The Salthora Meta X is a single-hand jump hour by MeisterSinger that lulls you into a restful view of time by removing the hour hand from its dial and coercing you to focus one hour at a time. When it’s ready for the next hour, it snaps the hour digit into view at 12-o’clock like a sailor salutes a captain. And like any sailor, this watch is water-ready.
MeisterSinger’s reinterpretation of a dive watch was introduced last year, but the Salthora continues the brand’s original time-telling, one-handed watch ethos introduced in 2001. Instead of its single hour hand pointing to one of twenty-four hours in a day, this watch hand points to one of sixty minutes in an hour.
Design and Finish
At first, I kept searching for the hour hand, or the visual anchor on a typical analog watch. I confess I wasn’t sure how to read the time without it. First, find the digit at 12 o’clock, then find the minute hand and add them together.
The shift in how you read time is subtle. The case is not. It’s a big clock tower of stainless steel that stands 14.2mm high and 43mm wide. It’s a contemporary size and the brushed and polished beveled edges play with the light, but not in a showy way.
The case is longer than wide, measuring 51mm from lug to lug, but it rides well on my 7.5” wrist despite the lugs that slope down from the case. Rest the watch on its solid case back and the lugs keep it elevated above the surface like a crab standing on the beach.
The chunky crown guards protect the fluted, screw-down crown, which is large and exceptionally easy to grip and operate. All these case details reinforce its 200-meter water resistance rating, and give it a dive watch vibe.
The blue ceramic bezel is easy to grip and turn the 120 clicks one way, but there was a little more play in them as they settled into their grooves. In varying light, the blue bezel reflected color differently, giving the subtle impression that the color was not matching the dial. This has no impact on its water worthiness, but it might speak to the person who cares more about form than function.
The brushed and polished beveled edges play with the light, but not in a showy way
Although its case-size is noticeable, its weight is not. It only weighs 113 grams with its rubber-coated, waterproof leather strap. The strap is stiff at first, but gave way to my wrist eventually. The strap has a few nice details including a dark, blue edging and a signed, polished buckle. Meistersinger does a good job showing you what other straps and bracelets would look like, including the meshed stainless steel Milanese bracelet.
MeisterSinger has built its line of jump hour watches from the ETA 2824-2 with hand winding and hacking, although you can’t hack a second hand that doesn’t exist. This is not that kind of watch. The jump hour module that is added to the base movement was exclusively developed for MeisterSinger.
It operates when the swan neck spring builds up enough tension to make the actuating lever of the hour disk jump to the next numeral. It accomplishes this without suddenly using the energy powering the minute hand. This module seemingly doesn’t have any effect on the reserve power as it continues to hover around the 38 hours of reserve while it oscillates at 28,000 vph (4hz).
The finish on this case is subservient to the blue dial and bezel. Looking at this watch through its scratch- resistant domed crystal is like standing on a boat in the middle of a Caribbean ocean on a clear day. There’s blue as far as you can see, and it’s only punctuated by white, puffy clouds.
MeisterSinger relies on Super-LumiNova to provide the same legibility at night. The illumination is exceptional on the bezel, minute hand, numerals and jump-hour digit. Even though the contrasting colors and illumination offer fine legibility, give yourself a jump hour or two to stop looking for the hour hand. Eventually, you’ll process the dial information, which felt like I switched online calendar view from monthly to hourly.
Rarity and value
MeisterSinger offers this watch under its Classic Plus line with three models of the Salthora: the Meta, the Meta X, and the skeletonized Transparent. The Meta dial colors are available in green, blue, black and anthracite with white, red and black minute hands. The Meta X comes in black and blue dial colors with green and white minute hands.
Weekend warriors need not look any further for a unique reinterpretation of a dive watch. The Salthora Meta X offers the legibility, color, size and comfort, along with the water resistance features expected in a watch you can get wet. I see it as a highly functional and fashionable dive watch but think it might not have some of the standard dive details tool watch folks want. Go looking for a jump hour dive watch, and you’ll be wondering how MeisterSinger made such a novelty priced at 3,200 Euros, or about $3,700.