One hand for stargazers
MeisterSinger presents its second astronomical watch – the Astroscope
MeisterSinger is well known for its unusual timepieces; single-hand watches that aren’t bothered with the hectic passing of seconds, but display the bigger picture with great precision. After the outstanding success of the Lunascope, MeisterSinger’s moon phase watch, the company has now developed a second model with an astronomical theme. The Astroscope displays the weekdays like they’ve never been shown before, i.e., related to the heavenly bodies that have been attributed to the various days since ancient times.
It’s the Sun and the Moon that divide our time into day and night and the twelve months of the year for everyone to feel and observe. However, the division into seven-day weeks does not follow any particular astronomical rhythm but has more of a mythological background. The method most likely dates back to the Babylonians, who, like many other peoples, considered the number seven to be especially holy and connected with seven heavenly bodies, i.e., the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Just as most planets are named after Roman gods, most days of the week in both German and English take their corresponding names from Norse mythology. Throughout history, the allocation of the days of the week to celestial bodies has endured the test of time:
Monday, the Moon ☽
Tuesday, Mars ♂
Wednesday, Mercury ☿
Thursday, Jupiter ♃
Friday, Venus ♀
Saturday, Saturn ♄
Sunday, the Sun ☉
Rare constellation in 2020
With these celestial bodies and their classical symbols, the Astroscope shows the days of the week not in a linear or radial fashion but wandering back and forth in a constellation that only occurs every ten to twelve years in the southern night sky of the northern hemisphere. Again, in July 2020 – with the exception of the Sun, of course – all the celestial bodies of the weekdays will be visible there at the same time. The Astroscope stylizes this formation on its dial; a bright dot appears on Monday at about 12 o’clock at the Moon symbol and the next day to the right at the Mars symbol. On Wednesday it appears next to Mercury at about 9 o’clock; on Thursday next to Jupiter at 3 o’clock ...
This is as amazing and yet as easy to understand as the time when displayed with only one hand, but because no MeisterSinger watch has ever had such a long and beautiful history as the Astroscope, it comes with a brochure that describes the historical background in detail and also explains the wandering point of the day. In reality, it does not jump back and forth. Under the dial, a large weekday disk with a number of bright dots on it moves one step further from one day to the next, always moving in a circle, just as it is in the world of celestial mechanics.
Initially, the Astroscope will be available in two variants, but they are all designed with a dark dial that depicts the night sky. The numerals are displayed in a fine serif typeface and the astronomical symbols appear on the dial either in blue or in the luminous color “Old Radium”. Above the circular date window and the MeisterSinger logo there is an intimated horizon, enhancing the impression of looking up at the sky.
The two models each come with a leather wrist strap in colors that match the typography.
The Astroscope is powered by a Swiss automatic movement that can be viewed through the sixfold screwed glass exhibition back. The stainless-steel case is a slender 40 millimeters in diameter and water-resistant up to a pressure of 5 bar.
The first Astroscopes will be available in March/April 2020.