October 12, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Simplicity and elegance define the slimline Junghans Meister Kalender collection from one of Germany’s most enduring brands. This family of watches is a testament to why the company, which does not have nor seems to strive for the manufacture status of many of its peers, still rolls on, able to draw consumers toward the brand with strict adherence to a quintessentially German design code.
It would not be accurate to suggest that Junghans never veers from its lane, but it does so rarely and without great fanfare. There are a couple of models, like the Meister Pilot and the slightly odd Mega Solar series, that stray from the beaten path, but we haven’t seen their likes for a few years, nor were those “acceptable experiments” particularly damaging or warping to the brand’s image, thanks to Junghans wisely its releases on the down-low, and rather short-lived.
Here a cognac leather strap is paired with a deep blue sunray dial. Although the watch appears gloriously simple, it packs a surprising array of functions into a small space. The date encircles a moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock, while the day and month are visible through tiny rectangular apertures at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, respectively.
One cute touch that may go unnoticed upon first inspection is the presence of the Junghans star on the moon disc. It is a quaint feature but, unfortunately, my least favorite aspect of this design. While I appreciate Junghans adding its logo to the disc to show they have not just bought a standard moon disc off the shelf, I find it gimmicky and a poor band-aid for the fact the movement itself is not made in-house.
However, caliber J800.3 is not entirely generic. Although it started life as a garden variety ETA 2824-2, the addition of a Dubois Dupraz 9310 calendar module makes it significantly more interesting, and the fact that the overall thickness of the watch remains just 12.2mm is very impressive, indeed. With a 42mm diameter and an exceedingly thin bezel, the watch wears even flatter. The Junghans Meister Kalender in blue is available now, priced at a competitive €1,990. Learn more at junghans.de.