KronSegler Sacristan โ€” something a little unusual

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have taken seriously the Psalmist's words to God, "Seven times a day I have given praise to thee" (Ps. 118(119):164). Over the centuries, this practice came to be formalized in the Divine Office, otherwise known as the Liturgy of the Hours, in which psalms, canticles and prayers are recited at specific times of day.

This is the heritage made use of by the KronSegler Sacristan watch. In 2011, KronSegler produced a watch in collaboration with the Vatican Observatory, which would serve the same purpose in the modern world as the sundials of mediaeval monasteries did for the monks who lived in them, by means of a 24-hour subdial indicating the proper times for Matins/the Office of Readings, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline (you can see the German translations of these just above the six, the initials matching the subdial). They say that, as a small German company, they were particularly pleased to do so during the reign of their countryman, Pope Benedict XVI.

Three variants were produced, all in relatively small numbers: a men's automatic, a ladies' automatic, and a men's quartz. Almost all of these have been sold in the intervening decade; in fact, when I looked for the men's variants, only one example, made in gold and selling for โ‚ฌ4,000, was available new from reputable sources. However, I wrote to KronSegler, partly to compliment them on this beautiful watch I'd discovered via a Facebook group dedicated to the Liturgy of the Hours, and partly to try and confirm my suspicion that the website where I'd seen these watches for sale was a scam. Presumably for legal reasons they didn't out-and-out say so, but they did confirm that the โ‚ฌ4K gold version was the only new, unsold watch they knew to be available. But then something brilliant, that I wasn't at all expecting, happened. The very helpful Frau Assfeld, my contact at KronSegler, told me that they had enough spare parts in storage to produce one last Sacristan watch! Naturally I leapt at the chance (and asked if they would attach a black leather strap, rather than the brown that would usually have accompanied this colourway): it arrived earlier this week.

Is it anything special as a timepiece? Honestly, no. I believe it houses a Citizen 4166 movement, which does have audible rotor noise, and doesn't have hacking (though, so far at least, it seems to keep accurate enough time, which is obviously the important thing!). I'm not positive if it has sapphire crystal or hardened mineral glass, but I suspect it's the latter. Its deployant clasp sometimes releases itself (though, already, as the leather wears in gradually and assumes a more natural shape around my wrist, this seems to be happening less). The gold hands on a gold face aren't exactly the most legible thing ever. And at 42mm, it's also slightly larger than I would normally have chosen (though, as it turns out, I do like the way it looks and wears on my wrist).

Honestly, if it were any other dressy watch with similar specs, I'd probably feel slightly ripped off by the price I paid for it. But I love this particular watch, with its particular complication/gimmick and its particular branding ๐Ÿ˜… And if I'm honest, I really love the fact that this watch was assembled for me more than a decade after the normal production run ended.

I've seen some truly gorgeous and mechanically-impressive watches on this site, and I'm under no illusions that this can compete with them! It almost certainly won't even be my last watch. But even so, it's a watch I really enjoy, and I thought it might be niche and unusual enough that some of you might enjoy seeing it (even via my terrible photos!)!


Seven times a day I have given praise to theeโ€ฆ been a while. Although Iโ€™m not particularly religious these days I like the idea behind this watch. Iโ€™ve seen similar modern watches with compass and alarms built around Islamic prayer times, and I think those are particularly smart as an idea, so thank you for bringing this watch to my attention.


I think I've heard of Islamic watches, but I don't think I've ever seen one; with the compass aspect, too, I imagine they're much more technically involved! Glad you found this watch interesting ๐Ÿ˜Š