One of the most important releases from Montblanc at the SIHH 2017 earlier this year was their Timewalker Collection. It’s been a talking point ever since. Revamped and refreshed from ground up, the collection symbolizes the spirit of motor racing and harks back to these instruments of glory with design codes that just spell the theme so aptly. The watches are designed in Montblanc’s Minerva Manufacture, an exclusive workshop producing high-quality instruments for measuring brief intervals of time with remarkable precision.
Following the success of Timewalker globally, Montblanc is introducing two new timepieces to its renowned collection — The TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic in red gold and the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition 100 with an imposing All-Black design, inside and out.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic in 18K red gold
Earlier this year we saw a stainless steel version of this watch. Montblanc is now unveiling a new red gold version with a black ceramic bezel and a matching black and red gold-plated dial making the watch extremely dynamic and sporty.
The dial, with a black backdrop, features prominent colour contrasts with the minute track, hour and minute hands and indexes all in red gold-plated, accentuating the vertically aligned 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters that are reminiscent of the dashboards of classic racing cars.
The central red hand recording the chronograph seconds features a tip that has been sculpted in the form of the Minerva arrow, a nod to the Minerva Manufacture’s legacy and heritage. For utmost visibility, both in the day and at night, the dauphine hands, indexes and 5-minute marking have been coated with Super-LumiNova®.
Beating inside the 43mm satin finished red gold case is the maison’s calibre MB 25.07 which has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 (A test that simulates real-life wear for over 500 hours providing utmost reliability and performance).
The TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic features the emblematic unidirectional black rotating bezel knurled on the flank and made of shiny high-tech black ceramic for utmost robustness and durability. The bezel can also be used as a second time zone indicator. The horns, with their architectural and carved flanks, have been semi-skeletonized like the air inlets of a car’s body, and the black DLC crown has been knurled like a vintage car radiator cap for better gripping.
Completing the motor racing design, the case back has been fitted with a smoked glass opening, reminiscent of the glass windows that cover powerful V12 engines, and the black calf leather strap includes perforation holes, much like the leather driving gloves used in the days when steering wheels were made of wood and needed to be firmly gripped. The strap comes fitted with the Maison’s new 18K gold triple folding clasp that has been developed specially for the Montblanc Time Walker Collection to provide excellent flexibility and maximum comfort on the wrist.
Montblanc TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition 100
Next up is the new Montblanc TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100 which combines two of the most significant chronometric complications: Montblanc’s exclusive in-house patented one-minute ExoTourbillon with a quick stop-second mechanism and a monopusher chronograph with sectorial scales.
The Exo in the name is derived from the Greek for “external” or “outside” and refers to the screw balance, which is positioned outside of tourbillon’s rotating cage. This patented mechanical architecture allows the cage to be smaller in size and free of the weight of the balance, saving more energy than a conventional tourbillon. According to Montblanc, the fact that the balance is positioned outside the rotating cage means that it isn’t affected by the inertia of the cage, therefore improving precision and isochronism. The large balance wheel, measuring 9.7 mm in diameter and featuring a long axis, demands the highest level of skill to assemble precisely.
Montblanc’s very own in-house developed MB R230 chronograph calibre powers this innovative tourbillon construction. It combines all the elements of a traditional chronograph with a contemporary high-performance construction: monopusher with column wheel, efficient and precise vertical coupling, automatic winding and two barrels.
A particularly useful feature of this movement is its quick stop-second mechanism, which directly halts the screw balance by means of a tiny spring, and allows the user to set the seconds precisely. The quick stop-second mechanism instantly stops the balance from rotating, instead of halting the tourbillon cage, which can cause the balance to continue swinging and upset the precision. A red arrow hand is displayed on the tourbillon cage for an exact setting of the seconds. A practical hour setting also allows the user to advance the time in hourly increments in the second position of the crown forwards and backwards thus ensuring quick and uncomplicated time setting.
Repositioning the hour-hand has no effect whatsoever on the minute- and second-hand, so the precise time is always preserved. This function is linked to the date, making setting the timepiece while travelling a breeze.
For the very first time, the Manufacture movement MB R230 of the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition 100 has been completely darkened with an All-Black coating and is on full display through the timepiece’s titanium caseback.
The 44 mm three-part case, has been manufactured out of black DLC titanium and features a number of vintage motoring inspired details. Semi-skeletonized horns with architectural carved flanks have been inspired by the air inlets in racing cars and have been decorated with a vertical satinated finish; the bezel and case back feature a circular satinated finish; and the black DLC titanium crown includes knurling on the side that is reminiscent of vintage car radiator caps and provides superior gripping.
Other technical details include a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatments on both sides, a sporty red gasket, a black alligator leather strap with red stitching, and a satinated black DLC pin buckle—all reinforcing the technical essence of this lightweight yet robust case that protects the movement beneath and accentuates the distinctive TimeWalker look.
The full black grainé dial of the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition 100 accentuates the Maison’s focus on aesthetics, performance and legibility with colour contrasts inspired from the dashboards of vintage cars. The time and date are displayed in an off-centred black dial at 12 o’clock, and two semi-circular counters indicate elapsed-seconds at 8 o’clock, and elapsed-minutes at 4 o’clock. Arabic numerals and indexes have been designed in a distinctive, clearly-contoured typography and have been enhanced with luminescent Super-LumiNova® for easy reading at night.
An innovative new Super-LumiNova® treatment has also been used for the hour ring where Super-LumiNova® pigments have been merged with a composite material for utmost visibility day and night. Legibility is also maximized with the addition of black rhodium-plated dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands enhanced with Super-LumiNova®, and highly contrasting red and white elements.
To complete the overall strong design, the lower section of the dial with its vertical satin finishing showcases the patented ExoTourbillon with a hand-finished All-Black tourbillon bridge, while the top part of the dial is embellished with black horizontal stripes.
Offered in a 100 piece limited edition, the watch is water-resistant to 30 metres and once again has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 that simulates real-life situations for 500 hours.