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Hands on with the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco Da Gama Limited Edition 238

by Nick Gould on October 8, 2015

For this years Watches and Wonders in Hong Kong, Montblanc released six new models with some of them featuring elements that reference the Portugese explorer Vasco Da Gama.  We took a closer look at the new Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco Da Gama Limited Edition 238

The first thing that catches the eye is the case and the dial of the timepiece.  The 41mm polished stainless steel case is nicely contrasted with a 18k red gold bezel and winding crown.  This compliments the facetted indexes, the applied Arabic numeral 12 and the hands for the hours, minutes, running seconds and 24hr indicator which are also red gold plated in colour.   On the outer part of the dial is the black minute track for accurate reading of the time. The dial itself is silvery-white with a sunburst pattern.

The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco Da Gama Limited Edition 238

As the name suggests, the watch is a dual timer.  This makes it a useful timepiece for the frequent traveler.  The second time zone is tracked by the blued hour hand and the 24hr sub-dial at the 12 o’clock position.  This sub-dial has been lacquered blue and depicts the Southern Cross constellation, which helped to guide Vasco Da Gama on his voyage.  The applied number 12 has been used to indicate 12 noon on the 24 hr sub-dial. Personally we think the the sub-dial should be inversed, so that the hours from 16:00 to 24:00 are at the top.

To link the theme of global travel the running seconds sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position features a map of the world in blue.

The lacqured sub-dial with the Southern Cross constellation at 12 o’clock and the world map at the 6 o’clock position are nods to the Portuguese Explorer Vasco Da Gama

The dual time complication was developed in-house by Montblanc in Villeret.   All adjustments for the time and date can be done via the crown, which means no need for pushers on the side of the case, allowing for the lines of the case to remain sleek.

By pulling the crown out one position, the hour hand can be adjusted by the user, for example when landing in a new timezone.  The hour hand is mechanically isolated from the minutes,running seconds and  the blue home time hour hand, ensuring proper time is still kept.  Once the hour hand has been adjusted the crown is pushed back into its original position.

The 41mm stainless steel case with rose gold bezel and crown fits nicely on the wrist.  Its alligator clasp with stainless steel triple-folding clasp goes nicely with business attire

If the wearer of the watch is not traveling, the blued second timezone hand can be placed underneath the gold hour hand, giving the dial of the watch a cleaner look.  The date is present at the 3 o’clock position and is surrounded by a red gold frame.  It is synchronized with the local time and moves forward or backward in keeping with the time zone selected.

Flipping the watch over reveals another nod to Vasco Da Gama. The stainless steel back with sapphire crystal reveals the self winding Calibre MB 29.19 movement with 42 hours of power reverse.  The rotor has been customised with name Montblanc and other details highlighted in gold.  Vasco da Gama’s flagship, the São Gabriel, and his signature are printed on the inside of the sapphire crystal. This obscured the view of the movement slightly.

montblanc-vasco-dualtime-back

Vasco da Gama’s flagship, the São Gabriel, and his signature are printed on the inside of the sapphire crystal.

The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco Da Gama Limited Edition is limited to 238 pieces.  The number 238 is in reference to the “Cape Point Peak” lighthouse, which was built at precisely 238 meters above sea level at the Cape of Good Hope, around which Vasco da Gama first sailed in late November 1497. This lighthouse as an additional distinctive geographic point of orientation on the seaway to India.

The watch will retail for $9,300 Singapore Dollars including GST.  Overall we feel the watch represents good value with the dual timezone feature and ease of use.  The gold hues work well with the blue accents and would be a good addition on the wrist for someone who requires a capable timepiece for business travel.

For more information please visit Mont Blanc

Technical Specifications

Movement Calibre MB 29.19 with Manufacture complication
Type of movement Mechanical movement with automatic winding, second time zone
and day/night display
No. of jewels 34
Power reserve About 42 hours
Balance Flat ring
Frequency 28,800 vib/h (4 Hz)
Hairspring Flat
Displays Local time: central hours and minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock,
second time zone in the centre and at 12 o’clock with 24-hour
display and a day/night indication
Date window at 3 o’clock
Special features In-house-developed complication with rapid adjustment of the local
time in hourly steps, date linked to local time with date change
either forward or backward, home time, minutes and seconds
continue to run during local-time adjustment
Exterior
Case Polished stainless steel case, polished and satin-finished 18 K red goldcapted
bezel
Crystal Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal
Back Stainless steel with inset pane of sapphire crystal with Vasco da Gama’s
flagship, the São Gabriel, and his signature
Dimensions Diameter = 41 mm; height = 9.9 mm
Water-resist. 3 bar

Crown 18 K red gold with Montblanc emblem in raised relief
Dial Silvery-white dial with sunburst pattern, facetted indexes and Arabic
numeral “12” as red gold-plated appliqué, red gold-plated sword-shaped
hours and minutes hands, blued steel hours hand for the second time zone,
blue lacquered subdial at 12 o’clock for the 24-hour and the day-night
indicators depicting the sky with the Southern Cross in the southern
hemisphere, slightly cambered world map at 6 o’clock with red gold-plated
small-seconds hand, date shown in an aperture
Strap Black alligator-skin strap crafted at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence
with stainless steel triple-folding clasp
Limited Edition 238
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500

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