Montblanc always strikes me with their broad palette of watches, ranging from good looking and attractively priced timepieces to the high-end complications. The brand is always driven by the skills and heritage of their in-house Minerva manufacture. Montblanc brings novelties in the whole range with this new 2021 lineup. And there is a lot to like. Let’s focus on two highlights that caught my attention. First, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere LE 1858
Montblanc’s distinctive globetrotter proposition
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition (LE) 1858 is the latest in the Geosphere line, Montblanc’s distinctive globetrotter proposition. The in-house world time complication with characteristic two-domed and turning hemisphere globes has been in the collection since 2018. Today an 1858-piece limited edition in a desert colour scheme sees the light.
The bronze-cased edition is inspired by one of the explorations of Reinhold Messner, the legendary mountaineer and all-round world explorer. In 2004 Messner went for a 2000 kms. trek across the Gobi Desert, completely on his own.
Inspired by this tour, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere LE 1858 combines the bronze case with a smoked brown to beige dial colour and a vintage style brown strap. The case back unveils an engraving that shows the Flaming Cliffs, an important reference point in mr. Messners Gobi trek. The combination gives a new, warm impulse to the 1858 Geosphere and within the price range of EUR 6000 this is very attractive.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18
The second novelty in a very different price range is the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18. Especially when the in-house manufacture is part of the horological proposition, I am always All Ears. I love the heritage and craftsmanship of this famous brand and deeply respect the fact that Montblanc has merged this into their own manufacture. In the end, Montblanc kept the Minerva name alive on the place where it counts: the movement.
Monopusher Split Second Chronograph
The Manufacture Montblanc Calibre M16.31 happens to be my favourite complication as well. It is a Monopusher Split Second Chronograph. With all due respect to higher complications such as a tourbillon and perpetual calendar, the combination of a monopusher and a split-second chronograph is haute horlogerie at its best. Very few watch makers are able to create something like this in-house.
Same league as A. Lange und Söhne and Patek Philippe
That places the beautifully crafted Limited Edition 18 in the same league as brands like A. Lange und Söhne and Patek Philippe. On top of that, the 44mm case comes in 18k gold, called Lime Gold. This is an alloy of gold, silver and iron and brings a deeply gold, almost yellow colour to the case. It matches well with the gold coloured vintage looking dial, with centralized tachymeter style.
If you are in the market for a split-second monopusher and already checked the price levels of the direct competitors, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 might turn out to be a pleasant surprise and great alternative to you. And again I applaud Montblanc for keeping the fine watchmaking tradition alive, perfectly blending it with their brand values. A Montblanc is there in almost every step of your horological journey as a collector.