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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Montblanc Unveils Seafaring Timepieces To Celebrate 110 Years

Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch & Navigator 110 Years Edition – Unique Piece

This year marks Montblanc’s 110-year anniversary as a company and the celebration began during January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva as it released explorer-themed nautical timepieces inspired by commercial innovation and ocean faring exploration at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The German luxury brand also brought in its international ambassadors for special events during the exclusive luxury watch show, including Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco and Taiwanese actress Gwei Lun Mei.

Charlotte Casiraghi

Montblanc’s new models define 1906 as a time of commercial innovation and the opening of the world through steamships that transported goods and people (along with innovative ideas and cultures) around the world.

According to the brand, it was in 1906 that three Germans traveled to America—engineer August Eberstein, merchant Alfred Nehemias and stationery trader Claus Voß. Inspired by what they experienced, they developed a writing instrument with non-leaking technology and a piston convertor. The pen marked the beginnings of Montblanc, which became the official name of the company in 1910.

The company was named after Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe at 4,810 meters. That’s where the 4810 collection gets its name. The watch line was introduced in 2006 for the brand’s 100th anniversary.

Montblanc 4810 Collection 110 Years Editions
This year, Montblanc introduced a number of timepieces in its 4810 Collection, including three limited-edition timepieces designed specifically for this anniversary: the ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Editions, the TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition and the Orbis Terrarum Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition.

All of the timepieces were inspired by the golden age of travel across the Atlantic Ocean when Germany was leading the way with its powerful and lavish cruise ships that were a symbol of the explosion of industrial and artistic innovation occurring at the time.

Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Editions
The theme of travel across the Atlantic is highlighted in three watches with a miniature hand painted map of either North America, Asia or Europe on the dial. The model is limited to 110 pieces (36 US, 36 Europe, and 38 Asia), however, Montblanc says each watch is unique because no individually hand-painted map is exactly the same.

All the design elements were created to give maximum exposure to the hand-painted map. The lower section of the dial is decorated with the Côtes de Genève motif to highlight the ExoTourbillon construction at 6 o’clock, and a single rhodium-plated XII and rhodium-plated skeletonized hands maximize the view of the map. A discreet minute track has been added to the exterior of the dial with a red “60” at 12 o’clock.
The 42 mm 18k white gold case includes a thin bezel with satin finishing on the border and horns.

The watch contains the Calibre MB 29.24 automatic movement with a micro-rotor decorated with a Côtes de Genève en Eventail pattern. It’s exposed by a large sapphire crystal on the caseback. The quick stop-seconds are indicated on the tourbillon cage with a red arrow and is activated by pulling the crown at 3 o’clock.

Montblanc 4810 TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition
The flyback chronograph allows the wearer to time one event, and then stop, reset and restart the chronograph with just one press on the pusher at 4 o’clock.

The TwinFly function restarts the central chronograph seconds hand (in blue) and the central minutes chronograph hand (in red gold), sending both hands back to zero and instantly restarting them for a new time measurement. Another pusher at 2 o’clock starts and stops the chronograph, while the pusher at 4 o’clock also returns the chronograph to 0 when it has previously been stopped.

When setting the local time the seconds don’t stop when the crown is pulled out. Small seconds on the subdial at 6 o’clock are displayed by a red gold-plated hand with a red tip. This subdial also doubles as a date indicator with a large red arrow pointing to the date. The 12 o’clock subdial illustrates a map of the world that reveals whether it’s day or night in the home time when travelling and links back to the pioneering spirit of travel crossing the Atlantic.

Powering the watch is the in-house Calibre MB LL100.1 automatic movement with a chronograph and a dual time indication via an additional central hand. The chronograph mechanism uses a traditional column wheel and a vertical clutch system to start and stop the chronograph with precision. Two barrels ensure a 72-hour power reserve.

The 43 mm steel case reveals a silvery-white guilloché dial, whose pattern depicts an exploded view of the iconic Montblanc Star. The hours are marked by alternating red gold-plated Roman numerals and baton indexes, while the hands are a mix of baton and regate designs and point to scales that run around the dial, indicating the seconds and the minutes.

It is limited to 1,110 pieces.

Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition
This is the first time Montblanc created a pocket watch. This model also includes a world timer function.
Setting the home time zone is done by pressing the pusher between 5 and 6 o’clock until the home city is positioned in front of the arrow at 6 o’clock. The hours and minutes are then set via the crown at 12 o’clock, paying attention to turn the hands until the central map features the correct day/night indication.

While traveling, the new local time is featured in front of the red arrow at six o’clock by using a pusher between 5 and 6 o’clock. The day/night indicator and the hour hand also advance with each push, requiring no further setting as the home time remains the same.

The 53 mm “Lépine” style steel case houses the in-house Calibre MB 29.20 automatic movement. The dial is crafted out of layers of sapphire crystal showing the continents as viewed from the North Pole. Around the map are the names of the 24 cities representing the different time zones. Under the map a disk indicates the passage of day and night. This disk rotates with the movement mechanism, causing the continents to change color as the day evolves into night.

Montblanc Collection Villeret
The nautical theme that Montblanc is promoting for its 110th anniversary is much more intense with three extremely limited edition marine chronometers released by the luxury brand’s Villeret manufacturing operation—the former Minerva watch manufacturer founded in 1858, known for its high-quality, hand-made movements.

Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition – 8 pieces

This highly complicated pocket watch has a tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring, a triple time zone indication and a worldtimer with the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

The upper-half of the dial has an 18k gold hand-engraved wave pattern. The worldtime indication is displayed on two discs that display 24-hour time zones with day and night indication revolving around two fixed three-dimensional globes (displaying the north and south hemispheres) with miniature hand-painting for the oceans and engraving for the continents.

Home time is displayed at 12 o’clock. The lower half of the dial consists of a slice of blue aventurine around the cage of the one-minute tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring. 18k red gold hour- and minute-hands in the center with a blue “Fleur-de-Lys” home time hand is part of an 18k red gold three-dimensional hand-crafted compass rose subdial at 12 o’clock. The 24 cities of both hemispheres are seen on the domed flange.

This complex watch is powered by the Calibre MB M68.40 mechanical movement.

Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch & Navigator 110 Years Edition – Unique Piece
This one-of-a-kind product combines a nautical clock with a pocket watch. The navigator is a three-foot high structure with a two-foot granite base for stable installation on the deck of a ship. The case is made of nickel-plated brass with a two-foot diameter weighing 264 pounds. It’s designed to stand firm whether placed on the motionless floor or on the pitching and rolling planks of the ship.

The nautical precision clock keeps its balance with a cardanic suspension system that sits inside a nickel-plated brass cage that keeps the clock horizontal and its time precise.

The Navigator was developed in collaboration with the Erwin Sattler clock manufacture who made the base. Its movement, complications and finishings were reworked by Montblanc. The nautical clock indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, time in 24 different time zones, and has a 15-day power reserve.

Two subdials (3 o’clock for the Northern Hemisphere and 9 o’clock for the Southern Hemisphere) provide a worldtimer indication with 24 cities encircling the dial, as well as a day/night display. The 24 time zones and two dozen cities are also displayed below the cardanic suspension—only visible from the side of the case.

The navigation clock is powered by the Montblanc Calibre MB 13.98 hand-wound movement with 15-day power reserve. An in-house patented emergency power reserve and remaining days’ indicator are displayed via red and blue hands in a graduated counter at the bottom of the dial. This display is indispensible since reliable navigation is only assured if the nautical clock is regularly wound and never stops running throughout a voyage. If the power reserve drops below four days, the red hand moves into a red zone, indicating that the mainspring needs more energy and the navigator should be manually wound with its key at 7 o’clock. A blue hand indicates the remaining number of days at sea.

The local time hours are indicated on a subdial at 12 o’clock decorated with a slice of black aventurine, the minutes are shown by a central red gold-plated hand pointing to a minute track that runs around the outside of the dial. A small seconds subdial is located at 1 o’clock. Other details include a 18k red gold-plated compass rose with quarter indications.

The Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years
Edition – Unique Piece
In addition to the nautical clock in its pivoting support, another cardanic suspension case has been fitted into the structure to house a one-of-a-kind pocket watch, which can be protected from the rolling waves when its owner isn’t carrying it. The watch is adorned with blue Grand Feu enamel, on both the front and back of the case, reminiscent of the Atlantic Ocean. Together they form a unique work of precision and art — strictly limited to one piece — that can be illuminated with blue LED lights on demand.

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