Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

One of the new 2012 Timewalker models from Montblanc was this Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch. It faithfully follows in the (rather large at this point) Timewalker collection tradition offering a new flavor to the table. There is actually nothing in this model that hasn't been offered in one form or another previously in the Timewalker collection, but the ChronoVoyager UTC offers a different look and price category for fans of the timepiece family.

This Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC is placed in the upper price point of Timewalker watches that do not contain in-house made Montblanc movements. The last Montblanc Timewalker piece I reviewed was the Timewalker TwinFly Chronograph. That piece did contain an in-house made Montblanc movement and actually has the same features that you'll find in this watch. The Timewalker TwinFly Chronograph will cost over $1,000 more than the ChronoVoyager  UTC - so if you are interested in a chronograph watch that also contains a GMT in the Timewalker collection, you can read on to see which is right for you.

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Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

The Timewalker collection continues to be one of Montblanc's top sellers as evidenced by the fact that it continues to improve and supplement the collection with new pieces and variations. At its core the Timewalker is a 43mm wide watch (often in steel) that has a really nice bowl-style case. Unique here is the Timewalker metal bracelet which actually got a rather significant upgrade a year or two ago. If you've had one of these watches with the bracelet before, you might want to see what the new bracelets are like. They don't look radically different, but the new bracelets feature a better design, more closely connected links, and some other quality improvements.

Most people who buy Timewalker watches opt for a leather strap - as they look beautiful on these. However, the metal bracelet is not to be overlooked. One of the first Timewalker watches was a chronograph with a Valjoux 7753 automatic that has a tri-compax chronograph layout. This with a silvered dial and brown strap made me fall in love with the collection. After that they released models with the time and a GMT hand. Now you can get those two complications together in the ChronoVoyager UTC. While the in-house TwinFly Chronograph has a calibre LL100 automatic movement, this piece contains a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. It has been modified to incorporate the GMT hand. GMT and UTC are the same thing. While GMT stands for "Greenwich Mean Time," UTC stands for "Coordinated Universal Time." For all practical purposes they are the same thing.

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

As there are so many Timewalker watch models out there you have tons of choices if you want one with a chronograph or GMT hand. Like I said, the ChronoVoyager UTC is just another variety to choose from. However, only the most expensive TwinFly Chronograph has both a GMT hand and chronograph. In addition, both of these models feature these displays in different ways. So when it comes down to it, your personal legibility tastes will prevail.

This Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch has a sunburst polished silvered dial and rose-gold toned hands and hour markers. Something about the dial also looks a bit brownish to me. That could be the inclusion of the gold-toned elements or a slight brownish tint to the dial. The dial's flange ring is sloped and features the 24 hour time scale for the GMT hand. An interesting detail is the non-even placement of the "day/night" indicator on the ring. To be slightly more accurate, the GMT scale is dark from 7pm to 7am - which is usually 6pm to 6am on other watches which have a two-tone scale like that.

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

The recessed chronograph subdials are attractive and have a hard-to-notice snailed texture. The result of the subdials being on a different level is pleasant to the eye. I also like the gold hands and hour markers, but feel that Montblanc designers used a bit too much red on the dial. In my opinion just a little bit less red would have resulted in a more timeless look. Having said that, it is a very legible and attractive dial. It also feels a bit more instrumental than some of the more fashionable Timewalker dials.

As is the fact on all Timewalker cases, the lugs are partially skeletonized from the dial and the case is comfortable on the wrist. I would have however liked the water resistance to be more than 30 meters. Over the dial is a domed sapphire crystal that has an excellent amount of AR coating to prevent too much glare. The large crown has the Montblanc star logo placed in it.

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC Watch Review   watch releases

Who is a chronograph with GMT function watch good for? Montblanc already knows in how they title this Timewalker watch. True enough, chronograph GMT watches are ideal for travelers (voyagers) who want to keep track of multiple time zones as well as how long their trips will take. However, I would like to see mechanical chronographs that can measure 24 hours or more in the future. That, or some totalizer function that tells you how many times the chronograph has reset itself back to 0 so that you can easily count the total elapsed time. Why is that useful? Well in today's world where people's travels around the world can take more than 12 hours, it is good to be able to "time your voyages."

The Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch comes in a few versions and is already supplemented by a range of other Timewalker models. Montblanc seems to like options and this one certainly fits a niche in the Timewalker family being an enjoyable and useful timepiece. Retail price is $6,730.

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5 comments
DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Meh...not feeling the love on this one.

Good comment about the bracelet. Its a solid-link world to day.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I wonder if the color of the dial and hands might look better with a tan/brown leather strap. Or is the dial not quite brown enough for that?

nateb123
nateb123

So many elements scream "questionable quality" at this price point.  I always thought the timewalker dial looked cheap because of how flat the numbers are.  They must be stamped to look that way. Same goes for the extremely cheap looking hands.  The bracelet isn't much better.  So much hollow metal.

Does it feel as crap as it looks? You can tell us Ariel.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Nice watch, and I'm a fan of this MB collection of watches. I could easily do without the rose gold accents though, I find them unnecessary, and agree that the red elements are overdone.

Less a bike chain, the bracelet reminds me of oldschool pressed bracelets - some variations had a small roll under each link, so when viewed from the side it looked like a bunch of tiny spectacles lined up.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I like how Montblanc try to be a little bit different in the styles choices they make.  I love the case shape.  Things that I don't much like are the use of those flat, plain hands that look like they were punched out of a roll of metal by a machine, thousands every minute.  Just looks cheap and mass-produced.  Granted, many watch parts are mass-produced but you don't want it to look so obvious.  The numerals have a similar sort of problem, and the reddish colour of both doesn't match well with an otherwise silver case.  The bracelet is novel but I imagine it would get a lot of dust in those spaces after a while; that, and it looks like a bicycle chain/telephone cord from the side.  Overall I think the Timewalker is the least attractive of their range which is otherwise a beautiful bunch.

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