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Meistersinger’s watches focus on one-hand time displays. The German-based watchmaker, founded twenty years ago, has become a favorite for those in search of an alternative wristwatch dial.

Meistersinger’s popularly priced collection offers a wide range of watches that feature one hand rotating over combined hour and minute markings around the dial – essentially echoing dials on many pre-eighteenth-century clocks.

Earlier this year, Meistersinger launched Bell Hora with another time-telling function deeply rooted in historical watchmaking and clock making: an hourly chime.

Meistersinger’s Edition Bell Hora is a limited edition of 100 units.

Today Meistersinger launches a new version of that chiming model, called Edition Bell Hora, as a limited edition of 100 units to celebrate the watchmaker’s twentieth anniversary. Where the premiere Meistersinger Bell Hora watch offered blue or white dials in an unlimited series, the latest model is designed in the style of many early pocket watches.  

The 43mm steel-cased Bell Hora features a ‘Sonnerie au passage’, which is the horological term for a chime heard as time proceeds. On the Bell Hora, the single chime activates at the start of each hour. This effectively, and pleasantly, alerts the wearer to the start of each new hour. 

If the wearer opts to turn the automatic chime off, he or she may simply press a pusher just above the crown to turn the function off.

To create the Bell Hora, Meistersinger fits its own chime module (a cleverly revised jump-hour gear configuration with its sound fork directly under the dial) atop a Sellita SW 200 automatic movement. Even with the chime function, the watch’s power reserve remains steady when worn, and will retain power off the wrist for thirty-eight hours.

The new dial is white, like many early clocks, with more distinct minute markers than found on the more contemporary dials on the Bell Hora editions seen earlier this year. A thinner numeral font and an italicized brand name also mark the new limited edition.

Price: 3,690 euro, or about $4,300. Expect availability in mid-September. 

 

Specifications: Meistersinger Edition Bell Hora

(Limited Edition of 100 pieces).

Movement: MS Bell (with Sellita SW 200 base), automatic, power reserve of 38 hours, hourly Sonnerie au Passage chime.

Case: 43 mm steel, sapphire crystal, 50 meters water resistance, four-screw exhibition back.

Dial: White with vintage-styled font. 

Bracelet: Brown leather.

Price: 3,690 euro, or about $4,300. 

Nomos Glashütte previews its spring releases by debuting three limited-edition 40mm Club automatic models with three new dial colors: olive green, onyx black and blue.

The new Nomos Club automatic in olive green is limited to 175 models in honor of 175 years of fine watchmaking in Glashütte. The watch is also available with onyx and navy dials.

The steel Club Automatic watches, limited to 175 pieces in each color, feature in-house automatic caliber DUW 5001 built with Nomos’ own ‘Swing System’ escapement and adjusted to chronometer standards.

The Nomos special edition Club automatic features automatic caliber DUW 5001, equipped with the proprietary Nomos Swing System adjusted to chronometer standards.

Water resistant to 200 meters and sporty in nature, the Club automatic model is one of Nomos’ most casual designs, with two models (olive green and blue) offered on fabric straps and one, the black (onyx) model, on the brand’s relatively new steel bracelet.

All three watches also exhibit their sportiness with a generous application of luminous material on markers and hands. The dial is highly legible even if it is a bit idiosyncratic with its mix of both Arabic hour markers and ‘sticks’ around the dial, interrupted only at 6 o’clock by the small seconds subdial.

The new limited edition selection follows two previous collections, within the firm’s higher-priced Lambda and Ludwig lines, that celebrate 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, the center of German watchmaking.

Prices start at $2,620.

Collectors already know the German-based Meistersinger for its unusual focus on one-handed time displays. But quite frequently the company underscores its rebellious nature with displays and dials that delight the eye with edgy contemporary designs, bold indicators and bright colors.

One such design, the Meistersinger Astroscope, indicates the weekdays quite unlike any other watch. Rather than highlighting each day within a traditional aperture or around the dial in their expected calendar order, the Astroscope denotes the days with a series of bright white dots next to both the abbreviation and celestial symbol. Even more unusually, the days are arranged in an apparently random pattern across the dial, from the 9 o’clock position to the 3 o’clock position.

