Celebrating its storied past and its grand ability to combine fine watchmaking with technical advancements and modern appeal, Montblanc unveils several new collections in advance of their official world release at SIHH in Geneva in January. We extensively cover the new TimeWaker watches on our “Perfect Timing” column at Forbes.com, but here we bring you the first look at the Star Legacy collection consisting of two exceptional new chronographs: the Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph and the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec chronograph.
For the making of these timepieces, Montblanc was naturally inspired by the brand’s Minerva Manufacture,which dates back to 1858, and which Montblanc owns today. It was several years ago that then-CEO of Montblanc, Jerome Lambert, made a decided move to bring the traditional watchmaking know-how of Minerva more full circle and use its pioneering technology for the brand’s other collections created in its LeLocle workshops. The directive has resulted in some stellar new timepieces, and the Star Legacy chronographs are but one fine example.
Under the direction of CEO Nicolas Baretzki and Davide Cerrato, head of Montblanc’s watch division, as well as the entire Montblanc design and engineering team, the new line up for 2018 promises to be packed with excitement. The two new Star Legacy pieces recall the brand’s rich history, its sophistication in watchmaking and its ability to interpret fine watches for today’s lifestyles.
The Montblanc Star Legacy Collection takes its inspiration from the Minerva pocket watches made during the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. The collection, which was introduced 20 years ago, celebrates this two-decade anniversary by enhancing the overall design of the series, including new dials with Arabic numerals that are slightly redesigned, an added railway minute track ( on the Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph) and other nuances.
Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph
The Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph is a refreshing statement of elegance and function thanks to its pure silvery-white dial, balanced proportions, classic blued leaf-shaped hands, and a unique railway minute track that encircles the guilloche’ dial and counters. The 42mm stainless steel watch is equipped with the automatic Calibre MB 25.02, and offers hours, minutes, seconds and date, as well as the chronograph’s indications with central hand and 30-minutes and 12-hour counters. The 27-jeweled caliber beats at 28,800 A/h and offers 46 hours of power reserve. The date indication is located at 4:30 on the harmoniously designed dial. The sapphire domed crystal is scratch resistant and coated with an antireflective coating, and the stainless steel back features an inset pane of sapphire crystal for viewing the movement. To finish the stunning piece, Montblanc turns to the Montblanc Pellateria in Florence, which crafts the blue Sfumato alligator leather strap by hand. It is also available with a slate gray dial and gray Sfumato alligator strap. It will retail for approximately $3,990.
Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph
Further endorsing its rich history, Montblanc also reinterprets its beloved Nicolas Rieussec monopusher chronograph that was first launched in 2008 and has become a Montblanc icon. This collection pays tribute to French watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec, who created the first patented, “inking” chronograph in 1821 to more precisely measure the running times of horses at a race. The new 44.8mm version features a redesigned case and dial.
The off-centred hour-circle and the chronograph’s titanium turning discs are now domed for a 3D dial appeal. The black Arabic numerals are somewhat slimmed down, and the dial now features a railway minute track and classic blued leaf-shaped hands. For easier reading, the date has been placed at 6 o’clock. There is a ring with Nicolas Rieussec inscription on the outer part of the finely finished and guilloche’ dial. The horns are stepped, and a domed sapphire crystal finishes the look.
With easy-grip onion-shaped crown that is indicative of Montblanc, topped with the Montblanc star emblem, the watch is powered by the in-house-made monopusher chronograph, caliber MB R200, with automatic winding and column-wheel mechanism. The gear train and chronograph wheels connection works alternatively engaging and disengaging via a vertical coupling with little wear and tear and prevents the “elapsed time” disks from jumping when the chronograph is set in motion. The two barrels supply 72 hours of power reserve. The movement, decorated with Geneva stripes and bevelled, polished edges, blued screws and golden-coated wheels, is visible via a sapphire caseback.
In addition to hours, minutes, seconds and date, the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph watch offers chronograph 60-second and 30-minute counters, and a second time zone –displayed via a skeletonized hand on the off-centred dial. Water resistant to 30 meters, the watch is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. It is finished with a matching blue Sfumato alligator leather strap crafted at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, Italy. It will retail for approximately $9,000.
Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph
Movement Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB R200
Type of movement Mechanical movement with automatic winding mechanism, chronograph and double barrel
Chronograph Monopusher with column-wheel and vertical coupling
Dimensions Diameter = 31 mm; height = 8.46 mm
No. of components 319
Number of jewels 40
Power reserve Approx. 72 hours
Balance Screw balance, diameter = 9.7 mm; moment of inertia = 12 mgcm²
Frequency 28,800 A/h (4 Hz)
Plate Rhodium-plated with circular graining
Bridges Rhodium-plated with “Côtes de Genève”
Going train Special toothing for more efficient power transmission
Displays Off-centred hour- and minute-hand, second time zone on same axis as hour- and minute-hand with day/night display; Date in a window at 6o clock;
60 elapsed-second and 30 elapsed-minute counters on rotating discs with central motionless hand
Special feature Travel function with rapid reset of hour-hand and date display either forward or backward
Case Stainless steel
Crystal Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Back Stainless steel with inset pane of sapphire crystal
Dimensions Diameter = 44.8 mm ; Height = 15.02 mm
Watertightness 3 bar (30 m)
Crown Stainless steel with Montblanc emblem
Dial Silvery-white with guilloché pattern in places, domed hour-circle with azuré decoration in the centre and black Arabic numerals, filet sauté guilloché around the dial, blued leaf hour- and minute-hands, rhodium-plated skeletonized second time zone-hand, titanium domed chronograph counters with satin-finishing
Wristband Blue Sfumato alligator leather crafted by the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, Italy with a stainless steel triple folding clasp
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500