Together with The Swatch Group and LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) Richemont dominate the watch industry. Their portfolio of luxury goods brands includes Vacheron Constantin, Baume & Mercier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lange & Söhne, Cartier, Officine Panerai, IWC, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc to name but just a few. In a recent article I wrote for Esquire Middle East, I featured all of these companies as part of their extensive coverage of SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) 2014. The event is a much more intimate affair than Baselworld. Apart from Richard Mille and Greubel Forsey the show is reserved exclusively for members of the Richemont Group.
As well as producing an exquisite range of pens Montblanc has now become a highly regarded watchmaker. At the SIHH show they unveiled an extraordinarily complicated creation called the Collection Villeret 1858 ExoTourbillon Rattrapante. This sublime timepiece has an in house manual winding movement that contains 426 individual components. Just over a year ago I reviewed their wonderful Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Open Home Time. I really fell in love with this watch and was totally seduced by its striking façade.
Recently I was offered the chance to review one of the timepieces from the Timewalker collection. The model I chose to write about was the fabulous Timewalker Chronovoyager UTC. Dimensionally the watch is a similar size to the Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph measuring 43mm x 14.80mm. These proportions should appeal to a wide variety of buyers and potentially the unisex market. Essentially I found the watch sat very comfortably on my wrist and didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Ultimately this is down to the stylish case design and use of 316L stainless steel in manufacture. Personally I would love to see Montblanc produce a limited edition black ceramic version of this watch in the future.
Visually the Timewalker Chronovoyager UTC has a really distinctive and striking appearance. What makes this timepiece so amazing is the well-considered sporty silhouette. Details like the three chronograph sub counters are very pleasing and highly practical. I love the open worked GMT hand and the 24-hour day/night scale presented on the inner chapter ring. Even though this isn’t a particularly large watch I feel Montblanc have used the space very efficiently. Other attractive features include a discreet brushed steel bezel and ornate crown. Overall the composition has been expertly handled and the finishing is first class.
As you would expect with a watch of this quality Monblanc have equipped it with an equally impressive self-winding movement. The Calibre 4810/503 (ETA 7754) comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This refined mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Timewalker Chronovoyager UTC features hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph and GMT facility. The watch also has a power reserve of 46 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Timewalker Chronovoyager UTC has a black alligator strap with matching steel pin buckle. Priced at: $ 6,415
For more information visit the company’s website: http://www.montblanc.com/