SIHH 2017: The new Montblanc TimeWalker Collection – A Rebirth of Professional Watches
SIHH 2017: The new Montblanc TimeWalker Collection – A Rebirth of Professional Watches
Instruments of glory
The chronograph has been one of the most popular complications since its very beginnings. This innovative complication has become far more than a mechanical timing device – it is an instrument that enforces the gentleman’s code of fair play and good sportsmanship, becoming the witness and judge to almost every type of sporting competition. Of all the motor sports, car racing is the one that has always had an intricate link to the chronograph. The history of competitive driving and performance timing are so inseparable that one could not exist without the other. With the capacity to capture and record time for eternity, the chronograph has borne witness to some outstanding automotive sporting moments.
As the development of motor racing evolved through the 20th and 21st centuries, the chronograph became a symbol of fair competition and the ultimate reminder that victory can only ever be judged by true and accurately timed results.
Inspired by performance
The Montblanc TimeWalker Collection symbolizes the spirit of racing and harks back to these instruments of glory by offering a line of new professional watches for the modern performer that take their inspiration from Minerva’s outstanding history. The Minerva Manufacture was known as an exclusive workshop that produced high-quality instruments for measuring brief intervals of time with remarkable precision. The renowned “Rally Timer”, a stopwatch that was created to time motor racing with precision, is the perfect example of this heritage. Minerva watches were the reference in the field of horological innovation, with numerous patents registered over the years in the domain of precision timers, creating a legacy of savoir-faire.
Legitimacy of the past
Founded in 1858 in Villeret in the Saint-Imier Valley, Minerva has been a leading specialist in the fabrication of professional watches. From 1908, it was already successfully pursuing new technological challenges, such as the production of watches equipped with chronograph functions and highly accurate stopwatches that measured short intervals of time. The Manufacture developed stopwatches that could measure 1/5th of a second as early as 1911, rapidly increasing to 1/10th of a second. In this innovative spirit, in 1916, the Minerva Manufacture was one of the first to produce a high-frequency movement that could measure 1/100th of a second, a development that was further technically improved in 1936, putting Minerva on the map as the specialist of professional watches and stopwatches.
The new Montblanc TimeWalker collection combines these legendary timing instruments of the past with the spirit of motor racing, encapsulating the Minerva heritage, superb technology, masculine energy, highest performance and the style of the glory days of racing.
The results are evocative, vintage-themed though contemporary, and designed for modern performers who like to express their achievements, ambitions, masculinity, style and personality in their choice of wristwatch. Perfect for both business and leisure, the new Montblanc TimeWalker timepieces command respect and admiration and underline the confidence of those who wear them.
The new Montblanc TimeWalker collection represents a strong contemporary expression of the professional sport chronograph with a 43 mm case size that has become a standard size for Montblanc’s performance timepieces. From the case to the dial, from the movement to the complications, the collection focuses on masculine energy and a vintage-themed style, while combining performance, innovation, great legibility and robustness. Emblematic combinations of materials come into play in each of the models, such as high-tech black ceramic, satinated steel, titanium and rubber, highlighting the Maison’s creative spirit.
The aesthetic codes of the new Montblanc TimeWalker timepieces are directly rooted in the world of racing: satinated cases and semi-skeletonized horns with architecturally carved flanks, all inspired by the aerodynamic lines of the bodywork of classic cars. Iconic details include knurled finishing on the flank of the emblematic black ceramic bezel, as well as on the crowns and pushers, which are reminiscent of vintage car caps; smoked glass case backs inspired by the glass windows that reveal sporty V12 engines; and strap holes that pay tribute to vintage leather racing gloves.
Clear legibility and visibility are achieved with strong contrasts of colour, three-dimensional counters inspired by vintage dashboards, precise scales and dauphine-shaped hands with SuperLuminova for the greatest readability and performance by day and night. For utmost precision, most of the TimeWalker timepieces feature an iconic central seconds hand coated in red with the tip crafted in the shape of the Minerva arrow.
