Hands-On MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic Review
15 Years of MeisterSinger
A few weeks ago, Gerard published an article on the 15th anniversary of MeisterSinger and its single-handed watch. You can find it here. A must-read for all fans of MeisterSinger watches.
Today, I review the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic (reference CC908). This watch comes in various executions, but I selected the Sunburst Blue version on a brown alligator strap for this review.
MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic
The MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic is something clearly related to the famous 1Z (1 Zeiger) or ‘No.1’ as it is called nowadays, but it is their next-level watch (I hate the word product). Instead of the famous ETA 2801-2 or Sellita SW210 movements (nothing wrong with those by the way), MeisterSinger equipped their Circularis Automatic with a new movement. This MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic comes very close to their classic ‘No.3’ watch, a single-hand watch with automatic movement (caliber ETA 2824-2 and Sellita SW200-1). A watch that won some design awards in 2007. More later.
It might be the first time I use ‘design’ instead of case or dial in order to describe the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic watch. It was the first thing that came to mind though. The 43mm case looks similar to the one of the MeisterSinger No.3 watch actually, but is a bit thicker (13.5mm instead of 11.5mm). Despite these ‘sports watch’ dimensions, it it is very elegant looking watch. A dress watch, you could say. All surfaces are polished, including the top and insides of the sleek lugs.
From the side, the case is quite round and tapers a bit towards the caseback. Although it has an automatic movement, the crown is fairly large. It could have been the crown of a hand-wound watch. It looks good though. The case has sapphire crystals on both sides. The front crystal is slightly domed.
The dial of the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic reference CC908 is sunburst blue. And when MeisterSinger says Sunburst blue, it really is. As can be seen below. The dial is simply stunning and its appearance can change by looking at it from different angles. Like the No.3, it has white numerals (but larger, or thicker) which gives a great contrast to the blue dial. Therefor, the dial is very easy to read. This is something I would require from a watch that only has one hand to indicate the time. Just to make it not too trouble some, great readability is something you want.
There’s also a date aperture on the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic, located at 6 o’clock. Just above the hour marker. A round aperture is something nice for a change. I looked at the date disc with a loupe for a couple of minutes, but I think it is black. From some angles it appear blue-ish, but that might have been the AR-coating from the sapphire crystal. In any case, if I have to stare that long at the date disc to see if it is blue, it isn’t blue enough. I would have loved the date disc to be white with blue printed numerals. It would have matched better and it would have made a nice detail (and difference). The large hand is white, as you can see, and coated with lume.
Caliber MSA01 Movement
Inside this MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic ticks their caliber MSA01 movement. MeisterSinger marks it as a ‘MeisterSinger movement’, but it isn’t an in-house movement. However, MeisterSinger did change the construction in order to use it for their single-hand time indication concept. Also, the finish of the movement is very nicely done. A nicely skeletonized rotor, blued screws and striping (côtes circulaires). The movement has two barrels in series, enabling a 120 hours power reserve.
However, if you look closely at the base plate, just (left) above the balance-wheel, you will see ‘SH21’ engraved, and a number. SH stands for Synergies Horlogères, part of Christopher Ward (Holdings). The movement was designed in 2014 by watchmaker Johannes Jahnke which we spoke during our visit to SalonQP in London, last year. A talented watchmaker that comes up with interesting innovations and solutions for old-school problems. This movement, as written above, has been modified for use in the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic though. As Jahnke told us last year, he likes to create movements that can be used for various complications or in different appearances (on the dial).
Alligator Strap and Folding Clasp
MeisterSinger offers this watch on a variety of straps, but ours is on the cognac colored alligator strap. However, these watches can also be bought with a milanaise (mesh) bracelet. The leather is very supple and wears comfortably on the wrist. A lot of modern watches come with quite thick straps, which takes longer to break-in. This cognac alligator strap sits perfectly on the wrist and gives a nice contrast to the Sunburst blue dial of the Circularis Automatic. The stainless steel folding clasp is a ‘butterfly’ one, it releases by pulling the signed part of the clasp. Closing is done with a firm push & click.
This is a very nice watch to wear, as simple as that. It has a neat little ‘complication’ by showing the time with just one hand. The watch is large (for my taste), but sits perfectly on the wrist. Although you can’t read the time precisely to the minute, it is very readable due to the blue dial and white markers and hand. Almost from all angles. The date window is a practical feature, not necessary for me, but MeisterSinger gave it a nice location and twist, by using a round aperture. The finish of case, crown, movement and clasp are simply good. The size and the fact that it is one hand makes it look a bit like wearing an instrument on the wrist. Like a manometer of some sort.
Versions and Pricing
The single-hand design has been used by other brands as well in the last couple of years. However, the MeisterSinger is the one I’d prefer myself. They offer quite a collection of single-handed watches, with different case designs and some with additional complications. The MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic is definitely a beautiful one, with a very nicely finished automatic movement. The fact that it isn’t in-house, but modified, is something subordinate to the concept and design of the single-handed watch. The retail price of the MeisterSinger Circularis Automatic is €4498,- (including VAT).
More details and information via MeisterSinger on-line.