When Jerome Lambert took over Montblanc, the idea was simple: offer a lot of product for less money. This didn’t mean that all the watches had to be affordable, but rather that watches – including ones with solid horological credentials – were lower priced than expected. This gave birth to a Sub-10k Perpetual Calendar, the 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim or a Sub-7k annual calendar. Following the same idea, Montblanc introduces three new watches in the Heritage Chronométrie collection, still complex but with new, contemporary design codes.
All three watches – the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Perpetual Calendar Sapphire, the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim Openworked and the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim – share the same concept: a new, refined and slim 40mm case, redesigned dials with contemporary aesthetics and a new colour scheme as well as openworked movements with graphic, 3-dimensional construction and sapphire crystals. Not to say that Montblanc is moving to ultra-modern watchmaking but it introduces a new, fresher take on its classic DNA.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Perpetual Calendar Sapphire
The first watch in this new collection is based on a familiar movement and display. In fact, the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Perpetual Calendar Sapphire (ref. 118513) features the same movement as the 2014 perpetual calendar that created a buzz when it was launched (the one that was priced below 10k in steel), but with a brand new case and a new dial design. For this 2018 edition, the stainless steel case has been redefined with slimmer lugs, a fully polished finishing and mainly, a slimmer profile – now measuring 40mm in diameter and 9.6mm in height. Elegant proportions indeed.
The dial of this Heritage Chronométrie Perpetual Calendar Sapphire displays the hours, minutes, day, date, month, leap year and moon phases. The perpetual calendar indications are easily adjusted by individual correctors on the side of the case and the watch is powered by calibre MB 29.15 (a Sellita base with Dubois-Depraz QP module). The new dial is made of smoked sapphire crystal allowing for a view of the mechanics. The perpetual calendar indications are featured on transparent counters that have been crafted in a dark-blue colour, matching the minute flange and the alligator strap. Price: EUR 12,700.
Quick facts: 40mm x 9.6mm stainless steel case – 30m water-resistant – smoked sapphire crystal dial – blue alligator strap (Montblanc Pelletteria) with stainless steel triple folding clasp – calibre MB 29.15, automatic with 42h power reserve and 4Hz frequency – certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500H
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim Openworked
The second watch to be included in this new Heritage Chronométrie collection is certainly the least expected but the most interesting of the three. Based on the movement featured in the 4810 Exo Tourbillon Slim – a thin automatic tourbillon movement with micro-rotor – Montblanc adds a touch of modernity and eccentricity with the Exo Tourbillon Slim Openworked. Just like the watch presented above, it features a new 40mm case – here in 18k white gold – with slim lugs and a thin profile, which is just 8.90mm in height.
The main attraction of this watch is the decoration used on the movement. All the bridges and plates have been opened to reveal the mechanics. The most surprising is the modern and graphic design chosen by Montblanc, a style it has called “dazzle-camouflage” – a popular motif used in fashion, although it was originally used in World War I to camouflage the sides of ships. According to this new design, the wheels have been rhodium-coated and satinated, the barrel has been skeletonised to reveal the spring, the rhodium-coated micro-rotor has a new finishing, and the main plate features a black rhodium coating with micro-blasted and sandblasted finishings adorned with blued screws.
On the dial side, the Exo Tourbillon is proudly exposed at 6 o’clock and operates at one rotation per minute. Here again, the dial of the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim Openworked (ref. 118512) shows a combination of grey and dark blue tracks, with blued hands. It is worn on a blue alligator strap (from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, Italy). Price: EUR 39,700.
Quick facts: 40mm x 8.90mm 18k white gold case – 30m water-resistant – openworked dial with blue hands and tracks – blue alligator strap (Montblanc Pelletteria) with 18k white gold pin buckle – automatic calibre MB 29.24 with micro-rotor and one-minute Exo Tourbillon, 48h power reserve, 3Hz frequency – fully openworked
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim
Last but not least, Montblanc also offers a classic interpretation (non-openworked) of the Heritage Chronométrie Exo Tourbillon Slim, housed in a 40mm x 8.90mm white gold case. This time the watch features a proper dial, which only reveals the Exo Tourbillon at 6 o’clock and the hours and minutes on the central axis. As a reminder, the Exo Tourbillon is a patented mechanical architecture that allows the cage to be smaller in size and free of the weight of the balance, saving more energy than a conventional tourbillon. The fact that the balance is positioned outside of the rotating cage also means that it isn’t affected by the inertia of the cage, therefore improving precision.
For this elegant and restrained version of the Exo Tourbillon Slim, Montblanc goes for a slate grey with a vertically-brushed finish dial, circled by a blue minute flange. On this dial are applied indices and Arabic numerals in polished metal, matching the hands and the tourbillon bridge. The calibre MB 29.24 found here is the same as the watch above, in a standard (non-skeletonised) version – as seen here. Price: EUR 33,500.
Quick facts: 40mm x 8.90mm 18k white gold case – 30m water-resistant – slate grey and blue dial with polished hands and indices – blue alligator strap (Montblanc Pelletteria) with 18k white gold pin buckle – automatic calibre MB 29.24 with micro-rotor and one-minute Exo Tourbillon, 48h power reserve, 3Hz frequency.
More details on www.montblanc.com.