Design awards

Celestial moment

MeisterSingers Astroscope wins the German Design Award 2021

What all MeisterSinger watches have in common is that they display the time with only one hand, like the first mechanical timepieces, and thus literally tell the time. They are watches for people who like to remember that the moment in the here and now is our true reality. A reality that we should not completely alienate ourselves from – quite the contrary.

Even with the Astroscope – the second model with an astronomical theme in the history of the company after the successful moon-phase watch Lunascope – MeisterSinger remains true to itself. The watch already caused a stir when it was presented at this year’s Inhorgenta, as it shows the days of the week in a coherent and catchy new way: with reference to the celestial bodies that have been assigned to you since time immemorial.

Until now, design at MeisterSinger was purely a matter for the boss. All watches bear the signature of the company founder Manfred Brassler. When he offered the young employee and Art Director Jens Bierwirth to try his hand at designing a MeisterSinger, he could not foresee that it would not only deliver a well-designed product, but also a complete concept behind it.

First work with concept

“Jens Bierwirth’s task in the company was originally the maintenance and implementation of our corporate design”, explains Brassler, “but he has also become increasingly involved in product development”. A little more than a year ago he was asked to think about his own MeisterSinger and decided on an unusual indication for the common day-date complication. According to designer Bierwirth, the path to the concept was basically a logical conclusion: “The new advertisement should not only be balanced and clearly designed, as is customary with MeisterSinger, but should have ‘a good reason’. I found that reason when I studied the history of the days of the week and their astronomical equivalent, with celestial mechanics, so to speak.

That the weekday-transforming stars could be seen together in the sky this year of all years only became apparent in the course of development. “I changed the final design again at short notice in order to make the constellation really correspond to the picture in the sky this summer. Otherwise Mars and Saturn would have been reversed; I literally could not leave it like that”, the graphic artist reveals.

A conclusive idea

It is the sun and the moon that divide our time for all to feel and observe: Day and night, in twelve months per year. However, the division into seven-day weeks does not follow any astronomical principle, but has a mythological background. It goes back to the Babylonians and was associated with the seven celestial bodies in the firmament, which are particularly clearly visible.

With these celestial bodies and their corresponding symbols, the astroscope on the dial does not show the days of the week in a linear fashion, but back and forth through a bright dot. Exactly in the order in which they appear in the southern night sky.

“This was a new, different way of reading the information,” says Manfred Brassler, “and it earned us great respect from everyone at MeisterSinger.

Design awards number 29 and 30

The design committees probably saw it the same way. After the red dot award 2020 Jens Bierwirth now also receives the German Design Award 2021 for his ‘first watch’. At MeisterSinger you can be sure that there will be more to come.