Montblanc is celebrating this year 110 years of fine craftsmanship, as the company was created in 1906, in Hamburg, Germany. Even if the story started with pens, it is now a major brand with multiple fields of action, including watches – and some extremely nice timepieces manufactured by the Villeret workshop, previously known as Minerva. In order to pay tribute to this rich past, a series of 3 watches will be introduced, the Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary. In-house one-minute tourbillon, double cylindrical balance spring and the Heures Mystérieuses display, all together with a finely engraved dial. Overview.
With this Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary, Montblanc goes back to the Maison’s first fountain pen series – the historic “Rouge et Noir” line. This iconic writing instrument, with its serpent clip, was the inspiration behind this year’s new Heritage Rouge & Noir Collection. Thus, you won’t be surprised to see that the dial of this Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary is adorned with a three dimensional hand-engraved anthracite Serpent, integrated into the bezel, circling the entire dial – to the exception of the off-centred time sub-dial. This edition of 3 watches is delivered in a 18K red gold 52mm case (watchmakers needed some space to integrate such an engraved snake), which gets rid of the traditional water-drop design (see here) for a more classical round shape. The plain 18K red gold caseback is also hand-engraved with a Serpent decoration.
The Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary features 2 of the most iconic complications of the Villeret collection. First one is the Heures Mystérieuses display, which consists in hands that are visually not attached to a mechanical axis – and thus creating a floating illusion. Instead of a traditional axis in the center of the dial, this display uses two thin and transparent sapphire crystal discs, linked to the movement via their periphery and rotating to indicate the time. The mechanism, usually hidden, is here visible (the gears around the sapphire discs can be seen thorough the skeletonized dial).
The second complication is the superb 18.4mm (yes, that’s large) Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique. Secured by a delicate and opened bridge (it might be a nightmare to polish this bridge), the one-minute tourbillon features a double cylindrical hairspring. While most of the hairsprings are flat and in the center of the balance, a cylindrical balance is formed on a vertical axis and shaped like a cylinder, technically helping to eliminate any eccentricity of the centre of gravity. Here, it is not one but two of these complex hairsprings that are featured in the Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary, positioned concentrically, one inside the other and each with a different diameter, but both with identical torque. They move in opposite directions, meaning that when one contracts, the other expands – one counteracting the negative effects of the other and thus optimizing isochronism.
The Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary, with its engraved snake, is a very limited edition of 3 pieces. No price revealed yet. More details on Montblanc.com.