Apart from the previously presented novelties from the Villeret 1858 series, Montblanc has presented several new timekeepers at the recently held SIHH 2013 event. Among the other newcomers, there is the model from the Star series which is intended as a more affordable version of a full calendar watch, as well as the brand’s unique high-jewelry pieces from the Princesse Grace de Monaco collection which sport intricate bracelets of unusual shapes and are decorated with hosts of diamonds. The remaining newcomers are likewise ornamented with more or less precious stones. However, regardless of the level of decorations, each of the new models from the Star and the Princesse Grace de Monaco has an additional horological value since it includes one of the watchmaker’s self-winding mechanical movements.
Star Quantième Complet (Ref. No. 108737)
One of the most interesting newcomers is certainly Star Quantième Complet timekeeper. In translation from French, its name means “full calendar” denoting the available complication of the watch. The intention that sparked the launch of the model was Montblanc desire to make a mechanical watch which will fill the existing gap on the market. Since the current offer of watches includes either more affordable watches with just a date display, or timepieces with a full calendar function which cost a few tens of thousands of dollars, Montblanc opted for a watch with this feature which would be available to broader public. That was the reasoning behind the creation of the watch which includes all the traits of a full calendar timepiece (displays for date, day of the week, month and moon phases).
At the core of the timepiece is self-winding MB 4810/912 caliber with 25 jewels. The mechanical movement with a flat hairspring operates at the frequency of 28,800 vph and has a power storage capacity which lasts around 42 hours.
In accordance with the traditional styling, the top of the dial of Star Quantième is reserved for two horizontally aligned windows with indications for the day of the week and the month. The date is shown by the central hand with a crescent tip that circles around a 31-day scale on the outer edge of the dial. Its final supported function – the moon phase indication – sits at the bottom of the face. For the more distinguished look, Montblanc decorated the watch’s silver-colored dial with a central guilloche pattern. Besides, the face includes black Roman numerals for hours and Arabic numerals for its date display, while the used type of hands are blued steel feuille and baton-shaped ones.
Montblanc Star Quantieme timekeeper is fitted into a perfectly round 18K red gold housing with the diameter of 42 mm and the thickness of 12.17 mm. Its solid gold case back is fixed by 6 screws, while the face is guarded with a domed sapphire crystal with a double anti-reflective coating. Another stylish component is the fluted gold crown, decorated with the brand’s emblem in mother-of-pearl. In order to make its calendar feature more practical, each of the indications can be individually set by pressing one of the respective pushers located at the side of the case. These pushers are not raised or notable at the first glance, they are intended to be activated with the use of a little corrector tool which is provided with the watch. The watch has the most basic water resistance of 30 meters.
As far as the wristlet is concerned, the Swiss watchmaker chose a classical brown alligator leather strap which fastens with a prongue buckle. The buckle naturally matches the material of the case. It has quite the substantial weight of around 13 grams, in addition to 69 grams of red gold utilized for the case. Montblanc Quantième Complet will be available in August 2013.
The Star Classique Newcomers
Apart from the full calendar timepiece, the Star series by Montblanc is further enriched with novelties from the Classique sub-category of the Star collection. These are new Lady Automatic timekeeper and a pair of watches for ladies and gentlemen named simply Automatic Steel-Gold timekeepers. While the former is obviously dominated by the inclusion of precious stones, the latter consists of two matching distinguished watches made to be worn by pairs. In both cases, the watches are made with graceful slim cases and equipped with automatic movements.
Star Classique Automatic Diamonds
All of the defining qualities of Star Classique Automatic Diamonds timekeeper by Montblanc are hinted in its name. The watch is made to stand out and charm its wearer with the delicate play of light, achieved with the use of various decorative elements. Among the decorations, the special place holds the presence of 72 brilliant-cut diamonds which have the notable total weight of around 0.526 carats. The radiance of gemstones is combined with the delicate sparkling of its white mother-of-pearl dial supplied with red-gold-plated indexes, numerals and feuille-styled hands. The dial of the model with the reference number 107958 includes a small seconds sub-counter at the bottom which is engraved with the company’s logo for the additional aesthetic appeal. Apart from these elements, the watch likewise has a domed double anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a fluted crown with the brand’s logo in m-o-p.
Star Classiqe Automatic Diamond timekeeper has a harmoniously designed housing in 18 K red gold which can also be considered as one of the elements that makes the product appear more elegant, since the 34 mm wide casing has a very slim profile and the thickness of 8.98 mm. Once again, it allows the watch to be water proof to 30 meters. The final touch is a shiny white alligator strap with a red gold pin buckle. All in all, it is a very decorative watch which will appeal to the ladies who enjoy ornate pieces.
Underneath all of the superficial decoration, however stylish they might be, there is a solid watchmaking core of the timekeeper – its self-winding MB 4810/408 mechanical caliber. It is a 27 jewel movement with a flat hairspring including a power storage of 42 hours which runs at the frequency of 4 Hz. The movement is visible through the skeleton section of the case back which is made from the sapphire.
