The new Montblanc Star World-Time GMT (ref. 106464) collection is a new member of the Star collection that was officially presented at the SIHH 2011 event. The 2011 series offers a nice pseudo-vintage styling that is tastefully flavored with almost perfect legibility and careful approach to design: a combination that defines timekeepers manufactured by one of the oldest makers of luxury writing instruments even when it comes to their “entry-level” models.
The Swiss brand is still not particularly sure about its ability to set trends in the industry and, therefore, tries to follow the beaten path designing their timekeepers following what they perceive as current fashion. Current fashion at this time favors mildly oversized timekeepers and, predictably, the Star World-Time GMT will come in a moderately sized stainless steel case that measures 42 millimeters in diameter (crown not included.) Combined with its relatively thin profile that is just over 12.5 millimeters thick, the ref. 106464 is both pleasant to look at (although, truth be told, the huge and bold “MONT BLANC” and “MEINSTERSTUCK” inscriptions engraved on each side of the case makes me cringe a little) and is also surprisingly comfortable to wear.
Inside the polished body is hidden their MB 4810/405 self-winding movement, an ETA 7753-based caliber that we have already seen in their MB TimeWalker GMT collection.
Featuring a deliberately understated finish (Montblanc is especially eager to differentiate their relatively affordable watches from the high-end ones that are lavishly decorated by hand,) the movement provides just enough functionality for the dial to display a 24-hour second time-zone, a simple calendar with current date and a rotating scale with 24 cities each representing respective time zone.
It is worth noting that all operations with GMT functions are done by the same oversized crown: no additional pushers here. An elegant solution, that, however, some customers may find it extremely uncomfortable.
What is the most interesting about this caliber is that it continues to run while the time zone is being reset or adjusted.
According to the Germany-based brand, the caliber simply disconnects the movement from the wheels of the second time-zone and world-time indicators whenever an adjustment is made.
As I have already noted, the dial offers perfect legibility ensured by high-contrast Arabic numerals on both the main and second time-zone scales.
Of course, the lack of luminescent substance on its leaf-shaped hands and the chapter ring somehow detract from its usability in darkness, but, well, that’s the part of the “vintage” package, IYKWIM.
As for the price, the maker of luxury writing instruments expects you to shell out approximately $5100 for each one of these. Can’t say whether the price is too high in terms of expected value for money, but, generally, it is in the same ballpark with similar 7753-powered GMT-capable chronographs offered by other luxury brands.
The new Montblanc Star World-Time GMT Automatic does not only indicate the time in a second zone, but it also shows the complete world time.
Ease of operation and outstanding user-friendliness are salient features of the new Montblanc Star World-Time GMT Automatic. All functions can be operated via the readily grasped – and for improved security – screwed crown in 3 positions. When the crown is in its neutral (unscrewed) position, turning it clockwise manually winds the automatic movement and turning it counter-clockwise resets the outer ring which indicates the worlds 24 time zones. When the crown has been withdrawn to its first extracted position, turning it clockwise resets the date and turning it counter-clockwise triggers the GMT hand (with the red tip) to advance in hourly increments. Finally, when the crown has been further withdrawn to its second extracted position, turning it clockwise adjusts the 12-hour and the minute-hand in the usual manner.
Based on a special toothing system, this entirely new setting mechanism, by which both the flange and the watch movement can be activated, has been subsequently submitted for patent protection. Not only can this device separately control all indicators via one and the same winding-stem, it also disconnects the movement from the wheels of the time-zone and world-time indicators whenever a time-zone correction is made. The movement continues to run accurately while the time zone is being reset. The new Montblanc Star World-Time GMT Automatic is available in two versions: one variant boasts a black guilloche dial and affixed to a black alligator-leather strap. The other has a silver-coloured guilloche dial and is attached to a comfortable bracelet made of articulated steel elements. A triple stainless steel folding clasp reliably closes and easily opens each wristband.
Ease of use and user-friendliness are the top priorities for Montblanc’s new Star World-Time GMT Automatic. All functions can be operated via the readily grasped and screwed crown. Presented in a 42mm steel case, this piece is available with black or silver guilloche dial.
When the crown is in its neutral (unscrewed) position, turning it clockwise manually winds the automatic movement and turning it counter-clockwise resets the outer ring which indicates the worlds 24 time zones. When the crown has been withdrawn to its first extracted position, turning it clockwise resets the date and turning it counter-clockwise triggers the GMT hand (with the red tip) to advance in hourly increments. Finally, when the crown has been withdrawn to its second extracted position, turning it clockwise adjusts the 12-hour and the minute-hand in the usual manner.
The 12-hour hand is permanently coupled to the movement and shows the time in the wearer’s present location. The smaller GMT hand is accompanied by a contrastingly colored 24 hour-scale indicating whether people are momentarily at work or asleep in the distant time zone. The outer ring simultaneously indicates the corresponding time on 24 global time zones when correctly adjusted with the current time and location of the GMT hand.
Based on a special toothing system, this new setting mechanism, by which both the flange and the watch movement can be activated, has been submitted for patent protection. This construction both controls all indications on the dial and disconnects the movement from the wheels of the time zone and world time indicators whenever a time zone correction is made. This means the movement continues to keep accurate time while the time zone is being set.
The mechanism is integrated into self-winding calibre MB 4810/405, running at 28,800 vph with a 42 hour power reserve.
The case is water resistant to 3 ATM. A sapphire crystal in the caseback offers a view of the movement and winding rotor. The front sapphire crystal is anti-reflectively treated on both sides.
The Montblanc Star World-Time GMT Automatic is available in two versions: one with a black guilloche dial, silver-coloured Arabic numerals and rhodium-plated hands; the other with a silver-colored guilloche dial with black numerals and blued hands. The black dial version is affixed to a black alligator-leather strap; the silver-colored model is attached to a steel bracelet. A triple stainless steel folding clasp reliably closes and easily opens each wristband.