Montblanc Scales New Heights With Watches and Wonders 2024
Montblanc Scales New Heights With Watches and Wonders 2024

Montblanc ups the ante after a successful 2023 with 9 new launches at Watches and Wonders 2024 — here's a look at our two favourites from the lineup

Montblanc have been on quite a roll for a year now, especially when it comes to horology. The Hamburg-based luxury goods titan has continued to release some very desirable timepieces all the way from last year's Watches and Wonders release, the 1858 The Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph LE 88, to Only Watch '23's 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen. It seems that whether we're looking at old-school chronographs that harken back to the roaring twenties era of watchmaking, or cutting-edge watches designed for the most outdoorsy outdoorsman out there, Montblanc seems to be pushing the bill,

 

With this week's Watches and Wonders event, they've pretty much doubled down on exclusivity, new materials science advancements, clever remixes of their latest modern classics — there's nine launches in total, and plenty to talk about — so let's start with our two Montblanc favourites from this week's happenings in Geneva.

 

Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4180

 

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It takes a certain sense of creativity — humour even — to come up with the concept of this watch; an exercise so extreme and perhaps even unexpected that I have to respect the Maison for one of the most understated-yet-impressive launches of the week. Launched in '22, the Iced Sea collection is one of the newest divers' watch lineups in the watch market today, with the Iced Sea Automatic (and its limited 'Coffret' editions) offering a solid 300m-capable piece that blends subtle yet thematic gratté-boisé dialwork, natural colour schemes and a robust build.

 

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The new 0 Oxygen Deep 4180 takes all these design principles, joins hands with the brand's existing 0 Oxygen concept — which eliminates fogging and reduces in-case corrosion — and dials it all to eleven. Montblanc explores new territories at minus 4810 meters — inverting the 4810 meter height of the Mont Blanc Mountain; connecting the Earth's greatest depths to some of its most iconic peaks. Its all a bit poetic, actually — though most of its wearers will never reach such depths, its confidence-inspiring to see Montblanc push the envelope so hard, and so tastefully.

 

Unlike some of the 'clunkier' deep-sea watches you'll see this week, Montblanc have largely chosen to retain the original Automatic's aesthetics, albeit with a 6.8mm case height increase. Like with all the Iced Sea timepieces, the dial was inspired by the ice of one of the Mont Blanc mountain’s largest glaciers – the Mer de Glace – with its interlocking network of crystals that have been frozen in time for millennia, giving each dial the impression of genuine depth and luminosity. As the timepiece needs to be visible in all conditions, Montblanc has incorporated white Super- LumiNova® into the hands, indexes and a dot at 12 o’clock which all glow in a luminescent shade  of blue in low light, in keeping with the glacial theme.

 

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Housed in a 43mm titanium case with a shield protecting the screw-down crown, this new diving watch comes with a caseback adorned with a 3D engraving of the view divers see when diving underneath the ice. This mesmerizing effect is created in a three-dimensional colored relief that is achieved by a process of laser-generated oxidization that structures the metal with both matte and shiny finishes to create contrasts of color and texture.

 

Possibly one of Montblanc's most go-anywhere watches yet, the in-house manufacture, COSC-certified, automatic MB 29.29 movement powers the Deep 4180 with approx. five days of power reserve, this deep diving timepiece indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, and a date at 3 o’clock.

 

Montblanc 1858 The Unveiled Minerva Monopusher Chronograph

 

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In 2007, Montblanc's watchmaking expertise was further enhanced by the creation of the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie in Villeret, in the Bernese Jura, Switzerland, a foundation dedicated to classical fine watchmaking and the upholding of traditional skills and special complications. The result, apart from Montblanc's eventual ascendeance into the upper echelons of haute horlogerie, have come in the form of iconic timepieces like last year's (aforementioned) Monopusher — which the Maison have seen fit for an upgrade.

 

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This new limited edition (100 examples) sees the addition of five apertures into the case band, allowing light to flood into the hand-finished, internally-mounted manually wound movement. Montblanc’s designers have taken a truly architectural approach to the entire timepiece in order to create a play of light and depth flowing through the movement constructed on pillars, so that the wearer can fully admire the 291 components via five different crystal windows; a design choice made even more delightful by the flipped-over orientation of the Calibre MB M17.26 itself, which is now viewable face-up.

 

This new limited edition comes in a 43mm stainless steel case with an elegant horizontal satin finishing. It is fitted with a white gold fluted bezel that has been inspired by Minerva’s first fluted bezel dating back to 1927, adding a touch of finesse to the model. Particular attention has been paid to the indications so that they don’t distract from the  movement with a sapphire crystal dial, an open-worked 30-minute chronograph counter, an open- worked small seconds display, and elegant hands and indexes that have been created with Super-LumiNova® for enhanced legibility.

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