Junghans Meister Pilot
The Junghans Meister Pilot – Ref. 027/3591.00 features a chronograph movement housed within a distinctive 1950s styled case. Indeed, it is the Junghans Bundeswehr chronograph of 1955 which provides the inspiration for this mightily handsome timepiece.
This detailed review of the Junghans Meister Pilot – Ref. 027/3591.00 includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Historically, a pilot’s watch, or Observation watch, was an extension of the cockpit instruments used within a plane. It was typically worn around the leg or over the arm of a pilot’s jacket. While flight instrumentation has evolved, the pilot’s watch has remained a necessary piece of cockpit attire and has spawned a genre of timepiece adored by legions of horophiles.
Junghans, the German watch brand based in Schramberg, has unleashed a stunning pilot’s watch which will prove incredibly difficult to resist, courtesy of its handsome looks.
Inspired by a Junghans Bundeswehr chronograph of 1955, the Meister Pilot benefits from a delightful quotient of nostalgia and sepia toned styling.
The dial canvas is a subdued shade of anthracite, providing a modest foil for the indications presented. Silver, ‘Modern’ hour and minute hands, lined with beige luminescent material, stand out prominently against the dial surface.
The bi-compax layout is gorgeous, with sunken subdials superbly manipulating depth, proportion and symmetry. This is a mightily handsome dial. The left hand subdial, adjacent 3 o’clock, displays the small running seconds. Positioned opposite, at 9 o’clock, is a 30-minute register.
Junghans has imbued the dial with a lovely dose of teutonic modernity. The hours are denoted with Arabic numerals delivered in a contemporary font sans serifs. The minuterie employs strokes and Arabic numerals but, in this instance, the chosen typeface is timeless, appearing neither traditional nor modern.
The central chronograph seconds hand is lithe and features a triangular tip along with a judiciously sized counterweight. All proportions seem optimally sized as if Junghans has studied Vitruvian Man prior to embarking on the design of the dial. Quite simply, everything seems beautifully positioned and proportioned.
The 43.3mm steel case features a most attractive bi-directional rotating bezel, with 12 distinctive concave notches which reference the aforementioned chronograph of 1955. The bezel resembles a crimped pie with its scalloped edge, making it look all the more delicious. Various markings grace the bezel, proving ideal for time measurement.
The case has a satin-brushed finish, according an unassuming tool-watch aesthetic. The chronograph push pieces are oval in shape and have long shafts. They have a purposeful appearance and exude an air of robustness. The crown is affixed against the case to a vertical plinth gracing the case band.
Appraising the shape of the case band and lugs one is struck by the numerous contours, recesses and angles employed. These characteristics confer an abundance of interest to the wearer, particularly when viewed at close quarters.
The case back is convex and sits noticeably away from the case band. This unusual design aspect does not mar wearer comfort. Indeed, I personally found it extremely comfortable to wear. However, the design does help to explain the significant height of 14.4mm. One reason the case does not unduly protrude when worn is that the case back seems to nestle in the recess on the upper portion of the wrist.
The model is offered with a choice of a black or a two-tone brown/black riveted leather strap. The nature of the strap reinforces the vintage pilot’s watch vibe.
Junghans has equipped the Meister Pilot with a modular chronograph movement, the Calibre J880.4. This movement consists of an ETA 2824 or a Sellita SW200 base calibre equipped with a Dubois Depraz 2030 chronograph module. Dubois Depraz is held in high esteem, supplying many watch companies with suitable movement modules of the finest quality.
The case back is solid, typical of pilots’ watches, but preventing close examination of the movement and its finishing. Junghans specify the movement finishing as having: ‘Rhodium plating, stripe finishing on rotor, decor on bridge’.
The frequency of the balance is 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement has a power reserve of 38 hours.
The Junghans Meister Pilot presents a paradox. On one hand it is a tool watch, fulfilling the prerequisites for a pilot’s watch namely, a clear dial and meaningful proportions to aid legibility. Conversely, it transcends the mere functional with a magnificently handsome mien. The Perfect Cockpit Attire? Most definitely.
- Model: Junghans Meister Pilot
- Reference: 027/3591.00
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43.3mm; height 14.4mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); Sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; chronograph.
- Movement: Calibre J880.4, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); power reserve 38 hours.
- Strap/Bracelet: Riveted leather strap presented on a stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: £1,970 (RRP as at 1.1.2017)