There’s a healthy – we’d argue, necessary – dose of competition at the annual SIHH watchmaking fair in Geneva. Of course, most of the participating brands are siblings who belong to the Richemont group and includes venerable names from A. Lange & Söhne and Cartier to Vacheron Constantin and Panerai.
With each brand exhibiting around a dozen novelties on an average, and with 35 participating brands overall, there’s plenty of horological candy vying for the attention of the press, retailers and select guests invited to the event.
So for one particular timepiece to jump out and universally grab everyone’s attention is an occasion as rare as steak tartare. That’s exactly what happened with the Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 this year.
Montblanc’s new 1858 collection is impressive. Automatic watches with cathedral hands, an 1858 Geosphere worldtimer and a stainless steel monopusher chronograph were in itself enough to convince us that the 1858 collection was raising the bar.
Add to that collection this Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 and you’ll understand why Montblanc in general, and the 1858 collection in particular, is having a moment this year.
There’s a tough titanium case on this pocket watch (adventurers, please step this way) and that blue dial is made from stone. The dial has a 24-hour scale and just one large red hand to indicate the time. The beige Arabic numerals and indexes are covered with Super-Luminova for high visibility in low-lighting conditions. There is a pulsometer scale engraved on the bezel.
One of the highlights of this watch is that robust Minerva MB M16.24 movement which powers the monopusher chronograph. The 18,000 vph manual-winding movement has a power reserve of 50 hours. Pry the hunter-style case open and apart from getting a clear view of the movement, you’ll also find a compass.
The physically imposing 60mm watch is 20.8mm thick pocket watch can be configured to serve as a desk clock (by folding out the caseback) and an arm watch (yes, we can’t imagine strapping this on our wrist) too by slipping on an expansive brown sfumato aged calf leather strap. Limited to just 100 pieces, it’s priced at €48,000 a pop.