kent-wang-bauhaus-v4-12

Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review

Kent Wang Bauhaus V4 Review

Kent Wang is a small two person menswear company whose origins I think many people can relate to; when they were unable to find affordable clothing and accessories that lived up to their expectations they decided to go into business making their own. I know I have dreamed of doing the same, but they went out and made it happen. The Bauhaus v4 is their take on a Bauhaus inspired watch, which takes its modernist design queues from the Staatliches Bauhaus Art school in Germany, whose influences helped shape 20th century industrial design.

The Bauhaus v4 is the fourth iteration of their Bauhaus watch line and is my favorite of the bunch, however it is worth noting that the v2 and v3 options are still available to purchase though KentWang.com. They each have subtle differences, so I would encourage you to take a look at the whole lineup before making a decision.

As with all of the reviews here, I don’t feel comfortable casting judgement any watch I can’t get my hands on and wear for at least a week. Fortunately, the folks at Kent Wang were nice enough to send me a sample to review.

Crystal:


The sapphire glass on the Bauhaus v4 is completely flat and stands very slightly proud of the bezel. The fact that the glass is flat means it can be prone to reflection and glare. The inclusion of anti-reflective coating, or a curved glass would alleviate this, but with the high contrast of the dial it really wasn’t a problem for me during the time I wore it.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review 10

Bezel:


The Bezel on the Bauhaus v4 is very thin at a mere 1mm. The interior wall of the bezel is completely vertical with a brushed steel appearance. You would only really notice the texture upon close inspection, but it looks nice none the less. This narrow bezel lends itself to a large looking face, which to me is preferable in a Bauhaus style watch. The thinner bezel is one of the main differences between the v3 and v4 watches and I think it was a great improvement overall. On profile the polished surface of the bezel has a slight chamfer which catches the light nicely.
Kent wang Bauhaus v4 Review 09

Case:


The case has very nice overall proportions and sits comfortably on the wrist. The low profile of the case combined with the flat sapphire crystal mean it should slip under the cuff of any shirt. This paired with its classic minimalist styling make it a great option for a dress watch. The caseback has a nice display window with a subtle “Kent Wang” engraved on the side. This is the only branding present on the watch.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review - Movement

Dial/Hands:


The dial has a completely white un-textured finish with printed black indices. The ink used to print the indices is slightly glossy and unfortunately gives the dial an ink-on-paper feeling. I feel like this cheapens the overall look of the dial on close inspection, but really isn’t noticeable at a casual glance. If I could make one change to the dial for the v5 it would be to either use applied indices (as they did on the Bauhaus v3), or matte black ink.

The hands are a nice deep flame blued color which appear black when they are not directly reflecting light. The width of the minute hand is exactly the width of the hour markers, which is a nice touch that is often overlooked in minimalist watch designs. As you would expect with a quality watch, the hands line up perfectly.

The scale of the hands to indices to bezel feels good with the slight exception of the hour hand which feels a little bit short when compared with the elongated indices on the dial. I think a slightly longer hour hand would help to balance the dial. Another slight nit-pic I have with the hands is again with the hour hand. I generally like my hour hands to completely cover the date window or not touch it at all when at the 3 o’clock position. Again, if the hour hand were slightly longer it would cover the date window rather than stopping half way across it. It’s a minor annoyance which would probably go unnoticed, but since this is a watch with a continually evolving and improving design I figured it was worth mentioning.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review 04

Lume:


The Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 has no lume, however the high contrast dial design still makes for a pretty legible watch in low light situations.

Crown:


When I first unboxed the watch I was surprised to see a rich blue dot on the end of the crown. I hadn’t been expecting that at all, and was actually impressed with the way the pop of color on an otherwise colorless watch caught my eye. That was, however, until I realized it was just a sticker to protect the polished crown. Oh.

