Montblanc 4810 TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition - Buying watches
When it comes to tips for "Buying Watches", a column that comes back in fashion less than two months before Christmas, the thought goes quickly to the name of a few brands, whereas mine heads swiftly towards those manufacturers that offer products with the best value/features ratio. On more than one occasion, among these particular brands, the name Montblanc has immediately come up. It is a brand that offers an incredible range of different types of watches whose retail price stays within the notorious 10,000-euro-threshold (back in the days it used to be the 5,000-euro-threshold but times have changed and we need to get used to it). I completely understand that, when you talk about 5-digit-figures, the term “accessible” sounds slightly ridiculous or even offensive, but it does make sense if you talk about it in relative terms rather than in absolute terms and, most of all, if you also keep in mind what other brands would offer within the same price segment and the value of some timepieces too. When it comes to these aspects, Montblanc seems to have no competitors, you might like its products or dislike them but you have to admit that the brand has started a “luxury democratization process” in the field of horlogerie.
When I talk about “democratization”, I am not exclusively referring to a single development axis – the one related to a price reduction with the same characteristic as the benchmark product – but rather to a well-balanced mix of technical features and aesthetic choices that makes you regret not having even considered a watch from this German brand that is Swiss by adoption. Montblanc is the brand that created the chronographs of the Nicolas Rieussec series, the brand that designed an exceptionally beautiful timepiece like the Orbis Terrarum (version one and two are here and here respectively) and an unexpected collection like the 4810. The former might still be missing from Horbiter and that’s something I am going to rectify soon since I am a big fan of the Rieussec, while the Montblanc 4810 TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition is here today to help me explain what I mean with the above-mentioned concept.
Montblanc offers a chronograph with an in-house-built caliber, double flyback function, column wheel mechanism and second time-zone all under the psychological 7,000-euro-threshold (the retail price has been revisited since the beginning of the year or else it would be still under that threshold), a ton of value for the end-customer from a brand that is migrating its flair towards the world of watch-making by being part of a group of brands with the highest positioning within the sector, an incredible know-how and the willingness to give its brand the capability to become, everyone in its own way and at the fastest pace possible, an independent and integrated manufacturing company.
The Montblanc 4810 TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition’s dial features a waved guillochè motif that is naturally linked to the brand's logo; the local time is positioned in the middle, the second timezone is indicated by a small blue hand associated to the daytime and the nighttime, the small continuous seconds counter is located at 6 o’clock within a dial that sports a small opening for the date. The analogical viewing with a few central hands is a great solution, the best effect is achieved when you look at the chronograph while the two central hands are moving and, possibly, after at least 10 minutes have gone by. The name “TwinFly” refers to the double flyback function that allows you to use the reset function of the minutes and seconds hands without having to stop them first, you can actually let the two hands start off again at the very same time.
I find it a bit difficult to understand why so many writings were added to the dial and, most of all, why different fonts and sizes were used for the logo, the word “TwinFly” and the number of the date for example. The silhouette of the globe at the top adds in a new tone of colour and breaks the “hypnotic” geometry of the dial that is also broken by the chrono minutes hand with its red tip and its dedicated scale on an inner ring. The outer ring, on the other hand, is dedicated to the chrono seconds. The "guillochè" motif is obviously not hand-made as it would cost much more to craft it that way, it is actually printed, indices included. I really wished we had a picture of the caliber; the MB LL100.1 that beats at a frequency of 4Hz and guarantees up to 72 hours of power reserve (hence more than a weekend), it features, let me underline it once again, a chronograph with column wheel, a double resetting function of the chronograph, a second time-zone, and it is entirely in-house built.
The bridges sport a Cotes de Genéve decoration, the rotor is highly skeletonized with the Montblanc rosette in full view and the blued screws on the movement. Are you passionate about mechanics? Would you like to get your hands on a complicated timepiece with an in-house built movement and you are looking for an item with a good few complications? Do you have a limited budget? A Montblanc 4810 TwinFly Chronograph 110 Years Edition could be a possible answer to your wishes, it has a series of complications that put together sheer usefulness for the globetrotting professional and a real passion for watch-making, the end price is, in my opinion, quite spot-on. Take a look around and you will soon realize that for an in-house built Flyback chronograph crafted by a brand that is as fascinating as Montblanc, you would need to fork out much more than the recommended retail price of 7,100 euro.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter