Montblanc has released a preview of its new prototype watch which will be the lightest piece on the market. It is called Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept and it weighs just under 15 grams (half an ounce). Such unparalleled lightness was achieved with the choice of materials for its housing, (including high-tech materials such as ITR2 and Kevlar/carbon), as well as with extensive skeletonization of its hand-wound movement which is by the way a modern reinterpretation of a vintage Minerva Villeret three-hand caliber. The piece was designed for the brand’s ambassador, Lin Dan, arguably the best badminton player of all times.
Taking over the Crown from Richard Mille with the Weight of 18.88 grams
The new concept piece from the TimeWalker series is some sort of an answer and challenge to Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon which has so far been the timepiece with the smallest weight. Similarly to this Richard Mille piece which was dedicated to the famed tennis player Rafa Nadal, the new Montblanc is constructed for another racket sport legend, a Chinese idol, Lin Dan. In his trophy case, the athlete has two Olympic gold medals, five world championships, six All England trophies and many more other cups (including continental titles), which makes him the most successful player in the history of the sport.
The novel prototype is more than four grams lighter than the previous record holder, but to be honest, that piece is much more complex since it also includes a tourbillion feature. Similarly, since it is still in a concept phase, it is yet unknown whether Montblanc counted in the weight of the attachment, as it is the case with the Richard Mille piece.
Even if one takes into account these two objections, the new watch by Montblanc is undoubtedly impressive and among the top watches of its ultra-light category. The first step in the reduction of lightness was the choice of materials that were used for the case of the model. By the way, the housing is round and with the diameter of 40 mm which is not that small, especially considering the weight of the piece.
TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept has its lugs made of titanium. The horns are hollowed as it is common for the TimeWalker series and subsequently brushed and treated with black DLC treatment for additional strength. As for the rest of the body (its fixed bezel, case-band, case-back and crown), it is completely made of the combination of Kevlar/Carbon and ITR2 (which was never been done before). The former modern material is a hybrid material that combines all the best properties of carbon fiber and extremely tough Kevlar, known for its use in the creation of bullet-proof vests, among other things. The latter one called ITR2 (which stands for Innovative Technical Revolutionary Resin) is actually a composite material which is reinforced by carbon nano-tubes. Its production is quite demanding, yet the end result makes up for the laborious process since the material is four times lighter than already light titanium. The final touch in the creation of ultra-light livery was the inclusion of mineral glasses for the front and back which replaced more resilient and much heavier sapphire elements. The reduction of weight was continued under the mineral glass as well. Montblanc TimeWalker Pyitagore Ultra-Light Concept does not have a dial in a traditional sense and its function is transferred to the movement itself.
Skeleton Reinterpretation of a Famed Movement
The periphery of main-plate of movement (which is like the bridges made of titanium) is actually used for hour markers, a single Arabic numeral on the top and a minute scale. Additionally, the components are stripped as much as it is possible, while even the small seconds counter on the bottom is skeletonized and made of anodized aluminum. All the steps that Montblanc undertook (or to be more precise Minerva Villeret which is now in the brand’s possession) made sure that the movement has an extremely low weight of 4.79 grams.
Caliber MB M62.48 is actually based on famous Minerva Pythagore caliber from the 1943 and this surely makes the watch even more appealing. The modernized version of the vintage three-hand caliber ticks at the rate of 2.5 Hz and stores 50-hour long power reserve. Despite being stripped for reduced weight, the hand-wound mechanical movement is likewise opulently finished with contrasting satinized and grained finishing on flat surfaces, while the edges are chamfered and polished. The skeleton movement also includes visible five stars on one of its bridges that signify the titles which earned Lin Dan the badminton grand slam.
As the promotional photos of the new champion of lightweight mechanical timekeepers hint, the attachment of choice also might be made of the mixture of Kevlar and carbon fiber. The price of the prototype from the Montblanc TimeWalker series is yet to be disclosed, along with its date of launch.