Watches and Wonders 2021: Introducing the stunning new High Watchmaking Montblanc models for 2021

Early announcements for Watches and Wonders 2021 have revealed Montblanc’s impressive new High Watchmaking philosophy in the form of the Metamorphosis and Suspended Exo Tourbillon ranges. These key technical innovations mark a new chapter in the history of Montblanc construction and are a world apart from their formative watch designs which resembled in both colour and style some legendary writing instruments. In a diverse collection the spirit of adventure and military history are also alive with the 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition range, inspired by Reinhold Messner’s 2004 solo trek across the Gobi Desert, and the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph.

The Montblanc Suspended Exo Tourbillon Star Legacy Metamorphosis 8 and 18

The Montblanc Suspended Exo Tourbillon Star Legacy Metamorphosis 18 - Image Credit: Montblanc

The patented Exo Tourbillon complication is a key element of the latest Montblanc watch collection. The concept is to position a large balance wheel, beating at the low frequency of 18’000 oscillations, outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage – hence “Exo”. This manufacturing design offers a spectacular view of the tourbillon in motion while improving the precision of the timepiece.

Both the Star Legacy Limited Edition 8 and 18 models are unveiled in sparkling blue colour. The Metamorphosis 8 is an innovative timepiece show two different faces which can be alternated by the operation of a closing shutter. The display shows either world time or moon and sun position. Fine watchmaking complications are driven by the hand-crafted MB M67.60 movement. The transformation between the two faces is complex and involves more than 320 individual meticulously crafted components all of which move at the same time.

The Montblanc Suspended Exo Tourbillon Star Legacy Metamorphosis 8 - Image Credit: Montblanc

Montblanc Star Legacy Metamorphosis Limited Edition 8 Specifications

  • References: 117861
  • Case width: 45mm
  • Thickness: 12.87mm
  • Movement: Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M67.60
  • Functions: Off-centre hour and minute hands, small seconds at 12 o’clock, closed face, world time with Northern Hemisphere globe surrounded by a 24-hour scale and day/night indication
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Case: 18K white gold, polished
  • Water-resistance: 30m
  • Dial: Blue base with hand-made “grain d’orge” guilloché pattern in places, rhodium-coated Arabic numerals, 18K white gold hour and minute-hands, stainless steel second hand, filet sauté guilloché around the dial, hand-engraved and hand-painted three-dimensional northern hemisphere globe showing the continents and oceans, aventurine disc representing the sky with the moon and stars
  • Strap: Blue Sfumato alligator strap with 18K white gold triple folding clasp
  • Price: 250,000 Euros
  • Availability: May 2021

Montblanc Star Legacy Limited Edition 18 Specifications

  • References: 127767
  • Case width: 38.30mm
  • Thickness: 10.60mm
  • Movement: Montblanc Calibre MB M16.68
  • Functions: Off-centered hours and minutes, small second at 6 o’clock. Patented Exo Tourbillon (one revolution per minute to indicate the seconds) with one arm-bridge at 6 o’clock
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Case: 18K white gold, polished
  • Water-resistance: 30m
  • Dial: 18K white, silvery-white with sandblasted finishing and aventurine, domed hour and minute-counter with an azuré motif in the centre and an opaline decoration on the external ring, black Arabic numerals, 18K white gold leaf hour and minute-hands
  • Strap: Blue Sfumato alligator strap with 18K white gold triple folding clasp
  • Price: 109,000 Euros
  • Availability: May 2021

First Thoughts

The Star Legacy range has been a main stay for Montblanc for some time and it is fair to say it is seen by many as the archetypal MB watch. However, these 2021 special editions lift the range well beyond the next level in design and technical prowess. These are hugely expensive watches however the more you study them the more the price seems justifiable. Without doubt they are far more than commercially available limited timepieces; they are a very powerful statement of Montblanc’s watchmaking evolution and technical capability.

The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition

The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition - Image Credit: Montblanc

Taking inspiration from vintage military watches and the legendary professional Minerva chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s, the Montblanc Geosphere range is precise, legible, and robust for use in extreme conditions. Reinterpreting historical timepieces all Montblanc 1858 watches are conceived as tool watches, linking the past and the present through complications, and style. Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Editions have two distinctive domed turning hemisphere globes and in-house created world time complications. The special Gobi Desert Edition reproduces the rocky terrain colours in a satin-finished bronze case with a special engraving on the case back. A bi-directional brown ceramic bezel, a smoked brown and beige lacquered dial, and a matching vintage brown Sfumato calf strap complete the arid look. Blue and black dial versions will also be released.

