On Monday, January 17th at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, the Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph will be unveiled to the public and the international press on the occasion of the 190 years anniversary of the chronograph.
The new Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph underscores the status of the Montblanc manufacture in Le Locle with its complete spectrum of capacities, beginning with the initial development of its own watch movements, continuing through their design and engineering, culminating in their final assembly and quality control. The fact that this model is a column-wheel chronograph adds additional appeal to the newcomer because this type of chronograph ranks among the most discriminating and most avidly sought constructions in its genre. The movements distinctive “TwinFlyback” function is another strong asset of this new calibre. The TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph with titanium case and black DLC coating will be produced in a strictly limited edition of 300 pieces.
Demand for mechanical chronographs continues strong, and this is another good reason which prompted Montblanc to create the chronograph Calibre MB LL100, a self-winding movement endowed with all the typical attributes of highly evolved contemporary horological artistry. These include control for the stopwatch mechanism via a traditional column-wheel, which is an essential feature for a chronograph in this elite category, but one which entails an extremely large amount of effort in its manufacture. A modern aspect in the calibre’s architecture is its vertical disk coupling, which generates very little friction and thus prevents unnecessary wear when the chronograph function is allowed to run for lengthy intervals. Calibre MB LL100 supports a very distinctive indication of the chronograph with both the large chronograph seconds and minute-hand from the center. All this in combination with a flyback function, a date window at the “9 o’clock” position and a 24-hour subdial at the “12.” This last-mentioned subdial shows the time in a second zone and also indicates whether it’s presently day or night there.
Wristwatch chronographs with chronograph-seconds and minute-hands from the center of their dials were very popular in the 1970s, but they gradually declined into oblivion as their corresponding movements grew increasingly rare. This further heightens the interest of Montblanc’s new Calibre MB LL100, on which the practical and highly legible chronograph indications are back to the center of the dial. The chronograph elapsed seconds can be read on the quarter-seconds scale on the outermost periphery of the dial and the sixty-minute counter is positioned on its separate scale inside the hours-circle. This constellation makes the chronograph’s flyback function particularly attractive. If the user presses the button in the flank of the case at the “4” while the chronograph is running, both the central chronograph-hand and the sixty-minute counter quickly “fly back” to their zero positions and, without further action by the wearer, immediately begin measuring a new interval. This nearly instantaneous return to zero gave rise to the term “flyback.” The speedy homecoming is all the more spectacular when it is performed by two large and centrally axial hands, thus prompting its designers to give the new Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph the name “TwinFly.”
Another special feature of this new high performance chronograph calibre is its double barrel, which accumulates sufficient power to keep the watch running for approximately seventy-two hours. A twin barrel is particularly advantageous for a chronograph because its ample reserve of power can better compensate for the differences in torque that occur when the chronograph function is switched alternately on and off. This compensation, in turn, reduces the difference in amplitude that accompanies the activation and deactivation of the chronograph function. The result is a more stable rate in each of the watch’s operating states. This stability is further enhanced by the fact that this wristwatch winds itself and is therefore almost always optimally wound.
The indication of chronograph seconds and minutes both from the center has another advantage. Unlike the many other chronographs that display the minutes on a subdial, the construction of the new Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph allows to save this space for an additional function. In its place, the watch’s designers installed a subdial to show the time in a second time zone. Knowing the hour in a second time zone, and knowing whether it’s presently day or night there, has become quite important nowadays. More and more people regularly travel around the world, passing through and sojourning in various time zones, and those frequent flyers would naturally be curious to know which hour the bells of the clocks in their home time zone are currently tolling. The time-zone display at the “12 o’clock” position is accordingly designed as a 24-hour subdial from which the wearer can readily see whether the family at home is asleep or awake. To preserve the symmetry of the watch’s face, a subdial for the continually running seconds is positioned diametrically across the dial at the “6.”
With so many highly developed mechanisms, it’s only logical that the look of the new Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph is emphatically technical. This appearance harmonizes with the TimeWalker philosophy, which has always combined no-frills functionality and minimalistic elegance. This winning combination also manifests itself in the titanium case with black DLC coating: the lightweight high-tech metal is ideally complemented by the especially robust and extremely scratch-resistant DLC coating. This unique association ensures that the Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly is highly resistant to scratches and shocks, thanks to the properties of this high-tech titanium alloy, that is 1,5 harder than stainless steel.
Although this wristwatch is fully 43 mm in diameter, it is nonetheless remarkably lightweight and very comfortable to wear. A narrow bezel makes the readily legible black dial seem even more spacious, and the sapphire crystal above the dial is nearly invisible thanks to the antireflective treatment given to both its surfaces. The back of the case is equipped with a transparent sapphire crystal so aficionados can feast their eyes on the beautiful movement and its black, finely skeletonized winding-rotor. The technical and functional appearance is rounded out by a black wristband crafted from alligator-leather with large reptilian scales and a pronged buckle made of steel coated with black DLC.
The new Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Black Titanium Chronograph is a limited edition of 300 pieces, in addition two unlimited versions in stainless steel will be available.