SIHH 2017: Montblanc TimeWalker, A Racing Spirit & A Walk Through Time

Montblanc has been revisiting some of its older collections this year by launching new editions of some of its iconic lines. Early on in January, we discovered a new -bronze- look for the 1858 Collection. Then, at the 27th SIHH, we witnessed the rebirth of Montblanc‘s motor racing glory days, with the launch of five new TimeWalker timepieces. The latest collection borrows its silhouette and details from the beauty, spirit and values of motorsport, while relying on the brand’s performance and innovation. Drawing inspiration from the Minerva Manufacture -an exclusive workshop that produced high-quality instruments for measuring brief intervals of time with remarkable precision- the TimeWalkers come across as an instrument of glory. For instance, the “Rally Timer” stopwatch created to time motor racing with precision, is the perfect example of this heritage.

Watch Davide Cerrato, Head of the Montblanc Watch Division, tell the story of the TimeWalker racing spirit. 

TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100

The new TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100 is based on the famous Rally Timer stopwatch which was produced by Minerva for recording road racing. Bringing different ways of appreciating the time, the timepiece easily converts from a wristwatch with a black leather calf strap, into a pocket watch or a dashboard clock by folding the strap attachments under the case and turning the case from 0 to 180 degrees. The pocket watch can be placed on a table via two arms below the case; used as a stopwatch with the strap as a handle; or clipped into a metal plate covered with leather that attaches to a car’s dashboard, for clearer legible timepiece while behind the wheel.

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The contemporary design still maintains a vintage racing look with the design codes of the initial Montblanc TimeWalker Collection; the 50mm titanium case has been satinated in order to enhance the structure of the metal, while its middle section is knurled and coated with black DLC, accentuating the motor racing spirit. The racing codes race over onto the black dial with its highly legible hands, indexes and chronograph functions. Similarly to the original Minerva Rally Timer, the chronograph’s 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock is vertically aligned with the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

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On the opened case back, the shape of a car grill reveals the beauty of the manually-wound monopusher chronograph Manufacture calibre MB M16.29 which features a column wheel, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours. The calibre builds upon its predecessor, the Minerva calibre 17.29 developed in the 30s, for both pocket watches and wristwatches. The latest Chronograph Rally Timer Counter is unmistakable thanks to its hand-crafted Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and beveling.

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TimeWalker Chronograph UTC 

Boasting a strong and masculine design with practical functionality ensured by its chronograph and dual time complications, the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC makes for the perfect travel companion. The bold black case with semi-skeletonized horns and mix of high-tech materials lends the timepiece its contemporary looks. The black DLC crown and pushers are finished with a knurled decoration that takes its inspiration from the design of the petrol caps popular in classic racing cars. Silver and red elements contrast with three-dimensional counters on the black dial. The chronograph seconds are indicated via the iconic red central hand with the tip shaped in the form of the Minerva arrow, while the chronograph hours are displayed in a subdial at 6 o’clock, and the 30-minute chronograph counter is positioned at 12 o’clock.

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TimeWalker Chronograph UTC

Equipped with the calibre MB.25.03 that shows the time in three different time zones, the watch displays local time -set via the crown- through the rhodium-plated hands, while home time is shown by a dark central hand enhanced with a red arrow with a SuperLuminova tip. The date is synchronized with the local time. A third time zone can be indicated at any time by turning the unidirectional rotating bezel to the new time zone, with the location of the 24-hour hand as the point of reference. Readings are accompanied by a 24-hour scale on the bezel.

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TimeWalker Chronograph UTC

The TimeWalker Chronograph UTC offers its wearer different strap options: a perforated leather strap or a perforated rubber one with a black lining that shows through the holes, and that has been designed with a raised grip pattern on the inner lining to provide better aeration to the skin and improved adhesion to the wrist. Both options are equipped with a new triple folding clasp that was developed specially for the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection, offering flexibility and maximum comfort.

TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18

Just like racing drivers always strived for a better performance and faster lap times by experimenting with technology, materials and strategy, Montblanc has endlessly endeavored to innovate and push the boundaries of fine watchmaking. That’s how, after developing its famous 1/100th of a second stopwatch in 1916, the snow-capped peak Manufacture further enhanced the timepiece’s technology in 1936, catapulting it to the level of professional watches and stopwatches specialist. This year, innovation rides high with the TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18, a mechanical chronograph that measures elapsed time to the 1/1000th of a second. Striking accuracy you say?

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TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18

From its powerful design to the mix of high-tech and high-performance materials, the limited edition depicts the world of motorsports in design and technology. Similar to the other new TimeWalker pieces, the Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18 was designed in-line with vintage motor racing styles: the chrono power reserve indicator resembles old fuel gauges; the black and red details and the 1/1000th of a second indication remind us of early car dashboards; the knurled crowns and bezels evoke vintage petrol tank caps; red holes in the black alligator strap are typical of the driving gloves; the balance wheel is inspired by the performance of racing cars; and a monopusher chronograph mirrors the Minerva stopwatches that were used for timing car races.

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TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18 dial

Monblanc impressed the industry again by achieving a feat of horological engineering: recording the time to 1/1000th of a second! The watch’s high-frequency movement boasts two patents and 22 auxiliary patents combining performance and innovation like never before; it operates with two hearts: the first heart indicates the time functions while the second one shows the chronograph indications.

Two new members in the TimeWalker family

Just a few months after the new SIHH TimeWalker watches -TimeWalker Chronograph UTC, TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100 and TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18- joined the ranks of the iconic line, two new timepieces have just joined the collection: TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic in red gold and TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition 100 with its imposing all-black design.

After stainless steel, the TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic now also wears a red gold and black ceramic bezel, with a matching black and red gold-plated dial; minute track, hour and minute hands and indexes, for a strong color contrast and sporty appearance. Every element of the watch’s design is directly rooted in the world of racing with details that recall the golden age of motor racing. The vertically aligned 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters borrow inspiration from the dashboards of classic racing cars. The bezel can be used as a second time zone indicator. The horns’ architectural and carved, semi-skeletonized flanks resemble air inlets of a car’s body, while the black DLC crown has been knurled like a vintage car radiator cap for better gripping.

TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic, in red gold

The new Montblanc TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100 combines both Montblanc’s exclusive in-house patented one-minute ExoTourbillon with a quick stop-second mechanism, and a monopusher chronograph with sectorial scales. The two innovative functions, combined with a sporty black look and a mix of innovative materials, make up a dynamic new limited edition that also honors the spirit of motor racing. In this version, and for the very first time, the Manufacture movement MB R230, which is on full display through the timepiece’s titanium caseback, has been completely darkened with an all-black coating. Touches of red on the case and in the dial accentuate the timepiece’ sporty design even further.

TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100

The amazing TimeWalker collection shows is the perfect example of how Montblanc is constantly innovating and brining a contemporary touch to the classics. Walking through time sure does sound more appealing now!