Today’s post was one that I was I thought about for a while. At first, I was going to do another brand guide, but instead of doing that, I wanted to choose a few watches that I feel demonstrate the strength and versatility of Mont Blanc.
As a brand, Mont Blanc is incredibly diverse company. They hit almost every segment that one would want to be in as a luxury company:
- Pens (obviously)
- Leather Goods
- Eye wear
- Technical Devices (think a high-end stylus for a tablet)
With regards to their watches, Mont Blanc has made, in my opinion, an incredible change/turn-around to their watch line out of any brand that I can think of recently. I really feel like they are a brand to follow (and have been since the release of their Rieussec collection), and with the fairly recent promotion/transfer of Jerome Lambert from being the head of Jager-LeCoultre to being the head of Mont Blanc, you can expect them to strengthen their position within all segments of the industry.
I mentioned Mont Blanc’s Rieussec Collection, so I’ll start with that first.
The Rieussec Collection is an homage to one of the first inventors of the chronograph (not the first as it was originally thought. Louis Moinet beat Nicolas Rieussec by about 5 years). The Rieussec line shares a common design theme with central time ring for hours/minutes and the two rotating discs at 5:00 and 7:00. If you look at the original chronograph that Nicolas Rieussec invented, you can see where Mont Blanc picked their design cues from.
Since the introduction of the Chronograph, they have introduced a couple of GMT options, as well as a variation (my favorite) called the Rising Hours. The Rising Hours add a day of the week indicator and changed the color of the hours dial to two discs-the numbers disc has the numbers cut out, and there is a rotating disc that has half grey/half blue on it. The color disc rotates around to show if it is day/night.
What you see above is a movement from Mont Blanc’s Haute Horology division called Minerva. The Devils Tail that you see is Minerva’s… logo It served as their ebauche stamp (you can find a similar image in the Best Fit catalog listings) Minerva is an amazing company that has had an interesting history. Minerva was founded in 1858. They have been hand-making and decorating watches since then. They make around 100 movements a year, and only about 50 get released as watches.
Here is some dial detail of the Mont Blanc Exo-Tourbillon. The attention to detail in this watch is absolutely stunning. Not only is the watch technically stunning, the elegance in which the technical features have been displayed is incredible.
Here is another Minerva model-the Vintage Tachydate. Minerva/Mont Blanc has the best Monopusher Chronographs out of any brand Again, another beautiful and classic model. Two things I really like about this watch-they don’t shy away from the Tachymeter feature. It is prominently displayed yet not in your face. The second thing that I like is the fact that when they “cut” off some of the numerals, they did it in a non-annoying way.
The final watch that I want to show you from Mont Blanc is the Metamorphasis 2.
The Metamorphasis 2 is another creation from the Minerva workshop. The classic look of the watch betrays the innovative and interesting mechanism that resides within the watch. What you see above is one watch, not two. On the side of the case is a slide mechanism similar to what you would find on a minute repeater. When the slide is activated, the sub-dials get new faces.
Finally, I want to talk about their Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar.
When this watch was released, it really disrupted the watch industry. Mont Blanc set the price of this watch at $12,800. This is the cheapest perpetual calendar that you will find. There really isn’t much more to say other than Mont Blanc nailed this watch. This was one of their big releases at Basel 2014, and Jerome Lambert has said for people to keep their eyes out for 2015. I’m not sure how they will top this, but I’m excited.
Hopefully this short look at Mont Blanc has piqued your interest to where you will check them out and see what they have to offer. For a company that started off as a pen company to create an incredibly diverse line of watches that run the gamut from standard 3-hand watches (their Star & Timewalker collection) to keeping traditional watchmaking techniques alive with their Haute Horology line with nods to watchmaking history along the way is great.