The Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum watch hands-on
The official excuse for this watch's launch is “the celebration of Montblanc's 110th anniversary” but truth is that Montblanc's watch manufacturing sector can't be contained, not even when it comes to improving one the best timepieces ever crafted in the year 2015. The Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum replaces the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum, that is to say that there is a new collection (the 4810) in the Montblanc family.
That particular figure doesn't refer to a new complication or to a new caliber but it simply represents the altitude measured at the top of the highest peak that we share with our French cousins. I have never reviewed the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum on Horbiter before so this is the perfect occasion to group together the previous version of this timepiece and the new one in a single article, I will try to explain to you this watch's evolution that is actually not as trivial as a quick look at these two items might suggest.
Let's kick off with those things that have not been changed on this complicated timepiece that features a world-time-function and gives the user the possibility to view the time of 24 different time zones at the same time and let's also discuss what makes this watch so unique and original. Whether you are a world-time watches' fan or not, you will agree that the design of the dial is extremely bizarre, since it is made up of two thin sapphire glass discs that are placed on top of each other.
The first disc shows the continents and the 24-city-disc as if you were towering the North Pole and were looking at the world from above to take a beautiful picture of it. The second disc, on the other hand, is half blue and half white in colour and it is used for the day-time/night-time visualization and its rotation is run in accordance with the moving of the hour and the 24-city-disc. The original disc was re-edited and, on the Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum, it now sports hues that range from yellow to red.
In some people's opinion, this particular depiction of the globe has been inherited by the Vacheron Traditionnelle World Time. Montblanc have added a touch of romanticism, new colours and warmth to it, thus revamping a complication that, otherwise, would tend to dramatically unify the style of the various world-time watches available in the market, many of which stand out exclusively for their choice of the names of the cities.
It is pretty easy to set the time on this timepiece; once you have set the city linked to the local time by using the little triangle placed at 6 o'clock, you can start setting the hour too. Once you are done with the setting of the hour, you will be able to view the time of the other 23 world cities through the inner dial ring at the same time as your local time.
The setting of the new local hour is managed through a rectangle-shaped button placed on the case at 8 o'clock, each time that you press it, the hours counter moves, the continents also move and so does the day-time/night-time indication and they won't stop until you have reached your destination city.
The cases of the Heritage and of the 4810 are quite different from each other; when I took the picture below, I was wearing the Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum and, at first sight, I didn't notice any difference between the two watches but I was actually completely wrong! If you take a closer look at the two ones, you will immediately realize that the case of the 4810 has been totally polished, the edges have been rounded (the two bezels are quite different from each other) and the size has gone from 41mm to 43mm. Keep in mind that 2mm are a lot when it comes to watch manufacturing!
The Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum retails at about 6.000 euro and it plays the leader role within the entry level niche of the luxury world-time watches, next to it come the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time and the top-class Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time. I can't really say whether the new dial is nicer than the previous one, it all comes down to your personal taste, but it is definitely true that every single detail that Montblanc have re-edited on this timepiece has made it into an item that is even more premium-looking than before.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®