Montblanc Explores Material & Mechanical Innovation With Its New 2024 Watches
— Updated on 7 April 2024

Montblanc Explores Material & Mechanical Innovation With Its New 2024 Watches

— Updated on 7 April 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

First off, let’s get the obligatory stuff out of the way.

As always, Montblanc has used the occasion of Watches & Wonders 2024 to launch several classic sports watches (including the technically formidable ‘Deep 4810’), envisioned in the aesthetic of the brand’s signature ‘Iced’ diver line-up.

Those are all fantastic options on the daily, but for today’s purposes, we’re going to spend a bit more time looking at the newly announced Minerva chronograph and Geosphere ‘0 Oxygen’ — limited editions that speak to Montblanc’s fixation, respectively, on mechanical and material excellence.

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Our Favourite Montblanc Releases At Watches & Wonders 2024

Montblanc 1858 ‘Unveiled’ Minerva Monopusher Chronograph

Montblanc watches 2024

A new and decidedly exhibitionist take on Montblanc’s signature range of single-pusher Minerva chronographs, the ‘Unveiled’ showcases the addition of numerous “apertures” into the watch’s case sides. The purpose? So that light can illuminate the manually wound chronograph movement’s impressive architecture — complete with column wheel and the distinctive “V-shaped” bridgework.

The movement, which is also a new addition to the burgeoning stable of high-end Montblanc chronographs, is constructed around a series of pillars. Dubbed calibre MB M16.26, the impression we got (even looking at early press imagery) was of a skeletonised watch. The subtle difference here is that in this ‘Unveiled’ Minerva, the gear train and chronograph bridge were designed (from the ground up) to be seen in profile.

Montblanc watches 2024

Indeed, the unique architecture of the latter component has been emphasised by Montblanc, who chose to plate it in a rich medium-blue shade — echoed in the sfumato leather wristband that accompanies the piece.

Fans of the historic Minerva manufacture will likely also be intrigued by this new watch’s size. At 38.4mm x 7.70mm, it’s a step back towards the medium-size cases of the early 20th century; and a very proportionate housing for the newest generation of “one of the most beautiful chronograph movements of all time”. Available in a limited run of 100 pieces globally.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen CARBO2

A continuation of Montblanc’s alpine pioneer-inspired range of Geosphere watches, the new ‘0 Oxygen CARBO2‘ explores the role that oxygen plays in mountaineering — in conceptual and literal fashion.

Exhibiting material innovation through and through, the mid-case of this new Montblanc watch is manufactured using a CO2 capture process, whereby said gas is extracted from a range of recycled mineral waste.

The resulting powder obtained from this process is then fused with carbon fibre. Hence, the watch’s CARBO2 moniker. A lightweight and chemically resistant material, carbon fibre has enjoyed many years of popularity in the luxury watch industry; and is bookended here, for additional toughness, with a titanium bezel and caseback.

To emphasise the CARBO2‘s alpine theme, the innovative mid-case is engraved with a luminescent outline of the famous Mont Blanc mountain; with that same elevated mass depicted on the caseback using laser engraving.

As always, Montblanc has intended for this to be more than a simple homage to the feat of mountain exploration. As part of the brand’s ongoing series of ‘Zero Oxygen’ timepieces, it has been purpose-built “for explorers who need their equipment to work in harsh environments”.

The 43mm timepiece is hermetically sealed (so as to prevent the passage of oxygen); and there are a range of complications bound to prove interesting for wearers — even if the only ‘controlled ascending’ you do is into the first class cabin.

A date window and second time zone strike us as features with more daily usability; whereas the ‘Worldtime’ mechanism is executed using working north/south hemispheres. All in all, quite a bit of tech to play around with.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].