Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph GreyTech
#wtsihh / The Grey Eminence
Few brands can rival Montblanc's skill in imbuing their products with unmistakable and timeless iconography. The Rieussec chronograph collection has achieved unmistakable status and the TimeWalker line has represented Montblanc's DNA for several years. This collection won a standing ovation last year with the TwinFly chronograph and Montblanc's own movement. Now it outdoes itself again with the debut of the GreyTech.
Unlike the attraction of the Rieussec models, the appeal of the TimeWalker collection derives from sleek and distinctive styling that's strongly inspired by modern, open, glass-and-steel architecture. Generously proportioned, tidily comprehensible dials beneath sapphire crystals that are antireflective on both their surfaces, narrow bezels and filigreed, skeletonized horns vividly prove that all superfluity has been eliminated.
Double flyback in shades of grey
An appreciative murmur suffused the watch world a year ago when Montblanc launched the TimeWalker TwinFly, a manufacture chronograph that gave new beauty to a function which had once been very popular, but had later nearly vanished from the horological landscape: a measuring instrument for brief intervals with both an elapsed-seconds hand and a sixty-minute counter from the center of its dial. Manufactured in steel and in a limited titanium edition, this wristwatch experienced such gigantic success that Montblanc decided to present a second limited-edition model in an exclusively styled version one year later: the Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph GreyTech, of which only 888 specimens will be manufactured.
Television screens, billboards, shop windows and magazines around the world are so garishly colorful that we cannot but feel a sense of nostalgia for the quieter monochrome era, when black-and-white films and photographs radiated so much sensuality and style, although they worked solely with shades of grey. The popularity that can be achieved by the absence of color is ably shown by noble automobile brands, where the chromatic spectrum is primarily reduced to a narrow range from midnight black to silvery grey. The same is true in the world of interior design, where classical furnishings made of metal, glass and black leather have enjoyed success for many decades. These products offer welcome relaxation for eyes that have grown weary from a surfeit of natural and artificial colors. The new GreyTech approach from Montblanc follows suit.
The Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph GreyTech has a distinct elegant technicity. Its matte titanium case is silvery grey. Various shades of grey distinguish its large dial, where connoisseurs will find seven time indicators, generously proportioned apertures for the grey date disc, a pierced and anthracite-grey hour-hand and minute-hand, and large Arabic numerals. Grey elegance continues on the back, where a pane of sapphire crystal invites aficionados to admire the movement with its rhodium-plated dark grey chassis parts, which create a fascinating contrast with the golden wheels, the blued screws and the red ruby bearings. This perfect synthesis of technically oriented design, highly robust and extra-light case material, and elaborate micromechanics convinces watch lovers that understatedly elegant aesthetics and exclusive functionality have lost none of their popularity, even in the era of the smartphone.
Chronograph Caliber MB LL100 – A Montblanc movement with manufacture quality
Likewise developed exclusively by Montblanc, self-winding chronograph Caliber MB LL100 is assembled, finely adjusted and encased under the brand's aegis and in its spacious ateliers in Le Locle. This manufacture movement from Montblanc is also a chronograph, which is entirely logical because the world's leading name in exclusive writing implements likewise strives toward a comparably foremost position among “time writers,” i.e. chronographs. Considering the speed and dynamism of developments at Montblanc, this ambitious goal doesn't seem quite so unattainably audacious. The chronograph Caliber MB LL100 has all the characteristics of highly evolved horological artistry: the chronograph's functions are controlled via a column-wheel; a modern and extremely low-wear disc-coupling engages to transfer energy from the fourth-wheel to the chronograph-wheel; and a newly calculated profile for the gear teeth significantly improves the energy efficiency.
But the most eye-catching exclusivity is the chronograph function: a long elapsed-seconds hand and a somewhat shorter counter for sixty elapsed minutes are both centrally axial. When the flyback function is triggered, these two indicators race back to their starting position and instantly restart measuring another elapsing interval, whence the neologism “TwinFly” in the model's name. The number of elapsed seconds is shown along the outermost periphery on the flange of the dial, whereas the elapsed minute counter has a large and therefore readily legible sixty-minute scale in the centre of the dial. Other functions include a date window at “9 o'clock” and a 24-hour subdial for the second time zone at “12 o'clock.” A special feature of Caliber MB LL100 is its double barrel, which gives this movement a power reserve of approximately 72 hours' duration: an ample reservoir of power is better able to compensate for amplitude fluctuations that occur when the chronograph function is switched on or off, and it also improves the stability of the rate in all operating modes.
GreyTech expresses technical elegance
The matte grey titanium case is distinguished by the unmistakable “handwriting” of Montblanc's TimeWalker family of watch models. The case's liberal diameter of 43 mm and the narrowness of the bezel result in a very large dial: this spaciousness visibly enhances the legibility and the readily comprehensible arrangement of the individual displays. The horns, which are skeletonized in the typical TimeWalker style, reliably hold an anthracite-grey alligator-skin wristband with large quadratic reptilian scales and a tone-in-tone grey stitching. A pronged buckle made of bead-blasted titanium keeps the strap securely closed around its wearer's wrist. In accord with the understated styling in shades of grey, the case is matte finished all around, the middle part of the case is vertically brushed, and both the bezel and the edge of the case's back are bead blasted. The result is a discreetly technical look that instantly identifies this wristwatch as a functional time-measuring instrument. The excitement that this high-tech aspect can generate becomes evident at the very latest when one peers through the sapphire crystal in the back and through the slightly cambered sapphire crystal above the dial.
The face has large piercings and a very lively appearance thanks to various shades of grey. Circular apertures inside the hour-circle allow one's gaze to penetrate to a somewhat darker date disc with raised anthracite-grey numerals; the current date is surrounded by a white frame at “9 o'clock.” Six anthracite-grey numerals in raised relief mark the hour-circle; white scales are printed for the second time zone at “12 o'clock” and for the small seconds at “6 o'clock. Special mention is earned by the second time zone with its anthracite skeletonized hand: a shiny anthracite-colored sunburst in raised relief adorns this display's 24-hour dial for the daytime hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the nighttime hours are portrayed by a net of arcs which symbolize the paths of the stars across the firmament. The smallest details are of the utmost importance on a wristwatch: this is evident here in the large hands for the time display and the chronograph's function. The anthracite-grey hour-hand and minute-hand are coated with luminous material, which combines with noctilucent indices to assure good legibility in the dark. These hands sweep across the scale of the sixty-elapsed-minutes counter, so they're slit lengthwise to allow the wearer to see through them and read the counter's scale. The chronograph's well-balanced elapsed-seconds hand is dark anthracite in color with a light grey tip; the elapsed-minutes counter is light grey with a dark anthracite tip.
Another attractive aspect of the GreyTech comes into view through the sapphire window in the back: the movement with its black rhodium-plated components. A layer of dark grey rhodium has been applied to the plate bridge, which is traditionally decorated with Geneva waves. The same coating embellishes the generously skeletonized winding-rotor with its extra-heavy oscillating weight and pierced Montblanc emblem. As one would expect an outstanding chronograph, the column-wheel that controls the chronograph's start, stop and flyback commands is likewise visible. This firework of horological technology is certain to spark enthusiasm.
The Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph GreyTech will be manufactured in a limited edition of 888 specimens and will be available starting in autumn of 2012.
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.Find out more >
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