Bauhaus is a term which rose out of a German art school of the same name in the early 1900s. The philosophy behind the initial movement was to do away with the social distinctions associated with different art forms. As an aesthetic, Bauhaus tends toward the utilitarian and minimalistic, making use of abstract geometric shapes and complementary colours.
A contemporary Bauhaus watch draws inspiration from these artistic tropes, but ultimately seeks to balance pragmatism with simplicity. The eponymous watch brand, part of the larger POINTtec stable, has certainly achieved this goal in the Bauhaus Automatik Date.
I feel that if you asked a child to draw a clock, he would sketch something very close to the Bauhaus Automatik Date. All you would need is a circle, three hands and a few Arabic numerals. When you strip a watch of all its ornamentations, it becomes elemental. However, that essence could very easily translate into something altogether anonymous. On the other hand, some of the big names in Bauhaus design–Junghans, Nomos, Junkers—manage, against the odds, to create something iconic from almost nothing. Literally.
In fact, for all its austerity, the Automatik Date still manages to achieve a restrained elegance. Measuring 41mm in diameter and only 11mm thick, it’s the sort of watch that slips easily under a cuff and would be a fine companion at the office. Despite its slim bezel and extensive dial real estate, the watch does not wear at all large. The lug design might well be its savior in this respect, curving outward and down from the case in a sort of tear drop shape—somewhat reminiscent of the wire lugs used on early trench watches.
The bezel and mid-case are buffed to a mirror polish, positioning the Automatik Date as dress watch; however, the handmade Italian leather strap does add a degree of sportiness to the overall appeal, embossed as it is with the brand name descending vertically. Call it casual chic.
The case back is circularly brushed with a display window through which you can see the Sellita SW200-1. It has a gold-coloured rotor, which is perhaps the only element of ostentation in the entire piece. The Sellita runs at 28 800vph for a smooth second hand sweep. It also offers up a 38-hour power reserve. Bauhaus make use of the ETA2824-2 in this model, as well, depending upon market availability. The watch is water resistant to 50m.
The Automatik dial is decidedly straightforward, with a sober minute track printed in small dots around the outside. Hours are indicated by simple, elongated sticks—an element picked up again in the dark blue handset. The font used for the Arabics is slender and contemporary, though the numbers themselves have been place around the inside of the dial as addendums to the stick markers. The dial colour in this reference is advertised as beige but is really more like a creamy hue of coffee. It works very well with the shade of blue in the hands. The only text, other than the brand logo at twelve, is the word “automatic” on the opposite end of the dial, and the small “Made in Germany” along the bottom and above the minute track. There is a date window at three.
As a crystal, the Automatik uses Hardened K1 Mineral Glass. While this is not as desirable at sapphire, it has a lovely dome that disperses light across the watch. What surprised me most, however, was that the Automatik dial comes fully lumed in light blue.
There are two other three-handers in the Bauhaus Automatik Date Collection: the 21521 in light brown, and the 21523 in navy blue.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
48mm Lug to Lug
20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Display Case back
50m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Hardened K1 Mineral Glass Dome|
Printed Arabic Numerals
Blue Stick Hands
Date Window @ 3
|Movement||Sellita SW200-1 (also ETA2824-2)|
38-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Handmade Italian Leather|
Bauhaus Automatic Date 21525 by POINTtec
In 1987, Willi Birk, an economics graduate, founded the POINTtec brand in the hope of reviving German watchmaking following its collapse during the quartz crisis. A few years later, after German reunification, POINTtec expanded beyond its home in Munich and began making automatic movements for Glashütte. It was during the 1990s that the brand moved its manufacturing to Ruhla—a traditional watch-making region. In 1996, the brand was commissioned to create chronographs for Junkers and continued to do so up until 2019. Shortly thereafter they acquired Zeppelin and launched a new brand called Iron Annie. Bauhaus is the brand’s latest addition. The POINTtec manufacturing plant and museum are now appropriately housed in a Bauhaus-inspired plant, constructed in 1929 by the architectural firm of Schreiter and Schlag.
I am not a fan of mineral glass. This crystal looks great, but it will scratch more easily than sapphire. And unlike acrylic, you can’t buff them out. I also know that some will ask if the Automatik comes in a no-date version. The answer is, no.
The Bauhaus Automatik Date truly lives up to the design philosophy from which the brand takes its name, “form follows function.” There is nothing extraneous in the build. The Automatik is instead characterized by clean lines and balanced geography. I love the way the convex dial follows the curvature of the crystal, the manner in which the hands–when at ten and two–mirror the angle in the wingspan of the company logo, and how the placement of the numerals in relation to the minute track creates a visual flow toward the centre of the dial–essentially shrinking the expansive space. Despite its potential as a dress watch, I think it works best as a daily wearer. The Swiss Sellita movement is a solid choice. It would be nice to see a sapphire dome, but that is hardly a deal breaker.
The Bauhaus Automatik Date for €529 (approx. $560USD). For more information, please visit the brand website.
About the author
Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.
Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.
Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.
5 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: Bauhaus Automatic Date 21525”
I’ve eyed this piece for awhile as a cheaper version of a NOMOS but knowing that the vintage side of Bauhaus was a rare beauty. I actually have an old Bauhaus movement sitting in a drawer that still works but has no case or hands… but give her a couple crown turns and off she goes… I’m also not a fan of the mineral glass for all reasons stated but maybe the next project will spawn change. I’m a fan because sometimes less is more. 😎
LikeLiked by 1 person
Simple and full of elegance!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Glad you like it!
Impressive execution of the Bauhas design language.
LikeLiked by 1 person