Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches   feature articles

Meistersinger is a unique brand borne of a simple philosophy, to make mostly single-hand watches.

It is my experience that not many people have heard of the brand (which of course doesn't count many dedicated watch lovers), and in some small way, this is something I hope to change. There is something selfish in this wish, and that is to see the company claim its unique identity in the larger consciousness of the watch buying public.

If you have not heard of it, then allow me to introduce you to arguably one of the coolest concepts I have come across. Some people look at the dial, and wonder how the hell to tell the time with just one hand. Slowly, as the concept is explained, a light goes in their heads, and there is almost always a collective smile that starts to form on their face. That is the power of this simple concept, and I have personally seen it happen again and again.

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches   feature articles

Sure, there have been cool watches over the years, but for most, the coolness comes from more complications or perhaps alternative methods to tell the time. Meistersinger, in my opinion, stands alone in being able to take the watch dial we know through years of conditioning, simplify it, maintain legibility, and still create such a thing of beauty.

Basically, in order to tell the time, one looks at where the single hand is, and reads both the hour and the minute it is pointing at. This actually is easier than it sounds, as most people are conditioned to look to a minute hand to tell the minute time. Of course one of the things you will realise is that the smallest mark on the dial is only precise to five minutes. On some dials, the precision is even lower and that is to ten minutes. This isn't the case on all Meistersinger watch dials, but for the most part, you to sacrifice reading precision.

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches   feature articles

Meistersinger tells you in their brochure that this is not a problem (glad they thought of it). Most people when asked for the time, never say 1.07 or 1.09. Instead, they round off the time to the closest five or ten minutes. In fact, in most aspects of our lives, the kind of precision in timekeeping to the minute is not really of much concern. Therefore, by removing the parts of the display that we really do not need, we simplify our perception of time.

In daily life then, with a Meistersinger on your wrist, you do not perceive the nervous movement of the second hand across the dial when you glance at your watch. Instead, whatever movement you see on the watch dial is barely perceptible. That in itself, is surely a heart-rate lowering idea. The concept calms times, which if you experience it, is a valuable sense of tranquility.

I was fortunate therefore to come across the Meistersinger stand at the Salon QP 2012 recently, having known about the brand for a few years already. In the video, I speak to Paul Kustow of Meistersinger UK, who explained to me the concept behind the brand, as well as showing me some of the latest pieces.

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches   feature articles

What was interesting for me was seeing how, instead of staying a one trick pony with only one idea to sustain themselves, they have evolved further concepts of the one hand watch to include additional complications. The "Singular" for example, is a very interesting chronograph, and the "Singulator", a regulator style watch. These pieces return the same basic ethos of the design - simplicity and symmetry.

Meistersinger, though very young at 12 years old, comes across as a very mature brand with a fully evolved identity right from the get go. That in itself is surely an achievement which is to be respected. The design identity, classically styled dress watches with a single hand as well as the concept have drawn much praise from watch lovers everywhere and managed to capture the hearts of people who come into contact with it.

As an experiment I brought some of my friends to the Meistersinger stand, and allowed Paul and his friendly staff to show the watch and explain the concept to them. Over and over again, the same pattern emerged, puzzlement, wonder, then joy. That is a winning pattern.

Stopping Time With Meistersinger Watches   feature articles

To top this off, I haven't even revealed what the best part of Meistersinger is: the prices.

Starting at £700 and going up to about £3000 depending on the complication and the model, the prices are downright fabulous in terms of value for money.

I will be spending some wrist time with a couple of Meistersinger watches soon, and will be doing full-on reviews, so look out for them.

Adi Soon is a watch lover and former journalist who lives in England away from his native Singapore and covered the 2012 SalonQP watch show for aBlogtoWatch

13 comments
djrainer
djrainer

For the penultimate in "time relaxation," try the wrist sundial. No batteries, no winding, no worries. What about night-time?  No watch at all,  the ultimate relaxation and slap in the face to mighty Chronos.

PG1986
PG1986

Hi, another workaround; buy the monograph and always run the chronograph. Works great!

zuwi
zuwi

How about a watch that makes a complete circle only once a year? You can have 31536000 seconds marked in between using nano technology. All you need is a microscope to go with the watch to read the time depicted in this manner!

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I understand and appreciate the concept of single-hand watches (MS has a loyal following on the forumms, so I've known about rhe brand for some time), and while these are well made and executed, they are basically the antithesis of what I like in watches; I like business (in function, not necessarily in in aesthetics) and notable levels of detail, like the minutes and seconds. I find the harmony of some of my most complicated watches to be relaxing, so there is a broad spectrum, and to each his own.

CG
CG

Have one... Once you train yourself, in a matter of seconds (ha!) it is fun... it leaves the face open wide. Very neat.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

I do like the use of 2 digits for all of the hours. But...

droo
droo

I personnally own a MEISTERSINGER chronoskop : black dial with white registers. I tried a single hand first but I did not get accustomed to it (as a matter of fact I have the same problem with twenty four hour dial). I sold my single hand but since I loved the great design of Meistersinger I got myself a chronoskop (two hands). Believe me, it is a gorgeous watch, very straightforward design (close to the one seen on pictures) with great proportions and precise assembly. It became one of my favourite and many people are appreciating this model very much. It is definitely a symbol of "good taste".

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

How about a 24 hour (GMT like) model where the hand only sweeps around the dial once a  day (twice as relaxing).

I know, next they can relax even further by having a date hand (only) so you can slowly watch the month unfold. But for precision, there would be half day indications between the 31 day markers.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@zuwi  

Ahhh, but that does not account for leap years (which have an additional 86,400 seconds). You want a dial that indicates 4 years per revolution of the quad-year hand!

MarkOs
MarkOs

@MarkCarson 

Mark when you design your watch can I have the 24 hour version but with a big sweeping second hand please.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@zuwi @MarkCarson  

Ha ha ha - no problem - like it matters!!! Next thing you know we will be asking for a chronograph/count down  version that tells you when a century plant is going to bloom! Perhaps we are getting carried away but its fun to think about taking things to illogical ends. Cheers.