We’ve already showed you some models of Montblanc’s new Heritage Chronométrie collection, like the ExoTourbillon and Dual Time. This new collection also comprises a variety of calendar watches like the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Annuel Vasco da Gama, which comes in a gold and a steel version. There’s also a non-limited Quantième Annuel in stainless steel that we’ll also show you today, and we’ll explain more about the Vasco da Gama design cues.
Montblanc’s Vasco da Gama models all share certain design cues, which are inspired by a 15th century Portuguese explorer; that is besides besides the classical-styled design that all models of the Heritage Chronométrie collection share. The starry night and especially the Southern Cross constellation and the Milky Way, have a special place on the dials of the Vasco da Gama models.
A little history lesson…
On 8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama set sail with a small fleet of four ships. The goal was to reach the coast of India. Until than, spices as well as precious stones, were transported over land, via Arabian, Persian, Turkish and Venetian middlemen, who made it extremely expensive to import anything from the East. If Vasco da Gama would succeed and find a southern seaway to India, and thus bypass the land-route, would mean an advantage for Portugal.
Sailing in the 15th century was an entirely different business than now-a-days. The only navigational tools were a so-called nocturlabium and a Jacob’s staff. The sextant was not invented yet, and accurate charts of the unknown parts of the ocean, where they sailed, were also not available. The only accurate accurate map was the starry night, and above all the Southern Cross, a small but very distinctive and easily recognizable constellation. With four stars it forms a sort of a celestial crucifix, which is portrayed on the two Heritage Chronométrie Annual Calendar Vasco da Gama watches.
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Annuel Vasco da Gama Limited Editions
The Vasco da Gama version of Montblanc’s new Annual Calendars all have a deep blue circle around the moon phase indication, which depictions the starry firmament in the Southern Hemisphere, including the aforementioned Southern Cross constellation. Other indications on the dial are the month (at 12 o’clock), the date (at 3) and the day of the week (at the nine o’clock position).
As is always the case with an annual calendar, there only one correction per annum needed, which is at the end of February. The calendar mechanism “knows” the length of each month, and automatically switches to the first of the next month at either the 30th or 31st of the month. However February usually has 28 days, and 29 days in a leap year. That is a divergency that the annual calendar doesn’t “know” and has to be corrected by hand.
The Vasco da Gama comes in a 18K red limited edition of 238 pieces, and a stainless steel version of 316 pieces. The gold version has a retail price of € 11,050 Euro, and the steel comes at a price of € 6,650 Euro.
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Annuel Non-Limited Editions
There’s also a non-limited edition in stainless steel, without the blue starry night surrounding the moon phase indication. It’s looks have a strong resemblance to the Annual Calendar that was presented last year, however it comes without a leap year indication. This non-limited edition in steel comes at a retail price of € 6,500 Euro.
Like the Dual Time we presented you on Monday, its lines are very beautifully shaped. The case has beautiful classic proportions, with a diameter of 40 mm and is just 9.55 mm thick. The downward sloping lugs are slightly angled and, like the entire case, fully polished. Only the bezel’s edge is satin finished.
- Case: 18K red gold or stainless steel, 40 mm in diameter and 9.55 mm in height, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating, correctors for each calendar function in case band, case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal (for the Vasco da Gama limited editions with the Vasco da Gama’s Flagship São Gabriel and his signature)
- Movement: calibre MB 29.18 (Selitta SW200 base with annual calendar module), 42 hours of power reserve, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph (4Hz)
- Strap: black alligator strap made by Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence with pin buckle in the same metal as the case.