost its place in modern society. Gone were the days where art was the center of society. At the time, art had less of a cultural impact compared to periods such as the renaissance. Not that art was deemed insignificant, but at a time where industrialization was at the forefront of society, art became less of a priority. However, Gropius had felt that modern manufacturing lacked a soul. This, combined with the fear of art’s dwindling societal relevance, had encouraged him to push forward a movement that sought to marry fine art with functional design.
So, how did the Bauhaus Art Movement intend to unite the practical crafts with fine arts? Well, we go back to the philosophy of “form follows function”. The Bauhaus style focused more on functionality rather than aesthetics. In fact, it is often confused with minimalism, since it strips down an object’s design down to what is essential for it to function. It takes away the ornate to better focus on what is needed.
Example: The Chair
Let’s take a simple chair, for example. What does a chair need to have for it to complete its function? Well, of course, it needs to have a seat. And that seat needs to be elevated for it to be considered a chair. However, just a seat with legs for elevation is simply a stool. So, you would also need a backrest for it to be considered a chair. What about armrests? Well, is a chair without armrests still considered a chair? Yes. So, even though chairs with armrests are common, a chair without one will still be able to deliver its fundamental function.
Now, what the Bauhaus design does is it only considers the essentials that will achieve functionality. This is the priority. The design then comes in to further accentuate these essentials. Let’s go back to the chair example. Does a chair need to have four legs? Although four is the common number of legs that a chair has, it doesn’t have to essentially be that number. The purpose of a chair’s legs is to elevate the seat off the ground while giving it ample support. Now, you can play around with the design of the legs, as long as when you sit on it, you won’t fall back. This way, you keep it simple but at the same time accentuate the fundamental elements of the chair. The functionality will always come first, and then you design it around that functionality. You put art in the manufacturing without taking away or overpowering its purpose. This is the Bauhaus Art Movement.
The Bauhaus Watch
Now that we have an idea of what the Bauhaus style looks like in a general sense, we can now go into what makes a watch a Bauhaus watch. Again, the Bauhaus style focuses on functionality. For a watch, that boils down to being able to tell the time. Normally, a Bauhaus watch would only have the essentials such as indexes and watch hands. However, some Bauhaus watches do have extra features such as sub-dials and date windows. What’s important is that whatever you add should not take away from the fundamental function of the watch. Despite having additional features, it should not look cluttered and should still have an overall clean design. After all, in order to tell the time, a watch’s face must be easily readable. A lot of times, this means having clean lines and fonts, and thin watch hands.
Best Affordable Bauhaus Watches
Since the Bauhaus Art Movement originated in Germany, you will find that a lot of watches on this list come from notable German watch brands. If you are already familiar with certain German watch brands that take inspiration from the Bauhaus style, you might notice that some of these brands, such as Nomos and A. Lange & Söhne, are not on this list. This is because this article focuses on the affordable Bauhaus watch. There are indeed a lot more Bauhaus-style watches that are a bit more pricier. However, for this list, we only included watches that cost no more than $500. With that said, let’s dive in and take a look into 15 of the best affordable Bauhaus-style watches.
1. Junghans Men’s Max Bill Watch (041/4562.04)
For our first Bauhaus watch, we have a lovely timepiece from the notable German watch brand, Junghans. The Junghans Men’s Max Bill Stainless Steel Quartz Watch falls on the lower end of the size range for the average man at 38mm. It runs on a quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 30 meters. The watch has a stainless steel case with an incredibly thin bezel. Junghans decided to go for a thin bezel to really put the focus on the watch face, consistent with the Bauhaus style. It also has a lovely leather strap in beige that is made from calfskin.
Going into the dial design, you can really see the Bauhaus influence. It is simple and clean, opting to use a white dial and black font for optimum readability. Speaking of readability, the watch uses two sets of clean fonts. The larger set is closer to the center and shows the usual 12-hour display. Meanwhile, the smaller set of Arabic numerals are at the outermost part of the dial and depict the minutes in five-minute intervals. In between these two sets of numerals are the thin line markers. The markers for the hours are longer compared to those that represent the minutes in between.
At the center of the dial, you will find the thin luminous watch hands. Aside from the basic watch elements, you can also find a small date window at the 3 o’clock position. The watch doesn’t have any other additional designs. It keeps it simple with just the brand’s name in a small font below the 12 o’clock position, and the words “Made in Germany” in an even smaller font by the 30-minute mark.
