MeisterSinger Salthora Meta
Angus Davies reviews the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta, an unusual watch which delivers excellent legibility and handsome aesthetics. In addition, MeisterSinger has announced it will sell a green dial version of the watch exclusively in Harrods.
This detailed review of the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta includes live images, specification details and price.
It is often said that you never stop learning. Certainly, despite my birth certificate reminding me that I will soon be 48 years old, I continue to yearn for more knowledge. Indeed, it is the process of perpetual learning that stimulates the brain and enhances the mind. Edification should not cease after leaving school, in my opinion, it is a prerequisite for a satisfying and fulfilling existence.
Recently, I chatted to Neil Duckworth, a gentlemen of similar years to myself, who represents MeisterSinger in my native United Kingdom. MeisterSinger, a German watch company, is famed for its timepieces which often impart the prevailing hour with a solitary uber-slender, needle-like hand. Neat, precise and absent of the superfluous, MeisterSinger’s products are a wonderful exemplar of the ‘form follows function’ design doctrine.
Whilst chatting to Neil, a fellow northerner, I learnt much about this interesting watch brand. For example, I was fascinated to hear that the name of the company literally means ‘Master Singer’. It makes reference to the talented vocalists, grouped by guilds, who entered competitions in southern Germany. As long ago as the Middle Ages, the singer who conceived the finest ‘new sound’ was crowned the ‘MeisterSinger of the year’. Neil revealed he was a keen musician and evidently this aspect of MeisterSinger’s story resonated with him (pun intended).
The Meistersinger logo is a facsimile of a musical symbol referred to as a ‘Fermata’ and indicates a pause. The watch company selected the musical notation in order to convey the brand’s ‘relaxed approach to time’.
In bygone times, a watch equipped solely with one hand appealed to wealthy clientele. Not having to concern oneself with trivial minutes was the epitome of luxury. Indeed, in today’s society where time is a precious resource, rationed by those individuals with hectic schedules, the notion of not having to bother with frivolous minutes demonstrates a covetable extravagance many of us crave.
MeisterSinger recently released a new timepiece at Baselworld 2015, the Salthora Meta. Unusually for the German brand, this model displays hours and minutes separately using a combination of a jumping hour display and a central minutes hand. The model is offered in a selection of colours but the unsullied, pure white dial immediately stole my heart with its beguilingly immaculate mien.
A failure of many watch designs which try to deviate from the accepted practise of using two hands to convey time is that they can appear challenging to interpret. However, no such allegations could be directed towards MeisterSinger Salthora Meta. The dial is ingenious and unusual, but eloquently communicates with the wearer with succinct dialogue.
I frequently looked at the dial of the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta during the week I enjoyed temporary ownership. I found that even with the briefest of glances, I was always able to discern the time. No effort was needed to decipher the hours and minutes and peerless brevity was the order of the day.
The jumping hours are presented via a circular aperture positioned at noon. Black numerals presented on a white disc, enunciate time with clear diction. There is no ambiguity, everything is imparted with magnificent lucidity. Framing the circular aperture is a soupçon of brilliantly gleaming metalwork. This adds a flourish of ebullience to an otherwise restrained apperance, but rest assured it is still within the confines of good taste.
The minute hand is conventionally positioned but adopts the role of a loner. It is svelte, black and interfaces with the markings encircling the periphery of the dial, providing superb ease of read-off.
Black applied hour markers confer delectable depth to the dial. The Arabic numerals employed are free of serifs and exude a timeless air. I would be curious to see MeisterSinger offer this model with blued steel hands and matching hour markers. I suspect the contrast of blued metal with the virgin-like white dial would be spectacular.
The case of the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta has a width of 43mm and fitted my 20mm diameter wrist like a bespoke Savile Row suit. Indeed, the scale seemed perfect in every respect.
The caseback is relatively flat and the lugs taper down sharply, enticing the strap to cosset the arm gently.
I was especially impressed by the ultra-smooth feel of the case. Running my fingers over its various satin brushed and polished surfaces I could not discern the merest hint of sharpness. Indeed, the quality of the case would shame more costly offerings from some well-know Swiss brands.
Gracing the rear of the watch, an exhibition caseback reveals the self-winding movement beating with.
MeisterSinger has used the ETA-2824-2 and, the similarly specified, Sellita SW 200-1, adding a jumping hour module. However, unlike some modular chronographs where the date display is set too low within the case, the hour display in this instance is positioned near the dial surface aiding legibility.
The jumping hours provides a reassuring click as the minute hand reaches the 60th minute of the hour. Typically a jumping hours complication consumes much energy, resulting in a reduced power reserve. While the 38-hour stated power reserve may not sound much, it is impressive for this kind of watch, especially a timepiece with a modest asking price of £2375.00 (RRP as at 4.5.2015).
The oscillating mass is adorned with a pleasing combination of Côtes de Genève and sunray motifs. There is a distinct absence of decoration on the rest of the movement which is a tad disappointing, but considering the price point, this can be excused based on the added value seen on virtually every other surface of the watch.
Seldom can one voice produce every note and often the repertoire of many singers is limited. However, the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta is an adept performer, excelling in the vast majority of areas. As stated earlier, I would have preferred to have seen a greater quotient of surface decoration on the movement, but this would not dissuade me from recommending this horological maestro.
This is a virtuoso performance from a German brand who clearly knows about hitting the right note and I, for one, will be looking more closely at its products in the future. Encore!
MeisterSinger launches at Harrods in May with an exclusive green dial
|Harrods, the prestigious retail emporium, located in Knightsbridge, is frequently visited by some of the world’s most discerning clientele and has become a destination of choice for those seeking a rare timepiece seldom seen elsewhere.
‘The Fine Watch Room’ plays host to an impressive array of timepieces from prestigious luxury brands and will celebrate its 4th anniversary later this year. Often the famous retailer will showcase unusual watches, some of which are unique to the store.
In May, MeisterSinger, the German watch company from Münster, will be launching the Salthora Meta with a green dial, exclusively sold by Harrods in the UK. The eye-catching shade proffers even more individuality and doffs its hat to the house colours of the London-based retailer.
Remarkably, despite the relative exclusivity of this green hued model, the asking price remains unchanged at £2375 (RRP as at 4.5.2015) further reinforcing the notion of value.
- Model: MeisterSinger Salthora Meta (white dial)
- Case: Stainless steel; 43mm diameter; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Jumping hours; minutes.
- Movement: ETA-2824-2 or Sellita SW 200-1; self-winding movement; power reserve of 38 hours
- Bracelet: Black croco print strap presented on a stainless steel deployant
- Price: £2375 (RRP in UK as at 4.5.2015)