Junghans Meister MEGA – J101.65:
By: Kaz Mirza
My growing fascination with Radio-Controlled movements just took an unexpected turn towards Germany. Cornerstone German brand Junghans has announced their new Meither MEGA, which is powered by their equally new and super fascinating J101.65, a new in-house radio-controlled movement. There’s two really cool components to discuss with this bit of news here: the Meister MEGA watch and the J101.65 movement.
Junghans Meister MEGA
The goal with the Junghans Meister MEGA was to design and create a watch that captured the better parts of “the slim dress watch” trope. Judging from the press Meister MEGA press photos provided Junghans the watch certainly fits the “dress watch” criteria. However in my opinion it seems to fall into some of the normal dress watch pitfalls. In my opinion (and chime in if y’all feel differently) the visual design is a little bit forgettable. The forward facing facade of the watch could have been designed by any watch brand. This is especially prevalent in the dial. However I will say the hands seem to be a fairly unique touch in that they balance the line between accessible “dress watch” while still being somewhat memorable. There’s a satisfying tappering girth (#HorologicalGirth 0_o) to the hands that helps the whole package feel grounded.
Junghans Meister MEGA Dial and Model Reference Numbers:
- 058/4801.00 – Blue Dial / Stainless Steel Case
- 058/4803.00 – White Dial/ Stainless Steel Case
- 058/7800.00 – White Dial/ Gold Plated Steel Case
- 058/4803.44 – Map Dial/ Stainless Steel Case w/ Bracelet
However, the one dial configuration that did catch my eye was the 058/4803.44 version with the map on the dial. The dial of this model features each of the radio frequencies that the Junghans J101.65 movement that encompass its range (more on that later).
5 Frequencies Ranges of the Junghans J101.65
- DCF77 (Mainflingen, Germany)
- MSF (Anthorn, Cumbria, England)
- JJY40 (Mount Ootakadoya, Japan)
- JJY60 (Mount Hogane, Japan)
- WWVB (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Having that readout on the dial is something that’s very specific to a radio-controlled time watch and I feel like it helps nudge the Junghans Meister MEGA just outside the pigeonholed category of “slim dress watch.” Just to be clear also, the 058/4803.44 has the map/frequency read out on the map dial and an exhibition case back (which is also super cool with a radio-controlled movement) where the other versions have the map/frequency read out on the case back. This is also pretty cool, but with the watch on your wrist the map on the case back is hidden. Pros and cons of both versions could be argued ad infinitum. But for my personal preference, the 058/4803.44 map dial is where it’s at.
The Junghans Meister MEGA case dimensions come in at a beautiful 38mm.4 in diameter and 9.6mm thin. The lug to lug is undisclosed at this time, but relative to the 38mm diameter it looks quite balanced. The case back seems to be affixed to the case by 5 screws. Now there seems to be a differentiation in water resistance between the models. The 058/4803.44 Map Dial is rated at 5 bars (approx. 50 meters) while the other 3 models (058/4801.00, 058/4803.00, 058/7800.00) are rated at 3 bars (approx. 30 meters). It’s unclear to me why this is the case but it could possibly have something to do with the fact that the case backs between the two segments are different. If I learn anything more about this I’ll be sure to add it here.
The bracelet of the 058/4803.44 Junghans Meister MEGA is a classic butterfly clasp, which allows the clap to be hidden under the links. It’s a really clean presentation that I always find really fun (one recurring dress watch trope I’m always happy to see!). The other three Meister MEGA models (058/4801.00, 058/4803.00, 058/7800.00) feature horse leather with either a stainless steel or gold PVD buckle (depending on which model you’re looking at).
Junghans J101.65 Radio-Controlled Movement
Junghans is reporting that the J101.65 movement is the culmination of 4 years worth of work. The movement itself is comprised of exactly 146 parts, which Junghans appears to have created and tested with really intriguing accuracy. Specifically the press information I received states that the frequency reception of the J101.65’s main plate is tested at 1,462 points. The idea (I suppose) is to ensure that if the watch is close enough to catch one of the 5 transmitting radio frequencies, then there shouldn’t be any impediment to the movement picking up the frequency. Junghans has claimed that as long as the watch remains within range of a frequency, then on “…three continents the time received via the time signal [has] a deviation of just 0.006 seconds in one million years.” If you’re like me and live in an area that’s just outside the range of the 5 transmitting frequencies, then the J101.65 is equipped with a fail safe quartz movement that’s accurate to 8 seconds in a year (relative to the last time it synced with a radio signal).
Here are some additional really interesting technological features that the Junghans J101.65 movement features.
- ITC Technology (Intelligent Time Correction): This system ensures that the second hand’s position is as in-sync as possible relative to the last radio frequency. It conducts this correction test 1,440 times a day (adjusting when necessary).
- SMH Technology (Smart Hand Motion): This system equips the second hand with half-second steps to promote precision. Plus the second hand, minute hand, and date receive the signal to move a fraction of a second before the time change. Junghans claims this supports a more accurate time readout.
- Junghans MEGA App: Slated to be released in October 2018, the Junghans MEGA App will allow Meister MEGA owners to set the time of the J101.65 to their individual time zone when they’re outside a frequency area, which is pretty cool.
It looks like all variations of the Junghans Meister MEGA J101.65 hover around $1,100 USD (give or take) since I was unable to find any official pricing on the Junghans website. But as soon as I can find something concrete I’ll update this write-up. Also check out the official Junghans Meister MEGA Page (photo credits).
What does everyone think? Personally I think I’m more into the movement than the actual watch itself – but maybe I’m crazy. Let me know what’s up in the comments below!
Kaz has been collecting watches since 2015, but he’s been fascinated by product design, the Collector’s psychology, and brand marketing his whole life. While sharing the same strong fondness for all things horologically-affordable as Mike (his TBWS partner in crime), Kaz’s collection niche is also focused on vintage Soviet watches as well as watches that feature a unique, but well-designed quirk or visual hook.