2. Swatch Skinbrushed Watch (SYXS102)
Our next Bauhaus watch is this handsome Swatch Skinbrushed Watch. This Bauhaus watch has a stainless steel case that is 38mm in diameter, perfect for the average male wrist size. It has a scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal and a cool brown leather strap. This watch runs on a Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 30 meters.
The Bauhaus style is best depicted on the watch’s dial. It has a black dial with white fonts for easy readability. This watch focuses on the fundamental function of a watch, foregoing other additional but related features such as calendars. To really focus on the time-telling aspect, this watch shows two sets of Arabic numerals. The smaller set you can find on the outermost part of the dial and depicts the minutes in five-minute intervals. It also has markers in thin white lines which represent each minute. The next set of numerals are the numbers 1 to 12, which represent the 12-hour time. These numbers are significantly larger than the ones for the minutes and also come with short and thin markers. Lastly, we have two watch hands at the center of the dial that are luminous for easy readability in the dark.
3. Junghans Max Bill Watch (041/4461.04)
Our next Bauhaus watch is another watch from the Junghans Max Bill collection. This Junghans Men’s Max Bill Watch has a 38mm stainless steel case with a very thin bezel to put emphasis on the watch face. Its thin bezel really makes the design look sleek and classy. This, paired with a handsome brown leather strap and cool Bauhaus-style dial, makes this watch quite versatile. It’s simple enough to be an everyday watch, but at the same time, it holds an elegance that makes it an appropriate accessory for fancier events.
It has a classic white dial for a very clean and crisp vibe. It also uses clean and thin black fonts and lines. At the innermost circle of the dial, you will see large Arabic numerals for the 12-hour setup. Meanwhile, on the outermost part of the dial, there is another set of numerals but in a much smaller and thinner font. These numerals represent the minutes in five-minute intervals. And continuing the thin and sleek theme, we’ve got three thin luminous watch hands at the center.
4. Junkers Bauhaus Automatik
For this next watch, we have a Bauhaus watch from another notable German watch brand, Junkers. If you’ll notice, this Bauhaus watch is less simple than some of the other watches on this list. However, despite having additional features, it remains to have a clean design which does not take away from the watch’s primary function.
This watch has a lovely gold-plated stainless steel case, which is 40mm in diameter. It has a thin bezel and its crown is located at the 4 o’clock position instead of the usual 3 o’clock. Its thin bezel makes the watch dial appear larger, making sure the focus is on the time-telling function instead of distracting bezels or other embellishments. Pairing well with the gold-plated stainless steel is a lovely light brown leather strap with white stitching. This watch runs on a quartz movement and has a water-resistance of 50 meters.
Now, let’s talk about the dial. This watch has a lovely off-white dial with gold and black accents. On the outermost part of the dial, you will see thin, short black lines that mark the minutes. These are followed by small, black Arabic numerals in five-minute intervals. So far, these black fonts and markings we’ve mentioned are quite small and don’t actually take up much space on the dial. There are, however, much larger Arabic numerals in gold that show the numbers 1 to 12. Matching these gold numerals are the thin, gold watch hands at the center of the dial. Additionally, there is also a sub-dial by the 7 o’clock position, and a small date window at the 2 o’clock position. Despite having additional features, the dial doesn’t look cluttered and still has a good amount of white space.
5. Orient ‘2nd Gen Bambino Version III’ Watch (FAC0000EW0)
Up next, we have the Orient ‘2nd Gen Bambino Version III’ Japanese Automatic Watch. This watch has a 41mm stainless steel case with a domed mineral glass crystal. It runs on a Japanese automatic movement and has a water-resistance of 30 meters. The watch has a handsome dark brown leather strap. That, along with its minimalist aesthetic, makes it the perfect watch for any outfit.
Speaking of minimalist design, this watch has a numberless white dial. It has long black lines that mark each hour, and shorter lines in between. The watch has three simple watch hands at the center, and it also has a tiny date window at the 3 o’clock position.
6. Junghans Men’s Max Bill Watch (041/4465.00)
Our next watch is the third Junghans Men’s Max Bill Watch to enter our list. The watch has a 38mm stainless steel case with an incredibly thin bezel, similar to the other Max Bill watches on this list. It has a black leather strap, which goes well with the matching black dial. The watch runs on a quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 30 meters, which alliws it to withstand splashes and rain.
