ALL ABOUT MONTBLANC WATCHES
Montblanc is a name that has been synonymous with luxury pens since our childhood. This Hamburg, Germany-based company was founded in 1906. They manufacture luxury watches, fragrances, luxury pens, eyewear, jewelry, leather goods, headphones, stationery, and accessories.
The company has a traveling line that includes bags, luggage, duffel bags, backpacks, etc. The company got into the watch-making business in 1997. Montblanc's parent company Richemont acquired the company Minerva SA in 2007 which got them seriously into the business of watch-making. Minerva was a prestigious watchmaker and they were famous for manufacturing chronographs and stopwatches.
They started with their own watch manufacturing unit at Le Locle, Switzerland. This facility does mass production of entry-level watches every year. Sellita-based movements are one technology they adopt for their entry-level watches. And then they have mass-production of watches in the Le Locle unit which uses Montblanc's in-house technology.
They have another Montblanc watch manufacturing unit close to the original Le Locle unit known as Villeret. In this facility, they manufacture exquisite old-school chronographs which are expensive and are meant for the classy. This unit just manufactures 200-300 watches per year and they are all assembled with individual care.
The flagship collections of this fine watch-making company are Star Legacy, 1858, Heritage, and Montblanc TimeWalker. The acquired company Minerva started creating iconic watches since 1858 and Montblanc watches want to keep that legacy alive.
Montblanc watches are proud of their traditional designs and the watch-making legacy which spans over a century. However, they have embraced modernity and their watches showcase that amalgamation beautifully.
Minerva’s pocket watches which were manufactured since 1858 to 1930 inspired the Star Legacy collection. The 1858 line includes the exploration and field watches manufactured by Minerva between 1920 and 1930. The Heritage line produces watches that were popular in the 1940s-50s. The company was first started as Simplizissiumus-Füllhalter in 1906. Later the founders Alfred Nehemias and August Eberstein changed the name to Simplo Filler Pen Co. GmbH in 1907. Again the name was changed to Montblanc International in 1934.
This company had launched its flagship Meisterstück fountain pen in 1924. They had manufactured their first pen in 1909 and named it Montblanc. Later it became synonymous with the identity of the company and hence they changed the name of the company to Montblanc International.
Diversifying into other businesses
The company did not stop after manufacturing the finest of pens. They started their leather goods company in 1935. In 1983, the original penmakers curated a pen made of solid gold and named it Meisterstück Solitaire. London-based Dunhill Holding acquired Montblanc International in 1977. In 1988, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA acquired Dunhill Holding and the current company of luxury goods was formed.
Currently, the company has three major manufacturing units. The original Hamburg facility which started with manufacturing pens continues to produce high-end writing instruments. As mentioned above, Le Locle and Villeret in Switzerland produce watches and timepieces. Leather goods are produced in the Richemont Pelletteria facility which is located in Florence, Italy. This facility also produced leather wrist bands for the exquisite watches manufactured by Montblanc watches.
The history of Montblanc watches
As mentioned earlier, the company diversified into watchmaking in 1997 after establishing the factory in Le Locle, Switzerland, and starting the subsidiary by the name of Montblanc Montre SA. SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva, Switzerland, marked the beginning of watchmaking for this prestigious company.
In 2008, Montblanc chronograph was launched which used the manufacturing unit's own technology the MB R100. To mark the 150th anniversary of Minerva, in 2008 the company launched the premium watch Collection Villeret 1858. Montblanc did not want to remain behind with the latest technology and they launched their first line of smartwatches in 2017.
Here are the detailed descriptions of each watch line.
Montblanc Star Legacy
These pocket watches take inspiration from the legacy watchmaking techniques of Minerva watches which was established in 1858. Montblanc Star Legacy watch line was introduced in SIHH 2018 Haute-horlogerie exhibition. Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph and the Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph were the first two epic models displayed in the exhibition.
The Star Legacy Moonphase & Date was the premium model of watch which was launched for women in 2019. Star Legacy Automatic Date and the Star Legacy Chronograph day-date models. Star Legacy Automatic Date and Star Legacy Chronograph day-date models were launched in 2020 and both have been appreciated by the watch connoisseurs a lot.
The company never forgot the inception year for the watchmaking partners and introduced Montblanc 1858 collection in 2015. These watches were originally designed by Minerva for mountain exploration and military in the 1920s and the 1930s. This new line blended modernity with the legacy designs created by Minerva.
Minerva’s wristwatches which were designed in the 1940s and the 1950s did not lose their charm even in the modern day world. The Montblanc Heritage collection has reinterpreted the heritage designs and blended them with modern movement technologies. The polished cases and curved horns with facets give a different dimension to these men's watches.
The domed dials, curved dauphine hands, dot indexes, glass box crystals, and the minute track remind every wearer of the vintage associated with this collection. The leather straps are of the finest quality manufactured in the in-house facility in Florence, Italy.
The Montblanc TimeWalker collection produces high-precision racing stop-watches which were manufactured by Minerva between 1910 to 1960. This collection was introduced in 2003. These watches were worn by racing divers and motor-sports professionals. The Montblanc chronograph watches are the prized collection in this series.
Montblanc watch collection the Bohème manufactures exquisite watches for women. This watch line was introduced in 2014. Perpetual Calendar Jewellery, the Date Automatic, and the Date Automatic Jewellery were the three outstanding models which were launched during the inauguration of this watch line for women. The finely decorated dials enhance the highly evolved feminine beauty. Each piece is a work of art and the setting of gems, guilloché, hand painting or miniature gold-work makes each piece exquisite, just like the wearer herself.
Some of the models display beautifully designed leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, and some flaunt floral Arabic numerals. They say ''Diamond are women's best friends'' and Montblanc did not forget that. Diamond-set bezels are favorite with women and most of the models in the Montblanc Bohème collection have adorned that. The elegant ladies can choose the 18-carat gold watches to wear for that special occasion or the stainless steel cases for regular wear purposes. The cases have diameters ranging between 30 mm to 36 mm.
Even though the company started as a pen manufacturing company, over the decades they have mastered the various watchmaking skills. They developed complex mechanisms like the fly-back and split-seconds chronographs, mono-pusher, annual, perpetual, and triple calendars, tourbillon, and multiple time zones.
The company always emphasizes on high-quality merchandise and each watch goes through a fool-proof quality testing procedure known as the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.