Recently, we had the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the newest collections to be unveiled by Montblanc at SIHH 2016 – and let me tell you – they are incredible from multiple perspectives. The brand has hit all the notes: artistic prowess, technical advancement, high-tech materials, affordable pricing and a nod to heritage. You won’t believe the collection when we can finally show it to you.
Meanwhile, here we bring you a fast look at one of the standouts making its way to wrists next year: the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph. Created in a limited edition of just 100 pieces, this watch is an eye-catcher. In fact, I caught my first glimpse of it on the wrist of Jerome Lambert, Montblanc CEO. The minute I saw it, I was stealing it away to take a closer look.
To begin with, as the name implies, the watch is equipped with the patented in-house-made ExoTourbillon. It combines the high-performance regulating organ with a monopusher chronograph – and then takes it all a chic and sporty step forward by encasing it in high-tech, lightweight materials.
Essentially, the watch embraces the distinctive elements that are inherent in each ExoTourbillon timepiece (large openings, minimal bezel, lancet hands, tourbillon outside the movement) and then blends it with high-tech materials such as titanium, carbon fiber and DLC (diamond-like carbon) for an ultra stealth appeal. Of course, these materials aren’t just used for their beauty—they have brawn to offer, too, in the form of lighter weight and highly corrosive properties. It marks the first time the brand has used the patented ExoTourbillon in the TimeWalker line.
Developed entirely in house, the ExoTourbillon derives its name from the Greek word, Exo, meaning outside and refers to the fact that the screw balance is outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage. This allows for the cage to be smaller and more powerful and precise. Also, because of the architecture of this configuration, the watch is able to be equipped with a stop-second mechanism that stops the screw balance from rotating so the user can set the seconds with absolute precision.
Additionally, the user can advance the hours either forwards or backwards (with no effect on the minute or second hand) to ensure quick setting and accurate time. By combining the monopusher column wheel chronograph, efficient vertical coupling, automatic winding with two barrels and the tourbillon, Montblanc offers a high-performance contemporary timepiece. The new version features a skeletonized winding rotor, with pierced Montblanc emblem darkened with a coating of black rhodium — all visible via the titanium caseback of the 44mm three-part case.
In fact, the case is an unusual mix of micro-blasted titanium, carbon fiber and DLC (Diamond Like Carbon). The time is displayed on the dial in an-off-centered black dial at 12 o’clock with a mix of red and white Arabic numerals that are enhanced with a luminescent SuperLuminova®* for easy reading at night. The lower section of the dial showcases the patented ExoTourbillon and features two semi-circular counters with their double indication chronograph hands at 8 o’clock for the elapsed-seconds, and 4 o’clock for the elapsed-minutes.
The 296-part Caliber, MB R230, offers 50 hours of power reserve and each watch has been tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 that simulates real-life situations for 500 hours. While final pricing has not yet been established, it is expected to sell for an amazing price of less than $40,000.