In 2019, Montblanc unveiled a trio of green and bronze 1858 watches, all centred around the theme of mountain exploration. In 2020, the brand unveiled four new 1858 references, showcasing a blue and icy white aesthetic combined with a mix of materials such as titanium and ceramic – The Inspiration – ‘Glaciers and Snowy-Mountain Environments’. This year, Montblanc is headed to the desert – a new theme that inspires their latest reveal and a nod to Reinhold Messner’s (Montblanc Brand Ambassador) 2004 solo trek of 2000 km across the Gobi Desert with its extreme temperatures from frozen winters to hot summers. INTRODUCING: Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition ‘Desert’.
A watch dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge (the holy grail of mountaineering adventures) and a key member of the 1858 Product Line, the new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition ‘Desert’ features a 42mm polished and satin-finished bronze case with slim curved horns, complemented by a smoked brown and beige lacquered dial. The bi-directional bezel on this latest version of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is made from bronze with a brown ceramic insert and a knurled edge for better grip. The cardinal points on the bezel are engraved and coated with Super-LumiNova.
Many would agree that the dial is extremely satisfying to look at. It works as a perfect backdrop for the lacquered with rose-gold coloured luminescent applied Arabic numerals, rose gold-and beige-coloured luminescent cathedral-shaped hour-and minute-hands, beige-coloured luminescent second time zone hand, luminescent northern and southern hemispheres globes and the historical Montblanc logo at 3 o’clock. For utmost readability, the day/night indicator, the cathedral-shaped hands, the indexes, the compass indications, and the hemisphere globes are all coated with beige-coloured Super-LumiNova® that has been applied by hand.
Taking centre stage are two turning domed hemisphere globes at six and 12 o’clock, which are surrounded by a fixed scale with the 24 time zones and include a rose gold-coated and brown day/night indicator (for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres). The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a black line coated with Super-LumiNova®. Furthermore, a second time zone, used as a home time indication, is located at nine o’clock and a date aperture (linked to the local time) is located at three o’clock.
In order to set the time, the user first adjusts the turning hemispheres for worldwide time by aligning the GMT/UTC 0 line on London time (highlighted as a black colour line on the domes). The two globes are then synchronised. The Northern hemisphere turns anti-clockwise and the Southern one clockwise. The next step is to set the hour-hand (turning by hourly increment) in line with the local time (the globes are not turning), this also adjusts the date. Finally, the second time, located at 9 o’clock, is set via the corrector to display home time.
Extra attention has been given to the case back. Inspired by Reinhold Messner’s 2004 trek, the case back unveils a unique 3D engraving that shows the Gobi Desert’s famous Flaming Cliffs (famous for paleontological discoveries), also known as Bayanzag, that were on Messner’s route across Northern Asia and a wind rose compass with a decoration representing the wind whose patterns are inspired by traditional Mongolian ornaments. Montblanc has used a very special technique to achieve this almost photograph like 3D effect. Made of titanium, the metal must first be structured, which means that the decoration will be engraved by laser, taking into consideration the relief of the drawing. Then the desired finish (matt and shiny) is also achieved by laser. Finally comes the colouring phase. The colours are created with laser-generated oxidation. It is the level of oxidation that determines the final colour obtained (and desired). Montblanc is one of the most advanced Swiss Maisons to use this technology on such a large surface.
Powering the watch is an automatic winding MB 29.25 movement with a power reserve of approx. 42 hours. In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, all 1858 models undergo over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under extreme conditions.