Watch of the Month – Astroscope
For stargazers, myth hunters, linguists, and all those who appreciate seeing the bigger picture.
MeisterSinger’s second astronomical wristwatch immediately caused quite a stir as it was presented at the Inhorgenta in Munich. And for us, of course, the Astroscope is the Watch of the Month.
With their single hand display principle, MeisterSinger watches have always pointed to the essential, i.e. the passage of time throughout the day. The advantage for their owners is that they are not agitated by the passing of mere seconds or minutes. And in terms of design, this principle is reflected in a clear, radial geometry that can be read intuitively like a sundial.
Ancient rules, brand new principle
By contrast, the Astroscope seems complicated at first glance and, quite honestly, even a bit untidy. However, it is based on the same ancient tradition as the sundial, follows age-old astronomical rules – and uses them to display the weekdays, in a way that has never been seen before.
Since ancient times, since the era of the Babylonians, time has been divided into weeks consisting of seven days, each of which is associated with seven heavenly bodies: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. The calendar we use today can be traced back to Roman times. It was their world of the gods as well as the Sun and the Moon that gave the months and days their names. Both the English and the German names for the days of the week are closely related to the Roman ones. Only it was not the Roman gods who were the inspiration here, but their counterparts from the realm of Norse gods. Máni, the Moon god, gave Monday its name. In ancient Rome, Tuesday was connected with the planet Mars. The name Tuesday in English originates from Tiw, the Norse god of war. Whereas the Romans named Wednesday after the god Mercury, the English word takes its name from the god Odin, or Woden as he was then known. Jupiter was the highest god in ancient Rome and the master of lightning and thunder. Its Norse counterpart Thor, or Donar, gave Thursday its name in both English and German. Friday has always been connected with Venus, the goddess of love; Friday sounds similar to Frigg or Freya, who had the same function in the Norse religious tradition. Our sixth day of the week is an exception, as although the German word Samstag harks back to the Hebraic Shabbat, the word Saturday in English has remained from the Roman word for Saturn. Finally, Sunna, the Norse sun goddess and sister of Máni, gave Sunday its name.
Monday, the Moon ☽
Tuesday, Mars ♂
Wednesday, Mercury ☿
Thursday, Jupiter ♃
Friday, Venus ♀
Saturday, Saturn ♄
Sunday, the Sun ☉
Rare constellation, unique talking piece
The weekdays are shown on the dial of the Astroscope, each accompanied by the traditional symbol of the corresponding celestial body. Next to each of them is a circular window that is brightly highlighted on the corresponding day. That would be obvious up to this point and hardly in need of explanation if they were also in the usual order. However, they aren’t, which is why the bright dot seems to skip back and forth over the course of the week – and visitors to our Munich trade show stand tirelessly twisted the crown of the Astroscope in order to watch the spectacle in rapid succession.
The position on the dial, however, is of course not a gimmick, but rather pays tribute to the connection between weekdays and celestial bodies that has been handed down through millennia with the image of their constellation in the year 2020. After a long time, they can once again be seen together in the night sky – with the exception of the sun, of course. But its weekday always plays a special role in any case.
Days with significance
As you will have noticed, a lot can be said about the Astroscope – about history, science, language – and watchmaking. You can also reveal that the day dot doesn’t really jump back and forth, but that under the dial a weekday disk with a number of bright dots on it moves one step further day by day, always moving in a circle, just like the planets in celestial mechanics.
But you can also quietly enjoy the meticulously crafted details of the dial. And the fact that, after a short time of getting used to it, the days are not read in a linear fashion, but in a way that gives them their own meaning. By then at the latest it becomes obvious that the Astroscope is a typical MeisterSinger watch – because it gives you the bigger picture.
Learn more about MeisterSinger: MeisterSinger.com