Montblanc is in the middle of celebrating the 190th anniversary of the chronograph this year and their SIHH previews continue this theme with three special chronographs.
“We are going in the same direction we established at SIHH 2011,” says Alexander Schmiedt, Director Category Management Watches, Montblanc. “We are lucky in that we have a long-term view. Watches have been a priority, you see this in investment and in product development, and we have opened up another facility in Le Locle, and we have invested in our boutiques as well. We have increased the space dedicated to watches.
“The percentage of watches is the second biggest product category in Montblanc, and writing instruments are significantly below 50% of the overall Montblanc business,” he continues. “We hope to have the watches be as big as writing instruments within five years.”
To that end, Montblanc continues to innovate in its regular range of products, as well as in the high watchmaking Villeret collection. The three new products released prior to SIHH are prime examples of Montblanc’s continued commitment to watchmaking.
MONTBLANC VILLERET VINTAGE TACHYDATE, MONTBLANC TIMEWALKER TWINFLY CHRONOGRAPH GREYTECH, MONTBLANC NICOLAS RIEUSSEC CHRONOGRAPH OPEN HOMETIME
Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Open Hometime
“This is an evolution of the Rieussec range. It’s the introduction of the open look in a technical design,” Schmiedt says. “This is a new calibre because we are using a disc for the home time. It features a dual time function, which makes it very easy to adjust the local time by one hour jumps. You have the home time on a disc, rather than on a separate hand. The disc in the centre of the dial is the same colour as the case of the watch.
”The highlight piece is the red-gold version with a new colour combination, with a very light anthracite dial,” he continues. ”The dual time has been very successful. Rieussec is a real iconic watch for us and the watch in the mind of the customer who thinks about Montblanc. Commercially, it has really gone very well, with the automatic.”
In addition, this watch features a monopusher chronograph, which is complicated further by having to drive the turning discs of the chronograph counters, the Rieussec signature. This new watch is made in Le Locle, at the Montblanc facility there.
Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph GreyTech
Montblanc is currently launching its new manufacture movement for the TimeWalker collection and this is a new flyback chronograph with the minute subdial in the centre.
“Moving TimeWalker into the manufacture level has worked very well,” Schmiedt says. “When you look at the TwinFly black, it’s a combination of the movement, a contemporary modern look and new materials. With the GreyTech, you have a completely grey watch, with cutting edge design and different shades of grey. The manufacture TimeWalker has added a different layer to the TimeWalker range. Before, the TimeWalker range went from 2,200 Euros to 5,000 Euros, and the manufacture collection ranges from 6,000 - 10,000.”
The new TimeWalker is a flyback chronograph with a second time zone. The dial is open to show the date disc, to give the watch a highly technical look. The case is titanium, with different levels of finishing and even the movement is grey treated.
Montblanc Villeret Vintage TachyDate
In the Villeret collection, every year Montblanc chooses a watch from the rich history of Minerva and uses it as inspiration for a Villeret Vintage piece. “This year, we have picked a very interesting Tachymeter design from the 1930s,” Schmiedt says. “To make it special, this is a new calibre, the first Villeret chronograph with a date function. It’s also in a new case, 43.5mm with an exhibition case back. The watch will be limited to 58 pieces in red gold and 58 in white gold.”
Source: Europa Star December - January 2012 Magazine Issue