This year Montblanc celebrates the 110th anniversary of the Maison, and they have worked on something rather exceptional to highlight this year. To understand the gravity of this we have to look at last year’s novelty, the Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph. It featured the very clever and patented ExoTourbillon that used to be exclusive for the ultra high-end Villeret 1858 collection, and finally found its way into the rest of the collection. To celebrate the 110th anniversary, Montblanc developed a robust dress watch that features this magnificent ExoTourbillon, and it is immediately the most affordable tourbillon watch on the market. On top of that there are three additional iterations with hand-painted dial. Let’s have a look at three limited editions and one non-limited edition of the new Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim.
All in all it’s going to be a big year from Montblanc and the best way to celebrate an anniversary is to introduce a whole host of limited editions. And that’s exactly what Montbanc did and we will be introducing them over the course of this week. First up are three limited editions of the ExoTourbillon Slim that feature a hand-painted dial with the North American, European or Asian continent. Of course all three feature the patented ExoTourbillon, with stop-second function, that now comes in an extra slim automatic movement with a micro rotor. Although it’s not the world’s slimmest tourbillon watch, it certainly is one of the slimmest, with a profile-height of just 10.14 mm. It might be on the large side for a dress watch, however that also means more space to enjoy a large screwed balance wheel swinging under the tourbillon bridge, and a spacious dial that hosts several very beautiful dial.
The the beautiful and clever ExoTourbillon escapement is constructed fundamentally different from other tourbillons. Its construction allows for a large balance wheel to be placed outside the tourbillon cage. The Exo in the name is derived from the Greek for external or outside and refers to the large screw balance, which is positioned outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage. This original and patented construction allows the cage to be smaller in size and lighter, saving 30 per cent energy compared to a conventional tourbillon.
The large balance wheel in the ExoTourbillon measures 9.7 mm in diameter, which is much larger than your average balance wheel, and additionally it also features 18 screws, four of which are gold screws that can be adjusted and 14 screws that are fixed, for adjusting the watch’s timekeeping precision. Especially for a tourbillon escapement, this balance wheel really large, and it also has 18 protruding screws in the rim, that enlarge the diameter even more. Needless to say that it won’t be an easy task to fit all this into a rotating tourbillon cage. A large balance wheel has a better inertia, and subsequently, offers a more stable ‘swing’. This has a positive effect on the timekeeping properties.
Montblanc Calibre MB 29.21
A useful feature of this new movement, calibre MB 29.21, dubbed ExoTourbillon automatic movement, is that it is powered by a micro-rotor! Micro-rotors are well known for being used in very thin movements. One of the things to keep an eye on, with micro-rotors, is that it needs to have enough inertia to rotate enough, in order to generate the required energy to power up the main spring. However the good thing about a micro-rotor is that is does not add additional height to the movement. Since this new Montblanc movement measures 30.6mm in diameter and only 4.5mm in height, they succeeded in creating robust, but slim calibre.
Another useful feature is the stop-second mechanism, which directly halts the screw balance by means of a tiny spring. This allows you to set the watch more precise; a befitting mechanism for a precision instrument like a tourbillon. The entire movement inside the case, is subjected to the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 Hours.
Moving over to the dial side, we see yet another useful feature of the Montblanc calibre MB 29.21. A special gauge on the dial shows in which setting the crown is: Position 1 for winding the movement, Position 2 for setting the time and for the quick stop- seconds mechanism. This gauge cannot be found on the three limited editions with hand-painted dial, because that space is taken for the miniature painting of one of the three aforementioned continents.
As for the dial, the common denominator of the four models is the Côte de Genève striping on the lower part of the ExoTourbillon’s face. That space also holds the tourbillon bridge and the aperture, that is outlined with a second chapter ring, through which the actual tourbillon can be admired. The upper part of the dial of the ‘normal’ ExoTourbillon Slim features a silvery-white dial that is decorated with an exploding Montblanc Star guilloché design. On the three limited editions the upper part shows a hand-painted continent; North America, Europe or Asia. These are limited to 36 pieces of each continent.
The new 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim comes in a 42 by 10.14 mm 18k red gold case, while all three limited editions come in an 18k white gold case. The three-part case comprises a rounded, polished, bezel, a satin brushed mid-case, and a case back with sapphire crystal, through which the automatic movement with its micro-rotor is visible.
Concluding we can say that Montblanc impressed… again! A very attractive watch, with a tourbillon, and not “just” a tourbillon but the magnificent ExoTourbillon that hosts a very large balance. And as cherry on top of an already great cake, is the price of the new Montblanc 4810. It is the best priced tourbillon watch on the market.
The Montblanc ExoTourbillon Slim in 18k red gold has a retail price of € 35,100 Euro, and the three limited editions in 18k white gold are € 44,200 euro each.
Specifications Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim
- Movement: Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB 29.21, automatic winding micro-rotor, ExoTourbillon with quick stop-second mechanism, 50 hours of power reserve, 21,600 vph (3Hz), 30.6 mm diameter and 4.5mm height, 29 jewels.
- Case: 18k red gold, 42 x 10.14mm, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating, 5 bar (or 50 meters) water resistant,
- Strap: black alligator-skin strap with 18k red gold pin buckle
- Certified by the Montblanc Performance Test 500
The three 110th Anniversary Limited Editions with hand-painted dial have the same specifications, except:
- the crown position indicator is absent and had to make room for the hand-painted dial
- the case is in 18k white gold