Pre-Baselworld 2016 – Introducing the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug, an affordable vintage-inspired driver’s watch
Junghans is one of the few German-based brands to create watches. This long-established (over 150 years), independent company designs and manufactures watches with a clean design, inspired by vintage aviation or Bauhaus style. The best part of the package: their watches, even mechanical ones, are really affordable. For Baselworld 2016, the brand will introduce a new collection, this time playing on the trend of classic cars from the 1930s. A nice design, clean and vintage style and a hand-wound movement… Here is the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug.
To create this new Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug, the two owners of the brand looked at the past of the company and of Arthur Junghans, son of the company founder Erhard Jungians. He was an early automobile enthusiast. In fact, in 1892, he bought one of the first Daimler test cars. Love for antique cars is still alive with the two actual owners of Junghans, Hans-Jochem Steim and Hannes Steim, whose enthusiasm is manifested in their own collection of vehicles and car clocks / speed measuring devices created in the old days of Junghans. Thus, they wanted this spirit to be seen in the new collection.
To design the new Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug, inspiration was found in the Maybach DS 8 Zeppelin, built in 1932 (of which just 25 examples exist worldwide). An interesting feature of this super-luxury car was its colour: a combination of cream, light grey and anthracite. And guess what, these are the colours that Junghans chose for its new Meister Driver. Two editions will be available. One with a black dial, cream indexes and sub-dial and a grey strap. The other, less classical and even more vintage, with a cream dial, circled with a grey minute-track, white numerals and a matching cream strap.
Not only the colours of the two editions of the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug differs but also the tracks around the dial. The dark one features large hour numerals and a small minute track on the periphery of the dial. The cream edition on the other hand uses large minute numerals and a smaller rail-road track for the hours. These numerals are reminiscent of antique dashboard speedometers. As usual with the brand, and to emphasize the vintage style of the watch, the dial is slightly domed. Finally, both watches also differs from the luminous paint applied on numerals and hands – cream for the black dial edition and white for the cream / grey version.
The Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug is also appreciable because, on the contrary of many brands, vintage style of the dial also means vintage size for the case. So no over-40mm case here but a nice 37.7mm stainless case with domed Plexiglas, and a pleasant slim profile of only 7.3mm. This is due to the movement chosen by the brand, as the Meister Driver Handaufzug (meaning “hand-wound” in English) features a calibre based on the well-known ETA 7001 Peseux, a thin manually-wound movement with small second – here finished with Geneva Stripes and blue screws – and visible through the sapphire caseback.
The Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug is a nice offer for those in the need of a small, thin and vintage inspired watch, with enough originality to stand out from the crowd. And as usual with the brand, all of this comes for a very reasonable price – expect around 1,150 Euros to 1,200 Euros. More details on the official website of Junghans.
Specifications of the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug
- Movement: J815.1 hand-winding movement with small second at 6 o’clock Basic calibre ETA 7001 Peseux.
- Finishing: Rhodium plating, blued screws, engraved Junghans logo on the wheel train bridge, bridges with stripe finishing.
- Case: Stainless steel Ø 37.7 mm, height 7.3 mm, domed hard plexiglass with SICRALAN coating, 5-times screwed back with mineral crystal
- Dial/hands: Polished lacquer dial with “sunburst” effect finish, dial markings and hands with environmentally-friendly Super Luminova luminous substance
- Strap: Calfskin strap with stainless steel buckle
- Water resistance: Up to 3 bar
Really beautiful, especially the beige/grey one. But you can’t call it affordable, when you could buy in that price range or a little bit more, a Nomos with in-house caliber.
Affordability is exactly what you would call this, as well as Nomos. While Nomos Glashutte is doing amazing things with in-house calibers and almost entirely German manufacturing, Junghans offers something different and classic in another way. I absolutely love this new piece and would say it’s stiff competition for the Max Bill in my opinion. That grey and cream dial version with a grey strap is totally what I want.
I have been eyeing a Max Bill Chronoscope for a while but this could make me switch my target for my next watch. As Joshua says, the grey and cream dial version is wonderful. I think these are different to Nomos in that Nomos seem far more Scandinavian in influence. I ‘switched my allegiance’ to Junghans after being a long-time lover of Nomos. There’s something about the Junghans design that feels more complete.