It was just a few short weeks ago that we featured Junghans’ latest entry in the Meister series, the Meister Automatic, in these very pages. That watch has an elegant and simple design that easily conjures thoughts of the 1950s and 60s, glory days for watch design if your preference veers toward the understated and away from big steel sports watches. Now, to close out the year, Junghans has unveiled the Meister Worldtimer, a slightly more complex but no less elegant timepiece to fall under the Meister umbrella.
This is a fairly minimalist take on the worldtimer complication, and doesn’t feature a spinning globe or map of the world on the dial. If you’re the type of person who has a need to see the time at a glance at any given place on the planet, but have an aversion to extraneous dial text and decoration, this might be the worldtimer you’ve been waiting for. The set up is fairly straightforward. Printed on the outer ring of the dial is a series of cities, each representing a time zone. Just inside that ring is a rotating disc counting off the hours. Reading the time on this disc tells you the time in the corresponding city. The hours disc is color coded to make it easy to visualize AM or PM designations in each part of the world.
Home time, of course, is displayed in the traditional way, with long dauphin hands that come to sharp points. The outermost edge of the dial features long printed hour markers, but nothing to denote the minutes, and I think that’s the right choice for this watch. Part of the difficulty in designing a worldtimer is keeping the dial coherent and easy to read – things get busy very quickly when you have 24 time zones displayed at once. Additional indices for the minutes is unnecessary on a dressy watch like this, and would have cluttered the dial to a point that may have rendered it something of an eye chart. Less is more, here.
There are four variants of the Meister Worldtimer in total: two in stainless steel, the others in gold PVD. On the gold tone watches you can choose a dial in silver or anthracite, and the steel watch adds a blue option, and a bracelet. Junghans also lets you choose sapphire crystal or plexiglass, and just like with the Meister Automatic, I think the move here is to opt for the classic plexi. On a watch that’s so evocative of a mid century aesthetic, I don’t see a reason to go with anything else.
The Meister Worldtimer measures 40.4mm in diameter and is just 10.4mm thick making this one a solid and comfortable choice for an everyday wear option if the complication suits your needs. It runs on the Junghans J820.5 automatic movement, with a total of 42 hours of power reserve. Prices vary, but start at around $ 1,825 for the stainless steel versions on a strap, prior to currency conversion. Junghans