Somehow we are all trained to read time from a watch with two hands in the blink of an eye. Here at Monochrome we do have a weak spot for watches with another way to indicate time, and the Meistersinger Salthora falls in that category. With one hand to indicate the minutes and a jumping hour indication, it’s slightly different from what the “one-hand watch company” usually delivers. And if you wondered how that jumping hour indication works, well, we’re going to explain that.
Meistersinger’s press release started a bit poetical: “We split days into two lots of twelve hours. The numbers from one to twelve indicate manageable periods of time with which we are familiar from a young age, or which we have established over the course of our life: morning, noon, five o’clock tea and after work time. Our day is ruled according to the position of the hour hand.” Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Watches with a different display of time do not correspond to this. In this case, the Salthora shows the actual hour through a round aperture, and the minutes by means of a hand. When 60 minutes have passed, that single hand reaches the middle of the hour aperture and the number changes instantly to the next hour.
While we’re always dedicated to explain how a mechanical watch works, is finished or what’s so special about a certain construction (e.g. lever operated vs column wheel operated chronograph) we’ve never actually shown how a jumping hour mechanism really works. Until we came across the following photo on Meistersinger’s facebook page.
However before we have a look at the image, let’s go over some basics. The jumping hour won’t jump from itself, so the energy to rotate the disk (with hour numerals) has to be build up and stored, before it will be released. Both building up the required energy and releasing it, will have an impact on the gear train, and thus the precision of the watch. So that’s a factor that has to be as minimal as possible.
Centrally positioned is the hour wheel, which makes one full rotation in 12 hours. It’s 12 pointed star. That hour wheel and all other parts visible in the image above, are placed between the base movement and the dial. When fully assembled the wheel with hour numerals printed on it, is fixed on the hour wheel.
At the 2 o’clock position is the “position spring” fixed. It has a long arm that is pressed against the hour wheel, with a certain pressure. This pressure can be regulated by the “excenter” screw. It serves to keep the hour wheel from making a to abrupt movement. To the left of the hour wheel is a bridge for the actuating lever, that pivots at the point of the ruby. The swan neck serves to keep the right amount of pressure on the actuating lever. Below the actuating lever is a sensing device for the minute cam, with a spring, which will be loaded over the course of 60 minutes. After 60 minutes the actuating lever (actually its part on the right) will ‘actuate’ the hour wheel and the position spring (yes, that thing at the 2 o’clock position) will make sure the hour wheel will just rotate 30 degrees, and therefore switch to the next hour. Clear? I hope so.
The module was developed to be built atop of the tried-and-tested Swiss automatic ETA-2824-2 movement. The module ensures a punctual and instantaneous jump.
The Salthora has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 40 mm and comes in a choice of four different dials: white, creme, deep sapphire blue and black. The hour window is white for all versions. Its retail price of just below € 2,300 Euro is very fair, we believe.
Besides this single-hand watch with jumping hours, Meistersinger offers a choice of single-hand watches and even some with more hands and/or functions, like the Perigraph that we reviewed for you before. We here at Monochrome has a soft spot for the very likable single-hand watch brand from Germany. Our advice: check them out yourself and we’re actually sure you will like them as well.
More info: www.meistersinger.net