In the run-up to the SIHH, brands traditionally present previews of their new launches. Rarely in the history of the event has such a model been so widely shared, debated and scrutinized as the e-Strap by Montblanc. In a period when smart cheap Rolex replica watches are on all lips in the watch industry, even in the midst of discussions to which it bear no relevance, Montblanc thumbs its nose at and pays tribute to this concept. This module is in fact an extension of the smartphone that is designed to be worn on the wrist … but on the inside. It may be attached to the strap of any watch, but it was developed in conjunction with the TimeWalker Urban Speed model. Whereas the watch is attuned to the speed of the city, information travels at the speed of the electron. As the TimeWalker name implies, horology moves at a steady, quintessentially mechanical pace. While the e-Strap was very much the talking piece, the Montblanc new launches for 2015 are powered by a wealth of finely crafted gear trains.
The grand theme of the year 2015 is christened Héritage Chronométrie – two words that clearly highlight Montblanc’s mechanical ambitions. In line with the new models presented in 2014, the brand is reaffirming its tempting and indeed aggressive price positioning in the complications segment. An extremely understated Héritage Chronométrie Dual Time takes its place alongside a Héritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum worldtime model. Like the entire Héritage Chronométrie range, these timepieces are subjected to a 500-hour testing procedure that Montblanc is further reinforcing and extending.
For its models that are a notch higher on the scale of mechanical complexity, Montblanc invokes an historical figure who is a symbol of travel, of discovery and determination – three values to which the brand lays claim. In 1497, Vasco de Gama began the voyage that would lead him 10 months later to the shores of southern India. Equipped only with rudimentary instruments, the explorer forged the passage towards the East via the Cape of Good Hope. Montblanc pays tribute to the precision-driven navigation that guided this expedition. A complete calendar got the ball rolling, followed by the annual calendar. These two calendar complications come in the wake of the Meisterstück Perpetual Calendar perpetual calendar launched in 2014 and which made quite a splash because of its price.
The Vasco da Gama collections are also interpreted in a mode exclusive to Montblanc: that of the ExoTourbillon. This unique escapement structure, featuring a balance larger than the tourbillon, is fitted in movements from the Nicolas Rieussec chronograph range. In combining two of its fundamental horological concepts, Montblanc creates a high-precision monopusher chronograph featuring an aventurine dial with a guilloché centre, along with a diamond in the signature Montblanc Star cut, representing the legendary North Star that has guided sailors since time immemorial. It also comes in a pink gold version with a simpler, more restrained dial more in tune with the traditional Montblanc spirit.