Montblanc marks its 110th anniversary this year with a new 4810 Collection, building on this best-selling line that was first presented in 2006 for the Maison’s centennial celebrations. The new Montblanc 4810 Collection respects all the codes of Montblanc’s watchmaking, with its strong, elegant and sporty design, offering a new sophisticated interpretation of this much loved 4810 Collection for the modern traveller who needs a performance timepiece he can rely on.
It was in 1906, during a booming period of manufacturing, that three pioneers travelled to America – engineer August Eberstein, merchant Alfred Nehemias and stationery trader Claus Voß – inspired by what they discovered. They developed a writing instrument with non-leaking technology and a piston convertor. Eberstein was the visionary engineer of the trio, and had spent many years researching micro mechanical innovations in the United States and England. His vision of performance, innovation and perfect quality became the nucleus and driving force of Montblanc. Voß, on the other hand, was the entrepreneur. He had been actively seeking for innovations with unique development potential. When he met Eberstein he immediately recognized his creativity and passion for engineering and knew he would be the perfect partner to complement his own entrepreneurial drive.
In 1910, the three founders adopted the name Montblanc, after the highest mountain in Europe, and made it a symbol for their vision for excellence. This desire for the highest quality translated into ultimate performance, true innovation and the finest craftsmanship, values that continue to drive Montblanc today. The peak of the Mont Blanc Mountain measures 4,810 meters, a number which has always been an iconic figure for the Maison. Today this number is reborn in the new Montblanc 4810 Collection and honours the spirit of excellence that was set by the Maison’s founders when they began their incredible journey 110 years ago.
The beginning of the 20th century was an exciting time for innovation. It marked a departure for new horizons especially with transportation across the Atlantic driving international commerce and cultural relations. Thanks to ground breaking new inventions, the rise of the marine steam engine and improved navigational methods, there was a quantum leap in sea travel. Passenger liners competed against each other for the Blue Riband award—a prestigious prize for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. The record was based on average speed, as ships took different routes across the ocean, and only recognized the fastest speed westbound against the challenging Gulf Stream. This much-coveted award attracted both passengers and freight companies who sought out the fastest and most powerful ships. The Blue Riband became a true symbol of distinction and high achievement and its spirit is part of the new Montblanc 4810 Collection, embracing peak performance and horological excellence.
During these enterprising times, the cities with the largest ports experienced the most vigorous growth and development, becoming hubs for trade, cultural exchange and innovation. The port of Hamburg was among them; as Germany’s largest port it soon became referred to as the country’s “Gateway to the World”. Thanks to the port, the city of Hamburg was thriving with international trade, but also the manufacture of Germany’s own sumptuous ocean liners, which were quickly recognized as the world’s most important and modern shipping vessels. Montblanc’s roots were set down in Hamburg during these dynamic times and are celebrated in the new Montblanc 4810 Collection from both a technological and aesthetic point of view.
To celebrate the Maison’s 110th anniversary, and the incredible era in which it was founded, Montblanc is introducing a number of unique new timepieces in its 4810 Collection. With a choice of three in-house movements including a number of manufacture complications – Calibre MB 29.21 ExoTourbillon Stop-Second, Calibre MB LL100.1 TwinFly Chronograph, and the Calibre MB 29.20 World Timer.
Each timepiece in the Montblanc 4810 Collection follows the strong and elegant design codes of the Maison with guilloché dials featuring the prominent exploding Montblanc star motif, red gold Roman numerals and indexes, larger and bolder cases, and beautifully designed regate-shaped and skeleton hands. The attention to detail brings a new level of sophistication to the 4810 Collection, showing how Montblanc continues to “share the passion” for watchmaking with timepieces that offer functions, quality and aesthetics to seduce watch aficionados the world over.
Montblanc ExoTourbillon Slim
Launching the 110th anniversary celebrations is a new Montblanc ExoTourbillon Slim timepiece, which combines the Maison’s patented ExoTourbillon complication with the addition of a quick stop-second function.
The ExoTourbillon outperforms standard tourbillon constructions for two reasons. Firstly, the weight of the cage of the ExoTourbillon is disconnected from the balance wheel, and secondly, the weight of the cage is minimal, thus resulting in higher precision and improved isochronism. The balance wheel with 9.7 mm in diameter also plays an important part in the performance of the timepiece thanks to its impressive 18 screws— with four gold screws that can be adjusted and 14 screws that are fixed—further improving precision and traditional watchmaking aspect.
The barrel, with its 50-hour power reserve, is embedded under the main plate. Its position within the architecture of the movement was the result of a high level of development and testing that sought out the optimal equilibrium between the barrel, the rotor and the balance wheel.
This Calibre MB 29.21 ExoTourbillon automatic movement incorporates a brand new micro-rotor decorated with a Côtes de Genève en Eventail motif and allows an uninterrupted view on the movement through a sapphire crystal case back, in comparison to a standard rotor that always hides half of the movement. The whole construction measures a mere 4.5 mm in height, a feat in itself for a calibre of this complexity.
A red arrow on the tourbillon cage indicates the seconds and features a practical quick stop-second mechanism. This quick stop-second function is made possible thanks to the construction of a whip, which halts the large screw balance with its 18 screws and restarts it on demand. Optimal geometry and kinematics were studied in depth to find the right angle at the end of the whip, allowing the user to set the time to the exact second and ensure an immediate restart of the movement. The quick stop-second mechanism instantly stops the balance from rotating, instead of halting the tourbillon cage, which can cause the balance to continue swinging and upset the precision of the watch. All the functions and operation are set via the crown at 3 o’clock, thanks to a gauge on the dial that informs the wearer which setting the crown is in: Position 1 for winding the movement, Position 2 for setting the time and for the quick stop-seconds mechanism.
This new collection comes in a slightly larger diameter case of 42 mm, with a total height of 10.14 mm. A number of fine adjustments have been incorporated into the design of the case, such as a thinner bezel and satin finishing on the middle part of the case. Other design evolutions include modified horns that are straight on the top, yet curved underneath for improved comfort on the wrist and a more refined look.
The silvery-white dial is decorated with an exploding Montblanc Star guilloché design on the upper section, while the bottom half of the dial has been adorned with the Côtes de Genève motif to highlight the ExoTourbillon construction at 6 o’clock. This refined dial is further enhanced by elegant red gold-plated Roman numerals and red gold-plated, regateshaped hands that have been filled with white SuperLumiNova for maximum visibility at night. Running around the outside of the dial, a discreet minute track has been added with a red “60” at 12 o’clock for great legibility.
The Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim is fitted with a black alligator strap to accentuate the warmth of the red gold case and red gold details on the dial. The collection has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating real-life wear for over 500 hours.