I wouldn’t want to say I am a particular spiritual guy, nor do I take any serious interest in things like horoscopes, the meaning of zodiac signs and the alignment of stars and planets. But, and this is a big “But”, I am absolutely fascinated with space as a concept. It just baffles me how we are floating around in the vast emptiness of space, on a little blue and green sphere, circling around the sun in a synchronised ballet with planets, meteorites and of course our closest neighbour, the moon. For years I didn’t really pay much attention until I was in Kenya at one point in life, and looked up during the night to discover a shockingly star-studded night sky. This was infinitely more impressive than the night sky I get to see day in and day out in the Netherlands, where I live. Since then, it just amazes me how this entire system works, even though I don’t even come close to grasping the entirety of it. One of the things that fascinate me the most is footage of our home planet from outer space, made by a telescope or astronauts. And now, with the cool MeisterSinger Edition Best Friends, that sensation is now somewhat replicated in a wristwatch!
I fully realise this is a very personal take on things and you might think why I’m rambling on like this. But just imagine for a second you’re an astronaut on a mission in space, and look back at our Planet Earth and possibly the moon set behind it. At that point you are further away from any human being than you will probably ever be, floating thousands of miles above our planet. Right then and there, you take a picture which contains every single person and all other life on earth in one moment. Except for you! That must be the weirdest feeling ever, I imagine, but a feeling that is (and I’m exaggerating things a bit, I know) to some extent now made possible to imagine, thanks to MeisterSinger.
The German brand known for its single-handed watches has played around with the earth and moon before but never in a single watch. Just last year MeisterSinger launched the cool Edition Planet Earth, based on the emblematic Perigraph. This featured a large, photorealistic image of Planet Earth in the middle of the dial, surrounded by the signature date display of the Perigraph. Although the image was static, it added a certain degree of life and depth to the otherwise jet-black dial. That very watch also marked the first time MeisterSinger collaborated with the Worldwide Fund for Nature, with parts of the proceeds benefiting environmental programs worldwide. This exercise is repeated with the new MeisteSinger Edition Best Friends.
What we get is the stainless steel exterior of the Stratoscope, measuring 43mm in width and 12.4mm in height. This is quite a beefy case, to be honest, but is finished very nicely with brushed flanks and polished top surfaces. The domed bezel is also polished and seamlessly transitions into the domed sapphire crystal. The bezel’s narrow width allows for a dial as big as possible, visually enhancing the impact of what’s going on in the watch. The crown is traditionally located at 3 o’clock and signed with the MeisterSinger logo. Around the back, a sapphire crystal caseback emblazoned with the black Panda logo of the WWF printed on the inside, reveals the automatic movement inside (more in a bit).
We say it time and time again, but the dial is where the magic of the Edition Best Friends is to be found. Since we’re essentially looking at a Stratoscope, the oversized moon phase display immediately jumps out at you. This is also the thing that gets me with this watch, as the moon passes over the photorealistic print of Planet Earth below it during one lunar cycle (~29,5 days), just as our neighbouring satellite does in real life.
The spectacle is overlooked by a large needle-like central hand to indicate the time. This makes one full rotation every 12 hours and follows the outer timing track. And I deliberately say timing track, as it helps with distinguishing the hours (along with the double digits) but also the quart hours, half hours and five-minute increments. The final indication is the date, which sits at 3 o’clock and is aligned with the MeisterSinger logo and Stratoscope name. Most elements of the dial are luminous, including the moon, and to me, it is a slightly missed opportunity to do something with the print of the Earth as well but it’s no dealbreaker.
The Edition Best Friends uses the Calibre MS Luna, which is a rebranded Sellita SW 220-1. On top of it sits an in-house designed module for that stellar, pun fully intended, moon phase display. It also explains the relatively thick case. The movement runs at a rate of 28.800vph and uses a central rotor with MeisterSinger’s signature cutouts to wind the barrel up to its full capacity of 38 hours. In terms of finishing it’s neatly done, although it’s nothing out of the ordinary or particularly special. It includes details such as circular graining, blued screws and more.
MeisterSinger is making great strides in cutting down its waste in producing watches, and being as sustainable as possible. This comes to fruition through the vegan leather strap for instance, which has a nice coffee-brown tone and rust-coloured stitching. The packaging the watch comes in is also fully made of recycled materials and is 100% sustainable. Just as with the Edition Planet Earth, of all watches sold, EUR 250 will be donated to the WWF in support of its global environmental programs. It is available as of now, for a price of EUR 4,250 and is limited to 250 pieces in total.
For more information, please visit MeisterSinger.com