Specifications

  • Reference: 128504 Gobi Desert Special Edition
  • Case width: 42mm
  • Thickness: 12,8mm
  • Movement: 26 jewel Calibre MB 29.25 with in house world time complication
  • Functions: Hours and minutes from the centre, date at 3 o’clock second time zone at 9 o’clock domed turning northern and southern hemisphere globes at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock with a 24-hour scale and day-night indication
  • Power reserve: 42 hours
  • Case: Alloy of bronze featuring satin-finishing bi-directional bronze bezel with brown ceramic, knurled finishing and engraved cardinal points
  • Water-resistance: 100m
  • Dial: Smoked brown to beige, lacquered with rose-gold coloured luminescent applied Arabic numerals, rose gold-and beige-coloured luminescent cathedral-shaped hour-and minute-hands, beige-coloured luminescent second time zone hand, beige-coloured luminescent northern and southern hemispheres globes
  • Strap: Brown Sfumato calf leather strap with beige stitching and bronze-coated stainless steel triple-folding clasp
  • Price: 5491 Euros
  • Availability: May 2021

First Thoughts

To be honest, Montblanc had me on “Gobi Desert”. Any watch inspired by Reinhold Messner’s solo trek across this inhospitable land mass immediately appeals to a certain demographic of buyer. However, what is most striking on this model is not the bronze case which is very on-trend, but the innovative case back which presents a 3D colour engraving of the Desert achieved by laser generated engraving and oxidation. It is almost photo-real which again highlights the technical innovations brought by Montblanc to Watches and Wonders 2021.

The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins

The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins - Image Credit: Montblanc

Paying tribute to the legend of Minerva, Montblanc unveils the new 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100. The watch is a re-imagination of a 46 mm military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s which was equipped with the calibre 19-09CH. This timepiece, with its black dial and luminescent vintage elements serves as the main inspiration for the entire Montblanc 1858 collection, hence the name Origins. The timepiece is presented on a black dial with bi-compax counters and cathedral-shaped hands coated with Super-LumiNova.

The Monopusher Chronograph Origins case has been made in a special alloy of bronze that will obtain an attractive patina over time and is reminiscent of exploration tools from the past. An Officer case back has been added, as found in traditional pocket watches, protecting the movement, which is adorned with distinctive engravings on both sides. The outside of the Officer case back features an engraved design of the head of the Goddess Minerva.

The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins - Image Credit: Montblanc

Specifications

  • Reference: 128506
  • Case width: 46mm
  • Thickness: 14.5mm
  • Movement: Montblanc calibre MB M16.29
  • Functions: Hours and minutes from the centre small seconds at “9 o’clock” chronograph’s elapsed-second hand from the dial’s centre counter for 30 elapsed- minutes at 3 o’clock
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Case: Bronze alloy with polished and satin finishes
  • Water-resistance: 30m
  • Dial: Black lacquered dial with beige-coloured luminescent Arabic applied numerals, rose gold- and beige-coloured luminescent cathedral-shaped hour- and minute-hands, white-coloured second hand, white-coloured chronograph second- and minute-hands, historical Montblanc logo at 12 o’clock, original Minerva logo at 6 o’clock
  • Strap: Brown Sfumato alligator leather with beige stitching and bronze-coated stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price: IRO 5400 Euros
  • Availability: May 2021

The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins - Image Credit: Montblanc

First Thoughts

More bronze on display but this time in a classic military field watch chronograph style. There is an argument that the watch industry is going overboard on the bronze this year but in watches like the Origins it really works and successfully gives the model an old-school military equipment look. The engraved Officer case back sees a very welcome return and completes the homage to vintage military pocket watches. As a design concept it should continuously give a fabulous reveal moment of the elaborate Minerva movement. This watch could be the perfect mix for those of us looking for a classic field watch with a very high end twist.

The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18

The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 - Image Credit: Montblanc

Reinterpreting a 46 mm historical military chronograph from the 1930s the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 features a case made from an innovative 18K gold alloy called Lime Gold. This material is composed from 18 K Gold (Au 750‰), Silver (Ag 238‰) and Iron (Fe 12‰) and provides the distinctive colour giving a vintage aesthetics. A matching vintage green nubuck calf strap completes the unique timepiece.

