Earlier today, we showed you in advance (and with hands-on thoughts) one of the SIHH 2016 highlights from Montblanc, the Heritage Chronometrie Chronograph Quantieme Annuel. You thought that was all… You were wrong, as Montblanc has more to show us for this 2016 edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. After the complicated chronograph with annual calendar, here is a simpler, more affordable and even more dressy edition, from the same collection, the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand.
The date is THE basic complication in a watch. Whether we’re talking about dress watches, dive or sports watches, chronographs, vintage-inspired or modern watches, simple or complicated timepieces, we can find this complication (yes, even the date is a complication. In fact, everything that is not linked to the time – hours, minutes and seconds – is a complication) in more than 50% of the watches, making it an almost necessary feature for commercial reasons. However, we also know that some watches could be much better without a date window ruining the balance of their dial. So instead of having another watch with a date window at 3 or 6, Montblanc chose a stronger bias, by proudly displaying the date on the dial, in a sub-register, with the help of a hand.
Nothing big for sure, this isn’t a novelty. The Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand is just a new and elegant iteration in the Chronometrie collection (that includes this watch, this other watch or this watch). It seems that Montblanc has the wish to go over all the possible calendar options, starting with a simple date edition with window at 6, then this new Date by Hand version, followed by the complete calendar, the annual calendar and finally the perpetual calendar. With this Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand, the brand chose to maximize the visibility by having a large sub-register at 3, large enough to have a clear view on the pointed date. To counterweight the presence of this sub-dial and to balance the overall look of this watch, it also features a small second at 9, giving it a nice symmetrical look and feel.
The design of the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand is in line with the rest of this collection (the core collection for Montblanc): classical lines of the case, silver dial with sun-ray pattern, concentric graining for the sub-dials, applied indexes, facetted and plated with gold, nice Arabic numerals at 12 and 6, also applied and gold-plated, sword hands in gold and sub-hands blued. The case of the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand is in stainless steel, fully polished and measures a balanced 40mm (a nice size in-between the rather small real dress watches and the too large sports watches, mainly over 42mm). This diameter makes it a very good daily watch, wearable during the week for business, during weekends or dressier parties.
The thickness just below 10mm (at 9.85mm), together with the curved horns, allows a nice comfort on the wrist. This watch is powered by the calibre MB 24.23 (based on a Sellita SW200, then modified by Montblanc), a self-winding movement that boasts 38 hours of power reserve and that is visible through the sapphire crystal. It is nicely finished with an engraved rotor and circular graining on the bridges. As usual, this movement is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 (a 500 hours control that will provide a reliable and accurate movement).
The Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date by Hand will be officially revealed at the SIHH 2016, together with the rest of the Montblanc novelties. It will be priced at 2,790 Euros. www.montblanc.com.