Timeless classics often seem like lifelong friends. They could not be mistaken for their character and meaning. We have a sense that these friendships must have been made. After all, this is what Manfred Brassler first founder and master of MeisterSinger might have had in mind in 2001, in the beginnings of his brand. Opposed to the increasing complexity of many modern watches it took him back to the roots of watch making arts: timepieces as plain and pure of affordable price. Clear, coherent, outbalanced. Not only the brand’s growing success but also the product’s persistance for more than 10 years clearly prove of the concept’s payoff.
In the 14th, 15th and 16th century Meistersinger (English: master singers) were groups, similar to ancient guilds, which band together to practice and present master song. Most members were highly respectable master craftsmen indeed. Whoever intended to rise to a master singer of the guild had to invent a new tone first and then perform it without fault. In 1999 businessman Manfred Bassler, who played the piano himself, followed their example and was to found the watch manufacture of MeisterSinger. As he intended to perceive time as a unit he came up with the single-hand watch. As a matter of course music was to become the brand’s trademark: the bird’s eye, as a sign for silence. Just as the single-hand watch differs from common wristwatch conventions, so does the brand’s base, which is against all odds located in little Munster in North Rhine-Westphalia. Far away from the usual and custom of the Haute Horlogerie.
MeisterSinger in the world of watches
After two years of development the first models, No. 01 and the Scrypto Automatic were introduced at the Baselword in 2001. From its early beginnings on the brand was to cooperate with the Swiss movement manufacturer ETA, who would serve as caliber supplier. However, MeisterSinger watchmakers had to make several movement modifications in order to tailor movements to their particular requirements. While people had seen the idea of a single-hand-watch from a distance first, they were now more and more fascinated by the most original form of time measurement. As early as in 2004 the No. 01 was awarded the iF Design Award and moreover celebrated as watch of the year in the Netherlands. Only one year after the manufacture from Munster was among the Top 100 of best Industrial Design manufacturers. At the same time the No. 01 was placed second in the Goldene Unruh. In 2007 Manfred Brassler and team succeed in developing a monograph, which will be the first single-hand chronograph in the world. The innovative spirits were once again rewarded with an iF Design Award, followed by the Good Design Award in 2008.
Beside different special editions as well as special wall and table watches the current collection consists of the single-hand watches Salthora, No. 01, No. 02, No. 03 and Pangaea. Among the single-hand watches with additional functions there are the Paleograph, the Perigraph, the Pangea Day Date, the Neo as well as the Neo Q Ladies watches, the Singular and the Singulator.
A word to the company’s philosophy: The manufacturing of single-hand watches modeled on the sun watch by the watch makers of Munster was meant to cause a change in the perception of time. When time is displayed as a unit, no longer strictly separated into hours and minutes but a flowing process, it will probably be subjectively perceived as slowed-down. After almost 15 years of existence the manufacture has been well established as internationally leading manufacturer of single-hand watches. Which is not at least due to a constant maintenance of unmistakable MeisterSinger design.
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