The Meistersinger City Edition 2017 – a hand wound, exhibition caseback, limited edition, classic vintage styled single hander. In the Meistersinger tradition, it has only one hand – indicating both the hour and minute, and fully embodying the more laid back conception of time Meistersinger is known for. I was lucky to get my hands on one of the limited edition City editions, a very very handsome hand-winder with a 42 hour power reserve, and fantastic strap.
Meistersinger has been making watches in the German city of Munster since 2001. Although a relatively new brand, they’re deeply steeped in traditional techniques and culture. Founder Manfred Brassler drew inspiration from single-handed clocks from the ages in creating the Meistersinger single hand watch, appreciating the indication of the time to the nearest five minutes, but not much more. The single hand encourages a sense of calm and relaxation – a true luxury in our quick modern world.
Tower Clocks of the Middle Ages – the original one-handers. According to MeisterSinger;
The tower clocks of the Middle Ages also needed nothing more than a single hand: Visible from far away for the town’s citizens and the rural population, they showed how the day progressed, when it was time to rest, or when to finish work in the evenings. They helped people to plan their time. It was only modern times and the advent of industrialization that made it necessary to think in terms of increasingly short time periods. The clocks were gradually fitted with minute and second hands, which made people aware of the constant passing of valuable time.
The City Edition 2017 comes in a very well made double box, and includes a certificate of authenticity, guarantee, and “Rituals of Time” MeisterSinger catalog. Overall first impression is great – and besides the bold white single hand, the first thing I noticed is the stiff, thick vintage leather band. It’s stiff and thick to begin with, but after a little wear, it softens up and conforms to the wrist. The leather is great feeling, and unlike other straps, the leather of this strap will almost certainly get better and better with time. The chunky stitches complete the look.
As a hand winder, the City Edition must be wound for a few seconds before the watch runs, and once it’s fully wound it has a 42 hour power reserve.
Fit and Finish
I initially loved the exhibition caseback letting me see the moving escapement, as well as etched limited edition number on the back. Dial registration and printing is perfect, and the polish and shape of the gold numerals is excellent. Polishing is perfect, and the lustre of the steel case accents the lustre of the gold numbers perfectly. Another fun detail is the “dot” of the MeisterSinger logo is completed as the parking detent for the prong on the buckle.
Feel On The Wrist
Stiff at first, but as soon as that vintage leather strap breaks in, this watch easily becomes a part of the routine. It’s comfortable, looks better with age, and its handsome good looks can be worn equally well with a suit as it can with a casual weekend outfit. I’m also beginning to love the attention the single hand gets – certainly something fun to talk about.
Hand Wound, Single Hand
The City Edition 2017 is powered by the Sellita SW 210 hand-wound movement, with a 42 hour power reserve. Notably, this movement supports hour/minute/second hands, with a “hacking” second or “stop” second. However MeisterSinger only uses the “hour” display feature of the movement.
This fits in line with the “No.01” series from MeisterSinger, although this is a special limited edition. Unlike the typical Meistersinger No. 01, the City Edition has an see through caseback, so the wearer can see the movement, and custom city graphics. From Otto Frei:
The Sellita SW210-1 is an improved clone version of the obsolete ETA 2801-2 movement. This manual wind watch 11.5 ligne movement, features 19 jewels and Incabloc shock system. Most parts are interchangeable with the ETA 2801-2. Hand sizes Minute 0.90 mm, Hour 1.50 mm and sweep 0.25 mm. 28,800 BPH, lift angle of balance 50.
Classic good looks, a traditional and reliable hand-wound movement, a limited edition, and global vibe make this both a collectors item and a versatile daily wearer. Sure, it take a bit more mindfulness to wind your watch every few days, but that small bit of fidgety maintenance becomes a pleasure. The strap is a surprise winner, and adds immeasurably to the watches versatile appeal.
MeisterSinger has impressed with their eye toward heritage, ability to craft a very solid piece, embed interesting history and global appeal, and stay stylish. The City Edition 2017 is certainly a versatile “around town” watch. When heading out into the field though, MeisterSinger has what looks like a competent and very interesting answer to the traditional dive watch – the single handed, “Jumping Hour” Salthora Meta X. Reach out if you’re interested in a rundown of the single handed diver…
- Stainless steel
- Diameter 40 mm
- Height 10,8 mm
- Domed sapphire glass
- Water resistance 5 bar
- Selitta SW 210
- Diameter 25,6 mm
- Height 3,4 mm
- 17 jewels
- 28.800 semioscillations per h – 4Hz
- Power reserve 42 h