By Harlan Chapman-Green
You didn’t need me really to explain the thought processes behind the naming of this watch now did you? It’s Montblanc’s 157th birthday this year and they’ve thrown a party of sorts with this new watch collection. The 1858 limited edition collection harkens back to the days of yonder when classical was the entertainment of choice and families all in one room would communicate to each other via something called speech. The 1858 collection uses vintage design language coupled with modern case sizes and it’s in this genre in particular that Montblanc has its work cut out.
Longines, Bell & Ross, Breitling, Zenith, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe (as well as many others) have had a crack at producing watches with similar design styles to when they were most popular, in particular Breguet’s Classique lineup springs to mind as the go to choice for people who want a dress watch of the same calibre as the top 3 but they want it in a renaissance style case. So Montblanc joins fray with the 1858 collection, and an entrance they make as well.
The devil’s in the detail with all watches, but especially with vintage inspired watches. Here, designers actually have watches from the era to look to for design cues. I can assure you that a discerning watch enthusiast will be thrilled by a watch dedicated to a certain period of time, but only if said watch actually takes the cues on board. For instance, with the new Montblanc 1858 Watch Collection, details such as the onion crown and the bars across the lume hands of the watch accentuate the look no end.
The watch comes in three variants which are all limited edition runs, the first is a mono-pusher chronograph with a tachymetric scale inside the edge of the case. The widely spaced subdials on this watch work wonders, making the dial spacious yet informative right when you need it to be. The column wheel chronograph movement is inspired by that of a pocket watch and as such is very large overall. It’s also beautiful, and I mean beautiful, the movement is gorgeous and has been fully displayed on the reverse of the 45mm 18k rose gold case.
The other versions of the new 1858 collection are both 3 handed small seconds watches. They have the exact same appearance as the 1858 mono-pusher chronograph edition watch, with the exception of the chronograph of course, which has disappeared for these pieces. This means aesthetically that the numerals and hands are the same and are still coated in patina coloured lume like on the chronograph edition. Just like the chronograph editions, these watches are actually using the old Montblanc logo which is made up of the two words and a little depiction of Montblanc on the Swiss border. You’ll find the new Montblanc logo has been engraved onto the crown, personally I think the Montblanc depiction would’ve been just as good.
For obvious reasons, the watches are limited to 858 examples, except for the chronograph which is limited to 100 examples. In terms of pricing, the 1858 Chronograph Monopusher in 18k rose gold was priced at $32,900. The limited edition small seconds watch on a leather strap will be $3395 and $3505 on a bracelet. The automatic version of the small seconds watch on a leather strap will come in at $3180. Bargain.
For more info, please visit montblanc.com
HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the odd Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram Read his articles here