January 26 2011
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Max Bill wristwatch. Naturally, I knew that this Swiss-born product of the Bauhaus had designed timepieces for the highly regarded German watch company Junghans back in the 1950s but I didn’t know that they’d re-issued them, so when I saw the great man’s signature on the back of my new watch, I thought I had been given an antique. That would have been rather exciting, of course (vintage is so now after all), but since I was after a watch that combined understated chic with modern reliability, this contemporary re-make was just the thing.
Now, I have always believed that a watch is a tool rather than a piece of jewellery (if I want fancy wrist decor I’ll buy a bracelet), so for me, the clarity of the face is of primary importance and my Max Bill 027/3700.00 is clarity personified. Sixty fine black lines and three super-slim stainless steel hands are all that appear on its slightly off-white face, ensuring that at-a-glance time checking is possible even with my short-sighted eyes.
That feature alone would be sufficient for any watch to win my approval, but this one also boasts a strap of the softest black calf skin, faultless German engineering and a hand-winder (yes, winding has become a ritual of the morning once more), making it quite the most perfect timepiece I have ever owned.