In order to guarantee the reliability of such a sporty professional product line, all the Montblanc TimeWalker models undergo over 500 hours of controls, with specific testing and general operating evaluation under extreme conditions. To also ensure sporting performance in terms of waterproofness, all the models are water-resistant to 100 metres.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100
The famous Rally Timer stopwatch produced by Minerva for recording road racing is the inspiration behind this new Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100. This innovative timepiece offers different ways to appreciate the time, with the possibility of transforming the wristwatch into a pocket watch or a dashboard clock.
The wristwatch, with its elegant black leather calf strap, can be easily converted into a pocket watch by simply folding the strap attachments under the case and turning the case from 0 to 180 degrees (or from 3 to 9 o’clock). The pocket watch can then be either placed on a table thanks to two arms below the case, used as a stopwatch with the strap as a handle for utmost security, or clipped into a metal plate covered with leather that attaches to a car’s dashboard, offering a highly functional and extremely legible timepiece when behind the wheel.
The contemporary design is combined with a vintage racing look and all the design codes of the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection. The 50 mm case is crafted out of grade-two titanium and has been satinated in order to enhance the structure of the metal. The middle section of the case has also been knurled and coated with black DLC to celebrate and accentuate the motor racing spirit. Satin-finished titanium is also the material of choice for the vintage-inspired knurled monopusher, crown and the versatile strap attachments. Turn the timepiece over, and the details continue with an opened caseback in the shape of a car grill that reveals the beauty of the Manufacture manually-wound monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29.
The racing codes also carry over onto the black dial with highly legible hands, indexes and chronograph functions. The chronograph’s 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock is vertically aligned with the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, reminiscent of the original Minerva Rally Timer. In the centre, the red chronograph second hand runs along a tachymeter scale, which can be used to calculate speeds over fixed distances.
The timepiece is powered by the Manufacture manually wound monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29 that features a column wheel, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours. The calibre takes its inspiration from the original Minerva calibre 17.29 developed in the 1930s, used for both pocket watches and wristwatches. This modern-day version is recognisable thanks to its beautiful hand-crafted finishings—Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling—as well as its fine details such as the iconic Minerva arrow, a chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V” (a shape that was patented in 1912), and a large screwed balance that has a traditional frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour.
For utmost reliability and performance, the timepiece is water-resistant to 30 metres and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating intense real-life wear for over 500 hours.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC
The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC combines a strong and masculine design with practical functionality thanks to its chronograph and dual time complications, making it the perfect travelling partner for today’s globetrotters.
The timepiece owes its strong and contemporary looks to its bold black case with semi- skeletonized horns and mix of high-tech materials, such as black DLC, high-tech black ceramic and black rubber. The black DLC case comes in a 43 mm size with the addition of the emblematic unidirectional rotating black bezel made of shiny ceramic for utmost robustness and durability, which is knurled on the flank for a better grip and includes a silvery-white engraved 24-hour scale for greater legibility and functionality. The black DLC crown and pushers have also been finished with a knurled decoration that takes its inspiration from the design of the petrol caps popular in classic racing cars.
The black dial features strong colour contrasts with silver and red elements and three- dimensional counters that resemble car dashboards from the past. The chronograph seconds are indicated via the iconic red central hand with the tip shaped in the form of the Minerva arrow, while the chronograph hours are displayed in a subdial at 6 o’clock, and the 30-minute chronograph counter is positioned at 12 o’clock.
The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC is equipped with the calibre MB.25.03 that shows the time in three different time zones. Local time is indicated with the rhodium-plated hands, and the home time can be read via a dark central hand enhanced with a red arrow and SuperLuminova at its tip. The readings are accompanied by a 24-hour scale on the bezel. The local time is set via the crown, allowing a quick and simple adjustment of the time in hourly increments without affecting the functioning of the minutes. The date is synchronised with the local time. A third time zone can be easily indicated at any time by turning the unidirectional rotating bezel to the new time zone—the location of the 24-hour hand being the point of reference.
