One of the novel pieces from the newly established Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie collection that has recently seen the day of light is Quantieme Annuel model. The watch is named after the French term for the annual calendar complication which the timepiece supports. It is made in a very stylish and refined manner and with understated dimensions. Apart from the basic version of the watch which comes in a steel or a red gold package, the watchmaker also has presented two limited editions which are dedicated to the famed explorer Vasco Da Gama and which depict the accurate representation of the night sky when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, along with other appropriate details. These are made in the same types of housings as the basic non-limited versions. The price of the newcomer is between $7,275 and $12,375, depending on the variation.
As most of watch aficionados already know, the annual calendar is a very useful feature which allows the wearer of the watch to know the exact date, month, day of the week and, in most cases (such as this one), the phases of the moon. Its complexity lays somewhere between the basic date display function (that necessitates five adjustment a year) and the cherished perpetual calendar feature (that needs to be corrected once every century). The annual calendar which is considered as a very respectable complication (but not the major one) has the mechanism that can recognize whether the current month has 30 or 31 days. The only exception in the course of a year is in February when the calendar needs to be adjusted. Naturally, this is because of the fact that the second month of the year is an exception and that it is the shortest month of the year. By the way, thanks to the construction of the watch, the adjustment is quite effortless and facile.
With just a single adjustment every 365 days, it is clear that the watch will be very useful to the wearer who will not need to be occupied with its adjustments very often. What is even more important than functionality in this instance is the appearance of the lovely watch. It looks very harmonious and understated and it will certainly look really good in the combination with business attire. As it has been mentioned, the dimensions of the timekeeper are very subdued and restrained. Its diameter is restricted to 40 mm, which makes it a small timepiece by the today’s standards. Additionally, the watch is also very thin, with the overall thickness measuring to just 9.1 mm which not only makes it look beautiful, but also more comfortable to wear.
Apart from the crown at the standard three o’clock position at the case band, the watch also includes ‘invisible” push-pieces which are placed on the sides of the case and which are used for the setting of the individual displays of its calendar feature. The polished case is combined with a fixed bezel which features a satin finish on its border, as well as with a domed sapphire crystal with glare-proofed coating. There is also a transparent section on the case-back which allows the view of the caliber that drives the functioning of the watch. As for supported water resistance, it is basic and measures to just 30 meters.
Underneath the front sapphire crystal lays a silver colored dial with classic appearance. It features a single Arabic numeral at the very top, while the other hour positions are shown by the means of applied bar-shaped markers. All of these components, just like double faceted and sword-shaped central hands, are plated with red gold, regardless of the version of the watch. The smallest of the calendar indication is the one that shows months. It is set just under the 12 o’clock position and its scale has six inscriptions with abbreviations for months. Other six months are represented with dot shaped markers that are set in between. Furthermore, there are slightly larger counters for days of the week and date which are placed at nine o’clock and three o’clock positions, respectively. The final indication for the phases of the moon is positioned at the very bottom, as it is usually the case. Unlike the other ones, this display is not fully circular, but instead interrupted at its lower part which is used to depict the brand’s name.
The functioning of Montblanc Chronometrie Heritage Quantieme Annuel is based on caliber MB 29.18. The mechanical movement with 25 jewels is rooted on Selita SW200 base movement which is enriched with the edition of the in-house developed, constructed and built mechanism that is used for its annual calendar feature. The caliber operates at the fast-paced frequency of 4 Hz. It is a self-winding type of movement and it provides a power reserve that keeps it running for around 42 hours.
The subdued case of the watch is connected with the slightly curved lugs that also feature polished finish. These are used to attach the in-house made leather wristlet to the housing. The strap is made from black alligator leather and it is produced in the brand’s specialized facilities in the Italian city of Florence.
Vasco Da Gama Limited Editions
In addition to the basic versions of the new model, Montblanc has also created limited versions dedicated to the first European to reach India by sea, Vasco Da Gama. These special versions are not only restricted to this specific model. In fact, all of the watches from the Chronometrie Heriatge series are made with similar special commemorative details and launched in restricted editions.
This specific Vasco Da Gama dedicated model tributes the famous naval explorer on both sides of the case. The most prominent of the details of such nature is certainly a lovely representation of the night sky when viewed from the Southern hemisphere which is used in order to tribute the path that the explorer took in order to reach his destination. This deep blue lacquered section is placed on the bottom of the dial and it surrounds the moon phase indication. It looks very eye-catching and it is dominated with the Southern Cross constellation which dominates the night skies of the southern half of our planet. Apart from this detail, there is another tribute at the other side of the case. The detail in question is a drawing of the explorer’s ship which is painted on the transparent sapphire section of the case-back.
As for the prices of the model’s versions, they are obviously different and depend on the material and the exclusivity. The cheapest variant is the steel basic one which can be bought for about $7,275. Unfortunately, there is still no information regarding the price of the basic model in an 18 K red gold housing. The limited version in steel will be restricted to 316 copies and it will come at the price of about $7,450. Obviously, the most expensive variation of the watch is the restricted one in a gold case. This one will be released in 238 pieces and it will be available at the price of around $12,375.