Meistersinger Bell Hora Hands-On Review

by Samuel Kan
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Time is precious. So are every moment. Slow down and savour the moment. Take a deep breath. Pause. Accuracy is important but today we place perhaps too much importance on being precise. But time is about moments, rather than each individual second. The moments are what we remember and whilst time shouldn’t be wasted, it should also be lived and enjoyed. 

This is the philosophy behind Meistersinger watches. Its singled-handed-ness is designed to help you slow down time, to 5-minute increments, so that you no longer focus on the seconds, and rather, the important moments in your life. The precious moments, the ones that will live on forever.

Even the logo of Meistersinger alludes to this: take the time and “pause”. It is indeed the musical symbol/notation for pause and is used to great effect in music. It can be the climax of the piece, it can be where you take a breath, to highlight a point in the music, the storytelling. It can make all the difference in a fast-paced, unrelenting allegro series of semiquavers and staccatos that is today’s lives.

Pause.

There comes a point in time where rushing is no longer needed nor wanted. Not everything is a race and the charge to the next point is more often than not irrelevant. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Yes, punctuality is important but being punctual has nothing to do with rushing and accuracy. 

Take the time to admire the surroundings. Look up. Look around. Look deep into something. Look at the world around us. Put the phone away and relish the environment.

Breathe. 

It is a welcomed relief from the fast-paced society and the overwhelmingly digital and connected world. 

You may be wondering what all this flowery prose has to do with a watch that simply doesn’t tell the time accurately enough for the accuracy competition that is alive and kicking in the various watch appreciation/collector fora and blogs? Where the slightest deviation from the stated accuracy tolerance will almost always result in a rant online, abuse of staff in the stores and angry letters sent to brands? If you had to ask you’re missing the point. Enjoy the read. savour the article. Take the time to appreciate how the words are strung together to make flowing sentences. 

Speaking of flowing sentences, notice how there is a spiral on the dial, representing the flow of time?

And what of the Bell Hora? How does this fit into our jigsaw of life? To me, it bridges our need to be somewhat responsible and practical, but at the same time, it allows us to breathe and pause. One single hand showing the time in 5-minute increments and an hourly “notification bell” to remind you that it’s time to get on with it and get to your next appointment. Don’t dismiss its seemingly soft bell because in real life it’s as clear and as fresh as the morning air in the countryside, and the ring rises over all the ambient noises of our daily lives, nudging you softly; a gentle reminder.

In the evenings when quietude is needed, simply “activate” the silent mode by pulling out the crown at 2:00, and enjoy your rest. Or, if you don’t need the reminder on how long the meeting is dragging on (or maybe subtly remind someone that the meeting IS dragging  by leaving the bell on…)

The hour chime module is based on the jump hour, but instead of the spring spooling up to flick the disc over one digit every hour, it powers the hammer to strike the gong. As the energy required to strike the gong once every hour is less than what is needed to move the hour disc, the bell is quick, precise and doesn’t take away any additional power from the reserve, which sits at around 38 hours, standard for a movement based on the SW200-1.

The watch case is well finished with both a brushed finished case and a shiny finish everywhere else. Edges are sharp but not to the point of drawing blood, and the 50 metres water resistance is adequate for the daily desk diving and COVID-safe hand washing. Mounted on an alligator-patterned calf strap and a double folding clasp, the watch wears well, but the strap will take some breaking in given it is quite heavily padded, so it can be quite stiff at first.

I guess the biggest question is why bother with this when a lowly digital watch will give me an hourly beep? If you had to ask this question at this point in the article… but the answer is simply this. It’s all mechanical. Just like the mechanical alarm, the minute repeater, this is a useful, practical complication, made from nothing but wheels and cogs and in this case, a hammer and a gong. Not only is it useful, but it is also aural rather than visual, and it speaks volumes about the wearer of the timepiece.

Bell Hora on a 6.5inch wrist

Bell Hora Specification:

  • Case: 43mm, 13.5mm thickness and approximately 52mm lug-lug
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Ivory
  • Crystal: Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance: 50 meters
  • Movement: Sellita SW200-1
  • Power reserve: 38 hours

Australian Retail Pricing: $5,590.00

Availability: Available now

Enquire at local Authorised dealers here.

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