Since Mike and I are both hail from Germany it was only logical that we hook up with the brands around. So what brands you have here? Obviously some of the most influential non-Swiss watchmaking powerhouses in the history of horology. Companies like A.Lange & Söhne, Nomos, Glashütte Original, Tutima, Hanhart, Sinn and Junghans among many others. Since Junghans isn’t far from me the trip was planned long ago but we could not find the right time. Until now. Junghans very generously invited me to an event where they would be revealing their newest addition to the model line; a pilot’s chronograph. I accepted the invitation and on a sunny Friday afternoon drove 2 hours to Schramberg for an amazing weekend with some cool people from Ohio to London, Hong Kong to Italy.
On the day of arrival we were all taken to a local restaurant for a casual dinner where we got the chance to get to know each other a bit better. My random fellow passengers in the taxi turned out to be the ones who I shared the table that night as a matter of fact the rest of the weekend; Junghans distributors Liz and Terry from Cleveland, Ohio and Monica from London as well as James also from London representing a British watch publication.
Next morning after breakfast the following scene welcomed us in the parking lot. Some of the most amazing vintage cars you have ever seen were parked there and yes; they were our rides for the day. Caddillac, Rolls Royce, Buick, Mercedes you name it they were all lined up outside ready to transport us to the airfield close by.
As the watch Junghans was about to reveal was pilot’s chronograph it was obvious that we have to have a taste of how it feels like being above the clouds. So we literary hopped out of the Rolls and into a four-seater for some sightseeing flight above the breathtaking Black Forrest and Schramberg, the home of Junghans.
We were given a thorough tour of the complete factory from production to design, quality control to logistics and everything in-between. We saw the offices of our colleagues at the company as well as the museum. After that we were taken into the old factory the so-called Terrace Building of Junghans where the whole story started some hundred years ago. The building has not been used for quite some time now but this will soon change. I’m afraid I can share any more info on that so stay tuned.
After the long but interesting tours we headed back to our hotel, this time with a shuttle bus, for a few hours of relaxation before the main event. At 6 some new and unseen vintage beauties surfaced to transport us in style to the location of our dinner the Autosammlung Steim. Dr Steim, the owner of Jungahns, has an amazing car collection, anything and everything you can possibly imagine from German car making and more is present there. I can but encourage you to pay a visit to this magnificent collection if you ever get the chance to be around Schramberg.
Junghans Meister Pilot
We were treated with a delicious 3-course dinner but the dessert came early, before the actual white chocolate parfait. The screens displayed a short video of Junghans and the history of their original 1955 Bundeswehr Fliegeruhr and at that point we already knew we were going to get something nice. As a matter of fact I already told Terry in the museum that I’d be happy to see the re-editon of that chrono and we both agreed that it would be really cool. By the time we finished reminiscing about this the video was over and we were presented with the newest addition of the Junghans family the Meister Pilot.
The inspiration for this model comes from the original Junghans J88 Bundeswehr Fliegeruhr, the DNA is clear and present. The watch is bigger than its vintage counterpart at just over 43mm. The height of the case is 14.4mm, which makes the Meister Pilot thick, but not too much, it still sits comfortable on the wrist. The timepiece features the signature bi-directional fliegeruhr bezel like the original J88 has, a screwed case back with the engraving of the Junghans terrace building and sapphire crystal with anti-reflex coating on the inside. The strap is riveted and plain black or brown leather with PVD coated buckle. The watch features Junghans’ caliber J880.4 an automatic chronoscope movement with small second.
The thing I like about the dial is the fact that Junghans did not really change much on it. They kept it as close to the original as possible. You see the obvious Junghans name and logo just under the 12 and the word Chronoscope above the 6. The “Pilot event 2015” text is only a feature of this limited edition model. The watch features Junghans’ caliber J880.4 an automatic chronoscope movement with small second. The hands are very similar to the original ones a bit larger and wider but still looks like the vintage ones. This new model
After the presentation we discussed the various dial options (black or dark brown) and took a few wrist shots. We strolled around the museum to explore some further gems within the collection.
The next day after our breakfast we said goodbye to our new friends – some of whom we will meet again in a few month time in London – exchanged cards and parted ways. I would like to say thank you to Manuella, Anne-Katrin, the Steim Family and the whole Junghans Team for their hospitality. They were simply amazing and we had a blast. The watch looks brilliant and considering the price range of €2000-2500 they placed in I think it will be a great seller. We here at Fratello Watches are definitely fans and will have a closer look at it soon.
More information via Junghans on-line.