What you see on your screen is a world-timer watch from Montblanc. That’s quite fitting, actually, as it wasn’t that long ago that we were looking at the new Lange 1 Timezone which isn’t a world-timer. The Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum from Montblanc is not the first world-timer from the brand; in 2014 they launched a model with a name very similar to this one.
The first thing I noticed right off the bat is the changing of the hands. On the previous model, they were polished dauphine hands which look fantastic pretty much anywhere they’re used. They were classy, elegant and sophisticated—a true statement for a statement watch like the Orbis Terrarum. The new leaf-style hands don’t do anything for me. I feel they’re a little clumsy and they offset what is an otherwise gorgeous dial. They do have some lume, though.
The dial is a feast for the eyes. Made up of layers, textures and colours, there are all sorts of things going on here. The centre of the dial shows a map of the northern hemisphere of our planet sat on a cage-like depiction of the latitude and longitude lines. Beneath that is a disk that’s been given a treatment of guilloché, the pattern is called flinqué-froissé, which is divided in half. What you can’t see is that the continents and the lines have been coated onto the sapphire disk using rhodium. Underneath that sapphire disk, the engraved disk rotates to inform the wearer of whether it’s day or night in every timezone.
Powering all of this is the Sellita SW 350-1, a movement with a 42-hour power reserve and 4Hz beat rate. Montblanc then makes in-house the module which drives the world time function and calls the movement the calibre M29.20. It’s visible through the caseback, but the fact that it’s all hidden dial-side means there isn’t a lot to look at.
All of this is put inside a 43mm x 13.84mm case which is usually in stainless steel. That version is known as the reference 126108, and it’ll set you back $6800, which is a lot. Then there’s the 500-piece limited edition reference 126109 which is made of rose gold and has a brown dial and costs an eye-watering $20,800.