I associate the Junghans brand with clean lines, classic styling, and clever functions that add to rather than detract from the overall balance of the watch. The Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch is at once these things and yet not quite what I would have pictured a pilot’s watch to look like in the hands of Junghans’ design team. This is rugged; it is beefy; it is unabashedly traditional. I’d expect to see a Junghans on the wrist of an effete, thoughtful guy (or girl). This watch looks like it might have been cut from Harrison Ford’s wrist that time he crashed his plane into a golf course (yeah, it really is that masculine).
Between September 25th and September 27th, 2015, Junghans previewed their new watch, which they plan to release in 2016. The pre-release event was held at the site of the company. Guests were given a tour of the premises and treated to a rare insight into the history of the brand, and the chance to view buildings not normally open to the public. To accentuate the aviation theme, guests were then given a short flight over Schramberg. As passengers in old-fashioned propeller planes, they were able to see the factory from a bird’s-eye-view, which is how it appears on the case back of the new Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch. They were all allowed to wear and test the watch during the flight. Managing Director of Uhrenfabrik Junghans Matthew Stotz noted that events of this nature were necessary for the “internationalization” of the brand.
This is a pilot’s watch of note. The bidirectional bezel ensures the Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch stands out from the crowd. Large chunky bezels are commonplace on dive watches but less frequently on those for pilots, the bidirectional rotating bezel adds a useful function to the watch, but offers much more in terms of design than it does practicality. In the quest for uniqueness and identifiability, brands whose watches employ rotating bezels (or static ones, for that matter) regularly experiment with the component silhouette and also its edge, which is often knurled or crenelated to facilitate operation.
In the case of the Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch, we can see a heavily scalloped bezel defining the overall appearance of the watch. This dodecagon pattern is remarkably uncommon given how naturally the shape lends itself to the function. It is undeniably bold (which may be why it is also quite rare), but is able to justify its polarising appearance by its ease-of-use. The generous scalloping gives the watch character when viewed head-on, but gives it significant presence when studied from the side. The height and protrusiveness of the bezel are notable traits that see this 43.3mm-wide watch stand 14.4mm off the wrist. Its size plays a part in its excellent legibility. As one would expect of a pilot’s watch, this instrument can be read with ease thanks to an uncluttered dial and large numbers in applied luminant.
There are two variations of the Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch available: one black strap with white lume, and one brown strap with vintage lume. Both watches have identical specifications and are powered by a self-winding movement (calibre J880.4). The stainless steel case has a water resistance of 100 meters and a closed case back decorated with the bird’s-eye view of the factory.
This chronograph is a clean machine: Two sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock indicate the chronograph minutes (at 9) and the running seconds (at 3). With no date, the dial is beautifully sparse. Such attention to space is a defining trait of this German brand. With sensible omissions, such as the date, hour counter, and glass case back, and with a bold, non-invasive approach to design, the cost has been kept at a reasonable level: With a price tag of $2,464 the Junghans Meister Pilot Event Edition watch might just be ready to fly off the shelves! junghans.de