The German watch company, MeisterSinger, references the musical world with its name. A fermata, a musical symbol which denotes a pause of unspecified length, also graces the dial and crown of its timepieces. Both of these aspects may lead the casual observer to therefore assume that the brand from Münster crafts chiming watches of some description, however, this is not the case. MeisterSinger use the fermata as a metaphor for inviting wearers to pause and take ‘the time to celebrate the beauty of meaningful rituals’.
MeisterSinger watches employ one hand to charmingly communicate hours and minutes, indicating time with a soloist’s voice. It is this characteristic of MeisterSinger timepieces which has delivered an interesting point of differentiation. I have appraised several of its models at close quarters and have always felt drawn to the unusual, succinct dialogue the brand’s timepieces bestow.
Historically, MeisterSinger watches have employed ETA or Unitas movements, however, two years ago, the company unveiled the MSH01, a hand-wound movement exclusively produced in Switzerland for the German watch company. This year, MeisterSinger has updated the MSH01 as well as releasing a new automatic version of the movement, the MSA01.
The Münster based firm proffers an alluring selection of dial colours, but I inevitably gravitate to the seemly, muted tones of their ivory-hued options. Indeed, true to type, and after much applause MeisterSinger has sated my appetite once again, taking the curtain call and delivering another stunning solo performance.
The Circularis Ivory dial Ref. CC303, builds upon the lucid user-interface MeisterSinger ownership confers, by powering the lone hand of the display with the updated MSH01 hand-wound movement.
Blue Arabic numerals populate the hour ring, exhibiting a beguiling metallic appearance, sitting proud of the ivory-toned dial canvas and glinting enchantingly in ambient light. The chapter ring combines neat strokes, denoting each 5-minute integer with blue trapezium-shaped applied indexes, representing each hour.
A single blue hand, resembling an elongated isosceles triangle, points to the aforementioned markings with laser-like accuracy. There is no ambiguity and the message is clear; the prevailing time is proclaimed with eloquent expression.
There is an agreeable contradistinction between the discreet shade of the ivory dial and the exuberant nature of the blue indices and hands.
Initially, the wearer has to become accustomed to the lone hand indicating the time. However, after a brief period of familiarisation, the unusual phrasing of time becomes intuitive to use. Moreover, looking at a MeisterSinger proves relaxing, encouraging the wearer to reflect on the moment and enjoy a period of respite from the frenetic pace of everyday life.
The 43mm stainless steel case measures 12.5mm in height. It is highly polished, yet evinces a humble nature, avoiding boastful behaviour while quietly residing on the wrist. Indeed, it is fair to say the perfectly attractive case of the Circularis assumes a deferential role adjacent the notably alluring dial.
The case of the Circularis accords a comfortable fit, leading the wearer to almost forget its presence, courtesy of its unobtrusive union with the wrist.
In some respects, I feel sorry for the case designer of this timepiece, as the neighbouring dial grabs much of the glory. Indeed, I would liken this scenario to the soloist attracting all of the audience’s attention while various members of the choir fail to get noticed. I therefore implore readers to note the elegant curving vertical plane of the case band and the simple to grip crown which allows user-friendly adjustment, courtesy of its scale and design. This case transcends the perfunctory and plays a wonderfully supportive role to the dial.
An exhibition case provides sight of the hand-wound movement within.
The manual MSH01 measures 32.7mm in diameter with a comparatively shallow depth of 5.4mm. This latter statistic does make me wonder whether MeisterSinger could, in due course, offer a slimmer watch housing the same movement. The Circularis is equipped with two barrels, delivering an incredible power reserve of 120 hours. By housing the two in-series barrels, the svelte character of the movement proves even more impressive.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 27 jewels.
One large bridge circumscribes the internal area of the case. It is beautifully adorned with circular Côtes de Genève motif and includes curvaceous apertures, revealing the balance and the two spring barrels. Blued screws uphold watchmaking tradition and will, no doubt, delight purists.
MeisterSinger offers a very distinctive ensemble of timepieces which stand out from the crowd. The unusual single hand expresses each syllable of time with absolute clarity, while the ivory-coloured backdrop accentuates the performance of the soloist positioned centre stage. The case accords a high level of comfort with dimensions which should suit the majority of would-be male wearers. The hand-wound movement encourages the wearer to take ‘time out’, pause and energise the twin barrels.
The Circularis is a fine performer which proves enchanting to behold and will, no doubt, encourage many watch fans to continually shout ‘Encore’, owing to its many talents.
- Model: MeisterSinger Circularis Ivory dial
- Ref: CC303
- Case: stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 12.5mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes.
- Movement: MSH01, Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve 120 hours
- Strap: Brown alligator leather strap presented on a double folding clasp
- Price: £3,475 (RRP as at 30.6.2016)