This week, Meistersinger launches a new limited edition Astroscope, now offered with a bright orange strap that matches newly orange, luminous markers.

Meistersinger launches a new limited-edition Astroscope.

Myths and planets

Meistersinger explains that the Astroscope’s weekday celestial symbols are derived from ancient mythology, which don’t follow the current calendar.

The method most likely dates back to the Babylonians, who connected the days to seven celestial bodies: The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.

Meistersinger spreads the days across the dial as if along the horizon, with Monday at the top of the sky. Meistersinger then displays the appropriate celestial bodies and classical symbols next to the day, all of which seem to wander to and fro. The daily dots, imprinted on a rotating disc below the dial,  ‘jump’ across the dial rather than appear in traditional calendar order.

Unusual display

Thus, the week’s displays begin on Monday with a white dot at 12 o’clock (next to the moon symbol), followed the next day just to the left at the Mars symbol. On Wednesday the day dot appears next to Mercury near 9 o’clock. And so on.

Apparently there is a pattern here, according to the brand. It has placed the seven day apertures in a layout that mimics a constellation only seen every ten to twelve years in the southern night sky of the northern hemisphere. Meistersinger doesn’t name the constellation.

The unusual day display, as well as the single-hand time indicator and the date display, are powered by an automatic Sellita movement, which Meistersinger displays through a sapphire caseback.

Meistersinger debuted the 40mm steel-cased Astroscope last year with a black or blue dial and white luminous markers. As noted, this newest edition, limited to 100 units, glows with orange markers and symbols atop a dégradé black dial. Even the calfskin strap is orange, nicely matching the dial accents.

Price: $2,295

The Glashütte-based maker of acclaimed pilot watches spreads its wings with new models that update its vintage-inspired Grand Flieger and M2 collections.

The town of Glashütte is renowned for its history
as the center of German watchmaking. While that history was interrupted for decades between and following two world wars, when the village’s deep horological knowledge base dispersed to points West – or to extinction – Glashütte has again become the focus of the region’s watchmaking activity.

After being founded in Glashütte in 1927, Tutima re-joined the former East German town in 2011, fully sixty-five years after it was forced to move away. During those years away, Tutima intensely developed a focus on pilot’s watches, starting with the now-famed 1941 pilot’s chronographs known for their fluted steel case, large crown, red reference marker and, most critically, their flyback function, an unusual feature at the time.

Tutima returned to Glashütte in 2011 after 65 years away. The company was founded here in 1927.

It was that wartime aviation design that propelled Tutima to fame among aviators and, eventually, pilot watch enthusiasts. Tutima’s Grand Flieger collection today directly references that 1941 design.

Much later, in 1985, Tutima received a contract from the German army to build a new military watch with particularly stringent specifications for accuracy, shock resistance, pressure resistance and legibility. Answering that request, Tutima developed the Military Chronograph 798, known as the NATO Chronograph, which in its modern guise within the current Tutima M2 collection remains standard equipment for German military pilots.

This original Tutima 1941 pilot watch inspires the current Grand Flieger collection.

GRAND FLIEGER AIRPORT

Today, Tutima references the milestone pilot watch from 1941 within its Grand Flieger collection. The line now includes three-hand models as well as more traditional chronographs. The Tutima Grand Flieger Classic, for example, sports its vintage look with military inspired styling, including the historical fluted bezel. Tutima has modernized the pilot watches to perform according to current, more stringent, technical standards. These models at 43mm in diameter are larger than the original Flieger deigns from the 1940s, and their updated automatic movements are now fully visible through the transparent caseback.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph.

Within its Grand Flieger collection, the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport is a dressier option that maintains the line’s overall aviation feel, but with a smooth rotating bezel with 60-minute markers rather than a fluted bezel. The crown remains of the screw-in variety, and all timepieces in the Grand Flieger line are water-resistant to 200 meters.

