Watches made for human needs
Since 2001, very special mechanical wristwatches have been manufactured in the Westphalian city of Münster: They have only one single hand with a fine needle point that enables the wearer to read the time. Company founder Manfred Brassler creates his classical timepieces with this unique characteristic in the technical and cultural tradition of early watchmaking.
Manfred Brassler – reflection on what is truly important
As Manfred Brassler founded MeisterSinger back in 2001, he wanted to create an alternative to wristwatches that showed time as something constantly racing along. He had already gained a wealth of experience in watch design – and drew most of his inspiration from historical single-hand clocks to make timepieces that only show their wearers what is really important and give them a general overview, instead of bothering them with the hectic passing of seconds that they don’t really need to worry about. Nevertheless, MeisterSinger watches are easy to read because Brassler gave their dials the practical, clear readability that classical gauges and measuring instruments still have today – and which makes them unmistakable.
Typical characteristics are the leading zeroes on the hour digits and the highly domed glass. Although the early collections differed visually, primarily through their typography and technically through their type of mechanical movement (MeisterSinger makes both manually wound and automatic watches), over the years the range has been expanded to include more complex models that also show the weekday, the date, or even a second time zone. For these additional indications too, Manfred Brassler developed the idea of open date and time disks to form a special design that is fully in keeping with the MeisterSinger idea, also because the rotation of the disks reminds us of the celestial mechanics that are the basis of how we measure time.
Single-hand watches – a concept with tradition
The tower clocks of the Middle Ages also needed nothing more than a single hand: Visible from far away for the town’s citizens and the rural population, they showed how the day progressed, when it was time to rest, or when to finish work in the evenings. They helped people to plan their time. It was only modern times and the advent of industrialization that made it necessary to think in terms of increasingly short time periods. The clocks were gradually fitted with minute and second hands, which made people aware of the constant passing of valuable time.
The brand MeisterSinger
The Meistersingers were civil poets and singers in the 15th and 16th century, who came together like a guild. The centres of the Meistersingers were Augsburg, Nuremberg, Strasbourg and Frankfurt. The story of a singing competition is told in Richard Wagner’s opera “The Meistersingers of Nuremberg”. The person who was best able to reach a new note was crowned as Meistersinger.
With only one hour hand, our watches will give you a feeling of deceleration. And that is even what the logo above the name MeisterSinger, a fermata, stands for. It’s an upside down fermata – it is the pause symbol in musical notation.
Technical sophistication and aesthetic ideals
With the success of its watches among buyers, MeisterSinger also raised the level of technical sophistication in its own products. In Switzerland, the company had the perfect movement for its timepieces made to measure; the manually wound MSH01, which has incredible power reserves due to its twin in-line mainspring barrels, is able to guide the single hand with great precision and smoothness. With the design of the movement’s unique bridge, Manfred Brassler successfully merged the technical with the aesthetic ideals of MeisterSinger.
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