The 2021 edition of Watches and Wonders, a premier event for luxury watch manufacturers that showcases the latest and the best in watchmaking from around the world, concluded last month. Close to 40 manufacturers participated in this two-part event, held in an online digital format in Geneva, and in-person in Shanghai. Montblanc, one of the leading lights in the luxury watch segment, was one of the participants, and unveiled some of its new watches for the year, including the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858, 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100, and the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18.
We had a chance to catch up with Laurent Lecamp, Montblanc’s MD – Watch Division, for a brief chat, where he spoke about the new watches and the trends that we can look out for in 2021 and beyond.
MW: What trends do you foresee for this year, in the luxury watch segment?
Laurent Lecamp: The innovative development of the case back of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 (which features a unique 3D engraving of the Gobi Desert’s famous Flaming Cliffs, achieved via a new laser process) will be a huge trend. I’m sure some other companies will try to develop the same in the next few months and years. So we are setting the trend, I would say. Then, there are the colours; we are coming with a blue dial and a brown dial, a lime gold case, and a bronze case. Our Indian customers love these colours.
MW: What’s your take on the Indian market?
LL: The Indian market is very interesting, and very important for us, and we will certainly focus on India. The Indian mindset I really appreciate; there’s a lot of culture and history here. History has to work with history, and Indian buyers understand extremely well what it means, having a real Swiss-made timepiece with such great history from 1858. With our new watches, especially the 1858, we are very well prepared for growing in India.
MW: For Indian buyers, what makes Montblanc really unique?
LL: Montblanc is unique because of our history, our heritage. Our Minerva factory has a museum that showcases more than a thousand of our watches, including pocket watches, wrist watches, and all types of complications and creations. We make our own movements, which are unique, and feature complications that are hard to find elsewhere.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100
The watch pays tribute to the origins of the brand, and is also a reference to a monopusher chronograph that the company made in the 1930s, which is a source of inspiration for this new timepiece. Limited to 100 pieces, the watch takes some elements from the 1930s original, including its black dial and luminescent cathedral-shaped hands, while the special bronze alloy case is also a reference to the vintage.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858
This new watch is dedicated to world-famous mountaineer and explorer Reinhold Messner, and is inspired by a five-week solo expedition he did across the Gobi Desert in 2004. The timepiece reproduces the warm, dusty colours of the Gobi Desert, with a micro-blasted bronze case, a new brown ceramic bezel, a gradated brown lacquered dial, and a matching vintage-brown calfskin strap. The watch also features a special realistic 3D engraving of the Gobi Desert’s famous Flaming Cliffs that has been achieved using a unique new laser process.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18
Montblanc is introducing a brand-new gold alloy called lime gold in the new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18. It has a unique golden finish that veers towards a pale, yellowy green, and matches with the sunray gold-coloured dial to create a monochrome aesthetic. The watch is equipped with the hand-finished, manually-wound, manufacture monopusher chronograph caliber, which features a split-seconds chronograph complication.