John van Steen, the overseeing accomplice of MeisterSinger, gladly calls their manifestations “the most significant watches in the world”. In any case, the philosophy behind this fairly questionable explanation is definitely not self-important. Meet the one who became Mr MeisterSinger by sheer humble reasoning. And it’s around one single hand to show the time.
It’s a cool November evening, and it’s pouring. I’m late for our gathering. Regularly, that is somewhat of an issue in Germany, a nation notable for its exactness and reliability. Solid and steady for a hardened face and a somewhat brush off, I go into the MeisterSinger board room in Münster to meet John van Steen. Toward the start of 2019, Van Steen got elevated to overseeing accomplice of the company, giving him accepted the situation of CEO. Yet, when he goes into the room, he’s loose and all grins. “Sorry, I’m late,” I say. “No worries,” he says. “It’s acceptable to have you here. Come, take a seat.“
I’ve known John for about 10 years, and to me, he is Mr MeisterSinger as he’s constantly been the delegate of the brand. First as the Dutch specialist for the brand, and later as deals chief. He began addressing MeisterSinger soon after he met company originator Manfred Brassler with his new brand at the Baselworld reasonable in 2003. “His one-hand observes promptly engaged me,” he says. “Back then, I could see they had a great deal of potential, however you can never be certain that the market would really get on it. And I truly loved the watches. That caused me a great deal, as I’m not the sort of individual who can offer ice to Eskimos. I truly need to understand the brand before I can sell it.“
If you take a gander at the brand MeisterSinger, or its watches, you may think the brand is a lot more established than it is. At the point when I notice this to Van Steen, he giggles. “It’s very interesting you notice that,” he says. “Sometimes individuals come up to me, saying: ‘I love MeisterSinger. My grandfather used to wear it when I was a young kid’. Clearly, that is unimaginable on the grounds that the brand has just existed since 2001.“
MeisterSinger has cut its little specialty in the previous twenty years and has done as such in a significant enchanting manner. The watches appear to be unique than most exemplary timepieces on the grounds that the watches just have one hand and the plans are very thoroughly examined. Clean, however never exhausting. The plans are not really Bauhaus, however they are unmistakably German and instrumental.
The significance of time
But MeisterSinger additionally feels not quite the same as other brands, and that is to some degree more hard to decipher. It has to do with character, with values. Conversing with Van Steen assists with understanding where the MeisterSinger character comes from. It is anything but an advertising content; it is a more profound understanding of how time affects them.
“I’m not going to say we are an odd one out, yet we are different,” Van Steen advises me. “The thought of the one-hand watches comes from Manfred clearly, and more established clocks roused it. And in the event that you make an interpretation of that given to current times, you get an alternate method of encountering time.“
“I like to go to exchange fairs and purchaser occasions to meet the purchasers of our watches. They generally inquire as to why our watches just have one hand. And I turn the inquiry around: ‘Are those minutes and seconds actually that significant throughout everyday life? Have you at any point had an arrangement at seventeen minutes past ten? And on the off chance that you couldn’t care less those two minutes with something as significant as an arrangement, then for what reason would you need to be gone up against with minutes and seconds constantly?’ We’re continually putting the pressing factor of time on ourselves to an extreme. Clearly, I’m not saying that time is immaterial, incidentally. Time is very important.”
In continually seeking after the understanding of its items, MeisterSinger has built up an interesting philosophy of time, called “Rituals of Time“. The essential thought is that that these watches don’t force their specialized accuracy on their proprietors, yet accompany them circumspectly for the duration of the day. They enlighten the wearer when it’s concerning time for the ceremonies and occasions that give their day structure, like the time for morning coffee, or the time to call home. MeisterSinger watches assist you with seeing time in an alternate, more loose way.
“That is an intriguing philosophy,” I addressed Van Steen. “But was it this idea behind the single-hand watches or did this story develop as the company grew?” Van Steen answered: “It was somewhat the underlying thought behind the watches. The single hand was incompletely a plan arrangement and somewhat a philosophy. Yet, as I remained longer in the company, those goals and my own character turned out to be increasingly more interwoven. While I was working here, the philosophy created with my own thoughts: this is really my mentality towards life.“
And so the philosophy expanded. “A watch that reads a clock to the closest five minutes makes the wearer more open minded regarding being somewhat early or late, and unquestionably more settled in the information that the truly significant arrangements are not estimated in seconds.“
All of this more profound interpretation of time needs some clarification every so often. Van Steen is simply back from the Middle East, where the German brand’s gone to the Dubai Watch Week (for which they made the extremely fascinating Reverse Circularis watch) interestingly. It connotes the development MeisterSinger has had in the previous decade. Official deals numbers are not communicated, yet Van Steen says the company sells “around 10,000 pieces” yearly, up from around 6,000 pieces ten years prior. And with aspirations to keep this pace of development consistent in the following decade. MeisterSinger’s center market is the portion between EUR 1,000 and EUR 3,000 and plans to remain there. Its primary business sectors are Northern Europe, which appears to be coherent with regards to the plan and the birthplace of the brand. The way that the brand name is effectively pronounceable in many dialects was “by complete coincidence“.
