With a sturdier case, increased water resistance and a robust strap, Junghans has reworked its classically elegant Meister Chronoscope for a sportier look and feel — truly earning the new “S” in its name. We give it a thorough review in this feature from our March-April 2021 issue.
The Meister Chronoscope is one of the true classics in the Junghans collection. Now the elegant chronograph has undergone an exciting new update that makes it suitable for rugged everyday conditions as well as athletic activities.
This newcomer is called the Junghans Meister S Chronoscope, our test watch. Its numerous innovations include an increase in diameter from 40.7 mm to an impressive 45 mm and a black PVD coating that draws attention to the striking stainless-steel case. The dial retains its domed shape, while concave counters, contrasting red accents and openwork luminous hands create an expressively unique, sporty yet modern look.
The case now has dramatic curves and a crown guard where the screw-down crown is securely seated. Junghans has kept the oval-shaped pushers as a component of the Meister Chronoscope design. The pushers are now larger, in line with the new larger overall dimensions, but they do not offer the kind of crisp action we would like.
The case transitions seamlessly into a completely newly redesigned strap that combines a synthetic rubber base, leather inlays and red stitching. This dynamic new design includes a stainless-steel clasp that has a black PVD coating to match the case. The underside of the strap features the words “Junghans Meister S” in relief lettering — an addition that not only creates an exciting look but also ensures adequate ventilation on warm days or during a workout.
The caseback adorned with the Junghans star emblem is also new. As before, the watch is powered by automatic movement J880.1, based on the ETA Valjoux 7750, with a 48-hour power reserve. The Meister S Chronoscope has water resistance to 200 meters — another improvement, in addition to the use of an extra thick sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflective coating.
The movement of our test watch was both accurate and consistent. In normal operation (with the chronograph not engaged), it gained 4.2 seconds per day, with an excellent low deviation between the positions of only 4 seconds. Once the chronograph was engaged, the individual values remained much the same, and the average daily gain increased only slightly, to 5.3 seconds, with the difference between the positions increasing to only about 6 seconds. Our real-life test over a span of several weeks confirmed the values measured on the electronic timing machine: the watch consistently gained 4 seconds per day.
Only 888 watch enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the Meister S Chronoscope in our test version, which is priced at $2,795. There are also two variations that have subdued colored dials and seven-row stainless-steel bracelets, at a price of $2,595 each. Our editorial team preferred the striking Limited Edition because of its many expressive details, like the untreated sections around the crystal and along both sides of the streamlined case. These narrow silvery strips definitely sharpen the watch’s look as a cool design object.
Add in the hour markers with milled 5-minute numerals and red luminous material. But functionality takes a hit here — luminescence is so low that the time can hardly be read at night. And the Super-LumiNova coating on the chronograph seconds hand counterweight and the 3 and 9 o’clock hour markers is problematic: this presents a confusing image at night that looks like a short hour hand pointing to 6 o’clock.
A drawback of our test model was that the red thread at the lower lug of the watch came loose and stood up one full stitch, but this could have been an isolated incident that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It certainly didn’t take away from the fun of this new, very sporty chronograph. The watch has an exciting design and robust construction that’s great both for everyday wear and athletic activity alike — a true all-rounder.
Manufacturer: Uhrenfabrik Junghans GmbH & Co. KG, Geisshaldenstrasse 49, 78713 Schramberg, Germany
Reference number: 027/4025.01
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds; chronograph with seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters; date, weekday
Movement: Caliber J880.1 based on ETA Valjoux 7750 “Elaboré,” automatic, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, stop-seconds mechanism, quick-adjust date and weekday, Incabloc shock absorber, fine regulator with screw and spring, 48-hour power reserve, diameter = 30 mm, height = 7.9 mm
Case: Stainless steel with partial PVD coating, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, screw-down crown, 7 screws on PVD-coated stainless-steel caseback; water resistant to 200 m
Strap and clasp: Synthetic rubber and cowhide leather strap with safety folding clasp made of PVD-coated stainless steel that opens on one side
Rate results (deviation in seconds per 24 hours, with chronograph switched off / on):
Dial up +4 / +3
Dial down +4 / +4
Crown up +3 / +4
Crown down +6 / +8
Crown left +2 / +4
Crown right +6 / +9
Greatest deviation 4 / 6
Average deviation +4.2 / +5.3
Flat positions 321° / 291°
Hanging positions 279° / 256°
Diameter = 45 mm, height = 15.9 mm, weight = 115 g
Variations: With uncoated stainless-steel case and seven-row stainless-steel bracelet with safety folding clasp, not limited, with green/black dial (Ref. 027/4023.45, $2,595) or with anthracite matte dial (Ref. 027/4024.45, $2,595)
Limited edition of 888 pieces
Strap and clasp (max. 10 points): The strap is designed to be exciting and robust. On our test watch, one end of the decorative stitching came loose. 8
Operation (5): A handy screw- down crown, stop-seconds mechanism and quick-adjust date make operation easy, but the contact points of the chronograph pushers and the click of the safety folding clasp are not crisp. 3
Case (10): The multifaceted case with sapphire crystal, screw-down crown and oval pushers is water resistant to 200 meters. 8
Design (15): The new design is attractive and offers many exciting details. 13
Legibility (5): The contrast between the hands, dial and subdials is not perfect, but sufficient. There’s not enough luminous material for a sports watch. 3
Wearing comfort (10): Despite its 45-mm diameter, the ergonomic shape of the case lets it lie comfortably on the wrist. 8
Movement (20): Junghans modifies the sturdy and reliable stand-ard chronograph ETA Valjoux 7750 movement in its basic “Elaboré” quality. 12
Rate results (10): Both the average daily deviation and greatest deviation between the positions are small. 9
Overall value (15): The watch is more expensive than other Meister Chronographs, but it offers greater robustness and more elaborate details. 13
Total: 77 POINTS