Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Titanium Grade 5 and Steel
A few years ago, Montblanc watches embarked on a full renovation process. Talking product philosophy, the pillars of such overhaul are the 1858 collection, and the Minerva-based Chronos in the top end. The first one eventually introduced to attract new customers, the second to strengthen the brand's awareness among connoisseurs. On the one hand, Minerva based wristwatches attract watch collectors with refined single push-piece Chronographs; on the other hand, the 1858 collection is the forerunner of class-leading watches with a competitive price point, addressed to those who approach watchmaking and look for fresher products. Case in point, the 1858 Geosphere is the perfect example of the second category.
Montblanc's hero product, the 1858 Geosphere
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is no doubt the brand's hero product, what in current marketing jargon best summarizes Jerome McCarthy's four-P theory (price, product, place, promotion). By choosing the theme of "exploration" as mainstream in the communication process, Montblanc adds this year the third variant to the 1858 Geosphere's catalog.
Blue tones, Grade 5 Titanium, and the first-ever bracelet
Blue dials are today's "bread and butter" among sports watches; the 2020 1858 Geosphere is no different, other than being a nod to alpine glaciers. Setting brand communication philosophy apart, Montblanc debuted terrific new features with this third iteration.
The case is crafted in grade 5 titanium, and that's breaking news. Grade 5 is more robust than Grade 2, which most brands, that cost twice as much as this Geosphere, do use. Grade 5 titanium is more difficult to work, too, making it harder to polish and industrially produced since it requires specific tools. The 1858 Geosphere adopts Grade 5 for case and bracelet's external links; all in all, the whole timepiece is a bi-material timepiece, with a bead of rice links surrounded by titanium links, on the bracelet, and a steel bezel with blue ceramic inlay. Also, the bracelet perfectly integrates into the case and has a hidden folding clasp.
In summary, titanium offers superior lightness and comfort, and Grade 5 is a top-notch choice. Interestingly, adopting steel and titanium shaves off the right amount of weight to an otherwise too light timepiece, as that's often the case with full titanium timepieces.
Universal time and compass
The 1858 Geosphere is a double world timer, offering, first and foremost, a useful feature when exploring: the bezel houses a compass rose and rotates in both directions, to allow pointing True North, when paired to the position of the sun, and the hour hand.
When adjusting a Geosphere, the first thing to do is to align the reference time, via positioning the blue line, which indicates the GMT/UTC line crossing London (in the northern hemisphere) against the external day-and-night hour disc (pull the crown to position 2). Next, you can adjust local time by pulling the crown to position one. By doing this, you can quickly set the hour hand in one-hour increments back and forth; the date adjusts accordingly, moving forth or back depending on whether you're crossing the IDL (International Date Line) in one direction or the other.
An additional timezone at nine o'clock can be adjusted independently via a pin corrector placed on the case: you might use that register as home time, for example. When running, the local time, the second time zone, and the hemispheres move in sync to offer time display in the main twenty-four time zones.
Considerations, suggestions, and price
The 1858 Geosphere 2020 edition is the most refined Geosphere ever; it offers the world-time complication we're familiar with, although it's pretty hard to identify any city on both hemispheres unless your knowledge of geography is up to the task. The world time mechanism has been developed in-house by Montblanc out of a Sellita base caliber, and the dual-display is unique unless you move upwards and access top-end watchmaking (like a Vasco da Gama).
Thumbs up to Montblanc for choosing grade 5 titanium for case and bracelet, it is a call to action to other brands who keep offering products crafted in Grade 2, which is outdated. That steel bracelet gives that the 1858 Geosphere new lure and an all-rounder personality, altogether. What I believe should be improved instead is the whopping 12,8mm case thickness, by shaving off at least a whole millimeter. The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere sells at 5,800 Euros on a blue leather strap, and 6,100 Euros on the new bracelet.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Montblanc)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®