With standout watches like the Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph it’s no surprise Montblanc was the name on everyone’s lips at SIHH.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph
Although Montblanc had been steadily strengthening its timepiece offering for the better part of the last decade, it is only in the last 2 years or so that the Richemont-owned brand has really kicked things up a gear (or four), leading those unfamiliar with the brand to ask “what the hell happened?” The answer is of course not so much what happened but rather who; Jerome Lambert.
Since taking over the reins at Montblanc a couple of years back the former CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre (a fellow Richemont stablemate) has all but re-invented the brand into a well-respected maker of high-end timepieces. Last year it seemed the focus was on creating affordable entry-level timepieces that offered exceptional value for money whilst still demonstrating the brand’s technical savvy (like a Perpetual Calendar in steel for $13k).
This year however the gloves are off and the brand has come out with the heavy hitters, including the superb Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph, which is not even the most complicated piece the brand has launched this year. It is however one of my favorites and here’s why.
Presented in a 44mm red gold case complete with concave bezel for scratch protection, the clean looking dial combines what Montblanc says are two of the most important chronometric complications: a chronograph and a revolutionary tourbillon.
Effectively split in two, the upper dial, which has been nicely embellished with a fine ivory-grainé texture, displays the date, hours and minutes as well as the unique chronograph indicators. The lower level meanwhile features vertical satin finishes and allows for detailed viewing of the exquisite ExoTourbillon at 6 o’clock. It’s complex and yet simple at the same time, giving the watch a level of intuitive practicality that others made in the same vein can only grasp at.
To make all this possible the ExoTourbillon Chronograph is powered by the Manufacture Calibre MB R230, which has been developed and manufactured completely in-house and features a column-wheel and vertical coupling, along with a double barrel which provide 50 hours of power in reserve when fully wound.
As an added bonus it features a mono-pusher chronograph, which means you use a button set into the crown to control the chronograph. This is of course begs the obvious question, if the crown controls the chronograph, what the heck is the pusher at 8 o’clock for? I’m glad you asked. Another handy little feature from Montblanc, the hours can be manually advanced forward with a simple push of the button for when you travel to a different time-zone. Not a game-changer by any means sure but still nice to have.
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph is non-limited and will retail for a ridiculously cheap 38,000 Euro (still waiting on confirmation of the official US price.) There is also a very cool limited edition version (pictured above) called the Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Vasco da Gama which will retail for 45,000 Euro.
Check out Montblanc.com for more information.
Subscribe to TWL to get original content like this direct to your inbox.