When Jerome Lambert took over the helm of Montblanc last year, watch lovers who know of his magic at Jaeger-LeCoutlre were expecting big things from Montblanc’s timepiece lineup. Lambert – and Montblanc – did not disappoint. At SIHH 2014, Montblanc not only unveiled an all new watch collection – the Meisterstuck Heritage line – celebrating 90 years of the iconic Meisterstuck writing instrument from Montblanc, but also made history by releasing the oh so alluring and attainable Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar watch – for $12,800.
Never before has a watch brand been able to offer such an astounding price for a superb complication! Yes, Jaeger-LeCoultre (under Lambert’s direction) shocked the world a year ago with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin perpetual calendar watch at $19,950 in steel (read about that here) – but everyone was sure that would be the lowest price ever achieved for a perpetual calendar. No one anticipated Lambert’s move to Montblanc and his desire to rock the watchmaking world for this brand. (Read an interview with Lambert as head of Montblanc here.)
The incredibly desirable 39mm perpetual calendar from Montblanc is an absolute steal and anyone not rushing out to stores to get one when it comes to market this summer, is – well- crazy! Even in 18-karat rose gold, the watch is amazingly touchable at $21,000.
The movement of this watch, the MB 29.15, is a self-winding caliber with 42 hours of power reserve. Built in the brand’s manufacture in LeLocle, the movement beats at 28,800 vph. The dial offers a very traditional and entrancing look at all of the calendar functions, with date at 3:00, day of week at 9:00, month at 12:00 and the stunning moon phase display at 6:00. This display also indicated the age of the moon in days above the aperture’s arch. The inner scale of the watch displays the month. The four-year leap-year cycle is read off of a blue triangle, with the leap year indicated by a red 4. A silver white cambered dial makes the entire piece both richly classical and easy to read. Naturally, the brand even went so far as to equip the watch with a sapphire caseback for viewing the finely decorated movement. The caliber, made in the brand’s LeLocle facilities ahs all the hallmarks of a Montblanc piece, such as faceted Dauphine hands, applied goldplated numerals and superb satin polish and finishing.
For those who don’t know, the word “Meisterstuck” in German translates as Masterpiece – a fitting name. Each Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar wristwatch is subjected to a comprehensive 500-hour quality test at the manufacture in Le Locle. Developed by Montblanc, this rigorous examination verifies the accuracy of the watch’s rate, the water resistance of its case,its overall performance and robustness, and the functionality of the individual displays. Each watch that passes the 500-hour test is individually issued a test certificate.
With the new Meisterstuck Heritage Collection Perpetual Calendar, Montblanc achieves a masterpiece thanks to the coupling of this coveted complication and the watch’s shocking retail price. As to the rest of the all-new Meisterstuck Heritage watch collection – there are a few other superb beauties- but that’s another story. Stay tuned.