Just a few months ago, Tutima expanded the Grand Flieger Airport collection with a new chronograph and a new three-handed model, both sporting an eye-catching new ceramic bezel. Tutima has now added a contemporary touch to the collection by incorporating an ultra-hard scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that is colored to match the dial.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport with ceramic bezel in Classic Blue with grey Cordura strap.

To launch the newer look, Tutima offers a dégradé ‘military’ green dial and a classic blue hue, both color-coordinated with the dial and strap. 
While black dials are traditional for pilot watch purists, these newer Grand Flieger Airport debuts offer a contemporary option for pilot watch enthusiasts.

“Tutima, a brand with a strong historic background creating true pilots’ watches, is a purist in regard to the design of these watches. Our goal is to deliver some of the most beautiful yet highly legible dials in this segment of the market,” explains Tutima USA President Gustavo Calzadilla. “The use of green and blue dials in the new Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph and Automatic models challenged us to introduce color options that are fun and contemporary but still respect the legibility needs and aesthetics traditions of a true pilot’s watch.”

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport, with day-date automatic movement.

The strap’s design extends those options. It’s made from grey Cordura textile and secured by a stainless steel deployant clasp. Both models, cased in 43mm steel, are also 
available with a steel bracelet.

Inside each three-hand watch Tutima fits its reliable ETA-based automatic Caliber 330, with a gold seal on its rotor. Within the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport chronograph, the ETA-Valjoux-based Caliber 310 powers the counters
 (12 elapsed hours, 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes) plus the day/date display. The chronograph’s hour display is particularly easy to read with red numerals circling the subdial. Prices: Chronograph: $3,900 (on a strap) and $4,300 (on steel bracelet). Three-hand: $2,500 (on strap) and $2,900 (on steel bracelet.)

M2 COASTLINE

As the heir to the NATO Chronograph favored by German military pilots since its debut in 1984, the Tutima M2 collection emphasizes strong legibility, reliability, enhanced water resistance, pressure-resistance for use to 15,000 meters above sea level, and shock resistance rated to protect its movement from acceleration up to 7G in all directions.

The Tutima NATO Military Chronograph, circa 1984, is the inspiration for the current Tutima M2 collection.

The M2 Coastline Chronograph, the newest watch within Tutima’s M2 collection, echoes the curved case of the famed 1980s NATO models. Its large push buttons are integrated into the rounded case, which Tutima pressure tests to 200 meters of water resistance. In line with the entire M2 collection, the M2 Coastline Chronograph case is made of satin- brushed, ultra-light titanium with a screwed back, which is decorated with a wind rose. The titanium push buttons are additionally black PVD coated and finished with a non-slip surface.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph.

“The Tutima M2 is the new generation of our original NATO Chronograph, and is considered the most rugged, utilitarian professional chronograph in the market,” adds Calzadilla. “The new M2 Coastline Chronograph introduces a new alternative within this collection, a smaller case diameter with a new movement at a price point not available before in the M2 lineup. All without sacrificing the Tutima’s high-quality standards.”

Inside this newest member of the M2 family Tutima places the ETA-based automatic Tutima Caliber 310 with 48-hour power reserve, date display, hour-, minute- and small seconds hand. The chronograph tallies up to sixty elapsed seconds, thirty elapsed minutes and twelve elapsed hours.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph with blue dial and rubber/leather strap with titanium folding clasp.

The M2 Coastal Chronograph is available with titanium bracelet or, optionally with a strap of leather, rubber/leather or rubber/Cordura.

Tutima also makes a three-hand, day-date version of the M2 Coastal Chronograph.

The Tutima M2 Coastline, with blue dial and steel bracelet.

Like the chronograph, this watch also measures 43mm in diameter and is cased in brushed titanium. Inside Tutima places automatic caliber T330, an ETA-based automatic movement upgraded by Tutima.

