Like wine and cheese, the worlds of architecture and watch design seem a natural convergence. German watch brand Deutsche Uhrenfabrik, or DuFa, think so too. The Bauhaus movement of the early 20th century heavily informed their pieces. One of the main tenets of the movement is to do away with superfluous decoration in art, design, and architecture. It prizes simplicity, taking the process of design back to its basics.
The origins of DuFa watches also traces back to 1920s Germany. The brand’s foundation comes from the Etzold & Popitz watch and clock manufacturer in Leipzig. Today, DuFa’s repertoire includes a range of high-quality watches that beautifully combine both vintage and modern influences.
Available locally from Belance, DuFa watches are elegant timepieces. The Bauhaus influence is clear; the watches are simple and pared back. It’s a different kind of simplicity to what we’re used to seeing from modern minimalist watch designs, though. There’s not just a lack of detail on the dial for the sake of it. Instead, DuFa displays the information that it needs to clearly, without impacting on aesthetics or decreasing functionality. They’re a nice medium between the over-done, extravagant pieces often associated with heritage brands, and the new breed of all-out minimalist pieces.
The DuFa collection is wide, but a few of the key styles include Gropius, Van Der Rohe Barcelona, 9020, and Breuer. Each of these features slim silhouettes, 38mm dials, and well-proportioned lugs that allow them to sit nicely on the wrist without being overwhelming. The refined, slim nature of the pieces lends them a more contemporary edge.
Named after the architect founder of the Bauhaus school, Gropius is one of DuFa’s most standout pieces. Combining an emerald green dial, stainless steel case, and light brown leather strap, the piece offers a distinct look. Each number is clearly presented in a large, Bauhaus-esque typeface. Named after another pioneering 20th-century architect, Van Der Rohe Barcelona is a modern chronograph piece. Despite the fact that its face is quite detailed, the watch still looks remarkably clean, with a white dial, blue hands, stainless steel case, and a brown leather strap. 9020 is DuFa’s most minimalist design. It comes sans any numerical markings, instead featuring small dots to indicate the time. A subtle logo and the words “Made In Germany” are the only other detailing on the face. Each of the above styles features a Japanese quartz movement, which allows for accurate time telling. Quartz movements also require less maintenance than other types as there are less moving parts in the construction.
The Breuer, on the other hand, has an automatic movement. For watch enthusiasts who appreciate the finer details in a mechanical movement, this is the one to check out. You can see the cogs do their thing through the watch’s case back. Its face is clean and bright white, with blue time indicators and hands plus a date complication. A smooth black leather strap rounds out the elegant piece, which is ideal for daily wear or special occasions. Breuer pays tribute to another of the Bauhaus school’s iconic members. Marcel Breuer has an extensive portfolio of architectural projects under his belt, but it was during his time at Bauhaus that he created the first all tubular steel chair, the Wassily Chair.
DuFa’s solid history in watch manufacturing gives it an edge over many contemporary brands who are finding their feet. Their architecturally-influenced pieces defy trends, allowing for designs that are stylish but not dated. They’re a great brand to check out if you’re after a modern piece with a strong heritage, quality construction, and functional design.
This article was produced by HEY GENTS in partnership with Belance & DuFa.