January 05 2011
Lucia van der Post
Most really good watches, particularly Swiss ones, come loaded with so much history and provenance that I often wonder how any newcomer makes it under the rarefied glass of the grand watch counters. MeisterSinger – which Manfred Brassler started only nine years ago – hasn’t quite cracked it, but seems well on the way (so far, it has four UK stockists, and interest from bigger retailers and clients is high).
So here it is, the winner of umpteen highly sought-after awards, with a series of 14 sleek, elegant watches at very user-friendly prices (from £920, with lots of choice in the £1,000 to £2,500 range and some rose gold models around £12,000). One of the most striking design features is that almost all the models have a single hand, though MeisterSinger is at pains to point out that the sundial, the first church steeple clocks and the old Breguet subscription watch all began with a single hand. By removing the minute and second hands, Brassler felt that he could make his watch more relaxed and easy-to-use, but more important is the fact that it simplifies the face. He also wanted every watch to have clarity and symmetry, which is the reason for making all the numbers two-digit. He sourced the best mechanical movements he could find and offers the option of complications such as date rings, timers, chronograph functions (as in the Singular, first picture, £2,195) and power-reserve metres.
I like them best in their simplest form, and though only the Carelia model (second picture, £960) is aimed at women, most look good on a feminine wrist. This is still a niche brand – get one before everybody else discovers them.