Because the bracelet version is also fitted with the same handsome titanium linked bracelet, the all-titanium option for this watch wears lighter than the chronograph, but offers a similar easy-to-read dial and clear link to its historical predecessors. As Tutima professes: “Nothing detracts from this watch’s operational readiness. Protruding parts have been deliberately avoided – another time-honored trait of the high- performance M2 line.”

Prices for the Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph collection start at $3,300 for the blue-dialed model with a leather strap. The three-hand Tutima M2 Coastline with day-date indicator is priced at $1,950 for the titanium-bracelet model and $1,850 for the leather-strapped editions.

Tutima designs and produces several of its own calibers in house.

Calzadilla notes that since its origins in 1927, Tutima’s philosophy has been to produce high quality timepieces of great value.

Inside Tutima headquarters in Glashütte.

“While in recent years the brand has embarked on manufacturing in-house movements, we have kept our promise and commitment to always providing options with a strong value driven proposition. With timepieces starting at $1,600 today, newcomers to the brand can access a beautiful timepiece with German engineering from a company with tradition, expertise and an outstanding track record for designing and manufacturing trusted professional watches.”

This article also appears in the Winter 2021 issue of About Time.

 

Just in time for the holiday season, A. Lange & Söhne adds sparkle to two models within its Saxonia collection.

First, the Glashütte-based watchmaker is debuting its newest Saxonia Thin with a solid-silver dial coated with shimmering black gold flux. The newest model reprises the glittery aspect of the much-discussed blue-gold flux dial first seen on the Saxonia Thin from 2018.

The new A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin with a solid-silver dial coated with shimmering black gold flux. Limited to 50 pieces.

The newest edition is one millimeter larger in diameter (40mm versus 39mm for the blue flux dial version) but maintains the same 6.2mm thickness, slim hour and minute hands and applied baton-style markers. The new model’s unusual black gold flux dial shimmers thanks to tiny copper-colored particles, which make the deep-black surface sparkle.

A.Lange & Söhne explains that the production process for gold flux was discovered during the 17thcentury in Venice. The glass and its copper constituents are heated, forming microscopically small copper crystals. Artisans must then carefully cast the material onto the silver dial in order to maintain an even, homogeneous surface.

A. Lange & Söhne places the very thin (2.9mm) manual-wind wound caliber L093.1 inside the Saxonia Thin.

Inside, A. Lange & Söhne places the very thin (2.9mm) manual-wind wound caliber L093.1, A. Lange & Söhne’s thinnest movement that, despite its compact size, offers a power reserve of three days.

Like the blue version, the new black gold-flux dial on this Saxonia Thin is a premiere for any A. Lange & Söhne watch. The new model, unlike the earlier piece, is a limited edition, with fifty pieces on offer. Price: $25,800.

Saxonia Outsize Date

The watchmaker’s other dial update finds the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outsize Date now available with a silver-colored dial, offered on 38.5mm white gold or a pink gold case (above). This addition complements the existing black-dialed options.

The new A. Lange & Sohne Saxonai Outsize Date, here in white gold with an silver-colored dial.

You might recall that this collection highlights its otherwise minimalistic dial with a large presentation of the date near the top of the dial. Made specifically to enhance visibility, the large date indicator (a touchstone display for the brand) is unusual in that it utilizes two separate display surfaces for the units and tens and is at least twice as large as in watches of a comparable size.

A. Lange & Söhne balances the date with a subsidiary seconds dial at the 6 o’clock position. The watchmaker has developed its automatic L086.8 movement with a particularly strong mainspring barrel in order to deliver an impressive power reserve of 72 hours. Price: $27,700.

The new Saxonia Outsize Date (two models, at left) and the new Saxonia Thin.

At the beginning of the 20th century, German-based Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world. When it needed new, larger facilities in which to manufacture those clocks, the company teamed with architect Philipp Jakob Manz, who designed Terrassenbau, a dramatically terraced set of workplace buildings for the clockmaker. The building, in Schramberg, is one of the most spectacular industrial buildings worldwide to be built on a sloping site.

The Junghans Terrassenbau buildings.

