Junghans Meister Telemeter

Angus Davies reviews the Meister Telemeter, a watch brimming with attributes and exhibiting vintage-like appearance.

This detailed review of the Junghans Meister Telemeter includes live images, specifications details and price.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Sound travels at 752.5 mph or 12,115 km/h at an altitude of 1000 metres. As altitude increases, the speed of sound decreases. By comparison, light travels at a mind-blowing 670,616,629 mph or 186,282 miles per second.

A telemeter is a complication which allows the wearer to actuate the chronograph central seconds hand after seeing a visual event. Thereafter, once the accompanying sound of said event has been heard, the wearer can stop the chronograph and determine how far away the visual event is from where they are standing, using the scale encircling the dial, expressed in km/h. An example often quoted is measuring the time elapsed from seeing a bolt of lightening to hearing the subsequent clap of thunder.

Junghans, the German watch brand from Schramberg, has always been synonymous with producing watches that are eminently legible. It was therefore surprising to me that in 2014 the brand chose to release a model with both a telemeter a tachymeter scale. Had the historical watch company strayed off course and released a timepiece with a cluttered and confusing dial? Certainly some watches equipped with both complications can prove challenging to interpret, however, rest assured that in this instance, the dial proves user-friendly and Junghans’s reputation for conveying the time cleanly remains intact.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

I have been trying to get my inquisitive hands on a Junghans Meister Telemeter for some time but, given the huge demand for this model, press samples are difficult to obtain. Seeing the watch in a display cabinet on an exhibition stand, heightened my yearning for an extended period of intimacy with this watch. Thankfully, I recently obtained a press sample and experienced great delight in appraising the Telemeter’s handsome form.

The dial

The matt silver dial has a deliciously retro feel which I find especially mouthwatering. Neither the main dial surface or the concave subdials feature any snailed detail. Instead, Junghans has decorated the dial with a series of subtle concentric lines. This aspect of the design is interesting as it confers an alluring interplay with light.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The sword-shaped hands are lined with luminescent material and exhibit an aged appearance, reinforcing the vintage-like mien. The colour of the Arabic numerals denoting the hours, matches the shade employed on the hands and, once again, features luminescent treatment.

When I held the Junghans Meister Telemeter in my hands I felt a welcome sense of balance and proportion. The bi-compax dial layout provides a harmonious, symmetrical composition which proves easy on the eye. At 3 o’clock a small seconds display resides, whilst opposite a 30-minute chronograph awaits the wearer’s instructions.

The dial surface is cambered, tapering downwards towards its outer edge. Nevertheless, the indications shown in this region continue to prove highly legible.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

A series of three graduated scales encircle the periphery of the dial. The innermost circle, the minute ring, blends black strokes with Arabic numerals, positioned at every 5-minute integer, save for ’15’ and ’45’ which are omitted in deference to the subdials. The centrally located circle is given over to the previously mentioned telemeter scale. It is presented in red, displaying the distance in kilometres. Finally, the extremities of the dial are marked with a tachymeter scale.

The tachymeter scale on the Junghans Meister Telemeter allows the wearer to determine the speed of an object over a specified distance. For example, assuming a car is travelling at 120 km/h, by starting and then stopping the stopwatch once the car has covered 1Km, the central seconds hand will show 30 seconds have elapsed over the given distance and its speed, 120 km/h in this instance, is shown on the tachymeter scale.

Whilst Junghans has a long history of making stopwatches harking back to the 1930s, it was much later, in 1951, when the company first combined a telemeter and tachymeter scale on one of its chronographs. Clearly this caution proved wise, ensuring the company’s reputation for clear-cut displays was not marred by pairing the two functions.

The case

The stainless steel case of the Junghans Meister Telemeter measures a restrained 40.8mm in diameter, with a case thickness of 12.8mm. The unassuming proportions allow the watch to quietly reside beneath the shirt cuff and proffer sublime levels of wearer comfort.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The crown design provides agreeable tactility, facilitating winding and ease of adjustment. Gracing its vertical surface, the brand’s logo is presented centre stage, surrounded by highly polished metal. Indeed, despite the muted design language employed, polished surfaces are omnipresent, adding a tasteful flourish of radiance.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Despite the modest asking price of this timepiece, Junghans has infused the Meister Telemeter with delightful design details. The elliptically-shaped pushpieces are elegant in appearance and function sweetly.

Notably, Junghans has played the nostalgia card again by equipping the model with a convex Plexiglass, featuring SICRALAN coating, eschewing the now commonplace sapphire crystal.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The movement

The Junghans Meister Telemeter is equipped with an exhibition caseback, revealing the self-winding calibre J880.3 movement within.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The oscillating mass is adorned with Geneva stripes. Moreover, perlage is visible on the bridges and blued screws are much in evidence. While it could never purport to be the ultimate expression of haute horlogerie, at this price point the movement finishing is impressive.

Junghans Meister Telemeter - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Closing remarks

Junghans does not subscribe to ‘conspicuous consumption’ and those would-be buyers who wish to flaunt their wealth may choose to look elsewhere. However, this would be their loss, for the Meister Telemeter is a stylish, highly legible timepiece that proves comfortable to wear.

The Junghans Meister Telemeter offers a plethora of attributes at a very attractive price point. Indeed, with this in mind, the prospective purchaser may need to move at the speed of sound in order to secure one of these fabulous watches.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Junghans Meister Telemeter
  • Reference: 027/3380.00
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40.8mm; height 12.6mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); Plexiglass to front and exhibition caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; chronograph.
  • Movement: Calibre J880.3, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 45 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap / Bracelet: Saddle leather strap presented on a stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price: £1,950 (RRP as at 8.10.2015)

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