The study of time is one of the oldest sciences in existence. Ancient explorers used to rely on studying the stars and planets in order to chart paths for exploration and to calculate the cycles of the seasons and passage of time – it’s this ancient and celestial form of timekeeping that the MeisterSinger Astroscope is designed to capture.
This limited edition variant features a dark dial, representing the night sky and clustered around its centre is one of the most unique day-date functions around. Rather than a simple Monday through Sunday dial or display, the Astroscope presents each day with the astrological symbol associated with the celestial body that represents a particular day of the week.
Monday is represented by the symbol for the moon, Wednesday by the symbol for Mercury and so on. It is slightly complicated by the fact that in English and German the days of the week are named after Norse gods and the planets after Roman ones. Once you understand the symbols, the day function becomes as easy to read as any other watch, especially if you just use the regular days written alongside which feels like cheating.
The order that the days light up on the watch, through a bright dot of lume, is not linear and seems at first to be random: the moon near 12 o’clock is not next to the sun near 2 o’clock, even though the days they represent are and would typically be next to each other on a watch. This is because the placement of the symbols on the dial mirrors the placement of the actual celestial bodies in the sky when seen from a specific point in the northern hemisphere.
The other notable thing about this watch, and indeed all MeisterSinger timepieces, is the single hand. The earliest mechanical watches from the Middle Ages only had one hand and this is the style that the brand has adopted, believing that it allows for greater precision while also focussing oneself on the true reality of the moment we are living in.
On the technical side of things, it’s all fairly standard. It has a swiss automatic movement which can be viewed through the exhibition glass on the back, has 5 bar (50m) water resistance and is housed in a 40mm diameter stainless steel case. The size, while not small, is somewhat impressive given the unique mechanics internally that allow the day function to display the days in the correct order despite being out of sequence.
Limited to only 100 pieces, it’s reasonably rare and its occult astrological references mean that it is sure to be a welcome addition to many collections. Ultimately, it’s a very simple watch with a day-date function that’s more complicated than it needs to be and the fact it has the days written alongside the astrological symbols makes either inclusion feel redundant. To me it feels like this isn’t going to be your go to watch, instead occupying more of a novelty space in a collection.
Perhaps more damning is the fact that compared to other novelties it’s not that interesting to look at – the dark sky vibe of the dial is dull and literally missing the star quality found on most moonphases, which have the same aesthetic. But at £1,990, the Astroscope is far more accessible than any of the top moonphases that you really want.
Price & Specs:
Model: MeisterSinger Astroscope Limited Edition
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 10.5mm height, polished stainless steel, black with Dégradé and orange dial
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW220 calibre, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Central hours, astrological weekdays, date
Strap: Orange saddle leather with stainless steel buckle
Price/Availability: £1,990, limited to 100 pieces
More details at MeisterSinger.