With SIHH 2019 just around the corner, certain brands are already unveiling sneak peeks at what is to come. Such is the case with Montblanc, which is extending its beloved Star Legacy collection this year to include several Automatic watches with dates, full calendar and a new Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph. Deftly bringing together its rich watchmaking roots that stem from the Minerva Manufacture (that dates back to 1858) with Montblanc’s state-of-the-art updated manufacturing capabilities out of its LeLocle facility, the brand’s newest timepieces offer both top quality and a great value structure.
One of the few brands that is able to offer timepieces across a vast range of prices, Montblanc is all about offering fine watchmaking for multiple tiers of collectors – from those starting out to the most seasoned watch lover. Yesterday, we ran a video interview with Montblanc’s head of watchmaking, Davide Cerrato, where he explains the brand’s positioning. The newest Star Legacy pieces are great representation of this structure. It was just last year that Montblanc introduced the newest re-editions of its iconic Star collection. Re-envisioned and re-worked those first pieces laid the groundwork for this year’s unveilings.
Each watch in the 2019/2020 Star Legacy collection is inspired by the Minerva heritage and by the classical pocket watches and chronographs for which this brand was known. All of the three new Star Legacy classical watches feature blue Roman numerals on a crisp white dial, an outer minute track and blued steel hands. They are crafted in stainless steel and finished with rich blue sfumato straps coming from Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence. At the opening price-point, there is a 39mm Automatic Date watch ($3,050), a 42mm Automatic Date watch ($3,160), and a full-calendar watch with day/date and moonphase indication ($4,820).
What is truly striking about these watches — because I had the chance to go hands on with them — is the inherent beauty and quality. Naturally, we expect this from Montblanc, but when you consider in the prices of these watches, the price/value ratio is absolutely crazy good. Also, don’t be fooled by the size of the watches. The 42mm, while generous in size, is so scaled and tapered that it looks great even on a woman’s wrist.
Additionally, Montblanc unveils two new Nicolas Rieussec Star Legacy Chronographs. Named for the watchmaker who created a pen-and-ink type of chronograph (time writer) stopwatch in the 1821, the newest Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronographs measure 44 mm in diameter and house the Montblanc Manufacture Caliber MB R200. One version is created in stainless steel with a gray anthracite-colored dial and silver accents. It retails for an incredible $3,625 – and for the dial aesthetics and technical aspects of this watch, that price is truly a veritable steal.
There is also a version in 18-karat rose gold with an anthracite dial. In this model, the hour circle, the hands and the chronograph counters are all coated in 5 N rose gold to match the case. The MB R200 movement in this case is fitted with a 5N rose gold coated oscillating weight. The 18-karat rose gold version retails for $22,650.This watch is so stunning up close and personal because the anthracite dial against the rich rose gold gives the dial a great hue. You can’t go wrong with any model in this collection — set to be in stores in mid 2019.