When someone mentions Junghans, in all likeliness one of their impeccable Max Bill watches comes to mind. We’ve looked at those a few times on w&w, and will likely do so again in the future. But, Junghans does a lot more than make the Max Bill watches, in fact those just scratch the surface. Founded in 1861, Junghans is one of the quintessential German watch brands, a brand focused on quality, design and execution while maintaining sensible prices. Of their various lines of watches, their Meister series exemplifies these traits. Drawing a bit from the Max Bills, their archives, as well as looking forward, the Junghans Meister watches skillfully mix classic watch making with both vintage and contemporary aesthetics.
For our first in-depth endeavor into the Meisters, we’re got our hands on the Kalendar Moon, which features a complete calendar module. This increasingly rare complication grants both intrigue and a lot of value to this watch by adding day, date, month and moonphase complications to an automatic movement. By rare, I really mean it. This is in fact the first we’ve ever reviewed on w&w. If you’re prone to crawling vintage forums, you’re likely familiar with them as they were more in-vogue in the mid to early 20th century. Now, few brands feature them, most really being annual calendars made by high luxury brands.
Dubbed the J800.3, the Kalendar Moon is powered by a decorated ETA 2824-2 with a Dubois Depraz 9310 module. To my knowledge, few other brands offer a complete calendar in this price range, with only Louis Erard coming to mind. Beyond the movement and function, however, the aesthetics of the Meisters are in a league of their own (ok, the Max Bills are there too). Featuring a beautifully curved case, domed dial and hands and a massive domed acrylic crystal, the Meisters speak to vintage watches, but look and feel like modern sculptures on the wrist. At $2,190 the Junghans Meister Kalendar Moon is not inexpensive, but is priced well for a unique German made watch with a rare complication.