Montblanc’s entry into watchmaking over 23 years ago may have been a surprise to many, but it has grown rapidly since, shaped in most recent years by Nicolas Baretzki and Davide Cerrato, the CEO and watch managing director of the brand, respectively. The collections have expanded and in the last few years, the brand has spent quite a bit of effort broadening its sport collection while refining its Star and Heritage ranges. The brand’s product strategy today is divided into two key segments: sport and classic; and in terms of style, between vintage and contemporary.
The brand’s Star collection today is completely focused on the Star Legacy which Cerrato and his team have refined this year. As Cerrato explains, “We needed to come up with something more precise, detailed, sharp and contemporary. So we refined the collection in terms of texture and shape.” The case itself has been refined, inspired by the “pebble” shape of traditional watchmaking, a minute track enhanced and the dial stamped with a guilloché pattern on the dial and small seconds counter where relevant. Instead of Arabic numerals, the markers are in elongated Roman numerals in a very contemporary and modern manner, with feuille hands and a knurled crown. One favorite detail is the stepped lugs, which give the watch a rather sophisticated presence on the wrist.
Several models have been introduced, starting with a three-hand model with a small date window, available with a champagne-colored dial in steel as well as a slate grey dial. Braceleted and alligator-strapped versions of the watch exist, as well as a day-date with chronograph model, in similar styles. The straps are in chocolate brown for the champagne dial and dark grey for the anthracite dial. Sized at 43mm, they are both powered by Montblanc-modified Sellita-based movements, the caliber 24.17 (for the Star Automatic Date) and the caliber 25.07 (for the Star Chronograph Day-Date).
The Heritage collection sees three new models, inspired by Minerva designs from the 1940s and in particular, a handful of monopusher chronographs which Minerva was renowned for during the post-war era. The highlight is the Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, which had been previously introduced with a salmon-colored dial. This year, the watch is being launched in a rose gold case with a smoky tobacco-brown dial, powered by the MB M13.21 monopusher caliber that’s inspired by a Minerva 13.20 caliber that was first produced in 1923.
The horizontally coupled, column wheel chronograph features emblematic Minerva details, such as the V-shaped chronograph bridge and the Minerva arrow. The plate and bridges of the movement are plated in gold, to match the watch case. Circular graining and beveling, as well as the Geneva stripes, are all employed in the decoration of the movement. The 13.21 caliber has been seen in past Pulsograph models, in steel with a salmon-colored dial first shown at SIHH 2019, and now in rose gold with a tobacco brown dial.
More models will be forthcoming on 24th April 2020. Stay tuned.