A century and a decade have passed since the snow-covered peak brand has appeared. Montblanc celebrated this anniversary in the perfect setting at SIHH this year, with the launch of several new collections and models. Being the watch fanatics we are, we couldn’t resist taking some of the novelties out in New York for a special photoshoot with our friend WatchDNA and our warm Berluti outfits. And at SIHH, we meet up with Montblanc Creative Director Zaim Kamal, who talked Heritage spirit, chronometrie, complexity in watchmaking and novelties.
The 4810 is no stranger to the watch community; first presented in 2006 for Montblanc’s centennial, the collection has since become the brand’s best-selling line an is constantly growing with new models. After the 4810 Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum in 2015 comes the the maison’s first pocket watch, the Orbis Terrarum Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition. Aptly named after the Latin Orbis Terrarum -or “globe”, “earth” and “world”- this pocket timepiece shows the time in 24 timezones, based on a manufacture,in-house complication.
Although pocket watches were the timekeepers of choice back in the early 20th century, this is one pocket watch transatlantic travellers would find highly beneficial for its world timer function. Setting the timepiece is quite simple: a quick push of the button between 5 and 6 o’clock until the home city (or nearest city) is positioned in front of the 6 o’clock arrow sets the home time zone, while the hours and minutes follow through the crown at 12 o’clock. The day/night indication on the central map is corrected by turning the hands accordingly.
Powered by the MB 29.20 Calibre, the world timer complication was entirely manufactured and assembled by the maison’s watchmakers. The large 53 mm “Lépine” style steel case leaves plenty of room for the 24 city names and allows for clear legibility on the dial, whose sapphire crystal multilayers show continents as viewed from the North Pole.
A refined steel chain resembling the ropes of luxury cruise liners from the last century complement the pocket watch and add to its practicality.
Another 110 years celebration edition, the Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch & Navigator 110 Years Edition, a series of pocket watches and one-of-a-kind pocket watch and navigator, was inspired by the pioneering ocean liners that relied on state-of-the-art marine chronometers to cross the Atlantic at the beginning of the 20th century. The pocket watch collection is limited to eight pieces as a reference to 1858, the year the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret was founded.
The pocket watches feature some of the most innovative complications in the industry: a tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring, a triple time zone indication and a world time with both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The cylindrical balance spring’s individual turns are of equal diameter and are wound above each other, eliminating the slight eccentricity of the centre of gravity. Developed by the brand’s specialists, the upward curves at each end of the spring significantly improve the regularity of the balance spring’s breathing, which results in the utmost precision.
The hand-wound one-minute tourbillon calibre MB M68.40 holds 281 components and operates on 48-hour power reserve. Local time is represented in the triple time zone indication by two 18 K red gold hands while home time is referred to by a Fleur-de-Lys hand sweeping around a three-dimensional 12-hour compass rose at 12 o’clock. Two three-dimensional globes depict the 24 time zones in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, along with the passage of the days and nights.
The unique piece Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch & Navigator 110 Years Edition combines a nautical clock with a pocket watch. The Navigator was developed in collaboration with renowned clock manufacture Erwin Sattler who made its base, while the Montblanc Manufacture completely reworked the movement, complications and finishings. Two subdials -one at 3 o’clock for the Northern Hemisphere and one at 9 o’clock for the Southern Hemisphere- display the day and night, and provide a worldtime indication with 24 cities encircling the dial.
Creative Director Kamal confirms that Monblanc “creates lifetime companions”, and that “the magic” happens through the dialogue between the design team, R&D department, movement and watch makers.
A special thank you to Berluti for providing the clothing items.