Montblanc has presented a new version of its famed two-faced timekeeper named Metamorphosis. The remarkable watch has a lovely embellished dial which actually changes upon request and has its calendar feature replaced with a mono-pusher chronograph. The model whose first iteration saw the light of day four years ago is made with an immensely complex movement with an in-house balance. This time, the watch is placed inside a red gold housing and has a silver-colored dial. There will be 18 copies of Metamophosis II and they will feature the price of around $342,500.
Metamorphosis on Request
Metamorphosis watch by Montblanc is primarily distinguished with its unique feature –the ability to change the appearance of its dial upon request. Even without this trait, the dial is pretty impressive which we will explain in more detail a bit later. Once the wearer pulls the slide that looks like the one of a striking mechanism, a change occurs on the face. While the center of the dial remains the same, the changes actually happen at top and bottom of the dial where the appearance of the sub-counters is completely changed. Originally, there are two lowered silvered sub-dials on the face. While the upper one is used for the hours (the central part of the dial includes minute and second hands), the lower one is used for the date display.
Once the slide on the left side of the case is pulled, the watch changes its looks in a dramatic manner. On both of these sub-dials, two hidden semi-circular segments (one from each side) come together in a manner that resembles the shutting of a sliding door. When these segments are settled in a new place, one can notice two entirely different counters on the face of the watch with dark gray peripheries (contrastingly, the hands are still the same and they do not change). While the shift in the upper counter is more or less aesthetical (where the scale with Roman numerals is replaced with Arabic ones), the shift in the lower section is even more impressive, since the bottom counter changes its function. Previously a date indication now morphs into a chronograph minutes counter. When this happens, the central minute hand retains its function, while the seconds hand is now used for the chronograph feature. Another pull of the slide at the left of the case and the appearance of the dial changes to the original state with the calendar indication on the bottom.
Regardless of the actual selected face, the invisible features are still fully functional. If you decide to view the chrono side of the face, the calendar feature will still continue to work properly and will be accurate when the wearer shifts the view.
Eight Different Techniques Grace the Shape-Shifting Dial
As we have mentioned, the dial of the watch would be quite impressive even if it had not had the ability to morph its appearance. For starters, this is because the lovely looking dial displays no less than eight different traditional artistic techniques that are used for its embellishment. First, the central segment of the face which never changes is graced with a silvered honeycomb guilloche motif performed by hand. Next, we have an upper counter which changes from the one with a silver sunray rose engine motif with brushed finishing. Once the slide is pulled, it changes to a counter with a central part with a circular-brushed satin finish, a silvered spiral guilloche motif on the periphery, as well as with a darker barleycorn pattern just outside of the sub-dial. The pointer of the lower counter on the other hand is held in place with the means of a sapphire bridge. As the sub-dial changes its appearance, a scale with applied red gold numerals on the outskirts is replaced with a dark gray colored one.
Regulator Display and Retrograde Minute Hand
These decorations are not the only thing that makes the face look special. The face is characterized with its regulator type of display. This type of indicating the time was widely used on vintage clocks and it includes separate dials for hour and minutes. Finally, the minute hand of the watch is yet another impressive feature. Unlike the seconds hand, the minute one does not make a full revolution. It actually moves in a retrograde manner on the upper part of the dial and goes along a scale made of sapphire which is interrupted only at the top of the dial where the hour counter sits.
Developed by Minerva
Each of the very impressive features of this peculiar wristwatch is enabled with its Caliber MB M67.40 with 86 jewels. This is an immensely complex hand-wound movement which is comprised of no less than 746 parts, of which 494 are used just for the metamorphosis feature which requires 50 of its independent segments to move in unison. In order to create the movement, Montblanc needed four years of development and construction of several patents. Caliber MB M67.40 has an in-house balance of a very large diameter (14.5 mm) with Phillips terminal curve and it operates at the rate of 18,800 vph. Its power reserve stores enough energy to keep the movement running for about 50 hours.
As all of this was not enough, there are even more impressive details about the watch’s caliber. Its chronograph feature is actually a mono-pussoir, since its starting, stopping and resetting are all performed with a single pusher. Additionally, it is a column-wheel chronograph with a horizontal clutch. These traits are not a surprise considering the collection and the section of the brand, which was entrusted with the development of the timekeeper. The watch stems from the Villeret 1858 collection which was formed after the brand acquired Minerva back in 2008. The renowned movement manufacturer with workshops in Villeret was among other things known for its distinctive range of chronographs whose DNA can be recognized in the new shape-shifting watch by Montblanc.
More accurately, Metamorphosis II stems from the Timewriter sub-section of the Villeret 1858 collection. This scarce lineage is reserved for the development and materialization of radical and innovative ideas of up-and-coming watchmakers. Behind these projects stands a team lead by Demetrio Cabiduu. The master watchmaker and his team make sure that these groundbreaking concepts come true in the best possible way, as it was the case with the watch that has the ability to transform its appearance.
Apart from being very complex and innovative, the caliber is likewise a sight to behold since it is decorated with a number of haute horlogerie finishes. The movement with the width of 16 lignes (38.4 mm) and the height of 12.45 mm has its main-plate coated with rhodium-plated German silver which features circular grinding on both of its sides, as well as hand-chamfered edges. Its going train includes gold-plated wheels with circular graining, chamfering and diamond hubs. Moreover, the pinions are with polished toothing and faces, as well as burnished pivots, while bridges in nickel silver display the Geneva striping motif.
18 pieces in Red Gold
Due to the complexity and the shear size of the movement, the entire watch has quite substantial dimensions. It has the diameter of 52 mm which is compensated with a curved profile, so the watch would not appear to be too big. Its 18 K red gold housing is coupled with a cambered sapphire crystal encircled with a fixed bezel. Its case back is transparent, while the water resistance measures to 30 meters. The attachment of choice is a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap. Montblanc Villeret 1858 Timewriter Matemporhosis II is issued in a very limited edition of just 18 copies, which is even scarcer than the first iteration of the watch. Metamorposhis I (in white gold, with a black face and a slightly narrower diameter) which Montblanc presented four years ago was issued in a restricted edition of 28 pieces.