MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line
The MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line is endowed with a dominant hand that simultaneously imparts hours and minutes. However, unlike most of its siblings, this watch also displays the running minutes and seconds on two discrete subdials. Steve Ashby explores this watch in detail.
When it comes to the watch design process, I find that brands tend to adopt one of two approaches. In the majority of cases, firms will create a wide selection of styles and designs to suit all manner of tastes in a bid to appeal to the largest possible audience and, by extension, make as much profit as possible.
While it’s definitely not a crime to take this approach, there are some brands which exhibit a more courageous attitude. These are the companies which stay true to one aesthetic, one that they adore and believe in, no matter what.
In most cases, these are the watches with the strongest brand identity. Indeed, these are watches you can spot from across a room without seeing the maker’s logo and immediately know their identity. While such timepieces possess elements that aren’t to every watch aficionado’s liking, it’s certainly refreshing to see a company resolutely stand by its identity instead of trying to pander to everyone’s needs.
One such courageous brand, based in Münster, Germany, is MeisterSinger. This firm is best known for producing watches which tell the time using a single hand, rather than the conventional two denoting the hours and minutes separately. This seldom-seen style has won MeisterSinger a multitude of accolades. MeisterSinger’s design philosophy can be traced to the firm’s Founder and Managing Director, Manfred Brassler. He has successfully styled the brand’s extensive collection of models, including this stealthy-hued model, the MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line.
At a glance, the MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line takes the form of a regulator watch – a timepiece which identifies the hours, minutes and seconds, each with an individual hand. However, closer inspection reveals that MeisterSinger has remained true to its roots by utilising the dominant hand to simultaneously indicate the hours and minutes, while the minutes are also shown on a separate subdial at the 12 o’clock position, granting precise reading of the time.
A small seconds display is positioned at the base of the dial, completing the overall Regulator-like appearance. The dial is presented in matt black, paired with cream indices in MeisterSinger’s iconic two-digit format, along with matching cream hands. Smatterings of red coating have been sparingly applied to the tips of each hand and also to mark the quarterly positions, imbuing the watch with an elegant touch of colour.
With a diameter of 43mm, the case of the MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line enjoys a harmonious relationship with the dial. The case is formed of stainless steel with a hard-wearing, matt black DLC coating. The matt finish befits the watch’s understated style, while at the same time directs the wearer’s attention to the stunning dial seated beneath a domed sapphire crystal.
The press loan provided for this review was fitted with a vintage saddle leather strap in Cognac, paired with a black DLC coated pin buckle. Personally, I found the delightful tone of the leather complemented the cream and red colourations of the dial beautifully, though for buyers looking for something more subtle, alternatives are available.
MeisterSinger has fitted the Singulator Black Line with their MS0109, a movement based on a Unitas hand-wound calibre. For those who don’t appreciate winding a watch on a daily basis, the brand offers several automatic models within its vast collection of timepieces. Personally, I quite enjoy taking the time to escape the frenetic pace of life, cathartically winding the crown between forefinger and thumb.
The movement has been enriched with Côtes de Genève finishing on the bridges, perlage on the base plate, blued screws and solarisation on the transmission wheel and ratchet wheel. Thankfully, the exhibition caseback allows the hand-wound mechanical movement to be readily admired by its discerning owner.
I am not surprised that MeisterSinger has received so many design awards throughout its history. This Singulator Black Line perfectly demonstrates the firm’s keen eye for detail. From the sumptuous leather strap to the hour markers, the matt black palette and the restrained use of colours, every element complements the whole, providing a wonderful sense of cohesion.
The 43mm case is large, perhaps a consequence of the Unitas movement within, though it doesn’t feel overly cumbersome to wear, even for someone like myself with smaller than average wrists. That said, MeisterSinger does offer an array of smaller models for those who prefer a more diminutive watch.
The Calibre MS0109 is based on the venerable and highly reliable Unitas movement. It indulges the wearer with the pleasure of manual winding, an experience that upholds MeisterSinger’s charming philosophy. Indeed, this German brand implores wearers ‘not to worry about the seconds’, but to take time out from the hubbub of everyday life, even if only for a few brief moments. Perhaps, the wearer should expend these moments to appraise the plethora of details which enrich the MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line, an act which will engender much delight.
- Model: MeisterSinger Singulator Black Line
- Reference: ED-SIM102BL
- Case: Stainless steel with DLC; diameter 43mm; height 13.3mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear
- Functions: Combined hours and minutes; off-centre minutes, off-centre seconds
- Movement: MS 0109 (based on Unitas); frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz); 17 jewels; power reserve 46 hours.
- Strap: Vintage saddle leather strap with pin buckle in stainless steel with DLC
- Price: €4,490 including VAT (RRP as at 14.1.2020)
The press sample was kindly provided by https://www.jurawatches.co.uk