Montblanc announced three new watches at Watches and Wonders overnight, all in the 1858 series.
This batch of announcements includes the new 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290. It’s quite a mouthful, but it’s got the simple pursuit of adventure in its heart.
What is it?
The new 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 is a new limited edition designed for serious adventurers.
Featuring a 44mm lightweight, polished titanium case, ceramic bezel and striking blue dial designed to look like the inside of a glacier, it’s a serious bit of kit.
It features an new automatic MB29.27 movement and a world time complication.
Finally, the caseback is etched with the image of Mount Everest, where the watch was baptised by adventure.
The line will be limited to 290 pieces for only the most hardcore adventurers. The number 290 is a nod to the 29,000-ish feet altitude of Mount Everest.
No oxygen required
Montblanc has gone to great lengths to make sure that the new 1858 Geosphere Chronograph can function in an environment with zero oxygen. Hence the name, “0 Oxygen”, you see.
There’s no oxygen inside the movement, which Montblanc says “eliminates fogging” caused by drastic temperature shifts at higher altitudes, and also prevents oxidisation over time.
This not only means it’s very cool, but also lasts longer with greater accuracy.
Each timepiece is accompanied by a zero-oxygen certificate, which confirms that it has been properly encapsulated without oxygen. Each timepiece is subjected to the Mason’s harsh 500-hour test in addition to the certificate.
The accuracy of a watch’s movement is determined by the lubrication of its components. So Montblanc’s makers chose specific oils for the movement that will perform perfectly at temperatures as low as -50°C.
Making Everest real on your wrist
The crucible of adventure is Mount Everest. Where all true adventure watches cut their proverbial teeth.
Everest is synonymous with adventure watches, like the Rolex Explorer, for example. The only watch to go higher is the Omega Speedmaster Professional – the first watch on the Moon.
Montblanc is especially proud of how it has rendered Everest on the caseback.
According to the Maison, the image is more than just the mountain, depicting the route that Reinhold Messner took when he summited Everest without oxygen in 1978.
Montblanc says it uses 3D rendering to provide depth of the etching on the caseback. Laser etching is used to structure the image and give it depth, before oxidisation is used to provide colour.
To make sure the watch is up for the challenge, it enlisted the help of Nimsdai Purja. Purja is the mountaineer’s mountaineer: formerly an elite British soldier and now an extreme altitude climber, he’s summited the world’s 14 highest peaks in seven months: a new world record.
He’ll be taking the new 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 up Mount Everest once again in May 2022.
If you like the nitty gritty, here’s everything you need to know.