Montblanc has eyes set on Mount Everest with its latest 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290. The case is literally void of oxygen to prevent fogging and oxidation in sub-zero temperatures and extreme altitudes. The brand isn’t just claiming this but enlisting mountaineer Nimsdai Purja to wear this new chronograph version of the Geosphere watch to the peak of Everest in May 2022. Recommended by legendary alpinist Reinhold Messner, Nimsdai will make the ascent for Montblanc without supplemental oxygen, and he’ll depend on the new chronograph to perform without issue.
Nimsdai was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the United Kingdom for outstanding achievement in extreme high-altitude mountaineering. He also has an elite military background, so he’s certainly up for the task. The chronograph should be equally capable with a sizeable titanium case at 44mm in diameter and 17.1mm in height. Although large, the brushed/polished titanium build will keep it light on the wrist. A bidirectional rotating bezel with a black ceramic insert features cardinal points to help climbers like Nimsdai keep their bearings. The bezel markings are coated with Super-LumiNova for excellent legibility at all times. A domed sapphire crystal with multiple anti-reflective coatings protects the dial, while the titanium caseback features a laser engraving of Reinhold Messner’s route up Everest in 1978. Additional laser-generated oxidation adds colour to the image, which is a rare technique for this kind of application. The signed crown is flanked by titanium pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock, and water-resistance is rated at 100 metres. The watch is fitted with a blue calf leather strap with white stitching and a titanium deploying buckle.
The blue dial features a glacial ice aesthetic achieved with a technique called gratté boisé. Chronograph sub-dials sit at 3 and 9 o’clock, displaying a 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter, respectively. Applied indices and large Arabic numerals at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock are filled with Super-LumiNova, as are the cathedral hour and minute hands. A white date on a black background tastefully sits at 3 o’clock. At 12 and 6 o’clock, there are turning globes for the Northern and Southern hemispheres with a 24-hour scale and day/night indicator. A detailed chronograph seconds track is angled at the outermost perimeter.
Powering the high-altitude piece is Montblanc’s latest MB 29.27 automatic chronograph with world time complication. It has 33 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 46-hour power reserve. Specific oils are used to perform in temperatures reaching -50 degrees Celsius, and the watch endures the brand’s rigorous 500-hour laboratory test for durability. Functions include central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, date, day/night indicator and world time.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen is limited to 290 pieces, an amount chosen to honour the upcoming Everest climb to 29,031 feet. Pricing will be confirmed at a later date. For more information, please visit Montblanc’s website.