That said, the crown is actually quite nice. It resembles more of a scaled down onion type crown that you would find on a pilot watch. I figured with all of the straight lines inherent in Bauhaus styling the crown would also be straight. I’m glad it isn’t. The slightly pillowy-ness of the crown works well with the profile of the case and the curvature of the lugs. It is easy to grasp and has a nice pop and click when pulling and setting.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review - Crown

Strap:


The strap on the Bauhaus v4 is a fairly generic brown leather strap. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with it, on the contrary, it is actually pretty nice; it just doesn’t have much personality on its own. The one I received was a dark brown leather, with brown thread and a polished buckle. It has a nice thickness to it and feels well made. It was a little bit stiff at first, but after wearing it for about a week it had softened up and was quite comfortable. If you are looking for a strap with a little more personality Kent Wang offers both a shell cordovan strap and a lizard strap.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review - Strap

Movement:


The movement under the hood is Miyota’s caliber 9015, which is a sturdy, reliable movement. One issue I’ve had with this movement in the past is the fact that the rotor can be quite noisy. Luckily, with the Bauhaus V4 that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Between the solidly constructed case and the sapphire glass I don’t notice any noise at all.

The Miyota movement has a nice côtes de Genève decoration which is always nice to see when a watch has a display caseback. I think all watch movements are beautiful and always appreciate a display caseback no matter what, but when you get a decorated movement as well it’s an especially nice treat.

When the crown is fully depressed winding it will engage the mainspring, which is very handy if you don’t have a watch winder. A couple seconds winding the crown and you are ready to set the time and go. The second crown position sets the date, and the third sets the time. The date function is smooth and the transition snaps over at the 12 o’clock position rather than “dragging” like some movements tend to do.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review - settingKent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review Miyota 9015 Movement

Accuracy:


The accuracy of my watch was perfectly acceptable and within spec for this movement. I measured it in four different positions at full wind with an hour in each position (dial up, dial down, crown up, crown down). This gave me an average of -9 seconds a day, meaning for every 24 hour period my watch will lose 9 seconds.
Kent Wang Bauhaus V4 Accuracy

Packaging/Presentation:


The watch arrived inside a wooden box with an off white watch pillow. For a watch that is completely unbranded it wasn’t surprising to see that the box lacked branding as well. In a world where brands and logos leap off of every surface, a product like this with very minimal branding is something I really appreciate about Kent Wang’s products.
Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 Review - Packaging

Conclusion:


The Kent Wang Bauhaus v4 is an all around solid choice for anybody looking for a handsome Bauhaus styled watch. Kent Wang took quality components, solid design choices, zero obnoxious branding, and packaged it together into a outstanding watch at a great price point. If you are looking for something in the Bauhaus style I can definitely recommend this watch, and if you want something that is unbranded this is the watch for you.

Options

The Bauhaus v4 is available in white with optional cordovan strap or lizard strap upgrades.

Price

$395 From KentWang.com

 

I hope you found this Ket Wang Bauhaus v4 review helpful! Did I leave something out? Have something to add? Let me know in the comments.

8.2
The Low Down

Good Things

  • Hacking Movement
  • Great Brandless Styling
  • Display Caseback
  • Decorated Movement
  • Sapphire Glass

Bad Things

  • Generic Leather Strap
  • Printed Dial

The Breakdown


Case
9
Crystal
8
Bezel
9
Dial & Hands
7
Value
9
Crown
9
Strap
7
Accuracy
8
Packaging
8



There are 3 comments

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  1. Robert Shayne

    Thanks for this! I was looking for a similar style watch in this price range… I may just have to pull the trigger on this one.

  2. Michael

    I’ve been looking for an unbranded watch with a decent mechanical movement for a while now and this looks like it could work for me. You mentioned that the strap wasn’t fantastic in your review. Do you have a strap you would recommend to go with this watch?

    • luke

      Hi Michael, I’m glad you found the review helpful. The Bauhaus v4 has a standard strap width of 20mm so you should be able to find plenty of options for an upgrade. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my hands on either of the strap upgrades from Kent Wang, so I can’t comment on the quality there, but from what I’ve seen they both look nice. If you want to stick with Kent Wang my recommendation would be to go with one of the Shell Cordovan straps they offer. The Teju Lizard strap looks nice, but may not be suited to the minimal aesthetics of the Bauhaus v4 watch.

      Outside of Kent Wang’s offerings it really depends on what kind of look you have in mind. CrownAndBuckle.com has a lot of great options and would be a good starting point. Maybe try out a leather NATO strap?

      Hirschstraps.com is also an excellent source for leather straps.


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