THE INTREPID ADVENTURER
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.