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Montblanc - Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

Montblanc Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

Diverse yet coherent, colorful yet sleek, Montblanc's 2020 timepieces show a level of mastery and design on par with the brand's claims.

As time goes by, Montblanc's watchmaking collections show a growing level of solidity and thoroughness. After three years spent cleaning, refocusing and shifting its various ranges, the brand formerly known only for its writing instruments is now emerging as a true force of watchmaking, one to be reckoned with. It had long been able to make movements, timepieces and concepts. But the 2020 vintage, as shown within the virtual edition of Watches & Wonders, shows clear signs of a well defined and assertive identity. Ample proof lies with the three themes which clearly emerge from the showcased novelties : bronze, gold and adventure. 

Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph © Montblanc

Montblanc is a leading force in the use of bronze. The brand's watchmaking director, Davide Cerrato, profoundly believes in using strong visual and symbolic tropes, of which the yellow metal is one. No need to dwell on its qualities (sheen, patina) as what Montblanc uses it for is more on the evocation side. The 1858 Monopusher Chronograph exudes a sense of nostalgia and mannerism. Nostalgia because it blatantly belongs in the neo-vintage segment. Mannerism because this piece is not a reissue but the vision of an interpreted watchmaking of yesteryear, idealized at that, as shown by the very use of bronze, which doesn't belong to the catalog of historic wristwatches materials. The timepiece is available entirely made of bronze or just the bezel. Both speak the same language, have the same style, which fits the zeitgeist. 

Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph et Heritage Automatic © David Chokron/Worldtempus et Montblanc

Even more nostalgic, and just as spot-on, new Heritage timepieces further what Montblanc had already started with gold watches with small complications, or none. Halfway between its highly complicated pieces and the very basic, classic ones it used to offer, Montblanc showcases unusual designs and dials. The Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph is a chronograph made of pink gold with a tobacco dial and limited to 100 pieces. The Heritage Automatic is a three-hander with a green dial, yet an original, dark, English, deep, gradient and luminous green, inside a yellow gold case.

Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition © David Chokron/Worldtempus

Still nostalgic but now very high end, Montblanc introduces a new version of its 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition, with a movement from Minerva and a dial adorned with a telemetric and a tachymeric scale. A gorgeous caliber, an electric blue enamel dial, a bit on the large side but easy to wear, these 100 watches are a true marvel. 

Montblanc: Bronze, Gold and Adventure

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere et Montblanc 1858 Automatic 24h © David Chokron/Worldtempus et Montblanc

Last theme, adventure. Within its 1858 range, now its best-selling family, Montblanc had put its money on the Geosphere, a GMT, functional timepiece close to a tool watch. It is now offered in steel with blue dial and bezel. The storytelling mentions glaciers, as fits a watch that's always been positioned in a mountain environment. The truly new piece is the 1858 Automatic 24H. From afar, it looks like a compass : map grid map on the dial, unusually close Arabic numerals, compass rose on the flange, a long arrow-type hand which happens to be alone. This is a 24 hour timepiece, with no minutes' indication, where noon is at noon and midnight is a 6 o'clock. Bezel and crown are made of bronze, with a solid design and a challenging display. This one's not for everyone but it sends a message loud and clear : assertive watchmaking.

 

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Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906.

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