The MeisterSinger Astroscope pairs the brand’s single-hand approach to imparting time with a highly unusual astronomical-themed day indication. Furthermore, the model perpetuates the brand’s reputation for masterful designs, recently winning a coveted RedDot award (2020). Angus Davies spent a few days wearing this watch, appraising its composition.
Most watch companies obsess over precision, endeavouring to create timepieces accurate to just a few nanoseconds. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I am the first person to extoll the virtues of a tourbillon, free-sprung balance, Breguet overcoil or remontoire. All of these devices enhance chronometry. However, MeisterSinger looks at the notion of time very differently.
The brand from Münster makes accurate watches, but it is less preoccupied with seconds choosing to focus upon the indication of hours and minutes. Some MeisterSinger watches even group minutes together, displaying them in five-minute intervals. The German marque makes watches for individuals who reject the idea of clocking in machines or breaking into a sweat running to make appointments. Instead, MeisterSinger encourages the wearer to adopt a different approach to life and view time in a broader sense.
Now, the German firm has released the MeisterSinger Astroscope. Once again, the brand has invited the wearer to view the meaning of time at a macro level while simultaneously embracing an astronomical theme.
The MeisterSinger Astroscope is available in two dial colours, black-old radium and steel blue-old radium. My press loan featured the black dialscape and looked very attractive. At first glance, the model resembled a regular MeisterSinger watch, where the lone hand takes centre stage, simultaneously imparting hours and minutes.
Furthermore, the yellowy indexes uphold the brand’s love of Arabic numerals and are presented in double-digit form. They are clean and succinct. In between each index are a series of white strokes, each denoting five minutes. A circular aperture, positioned at 6 o’clock, reveals the prevailing date. A sliver of gleam frames the aperture, standing out from the neighbouring black canvas. So far, so MeisterSinger.
However, moving in a little closer reveals a notable difference with this model. As its name implies it is imbued with an astronomical theme. A series of tiny apertures occupy the central dial area, each one accompanied by a day of the week in abbreviated form. In addition, the symbol of the heavenly body that corresponds to the day’s name is presented in a shade of yellow, ie:
- Monday, the Moon ☽
- Tuesday, Mars ♂
- Wednesday, Mercury ☿
- Thursday, Jupiter ♃
- Friday, Venus ♀
- Saturday, Saturn ♄
- Sunday, the Sun ☉
MeisterSinger state, ‘The Astroscope shows the days of the week not in a linear fashion but wandering back and forth in a constellation that only occurs every ten to twelve years in the southern night sky of the northern hemisphere.’
A small white dot seemingly flits backwards and forwards to the corresponding day. However, not everything is quite what it appears. The disc beneath the centrally-positioned apertures is adorned with several white dots and rotates in one direction. It is beautifully engineered, jumping to the appropriate day exactly on the midnight hour.
The MeisterSinger Astroscope recently won a RedDot design award, providing independent validation of its glorious styling.
Measuring 40mm in diameter, the MeisterSinger Astroscope will suit the majority of wearers. The height of the case, 10.5mm, delivers an unobtrusive wrist presence. Highly polished surfaces pervade the case, however, despite their gleaming behaviour nothing appears excessive or unduly flamboyant.
Given the modest pricing of this MeisterSinger, the design and execution of the case proves very impressive. The sides of the caseband taper inwards as they approach the exhibition cashback, while the case flanks are curvaceous and endowed with delightful recesses.
The crown sports a fluted grip with the brand’s fermata logo on its vertical flank. I did have some initial concerns about the crown. It projects notably from the case and I wondered whether it would catch my skin, clothing or objects within its immediate vicinity. However, having worn the watch for a number of days, I found the crown didn’t present any such problems. Furthermore, a benefit of the crown’s scale and design is that it proves extremely simple to manipulate.
The upper sapphire crystal is domed, heightening the model’s aesthetic allure. MeisterSinger supplies the model on a choice of straps, including brown calf leather, a Milanaise bracelet and a Shell Cordovan option. My press loan was supplied on the brown calf leather option, enriched with a ‘crocodile grain’ and fitted with a steel pin buckle. The strap was pliable, augmenting wearer comfort and it felt luxurious.
The Astroscope is fitted with a Sellita SW 220, automatic movement. MeisterSinger has embellished the oscillating weight with Côtes de Genève motif. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 26 jewels. Assuming the watch is fully wound, the lone barrel will provide sufficient energy for 38 hours of autonomous operation.
At this juncture, I must confess that I am a huge fan of MeisterSinger, partly because the German brand has not subscribed to a ‘me too’ strategy but chosen its own path to greatness. A MeisterSinger asks its wearer a philosophical question about what time means to them. For some individuals, it means arriving at an appointment with military-style punctuality and saluting the host on arrival. If that resonates with you, then you may wish to look elsewhere.
If, however, you prefer to cherish the here and now and value what time truly confers, then a MeisterSinger may sit comfortably with your temperament. The addition of an astronomical-themed day display is only likely to reinforce these beliefs. In fact, if you have a predilection for Norse mythology then look no further, this could well be the watch for you.
- Model: MeisterSinger Astroscope
- Reference: AS902OR
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40 mm; height 10.5mm; water resistance 5ATM (50m); sapphire crystal to the front and exhibition case back.
- Functions: Combined hours and minutes; day; date
- Movement: Sellita SW 220; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve = 38 hours
- Bracelet: Brown calf leather strap paired with a steel pin buckle
- Price: £1990 (RRP as at 10.7.2020)