Chronographs are a funny thing, for me. On one hand, I do understand and appreciate the overall look of a chronograph, be it a bi- or tri-compax layout. For all practical purposes, however, I simply do not have a use the complication offers. As such, I generally tend to steer away from chronographs, especially as they are generally housed in larger cases. That all said, I may have found an exception to my rule with a watch being introduced at Basel today – the Junghans Meister Chronoscope.
So, why would I make an exception? Well, when you pair a stunning blue dial (my favorite color) along with slimmed-down, vintage looks, you have the makings of a watch that is right in my wheelhouse – which is where the Junghans Meister Chronoscope is finding itself. So, let’s start with the chosen hue of that dial – why blue? Junghans claims inspiration from the “blue hour” – a short period of time observed at sunrise and sunset. To my eyes, it presents as a deep, but not dark, shade that just looks nice.
Frankly, that’s the overall tone of the watch for me – it just looks nice. The blue dial is covered by a convex, hard plexiglass crystal which keeps the vintage vibe going. Picking up on that convex are the registers for the chronograph and small seconds. These, however, are concave, which I rather like. It keeps the dial from being overly flat and uninteresting, while still keeping that curvy design language. The remainder of the dial is simply appointed, with polished stick indices and clean handsets (the main handset has some lume). The day-date is right where you’d expect, and while the white background of those discs is not particularly jarring against the dial, it would have been nice to see something a bit more color-matched.
Those discs are driven by an automatic J880.1 movement (based on the ETA 7750), viewable through the screw-down caseback and the mineral crystal therein. Yes, that’s right – not a hint of sapphire to be found on the Junghans Meister Chronoscope. For some, that might be a deal-breaker on a watch with an asking price $2,230, but it really is not for me. The plexi up front keeps with the older styling that the watch is going for, and gives the room needed for the handset without requiring a thick case (the watch is 13.9mm thick). Sure, you can get sapphire to curve, but it’s not quite the same look and feel for a watch like this.
In short, I think a lot of the Junghans catalog speaks to me, and if I were to ever consider adding a chronograph to my personal collection, something like the Junghans Meister Chronoscope would certainly be one of the top contenders. It’s clean for what it offers in terms of complications, and the overall look works well for the office or even as a dress watch (in that case, I’d swap the brown strap for something in a shade of cognac or wine, perhaps). In other words, a versatile every day sort of watch, courtesy of a clean aesthetic that the brand is known for. If you find yourself in Basel later this month, go search this one out (and then send us some live pictures). Otherwise, you can wait until August 2015 when the watch will be available in the States. junghans.de
- Brand & Model: Junghans Meister Chronoscope
- Price: $2,230
- Who we think it might be for: Your tastes skew towards the more vintage and compact, and you still want a healthy dose of complications in your watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: This one would be very tempting, for sure.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Color-match those date wheels. That, and put this dial on a non-chronograph Meister.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The dial grabbed me at first, but catching the concave/convex design play really brought it home.