Bauhaus might be a name or concept that you have heard before. If not, don’t be frightened. Bauhaus does not refer to a brand or certain model, nor is it a complication or function. Bauhaus is an ideology.
What Is Bauhaus?
In everyday life, the word Bauhaus means one of two things.
For the first one, Bauhaus is identified as a German school (not literally a school, but a way of thought) of architecture and applied arts. The school was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. It focused on experimental principles of functionalism and truth to materials. In short, it means that every unnecessary part should be cut of, keeping a very clean, minimalist and highly functional final product. At this time, Bauhaus had nothing to do with watches. It mainly focused on the design of buildings, tables, chairs…
Secondly, Bauhaus is the name of the largest DIY store chain in Europe with over 250 stores in 19 countries. The fact that they employ 35.000 people is impressive, but not relevant to today’s story.
Bauhaus In Watchmaking
Let us skip the DIY stores and let’s go back to watchmaking. Every watch manufacturer who uses the Bauhaus train of thought in their watches, interprets and executes this concept differently.
Bauhaus watches basically mean keeping the basic and functionality by stripping down the design to its basics.
This does not mean that the design has to be flat and boring. It simply means that an object should be functional without dead weight or without bells and whistles (looking at you, perpetual calendar dive watches).
Since Bauhaus was born in Germany, it’s not weird to find mainly German brands focusing on this design. The first Bauhaus watchbands you might think of might be Nomos, the most famous example.
Often, new microbrands use Bauhaus as an excuse to make simple and low effort watches. Source a basic and thin watchcase, a white dial and a simple quartz movement from China, et voila. Brands like these usually don’t live very long. Some brands make a lazy design and mark it ‘Bauhaus’, while in fact Bauhaus is the opposite of an easy and lazy watch design.
Nomos is one of the few brands who make Bauhaus watches that is worth mentioning. The German brands follows the minimalistic rules without compromising on the watchmaking part. They jump out with impressive in-house movements, without charging astronomical prices. They are also one of the few brands who offer different complication, while still following the same train of thought. If you are into watches and want to explore the Bauhaus style, Nomos is definitely worth checking out.