Van Steen adds that social contrasts likewise assume a part while traveling to another country. “I heard one extremely intriguing story as of late, a story that truly appeared to me that it is so essential to go to watch fairs and converse with customers. It was in Japan, where I asked a retailer for what valid reason our deals were low in his country. Japan is a major market for essentially every German brand, aside from us. ‘The issue is your mentality towards time,’ the retailer said. ‘In Japan, each subsequent tally, you must be beneficial in consistently and moment otherwise you’ll humiliate your family. Your watches reveal to us that only one out of every odd moment and consistently tally. That it doesn’t actually matter a lot of whether it’s 13:29 or 13:31.’ So realizing that we can zero in on business sectors which appreciate and understand our philosophy. Fortunately for us, numerous business sectors are open for this other perspective on/em>”
It likewise brings up an alternate issue. Is this entire philosophy-thing not a concealment for making marginally wrong watches? Van Steen unfalteringly excuses this inquiry. “No, that is certainly not the situation. Nobody needs to scrutinize the specialized exactness of our items. We’re utilizing similar Sellita and ETA developments as every other person does. Likewise, the retailers we work with are an assurance for a specific quality. That is not something we need to contend about. We are a watch producer, and our essential errand is to create precise watches. That we approach time in an unexpected way, is something different altogether.“
MeisterSinger has one exclusive development, which was presented in 2014 . It’s known as the Circularis or type MSH01 for the hand-wound and MSA01 for the programmed rendition. The esthetics are great, similar to the determinations. It was created and planned by Manfred Brassler with the assistance of expert watchmaker Johannes Jahnke and his group. They did as such with the particular motivation behind showing time with a long single hand, and to meet that accuracy, a dial train with spring wheel was coordinated into the development to limit the reaction of the hand. It has a twin-barrel power save of 120 hours, and it comes as either a hand-wound or programmed. The development is delivered in Switzerland and is found in the top scope of the collection.
Asked whether MeisterSinger might want to add more claim developments or types to its assortment, Van Steen momentarily wavered – for the lone second in the whole discussion. “We don’t actually have the aspiration to become a full assembling yet,” he said. “But we do have some exceptionally intriguing things coming up. New specialized turns of events. Yet, it definitely should fit the possibility that we’re not going to gauge time increasingly more precisely and, in particular, it needs to fit in our cost range.“
New and new inventiveness appears to continue streaming out of Münster. With these moderate plans, MeisterSinger could without much of a stretch have been a one-stunt horse. However, after almost twenty years of making extraordinary, new and new watches, it is protected to say it’s substantially more than simply a straightforward plan trick. “We truly don’t have any issues coming up with new ideas,” says Van Steen. “The motivation continues coming. And consistently, we make new watches that make me take a second look. We as of late added another, new face to our plan group and he comes up with new arrangements and thoughts. I’m very certain new and intriguing watches will keep on coming.“
A more profound understanding
It was a chilly November evening, and it was coming down. John was driving home from school. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be an issue, yet this time was extraordinary. John was not coming home by any stretch of the imagination. It was in 1983, and cell phones didn’t exist yet. What existed were quick motorbikes, and John had one. Some place mostly home, something grabbed his eye, and he was done seeing what was going on before him. “I don’t think a lot about that day anymore,” he advises me. “I imagine that I probably investigated my shoulder momentarily, turning my directing wheel as I went… the side of the road was tricky and sloppy… I failed to keep a grip on the engine, and I flew against a tree. I heard they needed to drag me out of a jettison, and my lower leg was in a real sense lying close to my ear… I just was in the emergency clinic, hearing that I was fortunate even to be alive.”
“I was 17 years of age in those days, and at that point throughout everyday life, you don’t actually consider the estimation of time. Yet, as time passed, I would recollect that brush with death sometimes and I figured out how to value the way that there still was time for me around here. And when I got offspring of my own, that feeling became even more.“
“Experiences like that transform you. As far as I might be concerned, it changed the manner in which I saw time. That we shouldn’t pay attention to everything as well. We’re continually pursuing something. We generally need more, without valuing the things we really have. Be that as it may, there are various needs in life.“
“I truly mean it when I say this, and a few group may think it is somewhat self-important, yet I think we sell the most significant watches on the planet. On our watches, time is by all accounts passing by a tad more slow. And we as a whole realize that the most important thing we have here is time.“