By John Galt
First launched by Montblanc at the Salon International de la Haute Horology at the beginning of this year, the Heritage Chronometrie collection includes some special editions inspired by the expeditions and pioneering spirit of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Recently at the Hong Kong Watches and Wonders exhibition Montblanc chose to release another limited edition the Heritage Chronometrie Duel time Vasco da Gama with a dual time zone indication using new technology to enable the wearer to display both the home time zone and a second time zone simultaneously, and what a stunner it is.
The 41mm stainless steel is made in three parts (bezel, middle and back) meaning Montblanc has the possibility to present the bezel in stainless steel or like this version in 18k rose gold giving a beautiful contrast between the cool of the steel and warmth of the rose gold. The bezel is flat with its surface nicely polished and as its sides are satin-finished giving again a good contrast. The rounded horned lugs are also highly polished.
The white sunburst pattern dial worked extremely well with the gold bezel and crown and really accentuates the complication on the dial. A minute track hugs the outer edge of the dial with gold indexes in 10-minute accruements, but the real interest of the piece is the complications. The main one is, of course, the seductive blued hour hand mounted on the central axis that indicates the home time. The hour and minute hands are gold and point to the local time, with the hour hand that can be adjusted independently from the crown, both forward and backward, in one-hour jumps. The sub-dial at 12 O’clock is the 24-hour indicator showing if the home time is day or night and decorated with a disc that at night depicts the Southern Cross constellation with three guiding stars. Below at 6 O’clock is a sub-seconds dial that shows a small map of the world with a three-dimensional look to it. Last on the dial is a date window at 3 O’clock bordered in gold displaying the date which can be moved forward or backwards accordingly with the time zone selected.
Turning the piece over you are greeted with an exhibition case-back adorned with a drawing of the São Gabriel, Vasco da Gama’s flagship, together with the signature of this explorer. Peer inside and we will see the beating heart of the MB 29.19 automatic calibre developed in-house at Villeret by Montblanc’s watchmakers and boasts a power reserve of 42 hours and ticks at 28,800 bph.
Finishing off the piece is a black alligator skin strap with triple stainless steel folding clasp.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco da Gama Limited Edition is limited to 238 pieces, in a reference to the “Cape Point Peak” lighthouse, which was built at precisely 238 meters above sea level at the Cape of Good Hope, around which Vasco da Gama first sailed in late November 1497.
This is another strong special edition from Montblanc and I do like the two tone of the bezel and case, but I can’t help but think that there’s something missing, but I’m not sure what that could be.
For more info, please visit montblanc.com
JOHN GALT – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
John Galt caught the horology bug back in 2010 on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury HauteHorology, his favorite brands being HYT and GreubelForsey that push the boundaries of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepieces. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow him onTwitter Read his articles here