In honour of the 160th anniversary of its Minerva manufacture in Villeret – a place that provides the inspiration for its 1858 collection – Montblanc has created the Geosphere. Much like the rest of this year’s timepieces from the 1858 collection, the Geosphere – which was envisioned specifically as a mountaineer’s watch – draws inspiration from alpine pursuits and the professional tool-watches produced by Minerva during the 1920s and 1930s.
Available with either a limited-edition bronze, or standard production stainless-steel 42mm case, the Geosphere is powered using the new in-house automatic MB 29.25 calibre and features worldtime, second time-zone and date complications. Employing a unique style of worldtime display first seen in the Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama from 2015, the hour from each of the world’s 24 main time zones is indicated via two rotating domes depicting the globe’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Ringed by time-zone scales with contrasting day/night markings, each one completes a full rotation every 24 hours, they are found at 12 (Northern) and 6 o’clock (Southern).
Notably, the prime meridian line has been highlighted with a strip of white Super-LumiNova on both domes. And, in direct reference to mountaineering, seven dots indicating the locations of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the world’s continents) can also be also found on the illustrations.
Moving on from the worldtime complication, the second time-zone function is pretty conventional. It’s displayed using a sub-dial at 9 o’clock and is linked to the date wheel found opposite at 3 o’clock.
As a heritage-inspired piece, vintage design touches include central cathedral hour and minute hands, a slim Arabic hour font, faux-tina lume, and throwback Montblanc logo. In terms of strap options, the watch is supplied with either a tan aged calfskin, a tan aged Sfumato calfskin Bund, or black NATO-style strap.
Offset by a bi-directional rotating ceramic bezel with cardinal direction markers, the 1858 Geosphere is a handsome watch, indeed. Stringently tested using Montblanc’s torturous Laboratory Test 500 and water-resistant to 100 metres, it’s one that will certainly cater to the needs of the well-heeled, adventurous globetrotter.
Automatic MB 29.25; hours and minutes; date; second time-zone; worldtimer
42mm bronze (limited edition) or stainless steel
Black fabric NATO-style strap, cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching, or brown Sfumato aged calf leather Bund strap