To provide superb legibility the hands, the tachymeter and telemeter scales, as well as the historical Montblanc emblem are wholly made of Super-LumiNova® utilising a patented process that encapsulates the luminescent material and creates a monobloc shape without any outlines. The case back reveals the monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.31 taking its inspiration from the original Minerva calibre 19-09CH from 1909. This High Watchmaking calibre is embellished with handcrafted Côtes de Genève, inner angles and circular graining and bevelling.

The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 - Image Credit: Montblanc

Specifications

  • Reference: 128085
  • Case width: 44mm
  • Thickness: 14.2mm
  • Movement: In house MB M16.31
  • Functions: Hours and minutes from the centre small seconds at 9 o’clock. Chronograph elapsed-second and split-second hands from the dial’s centre counter. 30 elapsed minutes at 3 o’clock. Tachymeter and telemeter scales
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Case: 18K lime gold featuring polished and satin-finishing
  • Water-resistance: 30m
  • Dial: Gold-coloured dial with green-coloured luminescent Arabic numerals, green- and white-coloured luminescent cathedral shaped hour and minute hands. Gold coloured small second and chronograph second hands, green-coloured split-second hand, gold-coloured chronograph minute hand with a green-coloured arrow. Tachymeter scale on the central part of the dial and telemeter on the exterior of the dial
  • Strap: Green nubuck alligator leather strap with beige stitching and 18 k lime gold pin buckle
  • Price: 51,579 Euros
  • Availability: May 2021

The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 - Image Credit: Montblanc

First Thoughts

Could this be the ultimate high end military inspired chronograph? It is so refreshing to see a Telemeter on a watch again as it really takes you back to the principle use which was measuring the distance of artillery, although of course it has a civilian application, such as measuring how far away a thunderstorm is. This watch has so many unusual features that it is hard to imagine there will be many models like it at WandW. The monobloc lume numerals are a design triumph and (again) show the evolution of Montblanc from a fashion/business accessory brand who also made watches to a thoroughbred watch house.

The Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100

The Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100 - Image Credit: Montblanc

Released with a stunning burnt caramel dial and a fully polished 18 K rose gold case, this timepiece is supremely legible with well positioned indications and the possibility of setting the time both forwards and backwards through the crown, allowing the rapid adjustment of one month in under a minute. The perpetual calendar complication is a complex mechanism that automatically calculates the number of days in each month including leap years. Providing the watch is kept running, the timepiece does not require any manual adjustments. The model also displays the moon phase.

The in-house calibre MB 29.22 comprises 378 components of which 259 are dedicated alone to the perpetual calendar function.

Specifications

  • Reference: 128669
  • Case width: 40mm
  • Thickness: 12.25mm
  • Movement: Calibre MB 29.22
  • Functions: Hours and minutes from the centre with perpetual calendar indications including month and leap-year at 3 o’clock, date and moon phase at 6 o’clock and day at 9 o’clock. Second time zone from the centre with 24-hour display at 9 o’clock
  • Power reserve: 48 hours
  • Case: 18K rose gold
  • Water-resistance: 50m
  • Dial: Domed “burnt caramel”-coloured dial with “grainé” hour ring and sunray finishes, 18 K rose gold-coated luminescent applied Arabic numerals and dots as indexes, 18 K rose gold-coated luminescent bent dauphine hour- and minute-hands, 18 K rose gold-coated curved skeletonized second time zone hand, 18 K rose gold-coated 24-hour-hand, 18 K rose gold-coated baton date, 18 K rose gold-coated day- and month-hands, black lacquered leap year-hand, historical Montblanc logo at 12 o’clock
  • Strap: Brown Sfumato alligator strap with 18 K rose gold pin buckle
  • Price: 24,900 euros in 18 K rose gold and 14,900 euros in stainless steel
  • Availability: June 2021

First Thoughts

The Gregorian calendar has always been a serious challenge for mechanical watchmakers. In the 18th century Thomas Mudge created an extraordinarily complex clock mechanism which automatically took the number of days in the month, and the cycle of leap years, into account, correcting for short months. Today Montblanc have continued to develop this technical wonder. Even if you are a watch enthusiast who tends to avoid overly complicated time pieces (which I am) you cannot fail to be impressed with the Heritage Perpetual Calendar. This model was first launched 2 years ago, and the in-house movement took 3 years to develop prior to that. In this latest incarnation, of the 378 components on the watch, 290 are there just to make the calendar work. On paper the mono-tone colour palate implies that legibility could be poor but its quite the opposite with different tones and finishes giving the watch a clear dial.

To find out more about the Montblanc releases be sure to head over to their site here.