Inspired by the world of mountain exploration the Montblanc 1858 collection has always been about rugged good looks and functionality in extreme conditions. The 1858 Geosphere is in fact dedicated to the seven summit challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering where climbers are expected to conquer the highest peaks on all seven continents. The 1858 in the name, of course, refers famously to the birth year of the of the pedigreed Minerva watches which are part of the Montblanc family. This collection gets its inspiration from the professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 1930s that were conceived for military use and exploration.
The recent SIHH trade show in January saw the launch of four new limited edition versions of the watch, two new 1858 Automatic models, an 1858 Chronograph and an 1858 Geosphere. Their outdoorsy livery is sure to further enhance the line. As against the previous versions that had a steel case and a bronze bezel, the new automatic models come in a full-bronze 40mm case paired with a khaki-green dial, or a steel case with a black dial. The new 1858 Chronograph is in a 42mm full bronze case with a khaki-green dial, providing an ideal backdrop for the bi-compax counters.
The 1858 Geosphere comes in a 42 mm case in polished and satin bronze with a bi-directional bezel in bronze featuring green ceramic inserts that mark the four compass points. The khaki-green dial features the date at 3 o’clock, a second-time-zone at 9 o’clock and a vintage Montblanc logo next to the date. The hour and minute hands are coated in red gold and the time zone hand in beige.
The polished and satin-finished bronze cases feature slim, bevelled horns while the case back
is crafted from titanium featuring a bronze colour coating. The case back is also engraved with the likeness of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, as a nod to the spirit of mountain exploration. Other details include fluted crowns that recall those on period timepieces and robust, domed, sapphire crystal glass boxes that highlight the vintage look of each watch. The NATO straps are handcrafted in France at a traditional 150-year old weaving company.
In keeping with its dedication, the Geosphere features the world’s seven summits on the dial marked with red dots on two domed globes turning in opposite directions, completing a full rotation in 24 hours. They are each surrounded by a scale with 24 time zones with a day-night indication in contrasting colours. The different time zones are indicated with the help of SuperLumiNova applied to the continents which increase visibility at night.