For the last160 years, Junghans has been building clocks and watches in Germany’s Black Forest. Erhard Junghans founded the company in 1861 and managed to build it into the largest clock manufacturer in the world at the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years, the brand has focused on innovation and quality, combined with a typically German ‘less is more’ attitude and heavily influenced by the Bauhaus era – perfectly defined by the Meister collection, first introduced in the 1930s. We go hands-on with the brand’s latest release, another minimalist, retro-styled and fairly priced model, the Junghans Meister Worldtimer.
Like most Junghans watches, the new Meister Worldtimer is a demonstration of restraint and faithfulness to traditions. For decades, Junghans has upheld its devotion to minimalist design and watchmaking. It’s an understated style that emphasises Junghans’ dedication to Bauhaus, and yet offers a surprising new look and complexity to the Meister collection.
The Junghans Meister Worldtimer is the latest addition to the Meister collection, and as such respects the codes we’ve seen in previous editions. It features a bowl-shaped case with a highly domed crystal on top – sapphire crystal or Plexiglas are available as options. It’s a buttery smooth shape and feels extremely comfy when on the wrist, mostly thanks to its modest dimensions and sleek design. I’ve had the joy of wearing this for a few weeks and must say I was impressed with the experience. It is a watch that is suitable for almost every occasion, both formal and casual.
The case is 40.4mm in diameter and 10.5mm thick including the domed crystal. Due to the design of the case, the watch has a super-slim bezel that allows for an almost unobstructed view of the large, matte-silver dial underneath. Slim, angled lugs make it fit your wrist snugly and the convex caseback makes it feel smaller than it actually is when worn.
Of course, the most important feature of the Junghans Meister Worldtimer is the 24h display. The matte-silver dial features four arched cut-outs with a grey disc underneath. This disc is printed with a 24-hour scale in white and black to differentiate between AM and PM. It is accentuated with narrow vertical lines for each timezone. On the outside of the cut-outs, on the main dial, the two city rings are printed in either black or beige/brown. Even though the print is very fine, it’s not all that difficult to quickly see what’s what. The 24-hour display is adjusted via the crown, in the first pulled out position: clockwise to advance a timezone, counterclockwise to go the other way, pretty intuitive stuff.
The domed dial is finished with applied gold PVD-coated indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12, and subtle pad-printed beige/brown lines for all the remaining hours. The colour matches the inner city-ring for the world time indication, as well as the leather strap. The dial itself is domed, as it curves down towards the edge of the dial. Centrally mounted gold hands indicate the hours, minutes and seconds. The dauphine-shaped hour and minute hand have a fine line of luminous paint and curve down at the tip to flow with the shape of the dial and crystal, as does the narrow seconds hand. The application of luminous material to the hour and minutes hands keeps the watch in check with the minimalist philosophy Junghans is known for, but does mean that at night you only have local time at your disposal.
Flipping the Junghans Meister Worldtimer over reveals the movement through the sapphire crystal. As mentioned, the caseback is shaped to match the case and is fitted with five screws. The J820.5 movement is a modified Sellita SW330-1. It has dropped the date function, and instead of a centrally mounted GMT hand, it features a 24-hour disc underneath the main dial. This automatic movement is essentially an ETA 2893-1 clone, although parts are not necessarily interchangeable. It runs at a frequency of 4Hz (or 28,800vph) and offers about 42 hours of power reserve. The outsourced movement keeps the Meister Worldtimer priced competitively, and easy to service when needed.
All in all this new Junghans Meister Worldtimer is a watch to consider if you’re interested in a clean, uncluttered yet useful traveller’s watch. It has a lot to offer and wears very comfortable. In the end, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference but with eight available options, you are spoilt for choice!
Availability & Price
A total of eight references are available, spread across four different styles. First off is the one we had for this review, with a gold PVD-coated steel case. It features a matte-silver dial and a taupe leather strap on a matching gold PVD buckle. Next up is the same gold PVD-coated case but with an anthracite dial and black leather strap. The third option is a steel case with a blue dial and strap, and finally, there’s also the option for a steel case, matte-silver dial and multi-link steel bracelet. All these colourways are available with either a domed Plexiglas or sapphire crystal. The blue version is the entry-level model at EUR 1,490 with a Plexiglas. The sapphire crystal version comes at EUR 1,690. All other options are EUR 1,590 with Plexiglas or EUR 1,790 with sapphire crystal.
More details and orders at www.junghans.de.