One Hand to Rule Them All: a Review of the Meistersinger Perigraph
Our modern life is timed down to every minute, from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed. However, one can change his perception of time, by wearing an unusual watch, with only one hand on the dial. Does time seem to flow differently, after a few days of wearing a Meistersinger Perigraph?
What an interesting decision to produce mechanical watches with no second and no minute hand either. Only one long and thin hour hand runs imperceptibly on the dial to tell the time on most Meistersinger models. The inspiration for these watches comes from times long gone by. Several centuries ago many pocket watches had just one hand to indicate time. Even Abraham Louis Breguet’s famous pocket watches “montres de souscription” had only one hand to indicate the time.
The most surprising aspect of wearing a Meistersinger comes from the carefully thought through design of the indexes on the dial. The main markers are for the hours, and, to offer a very symmetrical display, all hours are written with 2 digits. The second largest markers on the dial are positioned between the hour markers and indicate the 30 minutes past the hour. Then the next markers indicate each quarter of an hour. Finally, the thinnest markers indicate every 5 minutes in a quarter. These indications coupled with a long and very thin blued steel hour hand, produce an intuitive way to read the time with an accuracy of +/- 2 minutes or better. Effectively there are 144 markers on the dial, and knowing this should eliminate the possible fear of the wearer “being late” during the day. Printing the dial very accurately is a challenge well mastered by Meistersinger. Except in pitch black darkness, the watch is perfectly readable all the time.
The perigraph has its own way to tell the date of the month. A red pointer at 12 indicates the date, as a ring turns around the dial in 31 days. Etymologically, this complication gets its name from the Greek, because the date is literally written (graph) around (peri) the dial. The Perigraph we got to review measures 43 mm in diameter and features a clean and uncluttered dial. The aforementioned minimalistic markers contribute to this of course, but also the very thin bezel, that visually somehow ‘opens’ the dial. Besides the 43 mm Perigraph there is also a 38 mm version that might fit smaller wrists better. The mildly domed sapphire glass gives very interesting reflections when hit by the light at a low angle.
The case is fairly thin at only 11mm. The finish of the watch is excellent for all parts. The polished surfaces on the case are like mirrors and the sides of the case are homogeneously brushed. The lugs are short which made the watch a great pleasure to wear even on my modest wrist. The dial is not white but a very pleasing eggshell color, which varies in density depending on the lighting conditions. During the brighter part of the day, it is almost white. In the evening, under artificial lighting conditions it comes out as a very warm beige tone.
The watch has a transparent case back through which we can see a well finished ETA 2824-2, that gets wound up by an oscillating mass with the name and the logo of the brand. This caliber in a 43mm case may surprise at first; but there is possibly a good reason for it, which is related to the date complication. The date ring on the outer portion of the 2824-2 caliber lands in the right place to fit the design of the dial. The 2824-2 is a very reliable caliber. The choice of this German brand does bring mechanical peace of mind.
The stainless steel buckle is simple and well polished, bearing the minimalist logo of the brand. The strap is of leather with a crocodile-like pattern. Although the dark brown strap is very comfortable, I am not the biggest fan of the crocodile pattern. The watch probably deserves a real alligator strap even if this does impact the price tag a little.
Now let’s talk about nothing less but magic. 3 things happen when you wear a Meistersinger mono-hand watch. After a few minutes you realize that you were wrong to think that it would take a long time to get used to reading the time on this display. In fact, you are fully accustomed to it already.
Secondly, your perception of time changes. You feel you are more in control of the timing of your day, because a 5 minute portion of time is represented by an angle 12 times smaller than on a normal watch. If you lose or burn 15 minutes during your day, it looks like a bit more than a minute on a classic hour-minute hand watch. This watch comes with its own therapeutic effect: once you wear it, you start to calm down and relax.
Finally, you will notice during the day that many people spot your watch and look at your wrist with a puzzled face. This is a way to stand out in the crowd with style and elegance. The brand has worked up a great design, winning several design awards, with more to come in the future, I am sure. This is one of the very few brands offering the wearer a different perception of time, for a very affordable price (MSRP of the watch reviewed is just below 1600 euros).
- The design
- The change of perception of how time flows
- The quality of the finish
- A very reliable caliber
- An alligator strap would fit the watch better
- A small caliber in a large watch
Have a look at the Meistersinger website, for more info about their single-hand watch collection.
One word; Beautiful!
There is a real retro look here – a nod back to an age when time probably did seem to flow differently in a less pressurised,more ‘gentlemanly’ age – perhaps time for a return to those values, not just watch styles. Great post
I own the 36mm neo with a blue face. It is stunning. Do yourself a favour buy a Meistersinger… anyone.
Very enjoyable read and insightful review. The more I learn of MeisterSinger, the higher it’s moved on my list of desirable timepieces. Compelling price for such attractive and classy watches. Thank you!