Arthur Junghans and motoring have always enjoyed a strong connection. Mr. Junghans had some very influential friends in the early automotive industry (think Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach for instance) so it is a logical step to name a collection the Meister Driver. After the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug, the German based brand now introduces the Junghans Meister Driver Chronoscope in three variations. Combining bang-for-buck watchmaking with some proper heritage, we wanted to go hands-on with this Baselworld 2016 novelty.
A short historical background
The link between watchmaking by Junghans and the automotive innovations from the end of the 19th century are the foundations of the new collection. Meetings between the three Swabian entrepreneurs resulted in pretty impactful new technologies, which nowadays seems so normal we don’t think about it anymore. For instance, Arthur Junghans is the one that suggested developing some form of steering wheel on the one of the very first motor carriages by Maybach and Daimler instead of the boat-like handle to steer the car which was common practice at the time. In 1905 Arthur’s son, Oskar, succeeded in setting a milestone in the automotive world by introducing the “speed measuring device”. This could indicate speed by measuring the time it took to cover a known distance and relate it to a set time.
The new Junghans Meister Driver Chronoscope is inspired by the history between the brand and motoring, this is much obvious. It is however far more than a vintage inspired timepiece. The attention to detail, clean design and well thought out features of the watch give it a very relevant place in today’s market. The look and feel is very appealing, and with a clean and uncluttered dial, typical of German engineering and design, you actually can’t go wrong when purchasing a Junghans Chronoscope.
The Junghans Meister Driver Chronoscope has a concave (or bowl shaped if you will) steel case of a very modest 40.8mm in diameter. As a result of the construction of the case and the use of a domed plexiglass over the dial it is thicker than you might expect: 12.6mm in height from caseback to the top of the dome. The convex shape of the glass is continued by the dial which follows the same curvature and subsequently the central hands whose tips bend down at the end. The pushers for the chronograph are oval in shape that follows the case elegantly. The crown is finished with a decorative Junghans-star and a knurled edge for added grip.
The dial is available in two different styles, a beige combination, somehow reminiscent of what we’ve seen on the time-only Meister Driver Handaufzug or a two-tone grey dial with red hands on the chronograph counters. At the very edge of the dial there is a very delicate white minute track. The centrally mounted silver dauphine hands for the hours and minutes are filled with luminous material. The chronograph second hand, also placed in the centre, extends all the way to the edge of the dial. The small seconds is at 3 o’clock while the 30-minute counter for the chronograph is placed at 9, in a so-called bicompax layout.
The J880.3 automatic movement is visible through the caseback, and is an ETA 2892-2 base with a Dubois-Depraz 2030 module on top. The movement has 46 hours of power reserve which is more than enough to put it away for a day. I doubt you would though, since it is such a comfortable watch, regardless of the choice of strap or bracelet. On leather (brown or burgundy calfskin) the Junghans Meister Driver Chronograph will set you back 1,990 Euros and on the steel bracelet with folding clasp, it will retail for 2,090 Euros, which makes it excellent value for money. More information on Junghans.de.