The building, which today houses the Junghans museum, instantly became the centerpiece of the sprawling Junghans factory. During the 1950s and 1960s, the heyday of firm’s mechanical movements manufacturing era, Junghans created and manufactured numerous calibers in the building just in front of the site, with caliber and watch assembly conducted in the terrace building itself.

The Junghans Terrassenbau assembly room, pictured in 1920.

The long expanse of windowed floors allowed watchmakers to work with perfect daylight on assembly and regulation, uninterrupted by workers conducting other watchmaking processes.

The Terrace Building now houses the Junghans museum.

New watches

Just two years ago, Junghans celebrated 100 years of the architectural history of the facility with a limited edition, 40.7mm gold-cased Meister Chronoscope Terrassenbau. This year, Junghans debuts two steel-cased, non-chronograph Terrassenbau models, each a 1,500-piece limited edition.

Junghans Meister Classic Terrassenbau, an automatic model. ($1,895)

One, the Meister Classic Terrassenbau (Master Classic) is a three-hand automatic watch with date in a 38.4mm steel case. The second is a 37.7mm steel-cased, manual-wind time-only watch, the Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau (the Master Handwind) with small seconds. Both watches feature ETA-based calibers upgraded by Junghans.

The Junghans Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau, a manual-wind model. ($1,695)

In addition to their Terassenbau-colored dials, these new models incorporate elements of the Schramberg facility into their design. For example, the minute track of the matte-silver dial reflects the meandering design of the wall decorations in the terrace building, while the green alligator leather strap echoes the dark green of the wall tiles in the stairways.

The Master Handwind (Meister Handaufzug) Terrassenbau , showing caseback with ‘windows’ exposing the movement.

Even the caseback of each watch reveals a detailed image of the source of inspiration itself, applied using Junghans’ own printing plant. Also from the back, small windows provide a view into each watch’s movement.

The new watches are limited to 1,500 units each. Prices: The Jungians automatic Meister Classic Terrassenbau is $1,895 and the Junghans Meister Handaufzug Terrassenbau, the manual-wind model, is $1,695.

 

Junghans cases new models in its Force Mega Solar collection with a dark matte or polished ‘premium grade’ ceramic material and a sapphire crystal. The watch is also now available with a choice of three rubber strap, hand and marker  hues: black, brown and khaki.

The new Junghans Force Mega Solar.

The watch, which boasts the latest generation of Junghans’ multi-frequency movement that accesses time-signal transmitters worldwide, features a fairly minimalistic dial set with hyper-efficient solar cells.

While a digital date appears at 6 o’clock, the analog hands belie decades of technological development within the moderately thin (8.2mm) case. Indeed, German-based Junghans first developed its own radio-controlled solar watch in 1993 and has updated them frequently in the decades since.

This latest-generation Junghans Mega Solar movement features a power reserve up to twenty-one months with an automatic sleep mode that kicks into effect if the watch has not been exposed to light within a consecutive seventy-two-hour period.

The new ceramic cases are either dark polished or matte-finished and arrive with lightweight rubber strap in contrasting black, brown or khaki to match the hands and markers. A PVD-coated titanium folding clasp secures the strap.

Price: On pictured rubber strap: $ 1,195. The model is also available with a ceramic bracelet, priced at $1,495.

 

Specifications: Junghans Force Mega Solar

Movement: Multi-frequency radio-controlled solar movement J615.84
Big date display, perpetual calendar, App-connected automatic reception of time signal transmitters DCF77, MSF, JJY40/60, WWVB60, power reserve up to 21 months, automatic sleep mode after 72 hours without exposure to light.

Case: 40.4mm by 8.2 mm polished or matte ceramic with sapphire crystal, 4-times screwed ceramic case back, water resistance to 50 meters. 

Dial: Glass solar cells. Dial markings with environmentally friendly SuperLuminova in white, brown or khaki.

Hands: With environmentally friendly luminous substance.

Strap: Synthetic rubber strap with titanium buckle, PVD-coated.