Far from the one-trick-pony MeisterSinger appeared to be 15 years ago, the German brand shows great watchmaking with this Circularis. Still displaying the time with a single-hand (mono aiguille) but powered by a nice proprietary movement, the Circularis gets a new, slightly retro version named Old Radium.
At first sight, there is one particular element that sets MeisterSinger apart from any other watchmaker: the single-hand display of time. But taking a closer look at the brand, there are some more particularities to be discovered. For example its heritage: the company was founded in 2001 in the Westfalian city of Münster. No one ever thought about founding a serious watch company in Münster – let alone in 2001. Then there is the brand’s almost poetic and quite unusual philosophy on time: “MeisterSinger watches don’t impose their technical precision on their owners, but accompany them discreetly throughout the day. (…) A watch that tells the time to the nearest five minutes makes the wearer more tolerant in terms of being slightly early or late, and definitely calmer in the knowledge that the really important appointments are not measured in seconds.”
The MSA01 movement
Now, that doesn’t mean that MeisterSinger makes inaccurate watches or uninteresting movements. Quite the contrary. When it comes to real watchmaking, the Circularis is MeisterSinger’s most interesting line. The movements for these models were developed in Switzerland according to specs set out and only used by the brand.
This movement was introduced in 2014 and back then really showed the ambitions this brand has; it was a big step up from using only outsourced ETA or ETA-cloned movements. It’s not a completely in-house manufactured movement, and that’s why it’s called a proprietary movement, but it definitely defines MeisterSinger. The movement is quite large and is beautifully designed. Most striking are the two barrels, that have a combined power reserve of 5 days. It was originally introduced as a hand-wound (MSH01), but later also followed the automatic movement (cal. MSA01) and the power reserve version (cal. MSH02).
A modern take on traditional values
Now the brand adds something retro-styled to the Circularis collection. This new creation is called the “Old Radium” and the look is slightly more casual than you would expect from MeisterSinger. The case has a fine matte finish and the strap is made of rough, dark brown “saddle leather”. But the most appealing new feature is the hour numerals, which are treated with “Old Radium” luminous paint – giving the watch a slightly retro look. The dial and hand are further decorated with bright red details.
The case is quite big as well; 43 millimetres and it is water-resistant to 50m. Through the large open caseback, the automatic MSA01 movement can be seen extensively, and that view is really something worthwhile. The circular graining ornamentation, the bridges and the overall design are all done well and really show that MeisterSinger has evolved far from the one-trick-pony it could have remained.
The MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic Old Radium will be priced at EUR 4,990. More information on meistersinger.com