124 Exo Evo­lu­tion

The Mont­blanc Time­walker line re­ceives its first tour­bil­lon in the form of the Time­walker Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Minute Chrono­graph

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Mont­blanc’s Time­walker Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Minute Chrono­graph

Mont­blanc doesn’t usu­ally make tour­bil­lons, but when it does, it makes tour­bil­lons un­like any­thing you’ve ever seen. At the mo­ment, the man­u­fac­ture has two pro­pri­etary tour­bil­lon reg­u­la­tors, both of which are patented: the tour­bil­lon bi­cylin­drique and the one-minute Ex­o­tour­bil­lon. Launched in 2010, the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon has steadily grown to be­come Mont­blanc’s poster boy for high com­pli­ca­tions, and rightly so, be­cause of all the im­prove­ments to chronom­e­try it comes with.

The Ex­o­tour­bil­lon’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary ge­om­e­try cir­cum­vents prob­lems faced by tra­di­tional tour­bil­lons while pre­serv­ing the beauty and func­tion­al­ity of the mech­a­nism. Its ex­tra-large screw bal­ance sits atop in­stead of be­ing con­tained within the tour­bil­lon car­riage. This means that the car­riage can be made smaller – and con­se­quently lighter – and not be bogged down by the weight of the bal­ance. At the same time, the bal­ance is not af­fected by the in­er­tia of the car­riage, so pre­ci­sion is im­proved. Ac­cord­ing to Mont­blanc, the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon con­struct yields a 30 per cent sav­ing in power from the go­ing train.

An ex­tra fea­ture of the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon that re­ally got the boffins buzzing is the stop-sec­ond mech­a­nism. It is not ex­actly rev­o­lu­tion­ary – many other lux­ury mar­ques also of­fer this fea­ture – but it’s how the mech­a­nism here works so seam­lessly with the tour­bil­lon that’s ex­tra­or­di­nary. Nor­mal stop-sec­onds de­vices utilise a spring that falls onto the car­riage in or­der to stop the bal­ance (be­cause the bal­ance would usu­ally be con­tained within the car­riage). This causes the bal­ance to swing, which up­sets pre­ci­sion. In the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon, the spring stops the bal­ance wheel it­self, in­stead of the car­riage, thus al­low­ing time to be stopped, and started more ac­cu­rately, which is about the whole point of hav­ing the stop-sec­onds func­tion.

Now avail­able in the Time­walker line, the Ex­o­tour­bil­lon sports a dy­namic new look an­chored on state-of-the-art ma­te­ri­als and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses – oth­er­wise known as the Time­walker DNA. Large open­ings, min­imised bezels, con­toured ty­pog­ra­phy, lancet-shaped hands, and skele­tonised horns meet high-tech ma­te­ri­als like ti­ta­nium, car­bon fi­bre, and di­a­mond-like car­bon (DLC). The Time­walker Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Minute Chrono­graph truly com­bines per­for­mance with de­sign. Apart from the tour­bil­lon reg­u­la­tor, this time­piece also prof­fers a sin­gle push-piece chrono­graph ac­ti­vated by the but­ton at eight o’clock and read off the two semi-cir­cu­lar coun­ters with dou­ble-edged hands.

Yet, in spite of the two peren­ni­ally pop­u­lar high com­pli­ca­tions, the watch’s cut­ting-edge de­sign is ar­guably its main sell­ing point. Its three­part case matches a micro-blasted Dlc-coated ti­ta­nium bezel with a car­bon fi­bre case mid­dle speck­led with hor­i­zon­tal stripes in­stead of the more typ­i­cal mesh mo­tif. This com­po­nent was made first by lay­er­ing sev­eral dozen car­bon fi­bre sheets, each ori­ented at 90 de­grees to the pre­ced­ing one, and fused with ar­ti­fi­cial resin at high tem­per­a­ture and pres­sure. The re­sult­ing car­bon fi­bre block is then stamped through per­pen­dic­u­larly to pro­duce a monobloc piece, which is then clamped into place with two pierced lon­gi­tu­di­nal ti­ta­nium brack­ets.

Al­to­gether, the Time­walker Ex­o­tour­bil­lon Minute Chrono­graph is haute hor­logerie for the con­tem­po­rary set – the young and the rest­less, if you will. Its grey, black, and red colour pal­ette amps up the sporty vibe, while its sap­phire case back shows off horo­log­i­cal sub­stance, prov­ing that when Mont­blanc makes high com­pli­ca­tions, it wants to truly in­no­vate and not pro­duce some­thing that al­ready ex­ists. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre MB R230 with one-minute patented Ex­o­tour­bil­lon, stop-sec­ond mech­a­nism, mono­pusher chrono­graph, and ap­prox­i­mately 50-hour power re­serve

CASE 44mm in ti­ta­nium and car­bon fi­bre, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m

STRAP Black al­li­ga­tor leather with red stitch­ing and sati­nated ti­ta­nium pin buckle

PRICE $55,100 (lim­ited to 100 pieces)

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