2020 is a leap year and MeisterSinger dedicates a limited edition model to this 4-year occurrence with Edition 366. Although we are used to MeisterSinger’s single-handed watches and its award-winning, cool German Bauhaus style, Edition 366 goes back one step further in time and recreates the elegance of early 19th-century scientific measuring instruments. Similar to barometers of yesteryear or pocket watches of the early-19th century, Edition 366 revels in its historic aesthetics. Let’s take a closer look at this elegant and original watch.
What’s old is new again
Most of you are familiar with Meistersinger’s single-handed watches, conspicuous idiosyncrasies in today’s mania for hyper-precision time readings. For many folk in the Middle Ages, things like minutes and seconds were inconsequential; something that struck a chord with the philosophy of the founder of MeisterSinger, Manfred Brassler. His idea of giving wearers a general overview of the time, not a hyper-precise consultation of the exact minutes and seconds, found an echo in the historic single-handed time display of medieval clock towers. What looked like a new and original way of displaying time in 2001 – when MeisterSinger launched its first model (Nº01) – turned out to be a very old idea indeed. Don’t get the wrong idea though, these watches are highly accurate and the minutes can be consulted with precision once you get the hang of reading the time.
The MeisterSinger Edition 366 comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and features a lovely white opaline dial recreating the delicate lustre of historic enamel dials. In keeping with the epoch, the name of the brand and the name of the watch, which refers to the 366 days in a leap year, are rendered in cursive script. The hour track, with its signature MeisterSinger double-digit display, is picked out in black. Using a font that evokes the hand-painted numerals on 19th-century pocket watches, the hours are placed at an unusual angle and in some positions appear upside down. In a departure from the conventional black numerals and white dial scheme, MeisterSinger plays with a touch of blue and red to highlight certain functions. Each hour numeral in the centre is underscored by a long red marker. On the periphery of the dial, there is also a 24-hour scale indicated with light-blue numerals and placed on the opposite side of the red marker.
The minutes are colour coded for additional clarity: every five-minute interval is indicated by a short black marker; the quarters by a longer, slightly thicker black marker; and the half-hour by an even longer blue marker. Just for the record, the 24-hour scale is also colour coded marking the quarters with a short red dash and the half-hour with a thicker black one. Another delightful detail is the unusually long 25mm arrow-tipped hand of the MeisterSinger Edition 366. The arrow tip is similar to those found on historic pocket watches and the black solid circle in the centre is flanked by two counterweights, a bit like a Calder mobile but meant to evoke historic scientific instruments.
If this all sounds a little overwhelming, once you’ve had time to study the watch, reading the time becomes second nature. You can really feel the hand of the design team here and the choice of colours is pitch-perfect enlivening the dial and enhancing legibility.
A pocket watch movement
Edition 366 is powered by a classical Unitas hand-wound movement, originally designed for pocket watches. Used inside the Nº02 MeisterSinger model as well, the hand-wound Unitas 6498-1, also known as a hunter calibre, can be seen through the exhibition glass back with its four screws. With is clean-cut bridges with ribbed finishes, blued screws, ruby bearings and a large balance, the barrel bears the MeisterSinger logo and can store up to 46 hours of power.
Availability and Price
The MeisterSinger Edition 366 is a limited edition of 100 pieces and comes with a brown calfskin strap with a crocodile grain and pin buckle. It will go on sale in May 2020 and will retail for EUR 2,190.
More details at meistersinger.com.