2021 marks the 20th year of the inception of the MeisterSinger brand, and to celebrate, this German marque has launched a commemorative model in bold colours, limited to 100 pieces worldwide. We went hands-on with the Astroscope Edition 20th Anniversary, to give you a bigger picture of this minimalist piece from MeisterSinger.
MeisterSinger takes its inspiration from sundials and early clocks and pocket watches – in particular, ancient clocks and pocket watches would only have one hand to indicate the time in hours. The minute hand was not a consideration of ancient clocks until the 18th Century, as well as the first pocket watches, such as the Nuremberg Egg – back then, the concept of a portable timekeeper was more of a mechanical curiosity, than a precision instrument. MeisterSinger takes these concepts and brings back the simplicity of these original watches, whilst introducing a sense of minimalism to their current line of timepieces with their signature “single-hand” design.
The MeisterSinger Astroscope Edition 20th Anniversary introduces a bold colour palette to the collection, with its markers, date window and indicators in orange. Whilst the orange may be perceived to be too bright a colour for some, in reality, it makes for a nice contrast to the blue-black dial and makes it come to life when it is on the wrist. The bold colours and unique display are juxtaposed by a classical 40mm stainless steel case, that really tilts the watch to more of a dress-watch style. The crown is relatively large for a watch of this style, but it aids in hand-winding when necessary, as well as giving a pleasant tactile feedback when adjusting the time and date. The watch is mounted on an orange strap with vintage-style stitching near the lugs, and is fastened by a pin buckle with a stamped MeisterSinger logo.
The dial features a quirky day display unique to the watch – taking inspiration from the way that ancient civilisations associated the days to certain celestial bodies, the Astroscope not only displays the days of the week with its associated planet/satellite/star, its white indicator also wanders around the dial in a non-linear fashion. This is meant to replicate the look of the constellations that arrange themselves in this pattern every 10-12 years in the southern sky of the Northern Hemisphere. Adjusting the watch to the right time and date will really give you a sense of how the indicator jumps around the dial, as well as the poetic nature of these celestial bodies.
Further adding to the “celestial” effect, the dial features liberal usage of SuperLuminova on the entire hour hand, its numerals, as well as the day indicator text and the white day indicator dot itself. For watch enthusiasts, this is a welcome surprise, as we love nothing more than coming in from bright daylight to somewhere darker to discover an iridescent glow on our wrists – if nothing else, it brings the wearer some joy whilst the Astroscope is on the wrist.
Powering the watch is a Sellita SW220, with a custom module for its day display.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with the MeisterSinger Astroscope, although I found the time a bit hard to read, even with the clear markings on the dial. This is really no fault of MeisterSinger, as I am too used to the luxury of a minute hand – no doubt, given more time, time would be much easier to read, as I embrace the slow-moving nature of the Astroscope. As I mentioned above, I greatly enjoyed the surprise of a luminescent glow coming from the hands, markers, day display and day indicator – watch enthusiasts live for the details, and good application of luminescent material will definitely spark joy in us. The classical design of the case is a great counterpoint to the modern design of the dial and will bring a pop of colour to any corporate attire or smart casual outfit.
The MeisterSinger Astroscope Edition 20th Anniversary, then, is for the person looking for something unusual in their next watch, and brings a minimal aesthetic that is unique in the industry. This person will greatly appreciate the influence of modern design on their watch, and will enjoy its quirky features like the wandering day display and the celestial symbols associated with them. The Astroscope is a truly different offering compared to watches at a similar price point – once you experience a MeisterSinger, time seems to move more slowly than you would expect.