Since I saw the Nomos brand with their bauhaus style, I have been searching for some affordable Bauhaus style watch options. When thinking of Bauhaus style timepieces, the German brands STOWA, Nomos and Jürgens are obviously the first that come to mind. However, in most cases, the cost for an automatic nears $1K and much more in some instances. Alternatives? There is a company called Tangramatic who produces a Bauhaus style watch at a very palatable cost.
Bauhaus watches have minimalistic design cases. The case has an art-deco, multi-layer, multi-finish construction. The case is made out of 316L stainless steel with the multiple finishes. The case measures 39mm and 43mm including the crown. While the case may be small to those that prefer at least 42mm or larger watch cases, the long lugs contribute to a 49mm lug tip to lug tip measurement, which will satisfy many of those with larger wrists. The design works well and feels right at home on the wrist!
Many Bauhaus style timepieces tend to be on the ultra-thin side in relation to case thickness. The 39A is definitely a bit chunkier at 12mm to the peak of the domed crystal. However, even at 12mm, the watch will rest quite comfortably under a dress shirt cuff in turn, making the 39A a perfect for a night out in the town. Watch is quite light, only 80 grams, and will feel comfortable on the wrist. A 6.5mm push/pull crown is located at the 3 o’clock position on the case. The crown has the model designation etched on the face. The crown is extremely easy to grasp and engage due to the nice machining around the edge. The crown is perfectly proportionate to the other case dimensions and even larger than crowns on similar Bauhaus style watches. The non-crown side of the case is very plain and simple, keeping with the minimalistic design, as well as, providing a great view of the multi-layer, multi-finish case design of the watch.
The 39A is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal measuring 34mm diameter which provides a very clear view of the dial due to a quality interior anti-reflective coating. The crystal is ever so slightly raised above the bezel. Beneath the sapphire crystal is a rather unique white dial. When you look at the 39A Bauhaus, rather than a typical numeric Bayer font type, a more modern approach has been utilized, making the dial appear quite a bit more playful. Rather than numerals, Tangramatic chose to spell out the hours which is unlike anything I have seen before. The combination of the “art-deco” case and modern approach taken with the dial layout make the 39A Bauhaus extremely unique in regards to other Bauhaus watches on the market. Outside of the time, the only complication on the 39A is a legible date window located just above the 6 o’clock position on the dial. The 39A does have a bit of lume around the dial which isn’t something always found on Bauhaus style watches. C1 white superluminova has been applied to small dots outside of the hour indicators. Rather than using white lume on the handset, another modern approach was taken with the use of a black or grayish lume. C1 lume doesn’t typically have any significant longevity and is no different in this particular instance.
Tangramatic went for the very reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement for the 39A Bauhaus. By using the Miyota, Tangramatic is able to keep costs much lower while still providing a quality movement to the consumer. I would love to see a display case back showing off the Miyota which isn’t a bad looking movement. Of course, with a display case back, the cost would be impacted slightly. So in this case, covering the movement is a stainless steel screw down case back. The case back has the specification information about the watch etched around the perimeter with engravings of a fish and a hummingbird at the center. The other engraving is a Latin phrase meaning, “May You Wear This in Good Health.”
The straps. The watch comes with mesh, but for review purpose I got also the leather strap. Both are great quality and aren’t cheap at all! The watch looks really good on nato straps, but I didn’t had any 20mm nato on me to test it.
Overall the 39A is great example of Bauhaus design. It isn’t like all these super minimalistic watches that call them “bauhaus”. It has it’s uniqueness and story behind it. I weared the watch couple of times through out a day, and it feels good on the wrist. The first thought when I saw the dial in life was, it looked like those old dials that are for measuring pressure on some kind of steam devices. A whole lot of watch for the price!
Price – 330$ (www.tangramatic.com.au)
- Miyota cal.9015 (automatic & hand-wind, sweeping seconds by 28800 bph, 42 hour power reserve)
- Sapphire crystal single-domed watch glass
- Anti-reflective coating (underside only)
- Art deco-style 316L stainless steel case
- Water resistance of 100m / 10ATM / 330ft
- C1 Superluminova on dial surface and hands
- Date window at 6 o’clock
- Engraved, solid, screw-down case back
- Push-pull crown
- 39mm case diameter without crown
- 20mm lug width
- 49mm lug tip to lug tip
- 12mm high at the peak of the crystal