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In khaki and bronze: Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

Mountaineering - the new adventure theme
by Chester Lau on July 27, 2019
Reviews

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

Inspired by the vintage Minerva watches from the 1920s and 30s that were once used in the military, the 1858 collection pays tribute to the 160 years of the Minerva Manufacture and its extraordinary heritage. The new Montblanc 1858 timepieces uses design elements from historic models and redevelops them for the new ‘sports’ watch category, mountaineering.

The Worldtime Geosphere was designed for the modern-day explorer who likes to set his own challenges. It is purposed as a travel complication, but with a less commonly seen world time display.

The case

The 1858 Geosphere, which is dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures, is now also available in a new bronze/khaki colour scheme.

The satin-finished case is in bronze and measures 42 mm in diameter and 12.8 mm in height. A set of tapered and chamfered lugs with a contrasting polished edge is used for a more nuanced look.

The case back is crafted from titanium featuring a bronze colour coating. Typical of bronze watches, the caseback is usually made with a different material, such as titanium, to prevent allergies, as the caseback comes in direct contact with the skin.

The case back is also engraved with the emblematic Mont Blanc mountain, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, as a nod to the spirit of mountain exploration. Other details include fluted crowns that recall those on period timepieces.

The Dial

For legibility and design, the khaki-green dials contrast with historical luminescent cathedral-shaped hands with a “cloisonné” design that have been slightly domed for one of the finest finishes. Other details include beige SuperLumiNova*-coated Arabic numerals, a railway minutes track and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain.

This timepiece features a worldtime complication with two turning domed hemisphere globes, which make a full rotation in 24 hours. The northern hemisphere at 12 o’clock turns anticlockwise, while the southern hemisphere turns clockwise. They are both surrounded by a scale with the 24 time zones, along with a day/night indication in contrasting colours. The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a white line coated with SuperLumiNova®. Additionally, a second time zone display is located at nine o’clock and a date (linked to the local time) is indicated in an aperture at three o’clock.

But apart from the case and dial, significant effort is put into the choice and design of the straps. Providing a contemporary look, the watches are equipped with high-quality woven “NATO” straps. These straps are handcrafted in France at a traditional weaving manufacture that has been in production for over 150 years. Thanks to this artisanal know-how, the “NATO” straps are refined, robust, durable and very comfortable on the wrist.

Concluding thoughts

All in all, we found the watch to be quite a good reinterpretation of a worldtimer. It does well in the looks department, with attractive straps and a unique dial design. Engineering wise, the timepiece uses the manufacture worldtime complication powered by the calibre MB 29.25, developed in-house. The movement houses a 42 hours power reserve and beats at 28,800 A/h.

While some may argue that precision tests are a gimmick, the Montblanc 1858 models also undergo a Laboratory test. This consists over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under extreme conditions. The Geosphere is also tested to a water-resistance of 100 meters to be Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.

The Geosphere is a robust timepiece that looks good, but may not be the most instinctive tool watch. Travel timepieces may fare better with more utility in mind. That said, the watch fares well in the aesthetics department, with a cool luminous duo hemisphere dial and an attractive bronze case.

The Bronze series is limited to 1858 pieces, paying tribute to the year of foundation of the Minerva Manufacture.

The Geosphere in bronze is priced at US$6300 before taxes.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition – 1858 pieces Specifications

Movement Calibre MB 29.25
Type of movement Mechanical movement with automatic winding, worldtime
Number of rubies 26
Power Reserve Approx. 42 hours
Balance Flat hoop
Frequency 28,800 A/h (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring Flat
Displays Hours and minutes from the centre, date at 3 o’clock

Second time zone at 9 o’clock
Turning northern and southern hemisphere globes at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock
with a 24-hour scale and day-night indication

Habillage

Case Bronze with slim curved horns featuring polished and satin-finishing. Bi-directional bronze bezel with green ceramic, knurled finishing and engraved cardinal points

Crystal Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Back Bronze-coated titanium with “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” special engraving
Dimensions Diameter = 42 mm; Height = 12.8 mm
Water-tightness 10 bar (100 m)
Crown Fluted in bronze with Montblanc emblem in relief

Dial Khaki green with beige Arabic numerals coated with Super-LumiNova®, red gold-coated luminescent cathedral-shaped hour-hand and minute-hand, beige timezone hand coated with Super-LumiNova®, historical Montblanc logo at 3 o’clock
Wristband High-quality khaki green “NATO” strap with special stainless steel pin buckle
Limited Edition 1858
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500

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