Sticking with the Bauhaus philosophy, this watch has a pretty simple dial. Its black dial is numberless, opting to use long, thin white lines to represent each hour. There are also shorter white lines in between to represent the minutes. You will also notice that there are circles on the lines for the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions. Meanwhile, there are two circles — one on each side — for the 12 o’clock line. Lastly, there is also a small date window by the 3 o’clock position.
7. Junkers Bauhaus Lady Watch
Up next, we have the Junkers Bauhaus Lady Analog Swiss Quartz Watch. The watch has a stainless steel case with a very thin bezel to put emphasis on the dial. This watch runs on a Swiss quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 30 meters. The watch also has a lovely brown leather strap with some white stitching.
Matching the silver-tone stainless steel case, we have a cool silver dial. Although not as minimal and simple as other watch dials on this list, this watch still maintains a clean look that conforms with the Bauhaus style. The watch has two gold-tone watch hands and matching gold Arabic numerals. There’s also a smaller set of Arabic numerals, but instead of gold, they are black. These numerals show the minutes in five-minute intervals and are found on the outermost part of the dial. There’s also a mix of gold and black lines in between the two sets of numerals. Additionally, you can also find a subdial below the watch hands.
8. Orient ‘2nd Gen Bambino Version III’ Watch (FAC0000CA0)
Next on our list of Bauhaus watches, we’ve got another Orient ‘2nd Gen Bambino Version III’ Japanese Automatic Dress Watch. This watch has a 41mm stainless steel case and a domed mineral crystal which protects the dial. The watch has a black leather strap with a brown inner lining. This watch uses a Japanese automatic movement and has a water-resistance of 30 meters.
The dial incorporates a very simple and minimalistic design. It is a gray numberless dial with long white lines that represent the hours. In between these lines, you will also see shorter and thinner lines to help you read the minutes better. At the center, you will find three watch hands, and a date window at the 3’oclock position.
9. Junghans Form Quartz
Up next, we have this handsome Bauhaus watch from Junghans. The watch has a stainless steel case that is 40mm in diameter. But what’s interesting about this case is that its bezel is incredibly thin. This bezel design was used to really put the focus on the watch dial and on reading the time. The watch also has a textured black leather strap that really makes this watch quite versatile. Its Bauhaus design and leather strap make it an appropriate watch to wear on dressed-up occasions. But at the same time, it is simple enough to not be too much to wear on a daily basis.
The dial design is super clean, and you can really see the Bauhaus influence in its look. It has a classic white dial with black accents. Instead of the usual 1 to 12, the Arabic numerals displayed show the minutes in five-minute intervals. These numerals use a clean black font paired with clean black lines as markers. In between each line, you will also see small white squares that represent the minutes in between. At the center, there are three thin watch hands. And to the right of those hands, you’ll see a small date window.
10. Braun Unisex Full-Ceramic 3-Hand Watch
Taking a break from the usual neutral colors, our next watch is one that brings a bit more color to your wardrobe. The Braun Unisex Full-Ceramic 3-Hand Analogue Quartz Watch has a 38mm ceramic case in matte blue. Its bezel is thin to bring the focus of the eye to the dial. Despite a ceramic case, the caseback is actually made of a stainless steel. The watch also has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal. Matching the case, we have a ceramic bracelet that is also blue.
Continuing the theme of this watch, its numberless dial is also blue. To represent the hours, we have thin white lines that are easily visible against the dark blue dial. In terms of design, the watch really keeps it simple with just watch hands and indexes. However, despite the simplicity, the watch still wanted to give something more with a pop of color. Aside from an all-blue look, the watch also has a vibrant yellow second hand.
11. FEICE Automatic Bauhaus Watch
Our next Bauhaus watch is the FEICE Automatic Bauhaus Watch for Men. This watch runs on an automatic movement. This means that it gets its power from the movements your wrist makes when you wear it. At full power, this watch can last up to 35 hours. It has a stainless steel case that is 42mm in diameter and has a transparent caseback that will let you see the movement. The watch has a black leather strap with a push-button foldover clasp with safety.
