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Junghans Force Mega Solar vs Wave Ceptor

Two parameters that typically always have people’s attention when it comes to wristwatches are the precision of the watch and the rating of water resistance.

If the watch is electronic, battery life and solar power are also important factors.

The best models from Casio’s radio-controlled Wave Ceptor series are performing excellently on these 4 features, so it is no wonder that this series is so incredibly popular worldwide.

But in fact, there is a slightly overlooked brand that performs equally convincingly on the same features and the company is neither Swiss nor Japanese, but German.

Junghans is the name.

In this article we will first go through a few cold facts about this experienced company and then we will check out 5 selected wristwatches, all of which are:

  • Radio Controlled.
  • Solar Powered.
  • Water Resistant to 50 m.

Who Is Junghans?

Junghans was established under the name Zeller & Junghans in 1861 and the company started producing components for Black Forest Clocks, such as wooden cases, bronze signs, hands, glass doors, wire hooks and pendulums.

It was only in 1866 that Junghans had established themselves with a full production apparatus which enabled them to produce clocks independently of others.

Since then, development has been steadily advancing and today Junghans employs 3,000 employees and produces more than 3 million timepieces per year.

That makes the company the largest watch and clock factory in the world.

In 1985, Junghans created the world’s first commercial radio-controlled table clock “accurate to a single second in a million years”.

Radio technology was further refined over the next few years and as early as 1990 Junghans was able to make the individual parts so small that they could fit in an ordinary size wristwatch case.

The result was Mega 1, the world’s first radio-controlled wristwatch.

3 years later, Junghans developed Mega Solar which made the disposable batteries superfluous.

Radio Technology

As mentioned earlier, one of the most popular Casio series is the Wave Ceptor line whose main feature is the ability to receive radio signals from transmitters connected to ultra-precise atomic clocks located all over the world.

The Junghans Force Mega Solar series uses a similar technology that ensures that the watch is always accurate to the second.

But why choose Junghans?

Junghans Design

Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and it almost seems as if Junghans has completely adopted this unwritten rule, not least in terms of their minimalist design.

Junghans’ design is characterized by a mathematical approach and is dominated by the sharp, thin lines.

It manifests itself through slim hands and markings, narrow rims, small numbers at the hour markings (if present), small date windows and flat watch cases, all very classic features of Junghans’ wristwatches.

The scientific approach to the design is not least due to the Swiss artist and designer Max Bill (1908-1994) who was instrumental in developing Junghans’ special visual style and expression and he still names several Junghans models today.

I am of the opinion that it is possible to develop an art largely on the basis of mathematical thinking.

– Max Bill.

Junghans Force Mega Solar

The series we are going to look at this time is called Force Mega Solar and as you will notice right away the word Mega is included in the series name, a discreet reference to the very first commercial radio controlled watch, Mega 1, produced and marketed by Junghans in 1985.

I personally perceive the Force Mega Solar series as a rethink of the classic Junghans mechanical watches where the style has been continued and developed into a kind of futuristic version, both in terms of design and technology.

The minimalist, scientific approach is kept intact and even extended with this gorgeous series.

Specifications

Let me briefly explain the way I have chosen to present the specifications for the Force Mega Solar series.

First we will go through the General Specifications which apply to all Force Mega Solar models.

Then beneath every single photo of the particular model, you will see Individual Specifications that apply to that model or more, but not all.

General Specifications

1. Technology.

Multi-frequency Radio-Controlled Solar Movement J615.84.

2. Function.

Power Reserve of up to 21 months, Sleep Mode after 72 hours, Big Date, convenient time adjustment via the Junghans MEGA app.

3. Crystal.

Sapphire.

4. Water Resistance.

50 m (5 bar).

5. Size.

40.4 mm x 8.2 mm.

The Models and Their Individual Specifications

1. Junghans Force Mega Solar 018/1133.44

Housing: Polished Ceramic, Ceramic Case Back.

Bracelet: Ceramic Bracelet With Titanium Folding Clasp.

Find on Amazon

2. Junghans Force Mega Solar 018/1938.44

Housing: Matt Ceramic, Ceramic Case Back.

Bracelet: Ceramic Bracelet With Titanium Folding Clasp.

Find on Amazon

3. Junghans Force Mega Solar 018/1000.00

Housing: Polished Ceramic, Ceramic Case Back.

Bracelet: Synthetic Rubber Strap With Titanium Folding Clasp, PVD-coated.

Find on Amazon

4. Junghans Force Mega Solar 018/1001.00

Housing: Polished Ceramic, Ceramic Case Back.

Bracelet: Synthetic Rubber Strap With Titanium Folding Clasp, PVD-coated.

Find on Amazon

5. Junghans Force Mega Solar 018/1002.00

Housing: Matt Ceramic, Ceramic Case Back.

Bracelet: Synthetic Rubber Strap With Titanium Folding Clasp, PVD-coated.

Find on Amazon

Epilogue

At first sight Force Mega Solar watches don’t seem to be doing much.

They are great looking, but appear to be a relatively simple species.

But make no mistake.

Behind all the simplicity hides a complexity ensuring that the watch is always accurate to the second and never runs out of power due to the built-in radio receiver and solar cell.

In other words, Force Mega Solar watches are designed to be optimally user-friendly.

On the other hand, you do not get a watch that can spew out a plethora of information.

The watch can show the time and date and that’s it.

And probably that makes sense to quite a lot of people since virtually everyone is carrying a smartphone in their pocket nowadays.

The idea is that perhaps there’s no need for one more electronic device to distract you with unnecessary information, but of course that depends entirely on personal needs.

It would have been nice with a water resistance of 100 m or more, but 50 m is sufficient for a watch of this type.

The watch can withstand a swim (although I personally would not recommend it), but this is not an outdoor watch and you should bear that in mind before exposing it to water.

The way I see it you buy a Force Mega Solar watch if you understand how to appreciate a beautiful design and the special German meticulous sense of engineering.

My final word on this excellent series: No photo or video of any of the Force Mega Solar models is justified, especially the ceramic bracelet versions.

You have to see them for real to truly appreciate the excellence and beauty of these watches.

Image credit: Junghans.

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Claus

Claus is a laboratory technician, autodidact guitarist, songwriter, music publisher, co-founder of App Division ApS, dad of fraternal twin boys, Sci-Fi lover, incarnated Mike Oldfield fan, pro world peace and an incorrigible coffee addict.

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