Hands-On With The New Meistersinger Stratoscope Moonphase Watch
There is something magical about watches with a moon phase. But what if you combine it with the unique approach to watchmaking that defines Meistersinger? The brand from Münster in Germany showed us the first example of it with their Lunascope introduced in 2018. Now the brand takes it one step further with the introduction of the new Meistersinger Stratoscope. It combines the best of both worlds, and the results are quite spectacular. I had a chance to go hands-on with the Stratoscope and find out more.
Meistersinger is a fascinating brand. Not just because they produce single-hand watches, but the overall design of their timepiece is instantly recognizable. The combination of a single hand, the logo, and the use of double-digit numbers, often in combination with a classically styled case, is recognizable as the Meistersinger identity. Within that aesthetic, the brand has shown there is enough room to differentiate. As it turns out, it’s a canvas that combines perfectly with a string of complications and sizes.
The New Stratoscope
The newest proof of this comes with the Meistersinger Stratoscope. It’s the second watch in the collection with a moon phase display after the Lunascope that Robert-Jan reviewed. That watch was introduced back in 2018 as the first astronomical single-hand watch. And this new Stratoscope is not only the second watch that features a moon phase, but it’s also bigger, and it has some nice twists.
The Meistersinger Stratoscope comes with a 43mm stainless steel case. It’s a size that the brand uses more often for their watches. I always thought that 43mm was a bit on the large size for the typical Meistersinger designs. But after witnessing the Stratoscope, I can honestly say that the 43mm size is perfect for my wrist. The design works really well in its bigger size. On top of that, it leaves room for the complication to be integrated neatly.
The Moonphase complication
For the Stratoscope, Meistersinger uses the same depiction of the moon as used on the Lunascope. It’s a photorealistic image of the moon that precisely shows the various (northern hemisphere) moon phases. I have to say it’s really neat to see a realistic impression of the Moon moving across the dial. But what Meistersinger takes great pride in is the accuracy of the moon phase.
The moon takes 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.9 seconds to circumnavigate the earth. Most watches round this figure down to 29.5 days so they can get away with simpler gearing (one disc, two moons, 59 teeth). As a result, most moon phase complications deviate by eight hours per year and need adjusting by one complete day every third year. However, the movement of the Stratoscope is far more accurate. The brand claims that, theoretically, its moon phase indicator only requires a slight adjustment after 128 years. In the world of watches, where accuracy is key, this is quite a spectacular feature.
The spectacular dial
But that’s not where the concept of the moon phase watch ends. As an extra dimension, Meistersinger decided to create a dial that adds an extra visual side to the story. The upper two-thirds of the dial are jet black, as we have seen before from the brand. For the lower third of the dial, the black fades into different shades of metallic blue reminiscent of the aurora borealis visible in the far North. Above it, the luminescent moon circles the Moon. As a result, the lower part and the upper part tell a complete story of the sky with its natural visible elements.
It’s a unique interplay between elements and their light. This interplay continues with the luminescent hour markers and needle-shaped hand. This white hand indicates the time in this typical Meistersinger way. It starts with the hour numerals are arranged in a circle from 01 to 12 around the dial. Every marker in between the hour numerals represents 5 minutes, so you can easily read the time with one big hand. Neatly tucked away at 6 o’clock is the date aperture. The white date numerals are printed on a black date disc, making them easy to read.
I have to say, at first sight, this split of the dial colors might come across as a bit weird. But once you read the story, it makes perfect sense. And once you have seen the luminescent elements glow in the dark, it becomes even more spectacular. And the best thing is that every element has room to breathe because of its 43mm size. It’s really well done, so hats off to Meistersinger for making this concept work.
The movement that Meistersinger uses for their Stratoscope is the MS Luna caliber. This automatic movement is based on the Sellita SW 220 and operates at 28,800vph. The movement features 25 jewels, a 38-hour power reserve, date, and moon phase. It’s the same movement that the brand also used for the current version of the Lunascope. When that watch came out, Meistersinger used the ETA 2836-2 movement, but they switched to the Sellita movement.
The movement is visible through the display case back that features a sapphire crystal and is screwed down with six screws. The finishing of the movement is simple, with the oscillating weight having an engravement of the Meistersinger logo and wording. The case back also features engravings of the brand name, model, reference number, and the indication that the watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters (5 bar).
Wearing the Meistersinger Stratoscope
When I put the watch on my wrist, the leather strap immediately caught my attention. It’s a thick and sturdy brown leather strap with light stitching. It is thick leather, so it needs some breaking in before it becomes really comfortable. But once it does, it perfectly balances the 43mm stainless steel case on your wrist. I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the Stratoscope was on my wrist. It’s a perfect size, and the way the lugs curve around the wrist was an absolute joy.
And once you focus your attention on the dial, the lower metallic blue part stands out. If you play with the light, you will quickly find out that the color changes shade with every small move. And honestly, it takes some attention away from the moon phase display in the upper part. But not in a bad way, in my opinion, because they do not clash. On the contrary, they work together really well to tell the full story of the watch.
About the moon phase display itself, I love seeing a realistic depiction of the moon on the dial. It adds an extra layer of depth that I really like compared to many regular moon phase displays.
I must say that Meistersinger has created a rather spectacular watch with the new Stratoscope. At first, I had my reservations about whether the split-colored dial and the moon phase would work together. But they work together perfectly, especially if you have read the concept of the watch. The different shades of blue will make sure that you will look at your watch quite regularly. And once it draws you in, the moon phase is never far away. It really is a nice combination of elements.
On top of that, the watch wears very comfortably on my wrist. After getting used to the leather strap — that fits the design very well — it was great fun to wear Meistersinger Stratoscope. And while wearing the watch, I received multiple positive comments about the watch from friends. It’s not something that happens all too often. When I explained the story behind the watch, it seemed to impress them even more.
At €3,690, the price of the Stratoscope is on par with other Meistersinger models from the Meisterstücke collection like the Lunascope Bell Hora and Circularis models. It’s a substantial amount of money, but it will buy you a great conceptual watch that has been executed with great attention to detail. And it’s all done in that recognizable Meistersinger style. And that makes it a great watch for the people that enjoy the concept of a special Meistersinger moon phase watch. After wearing it for a couple of days, I am one of those people.
For more information about the Meistersinger Stratoscope, visit the official Meistersinger website.