Hands-On Review: Junghans Meister Kalendar

While I continually work on this blog and await the opportunity (which is already in the works) to do some hands-on reviews with new watch releases, I’ll share my thoughts on some pieces which I already own.

 

junghans

Junghans is a 150 year old German watch company located in Schramberg with historical roots in clockmaking.

Schramberg might be an unfamiliar place for most but it forms the eastern part of a region from which a particularly well-loved pastry originated from: Schwarzwald or as it is more commonly known, Black Forest.

black forest
Black Forest in autumn

When I first got interested in watches and wanted to buy a piece for myself after setting aside a budget, I knew nothing. The process of hunting for one consisted more of browsing at pictures as opposed to reading in-depth articles; and it was through one such browsing session that I chanced upon the Junghans Meister Kalendar.

I loved the way it looked and after sussing out a local authorized dealer, I went down and came back with the yellow gold version.

Many have told me that the impulsive nature of my character would one day lead to my untimely demise but I’d like to think that I made no mistake with this purchase.

Review

mei 2
Image: ABTW

The Junghans Meister Kalendar is a triple calendar – it shows the day of week, month and date. With the amount of information it seeks to show, Junghans has done an exceptionally good job in the execution of its display.

The day of week and month are shown through 2 apertures at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock respectively. Rather than having a flat cut-in rectangle on the dial, they’ve taken the extra effort to carve out a box-like outline surrounding the apertures, creating a solid 3D effect that’s very pleasing to the eyes.

mei 1
Image: ABTW

The date display sits in a recessed subdial at 6 o’clock and is told through a small alpha hand on an alternating chain of numbers and indices forming a full circle.

Within it, Junghans has included a moonphase function painted in dark blue, which really adds to the character of an already handsome watch. If you look closely, you’d also notice that the moonphase aperture has been cut into a shape resembling a half crescent moon, which is a nice subtle touch.

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The display is in German and it might take you awhile to remember that Die is Tuesday and Don is Thursday but that is how I prefer it to be; a watch made in Germany should use its own language to reflect that heritage.

Despite the amount of information present, it’s structured out neatly and given ample space all around which makes for a satisfyingly balanced dial.

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Applied yellow gold markers are used at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock with painted black indices of the same length lining the rest while minute markers use very short indices. It looks and feels of traditional Bauhaus yet has successfully pulled off several aesthetical tricks to achieve a look of sophistication.

All 3 hands are also in yellow gold and a strip has been cut (and filled with lume) onto the hour and minute hands so time can be read in the dark though I find the lume to be a little weak.

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Interestingly, sapphire crystal is not used, but domed Plexiglas, which is a throwback to its heritage watches back in the days before the advent of sapphire. Point to note: Plexiglas is not as strong as sapphire and scratches more easily so handle with care.

The Meister Kalendar measures 40.4 mm and wears extremely well due to its flat case, long curved lugs and an extremely thin bezel. Its wrist presence is strong and appears larger than it is. The black horseskin leather strap also wears very comfortably and ‘breaks’ itself fast.

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The movement used is the automatic self winding calibre J800.3 and it’s viewable through a clear (but a little small) caseback. Thankfully, the watch comes with a separate adjustment picker allowing you to quick set the day, date, month and moonphase through 4 tiny apertures found on the back of the watch.

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While I prefer NOMOS Glashutte as a brand and generally love all of their watches, Junghans makes watches that reflect the same Bauhaus philosophy while adding contemporary touches.

Both are great German brands so it boils down to what kind of look you prefer. Of course, the simplest solution would be to just buy both (which I can attest to).

The Junghans Meister Kalendar in yellow gold costs approximately SGD 4,980.

Junghans watches can be found at World of Watches 2’s newly launched boutique in Wisma Atria (http://www.worldofwatches2.com/) and De Time (https://m.facebook.com/dutempuspteltd/?refid=17&_rdr#!/dutempuspteltd/)

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