German brand MeisterSinger is known for single-hand watches and with few exceptions (this one, too), its entire portfolio reflects that. It has made the most of this simplicity with interesting takes on the aesthetic, such as the skeletonized Salthora Meta Transparent with a visible jumping hour or bronze editions of popular collections. It has also dipped its toes in retro waters with the Neo, a classic design that feels straight from the 1950s. At Baselworld 2019, the brand introduced a new single-hand model with a retro take on the concept. Let’s take a closer look at the MeisterSinger Vintago, a relatively simple piece with vintage charm.
The new Vintago line shares a retro vibe, but has more contemporary features mixed in. At first glance, the case reminds me of a Junghans Max Bill with a more rounded shape and smaller diameter than the MeisterSinger norm. I like this 1960s look and the brand is adept at keeping its collections fresh, despite the ‘limitation’ of the single-hand concept. Look no further than the Lunascope or Adhaesio to see its ongoing pursuit of intriguing designs.
The brushed stainless steel case has a 1960s-era 38mm diameter with a knurled crown sporting a smooth taper to the case edge, again typical of the time. That taper also provides for an easier grip when pulling the crown to set the time or date (no fingernails required). The case is water.resistant to 50 metres. A domed sapphire crystal covers the multi-level dial, which has an interesting depth that the aforementioned Neo lacks.
The inner portion of the MeisterSinger Vintago’s dial is raised with a long, arching date window that (almost) spans from 2 to 4 o’clock. Five numerals are displayed at a time with a round index marking the central date. The lower outer portion of the dial has Arabic numerals printed every hour, all having two digits (01, 02, 03, etc.) – a common theme for most MeisterSinger dials. The single hour hand curves downward from the raised centre to the outermost perimeter, with “MEISTERSINGER” printed at the top of the inner portion and “vintago” at the bottom. There are four colour options for the dial: opaline silver, ivory, blue and black. The date disk matches the dial colour and the numbers are printed in either white (blue and black dial) or black (silver and ivory dial), which also match the dials’ numerals.
The caseback of the MeisterSinger Vintago is held on via six screws with a sapphire exhibition window displaying the Swiss Sellita SW200-1automatic, which is an alternative to the ETA 2824-2. It has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and quickset date. Seen from the back, the rotor’s shape has been customized with MEISTERSINGER and its logo engraved, but the movement is otherwise unadorned. This same movement powers the Neo and many other MeisterSinger watches and is a proven, reliable workhorse that’s easily serviced.
The straps are calfskin leather with a steel pin buckle and will match the colour of the dial. Alternatively, there’s a steel Milanese bracelet available. The watch is comfortable and light on the wrist, and the smaller 38mm diameter is a refreshing change from the 43mm+ cases out there. The MeisterSinger Vintago will retail for EUR 1,690 with availability starting in April 2019. More information can be found at www.meistersinger.com.