Sticking with the Bauhaus style, its dial design is pretty straightforward. It has a numberless white dial which uses short black lines and dots to represent the hours and minutes. At the center, you will see two thin blue watch hands that really give a pop of color to the simple design. On the dial, you will also see a power reserve indicator that goes from 0 to 35. When the sub-dial hand points at zero, you’ll need to manually wind the crown to keep it ticking. Below the watch hands, you will also see a seconds subdial and a small, circular date window.
12. Junkers Bauhaus Watch (6046-5)
We have another watch from the German brand, Junkers. The Junkers Bauhaus Watch comes from a collection dedicated to the famous German art movement. It focuses on minimalist and direct designs, which we will be talking about in a bit. The watch has a classic stainless steel case but its bezel is a lot thinner than normal. Instead of having distracting bezels, this series wanted to put the spotlight on the dial. Protecting the dial, we have a Hesalite crystal, and attached to the case is a handsome brown leather strap.
The dial is a clean off-white and features some clean black fonts. We have a smaller set of fonts on the outermost part of the dial, which shows the Arabic numerals for the minutes in five-minute intervals. There are also thin lines and shorter dot-like lines in between. The second set of Arabic numerals are larger and represent the hours from 1 to 12. At the 3 o’clock position, there’s a small date window, and at the center, we’ve got three thin watch hands. Aside from that, you can also see the words “junkers bauhaus” and the Junkers logo on the dial.
13. Braun Bauhaus Watch (BN0032BKBKG)
Next up, we have this black Braun Watch. This watch has a black-tone stainless steel case that is 40 millimeters in diameter. For the crystal, we have a durable mineral glass that protects the dial. Matching the case, the watch also has a black strap made from genuine leather. This watch runs on a quartz movement and has a decent water-resistance of 50 meters.
Sticking to the Bauhaus style, this watch’s dial is pretty simple. It is a plain black dial with white Arabic numerals. The watch hands are also white, with the exception of the second hand which is a bright yellow. Lastly, there’s also a small date window with a bit of red accent at the 6 o’clock position.
14. FEICE Unisex Bauhaus Automatic Watch
Taking a break from the usual round watches, we have this unique square watch from FEICE. The FEICE Unisex Bauhaus Automatic Watch has a stainless steel square case, which has a transparent back that allows you to see the watch’s automatic movement. Since it is an automatic watch, you won’t be needing any batteries. The movements your wrist makes when you wear it will be enough to power the watch. This watch also has a sapphire crystal, which is probably the strongest and most scratch-resistant watch crystal out there. The watch has a genuine brown leather strap and is water-resistant up to 30 meters.
Keeping up with the Bauhaus theme, the dial is pretty simple and minimalistic. It is a clean white dial with strong black Arabic numerals for optimum readability. There are also black lines going around the perimeter of the square dial. At the center, you will see two thin watch hands in a vibrant blue hue. Additionally, the watch also has a second sub-dial with a sweeping second hand, and a small date window.
15. Braun Classic Bauhaus Watch (BN0021WHBRG)
Up next, we have the Braun Men’s Classic Bauhaus Watch. This watch has a classic stainless steel case that is 38mm in diameter. Its bezel is quite thin to allow the eye to naturally focus on the dial. The watch has a brown leather strap and a pretty sturdy mineral crystal. This watch runs on a Japanese quartz movement and has a pretty decent water-resistance of 50 meters.
Its dial stays true to the Bauhaus style with a very clean and simple design. It has a classic white dial with black Arabic numerals in a strong but clean font. On the rim of the dial, there are also strong lines for the hours, and thinner and shorter lines for the minutes. At the center, you’ll see two thin watch hands in black and a second hand in a bright yellow for a pop of color to the otherwise simple look.
The Bauhaus style isn’t just an aesthetic, it’s an art movement. It aims to marry art with function. This art movement puts the functionality of an object at the forefront, and further accentuates it with design. For a Bauhaus watch, this means taking away anything that will distract or make it difficult to read the time.
A Bauhaus-style watch is straightforward and clean in design. It puts the focus on the bare essentials and makes sure that whatever you add to it does not take away from the primary function of the watch. Although there are many Bauhaus watches that are quite expensive, you will have no difficulty finding a Bauhaus watch that is suitable for your budget.
In this article, we featured many German watches. If you want to know more about the best German watch brands, check out this article we wrote about it.