The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC comes with a choice of a perforated leather strap or a perforated rubber strap with a black lining that shows through the holes. For utmost performance and comfort, the rubber strap has been designed with a raised grip pattern on the inner lining to provide better aeration to the skin and improved adhesion to the wrist. All strap options are equipped with a new triple folding clasp that was developed specially for the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection to offer flexibility and maximum comfort on the wrist.
Each Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC is water-resistant to 100 metres and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating real-life wear for over 500 hours.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic
Continuing the motor racing theme, the new Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic is rooted in the world of racing with details that recall the golden years of motoring with a chronograph function that is legible and stylish for today’s gentlemen drivers. The vintage car codes are visible throughout the watch, starting with the 43 mm stainless steel case that has been satinated for an automotive look and better resistance to scratches. The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic features the emblematic unidirectional rotating black bezel knurled on the flank and made of shiny high-tech black ceramic for utmost robustness and durability. Ceramic has impressive properties such as a high-resistance to scratches, non-oxidization, a unique shiny surface, and a defence against all common chemical agents. The bezel can be used as a second time zone indicator. The horns have been semi-skeletonized like the air inlets of a car’s body, and the black DLC crown and chronograph pushers have been knurled like vintage petrol caps for better gripping. Completing the motor racing design, the case back has been fitted with a smoked glass opening, reminiscent of the glass windows that cover powerful V12 engines, and the straps include perforation holes, much like the leather driving gloves used in the days when steering wheels were made of wood and needed to be firmly gripped.
The black dial features strong colour contrasts with silvery-white and red elements, as well as three-dimensional counters that bring back memories of vintage dashboards. Distinctive design codes include a red chronograph seconds hand in the centre, which has a tip sculpted in the form of the Minerva arrow; chronograph hours which are displayed in a subdial at 6 o’clock, and a 30-minute chronograph counter positioned at 12 o’clock.
All the readings are highly legible thanks to black rhodium-plated dauphine hands injected with SuperLuminova, and a precise silvery-white minute track that has also be enhanced with both SuperLuminova and red markers for the 15-minute marks, providing excellent visibility both in the day and at night.
The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic is powered by the calibre MB 25.07 and comes with a choice of three different strap options: perforated leather, perforated rubber, and a new performance metal bracelet with three links.
For utmost quality and comfort, the rubber strap has been designed with a raised grip pattern on the inner lining to provide better aeration to the skin and improved adhesion to the wrist. All strap and bracelet options are equipped with a new triple folding clasp that was developed specially for the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection to offer a safe grip, flexibility and maximum comfort.
To reach high reliability and performance, each Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic is water-resistant to 100 metres and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating real-life wear for over 500 hours.
Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date
For watch lovers who appreciate the sporty design and spirit of racing, the Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date offers a pure and bold timepiece with a 41 mm stainless steel case combined with the emblematic unidirectional rotating black bezel made of shiny high-tech black ceramic for utmost robustness and durability that allows the user to track a second time zone if desired.
Powered by the automatic calibre MB 24.17, the indications include the hours, minutes and seconds in the centre and a date in an aperture at 3 o’clock. The readings are all highly legible thanks to large Arabic numerals, a precise silvery-white minute track, and red markers that all contrast beautifully against the black dial. The seconds hand has also been highlighted with the tip of the Minerva arrow—a nod to the rich horological heritage of the TimeWalker collection. The dial with its scale from 5 to 60 is clearly reminiscent of the Minerva stopwatch dials from the beginning of the 20th century, providing this pure model with the utmost racing pedigree.
The design codes from the racing world can be found in the semi-skeletonized horns that are reminiscent of the air intakes on a car’s bonnet, the knurled finishing on the black DLC crown which has been inspired by the petrol tank cap on vintage racing cars, and the black perforated straps (either in leather or rubber) that look like the driving gloves that racing drivers wore in the past. There is also the choice of an elegant and new performance metal bracelet with three links. For practicality and comfort, the rubber strap has been designed with a raised grip pattern on the inner lining to provide better aeration to the skin and a better adhesion to the wrist. All straps come with satinated stainless steel pin buckles.
To reach maximum reliability and performance, each Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date is water-resistant to 100 metres and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating real-life wear for over 500 hours.