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The JZ&F 2012 SIHH Report – Montblanc

The JZ&F 2012 SIHH Report – Montblanc

In recent years Montblanc’s watchmaking effort has taken the world by a storm with a dizzying array of super cool complications and fantastic construction. This storm is going strong again in 2012. The super complication star of the show is the Time Writer II Chronograph Bi-Frequence 1000, which allows the chronograph to measure up to 1/1000th of a second!

The case is in 18K WG, measuring 47mm.

The central chronograph makes a busy turn every second, the subdial at 6 measures the elapsed hour and minutes, and 1/1000th of the second is measured by the red marker at the top.

Keeping with the tradition of the original mechanical pocket stop-watch made by Minerva, the chronograph pusher is at 12’O clock.

Here’s a prototype.




It was also fascinating with meet with the brain behind such creation – the Hispano-Swiss watchmaker Bartomeu Gomila (whose name is also on the dial) from Montblanc’s ateliers in Villeret. Born on the Balearic island of Menorca, Bartomeu Gomila completed his training at WOSTEP in the category of “restoration and complicated timepieces” and is the first Spanish citizen to have earned a diploma from this renowned institution of higher learning.


Next is the Regulator Nautique, which offers 3 time zones and comes with a massive Marine chronometer



The Vintage Tachydate in rose gold . It is a very nice piece in my opinion – the date function provides useful functionality to this classically rendered two register monopusher hand-winding chronograph.



My gracious host also showed me a fully working version of the Metamorphosis, first introduced during SIHH 2010. I’ve taken a few sequential shots, so you could see how the dials open and close.


Let’s bid farewell to these stunning mechanical fascinations for now, and move on to the “more grounded”, though nevertheless beautiful regular collections.


The Rieussec Chronograph Open Hometime




I think this is very well done and the multi-layered and partially open-worked dial adds a lot of nice visual complexity, without appearing disorganized. This is also the first time the Rieussec collection used a new style bracelet – however, I find the construction of the bracelet to be somewhat flimsy and of sub-par construction and less than thoughtful finishing (with a bit of rattle, and a generic-looking and uninspired clasp), especially compared to such a fantastic watch. I hope Montblanc could improve the bracelet going forward.




TimeWalker Greytech Flyback Chronograph – a nice monochronmatic construction and feel – from the titanium case to the movement to the strap to the buckle.



TimeWalker UTC









The Star Classic Collection – dress watches in 39mm, in rose gold, yellow gold, steel, or two tone. When I first saw them in the window, I was incredibly taken aback by their simplicity and elegance, especially by the subtle Montblanc star at 6’O clock. The movement is the simple yet robust MB 4810/408 automatic movement that Montblanc has been using for some time.


What I would really like to see going forward, is to adopt the similar clean design, and put in it a nice hand-wound, exquisitely finished manufacture movement. That would be really nice…


The ladie’s Princess Grace Kelly collection, with the subtle oval shapes embedded the round case.


Another year of nice introductions at all levels from Montblanc. I especially like the dynamism of the TimeWriter chronograph, the austere and angular look of the Twinfly Greytech chronograph, and the sensibility of the Star Classic. Kudos!


Yours Truly,




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