At the SIHH 2015, Montblanc surprised the audience with a watch combining a extremely complex movement, with an appealing look and a price almost unbelievable. It was the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph, available in red gold with a white dial and in white gold with an exclusive aventurine dial. The complex and very appealing movement inside was also used in the very cool TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph LE100. Today Montblanc introduces a new version, which comes in an 18K red gold case, and features a striking aventurine dial with the Montblanc diamond at 12, named the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Vasco da Gama Limited Edition.
If you were wondering what the ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph actually is. Well, this is the most complex Montblanc watch in the regular collection, meaning aside from the super-exclusive, all hand-finished Collection Villeret watches. This watch combines the looks of the traditional Heritage Chronométrie collection – a restrained design, timeless and classic, relatively elegant and dressy – with a complex movement. First of all, it is a chronograph. And certainly not the worst: it features a column-wheel, vertical clutch, and the display springs from the Rieussec watches (with two off centered sub-dials).
Then, it is a tourbillon. Yes, the beauty of this watch was to make a complication that is usually priced over 80,000 Euros (chronograph & tourbillon), accessible to a larger audience. The non-limited edition with white dial already comes at a retail price of € 38,000 Euros. That’s certainly the most affordable tourbillon chronograph on the market (Note from the editor: TAG Heuer announced a tourbillon chronograph early 2015, however they have not been able to show us this piece, and for as long as they don’t, we’ll consider it an urban myth).
The tourbillon in this watch is the patented Montblanc ExoTourbillon, meaning a tourbillon with a large balance that is not placed inside the tourbillon cage, but outside the cage. The result is the same in terms of precision, however this saves 30% energy (better for power reserve) and is more shock resistant. Further, the view is not obstructed by any kind of cage, just the hand-finished gold bridge on top that holds the mechanism – the flat surfaces of the bridge feature a straight brushing, while the sides are beveled and polished and all is done by hand.
This year, the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph has two new editions, combining an aventurine dial (a semi-precious blue stone with shining quartz inclusions) with a 44mm red gold case. In terms of design it’s similar to the 2015 edition in white gold. Still at 12 is the nice Montblanc Star-shaped diamond and the lower part is still slightly recessed, and showing the main-plate of the movement with vertical brushed finish. Two new versions will be available: a limited edition of 28 pieces, with diamonds on the bezel, and a non-limited edition without diamond bezel. Price should start at around 45,000 Euros.