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Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarum Watch

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarum Watch Watch Releases

Montblanc is now one of the most exciting brands under Richemont’s wide umbrella – thanks in no small part to Jerome Lambert’s leadership, the man who played a key role in making Jaeger-LeCoultre the powerhouse that it is today. And with SIHH 2015 just weeks away, the company has just released details of its latest watch, the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum.

Last year, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Montblanc’s legendary Meisterstück fountain pen (Meisterstück is German for Masterpiece), Montblanc introduced its new Meisterstück Heritage collection. This collection celebrates traditional craftsmanship, timeless designs and sophistication, and also includes the Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar (hands-on here), Meisterstück Heritage Moonphase (hands-on here) and the Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph (hands-on here). All three are extremely fine watches – the first is actually one of the most affordable mechanical perpetual calendars on the market right now, while the last is the first Montblanc model outside of its Villeret collection to feature a Minerva movement.

Joining this first-rate company of watches for 2015 is the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarrum, which features an in-house developed worldtime complication (more on this a bit later). Worldtimers are not all that uncommon, but they are notoriously tricky to get right. There is a lot of information to display, and if one is not careful, the dial can easily get too busy to be easily legible. However, some brands have done it right and Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time is one of the best examples of a well-designed worldtimer. Other watches worthy of mention include Baume & Mercier’s Capeland Worldtimer and Girard-Perregaux’s Traveller WW.TC And Moon Phase, which even has chronograph functions to boot.

The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum comes in a 41mm case – available in 18k red gold and stainless steel – with polished bezel and horizontal satin finishing on the sides. The lugs, which curve quite steeply, have the same treatment. Case thickness is around 12mm, which is a little on the thick side, but entirely acceptable, since the movement was not developed from scratch.

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarum Watch Watch Releases

What I really love about the watch, however, is the multi-layered dial, which is also highly legible despite the amount of information it has to display. In the center of the dial is a piece of sapphire crystal that displays the continents when viewed from the North Pole. The continents are actually cut out from the dial, whereas the oceans are in a light blue color. Under this is a disc that displays the day and night, as well as 24 timezones, and which is driven by the movement. The dauphine style hands are rhodium-plated, polished, and satinated.

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Setting the time is easy. The desired home city needs to be positioned at 6 o’clock, and this can be done by using the pusher at 8 o’clock. Afterwards, the wearer only needs to adjust the local hours and minutes using the crown. The hour and minutes, which are always linked with the day and night indicator and 24 time zones, will now show the correct local time and time of all 24 timezones. And when traveling to a new timezone, the wearer only needs to use the pusher to ensure that the new city that he or she is in is once again positioned at the 6 o’clock position. Everything else will automatically adjust itself and remain synchronized.

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarum Watch Watch Releases

All of this is made possible by the self-winding calibre MB29.20. Earlier, I mentioned that the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarium has an in-house developed worldtime complication, and I say this because the base of the movement comes from Sellita, with the worldtime function being added using a module. The module, however, is developed completely by Montblanc, and from what we have heard, is not just a simple sandwich job. Rather, the complication is integrated into the movement, which could also explain why the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum is just 12mm and not thicker, as some of the other watches with modular complications are. The MB29.20 beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours.

I have always loved worldtimers for their practicality, and I could not be any more excited about this watch. The size and the looks are bang on and close to perfect, and the dial has so much detail and looks just exquisite. My only complaint so far is that the pusher at 8 o’clock is much too conspicuous than what I would have liked it to be, but that is about it. I can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

And, like the Meisterstück Perpetual Calendar before it, this new Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum is also very attractively priced. In red gold, the watch will retail for around $17,000 (€13,900); and in stainless steel, the price is a very tempting $6,100 (€4,990). montblanc.com

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  • I’m a bit of a GMT/Travel Time/Worldtimer fanboy and I think this may be in the sights for 2015!

  • iamcalledryan

    Very nice, and thinking of mr. lambert one can’t help but see JLC in this design. Regardless, it’s attractive and I love the global day/night.

  • Time2Go

    Nice.  Very nice.  I wish they had used upper and lowercase for the city names though, as all that text in caps is pretty loud and cluttered.  Also, I’d want to see it in person, as I’m concerned that there’s not going to be enough contrast between those shiny hands and the face, making quick readability a little harder than it need be.  Would be happy to be wrong on this though, because I do like this one and the price seems quite reasonable.

  • socabaptist

    I like this and not a bad price for the stainless steel version. I really like what Montblanc has been doing lately. IMHO they’ve been on a roll and this watch continues that trend. I like it a lot!!

  • VM1960

    Very beautiful visually. I like Montblanc designs and this, especially for the price, is very impressive.

  • thornwood36

    Pen,………….. tick,………aftershave,…………………..tick, ………..watch,………………………… TBA

  • thebalancecock

    I gotta give props to Nomos for coming up with an original worldtime watch.  Great job Nomos!

  • XuanLiu

    I’m OK with the movement being ETA-based, Sellita-based, or whatever.  Just don’t make it display-back.

  • notech47

    Beautiful watch, but shouldn’t it have a day and date display to make it truly useful?

  • Pass. Nothing to dislike, but nothing all that astounding either, and there are a glut of very nice world timers out there that would come before this one. This is a bit of an odd duck for MB; remove the branding and I doubt there would be anyone to guess Montblanc as the maker.

  • I’d have to see it in person, but I am liking the photos.  Just something about a colorful world timer that grabs my eye!

  • shinytoys

    Love that face.

  • bichondaddy

    Let me see…I have a couple of their Pens……don’t like their cologne though….and I think their watches are really cool…especially this one…..but…since my travels are limited these days to the doctor and the grocery store….no need for something like this. I wish there was a video of the watch though….it would have been nice to have seen the actual movement.  
    Thank you for a very nice, well written and informative article Kenny!!!

  • DG Cayse

    A quite colorful piece of jewelery, a bit distracting I do think, that may indeed be used, on occasion, to determine the approximate time where one is located.
    Does it come with a pen & pencil set?

  • spiceballs

    Nice but not sure why LONDON has to be different (in red) unless its referring to Greenwich?

  • Note to MB. Promote the guy who designed this, fire the guy who designed the smart e-strap (and the watch it was attached to).

    Thus is balanced restored!

    Btw, HOW COOL are those hands?! The small pointy end should be required by law to exist in all sword hands!

  • BrulatMichel

    aBlogtoWatch montblanc_world Montblanc_US superbe!

  • Dan Finch

    Very Interesting that watches this unique are coming out of Richemont’s two entry level watch brands… Mont Blanc and Baume Mericer! Who would have thought a luxury pen company would also become known as a serious watchmaker!