Introducing – Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept, one of the lightest mechanical timepieces (just under 15 grams!)
When introduced, the TimeWalker collection by Montblanc was a modern and urban line of watches, characterized mainly by its sculptural lugs – see here. However, overall, the watches remained rather classical and clean – like this one. Since a year or two, the collection has greatly evolved, bringing a much bolder and much more technical look and feel. Montblanc showed us last year the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph LE100, mixing angular shapes, carbon fiber case and super-technical movement. This year, the collection welcomes a new member, again surprising and far from being classical; the Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept, with a superb skeletonized Minerva movement – and boys and girls, it’s just under 15 grams and thus one of the lightest mechanical timepieces in the world…
15 grams… That’s the average weight of a letter (an envelope with 1 sheet of paper inside), the weight of 1 tablespoon of sugar or the weight of 1.5 centiliter of water. The average weight of a 3-hand watch on leather strap is around 70 grams. A Rolex Submariner or a Tudor Black Bay on bracelet is about 160 grams. The Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon used by Rafael Nadal, which was introduced as being the world’s lightest watch, is 19 grams. The Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept does better. This watch (it is not specified if the weight comprises the strap or not…) weights precisely – open your ears – 14.88 grams. It’s rather difficult to say if this is or is not THE lightest mechanical timepiece, but considering that the RM 027 from Richard Mille (that weighs 19 grams) was somehow holding the title of the world’s lightest watch, so IF the strap is included in the weight, we can say that this new Montblanc now holds the world record.
How is that possible? Montblanc has concentrated its research and development on innovative materials for the TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept. The 40mm case (a reasonable diameter for the TimeWalker collection) is a combination of black DLC titanium for the horns (which, in the TimeWalker tradition, are skeletonized and hollowed) and of ITR2 Kevlar/Carbon elements for the middle case, case back, bezel and crown. ITR2 – for Innovative, Technical, Revolutionary Resin – is a composite material charged with carbon nanotubes. It is extremely difficult to manufacture but it’s also eight times lighter than steel and four times lighter than titanium. For the first time, ITR2 is combined with Kevlar®/carbon, a highly resistant synthetic fibre, to reach superb robustness. Finally, weight is also reduced by the use of mineral glass on the front and back, instead of heavy sapphire crystals.
To follow with this search of lightness, the Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept also gets rid of the traditional dial and instead shows all its technical elements. All the indications and hands are directly attached to the movement – the ring around the small second is integrated in the movement, the minute and hour track on the periphery of the dial is directly printed on the structure that holds the movement, same for the large index at 12… The choice of a skeletonized movement is guided by aesthetic choices of course but mainly by the need of reducing weight. Even the hands are opened to gain weight and the small second ring is crafted in anodized aluminum, an extremely light material.
One detail that might draw some questions are these 5 stars engraved on the bridge at 8 and the 2 stars engraved at 3. In fact, this watch has been developed for a specific purpose and for a specific person, Montblanc Ambassador and Chinese professional badminton player, Lin Dan. The five stars are for the five most important championships won of the Badminton’s Grand Slam and the two stars for the two rounds of the Badminton’s Grand Slam won by “Super Dan”.
The movement that ticks inside the Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept is highly desirable, for two reasons. First of all, it is based on a rather old but superb Minerva calibre, the Pythagore – a 3-hand manually-wound movement with sharp and angular bridges. Then, Montblanc has entirely reworked the look of the bridges and plates, opening them to the maximum, without making concessions on the finishing. All the edges are polished and chamfered and flat surfaces alternate between satin and grained finishes. Furthermore, not only the look is technical, with these graphic openings, but also the choice of material. The bridges and plate are crafted out of titanium, for an extreme lightness, while preserving the robustness of the movement. in the end, the movement alone weights ONLY 4.73 grams! Overall, a highly appealing combination of historic movement with extremely modern design and technical solutions. This Montblanc Calibre MB M62.48 features the hours, minutes, small seconds with a 50-hour power reserve.
This Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept is surprising… While we expect such extremely light watches from technical brands like Richard Mille, Montblanc proves that they are really improving their skills, on all fronts: affordable complication, haute horlogerie and now impressive technical solutions. More details on Montblanc.com.
I have this idea that Montblanc is good at writing instruments. I don`t trust them very much in this area. Maybe I should give it a Chance
You’d be amazed to see their watch atelier, Pablo. We’re visiting them this week and soon we’ll show some videos of the workshops.
It appears from the photos that the lack of colour contrast of the hands and movement background would make it difficult the read the time.
I think most of us would prefer a sapphire crystal regardless of the increased weight.