MeisterSinger Makes Timepieces For People Who Refuse To Be Hurried by Seconds

Since 2001, a unique type of mechanical wristwatch has been produced in the Westphalian city of Münster – unique because it has just one needle-thin hour hand that shows the time precisely to the nearest five minutes. In this regard, company founder Manfred Brassler draws on the technical and cultural tradition of early horology.

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Single-hand watches – a concept founded on tradition

Tower clocks from the Middle Ages also did their job admirably with just one hand. Visible from afar, they showed townspeople and country dwellers alike how the day was progressing, indicating when it was time for them to take a break or down tools in the evening. They allowed people to keep track of time.

MeisterSinger’s city kid: “Urban” – the single-hand watch for newcomers

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It was only with the modern era and the onset of industrialization that it became necessary to think in terms of increasingly short increments of time. Clocks were fitted with minute and seconds hands that constantly showed valuable time ticking away. With the arrival of digital watches, split seconds were displayed as large and as prominently as the hour digits, even though they changed far too fast to be read.Manfred Brassler – reflecting on what is really important

When Manfred Brassler founded MeisterSinger in 2001, he wanted to provide an alternative to wristwatches that show time racing by. At that stage, he already had a wealth of experience in watch design – and above all had drawn inspiration from historical single-hand clocks to create timepieces that show their wearers only the bare essentials, allowing them to keep track of time without being beleaguered by unnecessary information about seconds. The readability of MeisterSinger watches is second to none – this is because Brassler adopted for the dials the clear, unadorned design used in classical instruments, which remains a defining feature of the watches to this day, together with the leading zero in the hour markers and the domed glass.

The first collections differed visually above all through their typography and technically through the type of movement – MeisterSinger produces manually wound and automatic watches. Recent years have seen the addition of more complex models which also display the weekday and date or the current time in a second time zone. For these additional indications, Manfred Brassler also developed – based on the principle of exposed date and time discs – a design idiom that is wholly in keeping with the MeisterSinger idea, not least because the rotation of the discs also calls to mind the celestial mechanics that people have always used to reckon time.

Diamond-like carbon coating (DLC) for MeisterSinger´s premium model: “Circularis Power Reserve”


The MSH01 movement – technical sophistication and aesthetic ideals

The technical sophistication of MeisterSinger watches has also grown in tandem with their popularity among buyers. The company had the perfect movement for its timepieces tailor-made in Switzerland: the manually wound movement MSH01, which has enormous power reserves thanks to its two mainspring barrels and which can drive the sole hour hand with exceptional precision and without any clearance whatsoever. In designing the unique gear train bridge, Manfred Brassler fused MeisterSinger’s technical and aesthetic ideals. Although it is unusual for a watch movement to win a design prize, the MSH01 received the coveted Red Dot Design Award shortly after being presented.Awards and export success

MeisterSinger watches have already won many prestigious design prizes, including Red Dot Awards and iF Design Awards; they are regularly singled out for prizes by editors and readers of specialist journals.

In addition to company founder and designer Manfred Brassler, the company has a 14-strong team that looks after product development, communication, trade fair activities, sales and after-sales service.

Last year alone, some 9,500 MeisterSinger watches were exported from Münster to destinations all over the world. In addition to its strong home market, the German brand has long established itself internationally.

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MeisterSinger and much-loved rituals

The slogan “Rituals of Time” is used by MeisterSinger – this is because interaction with customers has shown that what binds them to their MeisterSinger watches is that these do not impose their technical precision on their wearers but are always there to help them to keep track of time during the day. And because their watches show them when it is time for the events that structure their day: for the morning coffee break, the call home, the band rehearsal with a bunch of close friends. Recurring, intensely personal rituals that they look forward to and enjoy. MeisterSinger watches are part of this, allowing them to see time in a different, more relaxed light. When the time is shown to the nearest five minutes, a few minutes either way doesn’t matter. This in turn may well give rise to a more tolerant and certainly a more relaxed outlook – after all, the really important events of the day can’t be measured in seconds. And, ultimately, casting an occasional glance at a cleverly designed watch is an appealing little ritual in itself.

MeisterSinger single-hand watches are available from specialist dealers – search for dealers online at

MeisterSinger: Founder Manfred Brassler

Manfred Brassler is the founder and managing director of MeisterSinger, a German company that specializes in producing single-hand watches.

MeisterSinger: Designer Manfred Brassler

At MeisterSinger, managing director Manfred Brassler designs the superior mechanical single-hand watches himself.

MeisterSinger: Watchmaking company based in Münster, Germany

Single-hand watch specialist MeisterSinger exports watches to destinations all over the world from its Münster base.

MeisterSinger: No.01 in classic ivory color

The classic No.01 with ivory-colored dial and typical MeisterSinger face with needle-shaped hand, 144 indices and leading zeros.