Montblanc’s #Reconnect, Discovering A Lifestyle Beyond Watchmaking
In today's luxury world, brand experience is just as essential as the quality of the products themselves. At #Reconnect, Montblanc unveiled its universe – comprised of adventure, heritage, passion, and quality. Humanized horology which made for a meaningful experience.
The rain falls on this 28th day of May. It's chilly when the Montblanc team welcomed us to Crans-Montana, but the atmosphere was cheerful and friendly. We climbed aboard several Defender Land Rovers and begin the ascent to the Hotel Chetzeron – located 2112m above sea level. The path is steep, and the fog quickly turned to snow! The excitement increased at the same pace as the altitude. The adventurous child that is sleeping in all of us was on the watch. Our Montblanc adventure began.
The brand with its iconic logo - easily among the most recognizable in the world - is rich in its know-how in for writing instruments of course, but in leathermaking too, and now watchmaking with the integration of the Minerva Manufacture in 2006. A strong heritage exists that is intimately linked to the world of exploration, nature, and watchmaking. Hotel Chetzeron offered the ideal scenery to dive into this universe.
A wood fire greeted us in a room made of rough stones and wood. The snow, blown by the wind, fell horizontally outside. Our "survival experience" is promising to be epic! Local products await us to reinvigorate us and give us courage. And some surprises! The new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph was front row and center in all its splendor. Inspired by Minerva's military chronographs from the 30s, it stands out in its 44mm satin finished bronze case. Its deep black lacquered dial brings out the telemetric scale of its perimeter perfectly - a distinctive feature of the Minerva explorers chronograph watches of the time.
The spiral tachometer in the center is hypnotizing. The hints and golden hands accentuate the vintage vibes of the timepiece, as well as the red notes found in the sub-counters of the 3 and 9 o'clock chronograph and in the timer railroad. The MB M16-31 movement is inspired by the original Minerva caliber of the 30s.
We can easily recognize the two column wheels, the iconic V bridge, and the beautiful hand finishing comprised of chamfering, mirror polish, and côtes de Genève. Limited to just 100 pieces, these series will certainly excite many collectors, especially at its price of CHF 33'500.
The Montblanc offer
Davide Cerrato, Montblanc Watches division Director since 2015, introduced this piece with his radiant smile and unique elegance. He then reveals the brand-new Heritage line that embodies the subtle Montblanc elegance. He explains the work accomplished in the last four years,
“Montblanc is building its watchmaking legitimacy by relying on the Minerva heritage, both in the technical and design side. We simplified the range in four models - two sports, two classic or two vintage, two modern - and we are totally transparent on the three levels of range. The entry price, under the CHF 5'000, is equipped with Sellita or ETA movements, the average, between 5 and CHF 25'000, now offers in-house movements and our high-end uses Minerva movements. Thanks to the Timewalker, the Star Legacy, the 1858 and now the Heritage, the Montblanc offer is now complete.”
The New Heritage Line
Before starting our adventure, our watch journalist reflexes take over. Like another part of the child sleeping within us. The excitement of discovery is just as intense. We discover the very sleek and very vintage models from the new line. From the simple Heritage Automatic 3-hand steel (at CHF 2’330) to the spectacular 100-piece limited edition Heritage Perpetual Calendar Red Gold (at CHF 26'980 and CHF 16'140 in steel).
The line incorporates an Automatic Day-Date, GMT and a beautiful Heritage Monopusher Chronograph at the bargain price of CHF 5'090! The colors are also vintage: the silvery white evokes snow, the smoky brown, wood and salmon pronounced fly fishing in mountain streams. Davide, the dashing director, admits, “Fly fishing and Atlantic salmon is a real passion. I can spend days walking and listening to the sound of the water. It is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, adventure, and travel.”
The Montblanc adventure
So off we went for the "survival training" #Reconnect Montblanc. We certainly didn’t risk our lives, nor were we eating roots. But it took us, in teams to decrypt riddles, resolve puzzles, learn to use a compass (without our phone!), bow shooting, and hiking for hours in the snow and the cold. Everyone played the game joyfully. The child who sleeps within us does not wait long to let go, in all simplicity, to the joys of the expedition.
Motivated by our 'team leader' Davide "Indiana Jones" Cerrato, we completed our mission to reach the Montblanc state of mind: authentic, meaningful, without nonsense. A real moment of sharing that was continued by a delicious casual dinner where laughter was mixed with heated exchanges on watchmaking, of course, passions, and life in general. That is what #Reconnect is all about!
As the mischievous director tells us, "Basically, we are all children. Young and old, we love the adventurous and regressive side. We like to reclaim nature while looking for a certain aestheticism. That's what we want to do at Montblanc. We talk to everyone without elitism. We've seen that for years, the desire, even the need, to be close to nature is increasing. The theme is more and more relevant. This is an obvious universe for Montblanc. To live that here at Chetzeron demonstrates exactly that"
Delphine Favier, CEO Montblanc Switzerland, further confirmed:
“Our approach is to make all lovers of watchmaking, of all generations, adhere to Montblanc's values of authenticity, transparency, and quality. It's a search for meaning that touches everyone.”
It is evident that Montblanc succeeds in establishing its legitimacy both in the quality of its timepieces and through the values of the brand. Minerva brings a Montblanc authenticity to collectors and further confirms this commitment through the design and exceptional quality. The price positioning of the three models of each collection confirms the transparency and accuracy of this approach. And Montblanc's spirit reconnects everything in a universe that touches all generations. Montblanc's ascension is just getting started.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)