The heritage of fine watchmaking shines through in all of Montblanc's timepieces as they incorporate time-honoured horological know-how with pure classical design codes. Since 1858, the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret has been making the finest timepieces in terms of craftsmanship and performance. These values continue today with timepieces that capture the elegance of watchmaking past, and yet benefit from the Maison's innovative in-house movements.
Today, Montblanc's mastery of honouring the traditional watchmaker's art is demonstrated once again in the new Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph. This impressive timepiece celebrates the design codes of the past, while presenting a unique and contemporary interpretation of the tourbillon and chronograph complications. The result remains timeless in every possible way.
Inspirations and designs
One of the major inspirations in the design of the Heritage Chronométrie Collections comes from the Montblanc Pythagore timepiece. This wristwatch developed in 1948 featured a pure and elegant ivory dial with applied Arabic numerals and indexes, as well as a precise minute scale. Housed in a slim polished gold case with curved horns and a stepped bezel, the Pythagore epitomized classical Swiss fine watchmaking. Today this historic piece provides the basis for the design of the new Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph
Continuing Montblanc's heritage of chronometric precision and performance, the new Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph is equipped with the Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB R230. This pioneering calibre features two of the most significant chronometric complications: the legendary patented ExoTourbillon with a quick stop-second, and a monopusher chronograph with a twin barrel mechanism.
The one-minute ExoTourbillon complication, first introduced in 2010, was developed entirely in-house by the master watchmakers at the Montblanc Manufacture. The Exo in the name is derived from the Greek for external or outside and refers to the balance with screws, which is positioned outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage. This innovated patented mechanical architecture allows the cage to be smaller in size and free of the weight of the balance, saving 30 per cent more energy than a conventional tourbillon. The fact that the balance is positioned outside of the rotating cage also means that it isn’t affected by the inertia of the cage, therefore improving precision.
This tourbillon is integrated into Montblanc’s in-house chronograph calibre combining all the elements of a traditional chronograph with a contemporary high-performance construction: a monopusher with column wheel, efficient and precise vertical coupling, automatic winding with a 18-karat red-plated gold rotor, and two barrels for a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. This movement also features a highly functional 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 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, along with a graduated scale around the outside, for the exact setting of the seconds.
From mechanics to aesthetics
Montblanc's tribute to its fine watchmaking heritage carries through to the design of the timepiece with a sophisticated dial crafted out of a dyed dark blue aventurine. This semi- precious stone is a type of quartz with tiny inclusions that give it its glittering starry night sky qualities, creating an elegant backdrop for the indications. The bottom part of the dial houses the magnificent ExoTourbillon with its 18-karat red gold-plated bridge set against a silvery vertical satin-finished plate.
The hours and minutes are indicated with red gold-plated faceted sword-shaped hands that are slightly off-centered and positioned at the centre of a blued guilloché flinqué disc with a graceful wave decoration. This focal point not only provides the perfect balance to the ExoTourbillon at six o'clock, but also indicates the date via a red-tipped red gold-plated hand that points to the date marked around the disc. For the chronograph function, the elapsed seconds (at eight o'clock) and minutes (at four o'clock) can be read on two semi-circular counters with hands of different lengths to match the appropriate sectorial scales. Other fine watchmaking details include a precise minute track around the outside of the dial for increased legibility, and a sparkling patented diamond at 12 o'clock, cut in the form of the Montblanc star emblem.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph comes in a slim, round, 44mm case in 18-karat red gold. Curved horns with characteristic facets, a stepped concave bezel, and a crown embedded with the Montblanc emblem, also contribute to the refinement of the timepiece. In addition to this model, Montblanc has unveiled a gem-set version with 76 diamonds on the bezel, which is limited to 28 pieces worldwide.