MeisterSinger Edition 366
The MeisterSinger Edition 366 upholds the Münster-based firm’s predilection for single-hand watches. However, this model looks very different from its forebears courtesy of its vintage-inspired aesthetics. On seeing an image of the watch some weeks ago, Angus Davies requested a sample for an extended ‘hands-on’ evaluation. He relays his findings herein.
MeisterSinger, the German watch brand based in Münster, is synonymous with the single-hand watch. A baton-like hand simultaneously orchestrates the hours and minutes. Ever since MeisterSinger unveiled its inaugural watch in 2001, the aptly named No.1, the German firm has delighted aesthetes with uncluttered dial designs.
At the heart of the MeisterSinger paradigm is a relaxed approach to the notion of time, setting aside seconds and displaying minutes in 5-minute blocks of time. Quite simply, a MeisterSinger is for those individuals who savour precious moments and choose not to fret over deadlines and targets.
Recently, the Münster-based firm unveiled a new limited edition model, the MeisterSinger Edition 366, acknowledging that 2020 is a Leap Year and includes one additional day, namely 366 in total. The company’s inspiration for this limited series of 100 pieces might be slightly unorthodox, but MeisterSinger is not a brand that subscribes to convention.
I am very familiar with most of MeisterSinger’s models and have always considered the styling of its products to be contemporary. However, the MeisterSinger Edition 366 is conspicuously retro. Having worn the model for a number of days and I feel able to proffer an opinion on both its appearance and how it feels when affixed to the wrist. Allow me elaborate further.
When I looked at the MeisterSinger Edition 366 for the first time, I was reminded of the dashboard instruments found in a car of the 1920s. This sense of nostalgia was heightened with the depiction of the brand’s nomenclature in cursive, period text. MeisterSinger has skilfully taken me back to a bygone era when life was much simpler.
The black lone hand, responsible for displaying both hours and minutes, features a neat tip, a prominent canon and two lollipops along its form. The hand is supremely slim, articulating the time free of ambiguity. The aforementioned lollipops augment visibility and heighten the overall allure of the dial.
MeisterSinger has chosen to denote hours with two-digit Arabic numerals, depicted in black. By using a two-digit format, everything appears harmonious with nothing out of kilter. A short red stroke is positioned adjacent each hour marker. The scale of this red stroke does not mar the gentle disposition of the dial. Each 30-minute interval is marked with a pale blue line. All intervening 5-minute periods are depicted in black.
A 24-hour track hugs the periphery of the dial and combines pale blue Arabic numerals together with red and black strokes. Further cursive typography is situated above 6 o’clock, proclaiming the name of this limited-edition model.
The dial of the MeisterSinger Edition 366 proves simple to read but encompasses a myriad of subtle details. The use of colour adds to the appearance of the horological vista without detracting from the time-telling properties of the watch.
Measuring 43mm in diameter, the MeisterSinger Edition 366 has extraordinary wrist presence. Adjacent the sapphire crystal, positioned front of house, the bezel sparkles resplendently, courtesy of its highly polished finish. The upper surface of the lugs share the bezel’s polished vivaciousness. However, the caseband and the lug flanks are satin-brushed, appearing meek by comparison. This collocation tempers the exuberance of the polished surfaces while infusing the brushed surfaces with additional character. MeisterSinger has judged the blend of case treatments to perfection.
When the watch is placed face down, the exhibition caseback can be seen in all its glory. A large expanse of sapphire crystal affords views of the hand-wound movement within. A slender circlet of gleaming brightwork encircles the aforementioned crystal and is held in position with four screws.
MeisterSinger is on-trend with the brown strap, made of calfskin embellished with a faux crocodile texture. An increasing number of people are opposed to the use of alligator and crocodile skins. Indeed, in California such products have been banned. The strap fitted to the MeisterSinger exhibits a sumptuous look and feel worthy of this elegant watch.
MeisterSinger has elected to equip the Edition 366 with a horological stalwart, the Unitas 6468-1. This widely used, hand-wound movement is tried and trusted and can be found in several watches made by an array of brands. However, MeisterSinger has enhanced the movement with a plethora of refinements.
The angular bridges have been embellished with crisp Côtes de Genève decoration. The transmission wheel and ratchet wheel feature a sunray motif and blued screws abound. The movement features 17 jewels and the balance has a frequency of 18,000 vph (2.5Hz). Moreover, the watch will run autonomously for 46 hours. The rate is adjusted using ETA’s proprietary ETACHRON system.
As any parent will attest, you should never have favourites, however, I am setting aside this golden rule. I can categorically state, the MeisterSinger Edition 366 is my favourite model from the brand. It encompasses the German company’s single-hand approach to imparting time, but wholeheartedly embraces a classical elegance, usually only found on vintage watches.
The elaborately formed lone hand, cursive typography and tasteful use of colour infuse the MeisterSinger Edition 366 with a becoming retro feel. Furthermore, everything feels harmonious with nothing appearing forced.
MeisterSinger has always demonstrated an incredible knack for designing graceful and sophisticated timepieces. The Edition 366 proves no exception. Examine the dial closely and imagine what additional elements could enhance the composition. I suspect you will struggle to think of any suitable additions. Likewise, if you try to envisage removing some details that would enhance the model’s allure, I predict you will spend a long time grappling with ideas. Quite simply, the German brand always judges each dial design to perfection.
So everything is perfect? No, sadly not. With a limited production run of only 100 pieces, the MeisterSinger Edition 366, arguably the prettiest watch from the Maison, is destined to sell-out very quickly, leaving legions of wannabe wearers frustrated. It is to be hoped that the Münster-based firm releases a MeisterSinger Edition 365 in 2021, produced in far greater numbers.
- Model: MeisterSinger Edition 366
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystals to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours and minutes with single-hand
- Movement: Unitas 6468-1; hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz); 17 jewels; power reserve approximately 46 hours
- Strap: Brown calfskin strap with croco embossing paired with a stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: £2,190 including VAT (RRP as at 16.3.2020)
- Limited Edition: 100 pieces