Meet Singularis, MeisterSinger’s 2nd-Gen Watch With Manufacture Automatic Movement
A re-designed single-hand watch with big power under the hood.
German brand MeisterSinger is mostly known for ONE thing, creating watches that display the time in an unusual, rather poetical and slow manner, thanks to a single hand. Since the foundation of the brand by Manfred Brassler in 2001 in the city of Münster, Westphalia, this fine and unique needlepoint over the dial has become a true hallmark of MeisterSinger. But there’s more to MS than just that. The brand also knows how to make complications, as well as movements made specifically for them. It all started in 2014 with the Circularis and its hand-wound 5-day movement. It has been followed by an automatic version in 2016. Today we see the introduction of the MeisterSinger Singularis, which represents the second generation of automatic manufacture watches with the big and powerful Calibre MSA01.
For more than a decade, MeisterSinger has mostly relied on outsourced, relatively utilitarian movements in order to display the time on its watches. Think ETA or Sellita calibres, with or without additional complications. And while this situation is still true today, with most of the models powered by these simple yet reliable engines, the brand decided to up its game in the mid-2010s. And it has done this with two things. First, there’s the rather cool jumping hour display of the Salthora or Salthora Meta X. Then came a duo of manufacture movements, with far more power and exclusivity than the usual automatic ETA or clones. And don’t forget that the brand even recently unveiled a watch with an “hour-strike au passage” complication (and for a very reasonable price).
Back to the movements… In 2014, and with the help of Synergies Horlogeres (which has now merged with Christopher Ward), MeisterSinger presented the Circularis, a large hand-wound watch equipped with a dual-barrel movement and a 5-day power reserve, the calibre MSH01. Later in 2016, it will be followed by the Circularis Automatic, using the same base movement with an additional self-winding module, thus becoming the MSA01. The models within the Circularis collection, such as this example with power reserve indication, have since become the brand’s flagships.
Today, MeisterSinger presents Singularis, the second generation of watches equipped with the manufacture movements. Mechanically identical to the Circularis, the brand has decided to give this new Singularis a more classic design, which echoes that of the MeisterSinger classic N°03, probably one of the most recognizable models within the portfolio. As such, the diameter is kept at 43mm yet the case has a different shape, with a more pronounced bezel and overall more depth in the design. The differences in this 3-part case are also visible on the back, with a see-through caseback held in place by 6 screws. The sides are more angular and (to be confirmed) the lugs appear slightly shorter than on the Circularis.
The evolution on this MeisterSinger Singularis can also be seen on the dial. For the first time in a watch by MS, the dial is framed by an angled inner flange – previously, all dials were flat. The latter is printed with different markers, such as a 12-24 scale and dots and points marking the half and quarter hours. The base of the dial shows a sunray-brushed pattern and a bright blue colour, contrasting with the applied white numeral and silver-coloured hour markers. The central hand, this thin white needle, allows for a relatively precise indication of the time. The bevelled date window at 6 o’clock has been retained. The watch is worn on a cognac-coloured saddle leather strap.
Under the hood is the Calibre MSA01, a movement co-developed for MeisterSinger on the base of the hand-wound MSH01. This movement is notable mostly for its architecture with two barrels in series, providing a solid 5-day power reserve. It’s also pleasant to look at, with nicely decorated bridges and some elegance in the way the elements are opened – there’s a certain organic “flow” in this movement. On top is a large rotor, which not only has been cut to reveal the two barrels, but also mimics the brand’s logo. It is said by the brand to run within chronometer tolerances (but it’s not a certified chronometer).
Availability & Price
The MeisterSinger Singularis Automatic watch will be part of the permanent collection as of mid-March 2022. It is priced at EUR 4,690, which is in the same price range as a Circularis Automatic.
For more details, please visit www.meistersinger.com.
Weird order of appearances actually, one would expect to move from the broader bezel towards the smaller bezel / larger dial. To be honest, also in other brands, I like the broader bezel due to it’s vintage roots, but often prefer the smaller bezel, newer appearance, wide dial, in this case the Circularis.