Star Classique Steel-Gold Automatic
The next pair of models is fairly similar to the previous timepiece, apart from the diamond decorations. Made as the matching watches for her and him, the timekeepers feature different sizes. While the ladies’version is 34 mm wide just like the previous diamond-encrusted piece, the gentlemen’s model is slightly wider with the diameter of 39 mm. However, both models (with the reference numbers 107915 and 107916) retain the slender profile of the case. The thickness in both instances is 8.9 mm. While the ladies model has the same m-o-p face, the male version is made with a silver-gray dial. Another trait which is shared throughout the Star Classique lineage by Montblanc is the presence of MB 4810/408 automatic caliber with the power reserve of 42 hours. Unlike the diamond model which is available only in 18 K red gold housing, these two are also available in cases made from two colored stainless steel. They also have a different type of attachments. In these instances, the wristlets of choice are solid metal bracelets in the material of the case which fasten with triple folding-clasps. The watches will be available separately, as well as a pair, this autumn.
Princesse Grace de Monaco
Even more attention to decorations was turned in the novelties from the Princesse Grace de Monaco series, named after one of the most cherished icons of high style – Princess Grace Kelly. Among the novelties, the most interesting are two unique haute joaillerie watches which were made with the contributions of artisans from various disciplines. The result of the joint work of these craftsmen is embodied in the creation of two lavish models with lovely looking bracelets. Apart from high jewelry models named Pétales de Rose Motif and Pétales Entrelacés Motif, the selection includes one more model with slightly less exclusivity and diamond decorations than those found on the one-of-a-kind watches. However, it is still a very elegant upper-class looking timekeeper with lots of appeal. The third newcomer shares the basic visual traits of the watches from the series and more importantly, it has the same automatic mechanical movement MB 4810/409.
Princesse Grace de Monaco Red Gold Automatic (Ref. No. 109275)
We shall start with the least exclusive model in the series, the only one that is not made in a single issue. Red Gold Automatic watch from the Princesse Grace de Monaco series is an opulently decorated timepiece which features a plenty of diamonds with the total weight of over 0.68 carats. The lushness of gemstones is used on the recognizable framework of the collection which includes a case with a clear and simple design. The watch’s diameter of 34 mm and its perfectly round dial joined with an elliptical bezel and flange are all distinctive features of the Montblanc Princesse Grace de Monaco collection. Each of these traits is present in all three newcomers. Other shared characteristics are a concave back, sloping horns and a domed sapphire crystal. However, these three watches are made with an exhibition case back which is done for the first time in the collection in order to display the functioning of the automatic movement that drives the watch. It is MB4810/409 caliber with 25 rubies and the power storage of 42 hours. The caliber runs at the frequency at the 4 Hz and in this instance (unlike it is the case for the unique pieces) supports a central seconds hand and a date display.
After presenting the characteristics that the watches form the collection have in common, let us turn the attention towards the idiosyncratic decorations of Red Gold Automatic Watch with the reference 109275. No less than 126 brilliant-cut diamonds (with the total weight of 0.68 carat) are set in one and two-rows on its elliptical bezel. More gems of the same kind (0.54 ct.) are found on the mother-of-pearl dial which likewise shows off a pink sapphire in rose-shape (0.02 ct.) and a gold plated numeral 12. The final touch is the presence of a gold crown that boasts the Montblanc’s 43-faceted diamond (0.055 ct.)
Pétales de Rose Motif
The first of two high jewelry unique watches is Pétales de Rose (Rose petals in French) Motif. The name of the watch derives from the shape of its graceful link bracelet made from the basis of 18 K white gold which is encrusted with 555 brilliant-cut diamonds. A look at the white mother-of-pearl dial reveals the same motif made from 80 gemstones. Additionally, there are 130 dimaonds hand-set on the flange and on the outskirts of the dial. The jewel ensemble furthermore includes 44 baguette diamonds on the bezel and the most amazing 43-facted stone on the crown.
The extensive list of decorations sums up to 810 stones with the weight of 6.763 carats. Besides, the watch has a case in white gold with the back which boasts an engraved monogram of Princess Grace.
Pétales Entrelacés Motif
The most lavish of the watches by Montblanc at SIHH 2013 is the timekeeper whose name means interlaced rose petals. It has less diamonds than the previous model, just 360 compared to the previous one. However, since it utilizes more valuable and heavier stones, the total weight of gemstones is around 8.1571 carats compared to “just” over 6.7 ct. as it was the case with the rose petals motif watch.
As far as the most valuable piece is concerned, it has the case made of 18 K red gold and like the vast majority of the newcomers a white m-o-p dial. On the oval bezel, we can see 44 baguette-cut diamonds. Its bracelet is made of interlaced links in the shape of a rose petal. Moreover, interlaced links of the bracelets together make the mathematical symbol of infinity and are covered with 173 brilliant-cut gemstones. Another 130 diamonds of the same kind are set on the flange, while the crown integrates Montblanc stone with 43 facets. Finally, there is a dozen of diamonds around each of the hour markers which are made from red gold and in the contour of a rose petal.
However, this does not conclude the list of interesting decorative features of the timekeeper, as it displays the mastery of the cadraniers (dial makers) involved in its creation. Mother-of-pearl is one of the most challenging materials to work with, due to its extreme fragility. This watch takes this complexity to a different level since its m-o-p dial has two levels, while the outer section sports an intricate pattern made from hand-cut elements.
All three watches from the Princesse Grace de Monaco series are already available for sale. It is important to note that the portion of the sales of these pieces will be transferred to Princesse Grace Foundation-USA which funds young prospects from the fields of acting, dance and film. The foundation offers stipends and was established personally by Grace Kelly.