The Montblanc TimeWalker new chronographs for 2018
Pre SIHH 2018
The 2018 SIHH is coming up and Montblanc keeps up with its re-interpretation of the world of classic car racing as it did last January with the production of two in-house built chronographs that are part of the TimeWalker collection; the Montblanc TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph Limited Edition 100 and the Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph. These timepieces are two brand new releases that bring together the best of the Montblanc manufacturing skills and two types of dial that will definitely catch the attention of watch-making and vintage chronographs fans; the panda dial and the reverse panda dial.
MONTBLANC TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph Limited Edition 100
The Montblanc TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph Limited Edition 100 replicates the surprisingly successful and unexpected 2017 SIHH experience, when Montblanc presented a very beautiful chronograph with a case that can be rotated by 180 degrees to make the timepiece more readable when driving. The case can be detached from the lugs so that it can be used as a dashboard (or desktop) clock; something that was quite popular in the past, when chronographs were used during car races.
It is a watch that blends together the flavour of those classic single-button chronographs from the past that are no longer available in brands’ catalogues with the precision and prestige of the MB M16.29 calibre that can be seen through the case-back. The calibre features a so-called devil’s horn bridge inherited from the historic calibres crafted by Minerva (below is a picture of the first version that we took last January).
If compared to the first release (the Montblanc Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition), the Montblanc TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph Limited Edition 100 sports a reverse panda dial with white counters on a black background and a red pointy central chronographic hand that is typical of the Minerva chrono calibres. The Minerva manufacture was famous for its extremely precise calibres, in 1916 already it was one of the first manufactures to craft a calibre that could measure a hundredth of a second.
The Montblanc MB M16.29 calibre is the heir to the 17.29 calibre that was developed in the 30s and it fuses together exceptional finishing lines that have been entirely hand-made (like a Côtes de Genéve decoration), bevelled inner corners, a circular grainè motif and the chamfering with exceptional technical features, like the chrono function that is activated through a column wheel, the silver main plate, the Phillips curve spring and the big balance wheel running at a frequency of 2,5Hz with a "col-de-cygne” fine adjusting system. The titanium case measures 50mm and it features a double finishing, it is polished and knurled and its central part has undergone a black DLC-treatment like the winding crown of the manual calibre. Like for the first edition, only 100 pieces of this chronograph will be released.
Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph
With the Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture, the brand introduces us to two interesting innovations.
The classic Timewalker case – characterized by a case-middle with slots extending up to the curved lugs (above - current collection) – is coupled with a panda dial, a rally strap made of antiqued calf leather in a brown shade and crafted by the Montblanc Leather Division headquartered in Florence, and a new in-house built calibre (reference MB25.10) with its classic V (3-6-9) layout of the chronographic counters on the dial.
Within the 43mm case lays an automatic movement running at a frequency of 4Hz with up to 46 hours of power reserve and a chronograph with a column wheel. The knurled crown is made of stainless steel and has undergone a black DLC-treatment; it matches the black ceramics bezel with an engraved tachymetric scale. The Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph puts together all the features that have made the TimeWalker collection famous, like its in-house built calibres and an excellent quality/price ratio, a neo-vintage flavour that adds in to the urban-chic language of the current TimeWalker collection.
Both chronographs have undergone the Test 500; the tests specification that every Montblanc timepiece has to go through before it is allowed to enter its box to be shipped out to retailers.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Montblanc)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®