MeisterSinger, the German brand known for its single-hand (or mono-aiguille) watches, has been venturing out of time-only models for several years. What started as a play on the classic hours, minutes and seconds display has spread to day-date indications, chronographs, astronomical indications and even a Sonnerie au Passage recently. All at rather friendly prices, really, and with a distinctive design. New for 2021 is the MeisterSinger Stratoscope, featuring an oversized moonphase display that lights up at night.
The moon has fascinated mankind for centuries, millennia even. Serving as the foundation of navigation on Earth, it’s no wonder why so many brands play with the concept of replicating the lunar movement on the dial of a watch. Whole studies have been spent on the impact of this large celestial friend on Earth and the history of why we have this satellite object in the first place. And of course, in 1969 we first set foot on it.
Usually, a moonphase is a rather small indication on the dial. Through it can be very precise, sometimes it seems it is tucked away for no reason other than scale or proportion, and perhaps limitations in the construction of the movement. There are exceptions, of course, watches with an oversized moon drawing attention in a big way. One of the prime examples is the Arnold & Sons Perpetual Moon for instance, but it has been no stranger to MeisterSinger too. Back in 2018 MeisterSinger’s Lunascope was the first watch to feature a moonphase display, and what a display that was!
Positioned in the top half of the dial was one of the largest moonphase indications we’ve seen, and things are no different with the MeisterSinger Stratoscope. It is the predominant feature of the entire watch obviously, but the rest is not to be overlooked. The moonphase is indicated by a large disc underneath the dial in matching jet black finishing. Two textured moons are positioned on the disc, which rotates according to the lunar cycle – more on the precision below, as we’re not talking average accuracy here. The moons are a photorealistic representation of our satellite as we can observe it from Earth.
The bottom half of the dial transitions from jet black into a gradient blue, mimicking the skies of the Aurora Borealis visible close to the polar circle. Spread around the dial are double-digit hour markers, a design element common in most MeisterSinger watches. This helps keep the dial balanced as all digits have similar proportions. Of course, a single hand rotates around the dial once every 12 hours. The date is indicated through a circular window at 6 o’clock. The date disc underneath is done in dark, which surprisingly has a strong contrast or blends in with the radiant blue section of the dial, depending on the light. On the outside edge of the dial is a minute track with longer markers at each hour to accompany the digits. A nice touch, the moon, central hand and all hour markers and digits are luminous. Quite cool at night!
Where the Lunascope measured 40mm, the MeisterSinger Stratoscope has been enlarged to 43mm in diameter and 11.7mm in height. Although making it a rather large watch, it does mean the moonphase indications seems a bit better proportioned with the rest of the dial. The strong curve of the lugs helps to keep it comfortable, with a lug-to-lug dimension of 51mm. Yes, it’s large, but I can attest it wears well.
The case features a brushed finished on the sides with a polished bezel and top surface of the lugs. On the back, six screws hold down the caseback with a sapphire crystal, allowing for a view of the MS Luna movement. The crown is adorned with fine knurling on the band and the MeisterSinger logo on top of it. It allows you to set the date and moonphase in the first position, and the time in the second.
Powering the MeisterSinger Stratoscope is the calibre MS Luna, which is based on the Sellita SW220. This automatic movement is a good, reliable alternative to the ETA 2824. It has a 38-hour power reserve and runs at a frequency of 4Hz, or 28,800vph. On top of the movement is a MeisterSinger-designed module for the moonphase display. According to the brand, the moonphase indication is accurate enough so it only requires a slight adjustment after 122 years. Other functions include the central hour hand and the date. Seen through the caseback, it features blued screws and adequate finishing, as well as a proprietary rotor.
The MeisterSinger Stratoscope comes on a vintage styled dark-brown leather strap with a comfortable steel butterfly clasp. Other straps are available through MeisterSinger, but do take into consideration the brand has also announced to stop offering alligator leather straps from April 2021. Current stock will still be on offer, but once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Availability & price
The MeisterSinger Stratoscope will be priced at EUR 3,690 and it is now available from retailers. The watch will be part of the permanent collection.
For more information, please visit MeisterSinger.com.