THE IN­TREPID AD­VEN­TURER

MONTBLANC

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Reviews -

When we met with Jérôme Lam­bert, CEO of Montblanc, for a chat to­wards the tail end of the SIHH fair this Jan­uary, he ex­plained that the aim of the brand’s horology depart­ment was to “bring watch­mak­ing con­tent to any price seg­ment”. He was re­fer­ring to the cross-pol­li­na­tion that has taken place be­tween the brand’s haute hor­logerie man­u­fac­ture at Villeret, and its case, de­signn and tech­ni­cal fac­tory at Le Lo­cle. The re­sults were seen ear­lier this year with the launch of thee 4810 Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Slim.

The Ex­o­tour­bil­lon was a tri­umph of hau­teute hor­logerie con­ceived by the watch­mak­ers at Villeret, rein­vent­ing—lit­er­ally—the wheels s of the tra­di­tional tour­bil­lon con­struc­tion. It de­buted in 2013, and was a prime ex­am­ple of the man­u­fac­ture’s watch­mak­ing ex­per­tise. In ba­sic terms, it dif­fers from a con­ven­tion­alal tour­bil­lon as it places the bal­ance wheel out­side of the tour­bil­lon’s ro­tat­ing cage. Foror this year, the highly tech­ni­cal Ex­o­tour­bil­lon finds its way to a more ac­ces­si­ble for­mat, within thee 4810 col­lec­tion. The Slim slips eas­ily un­der the cuf­fuff as it mea­sures 10.14mm, and dou­bles up as a dressess watch thanks to el­e­gant de­tails in­clud­ing a guil­loched­ched dial and a Côtes de Genève strip­ing sur­round­ing the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon.

Ever since Lam­bert took over the com­pany, he has im­ple­mented an in­ter­est­ing pric­ing strat­egy by of­fer­ing com­pli­cated time­pieces at a more af­ford­able en­try point. For in­stance, the 2014 Meis­ter­sück Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar in stain­less steel cost a mere US$13,000, a move that sur­prised the in­dus­try.

Lam­bert ex­plained, “We are go­ing to work ev­ery seg­ment and be able to cre­ate value and watch­mak­ing con­tent so that our of­fer dis­tin­guishes it­self from oth­ers. We have not had such an im­pact or res­o­nance with col­lec­tors and afi­ciona­dos like we do to­day.”

Apart from the hand­some Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Slim, the 4810 col­lec­tion is also filled with ex­cit­ing time­pieces that mark Montblanc’s 110th an­niver­sary. El­e­ments of blue and al­lu­sions to travel abound in the col­lec­tion, as it pays trib­ute to the very in­cep­tion of the brand that was con­ceived aboard a ship on a transat­lantic voy­age. A key piece in the col­lec­tion is the Villeret Tour­bil­lon Cylin­drique Pocket Watch & Nav­i­ga­tor 100 Years Edi­tion, a col­lectible pocket watch that mea­sures a hefty 60mm. It fea­tures a world-time in­di­ca­tion de­noted by two hand-painted globes, and the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon func­tion amidst an aven­turine sky.

From top: Montblanc Villeret Tour­bil­lon Cylin­drique Pocket Watch & Nav­i­ga­tor 100 Years Edi­tion; the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Slim and its MB29.21 move­ment

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