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Monta Skyquest Watch Review

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The microbrand world of watches is ever-expanding. In this crowded space of watches that are usually sold exclusively online, popping up from companies all over the world, it can often be difficult to determine which brands are worth your hard-earned cash. I’m an avid supporter of microbrands and I’d argue that they are doing some of the most exciting and interesting things in the watch world today. Over the past few years I’ve had the chance to own, handle, or review a lot of different microbrand watches, and easily one of the most impressive brands I’ve come across to date has been Monta. Monta is the sister company of Everest Straps, a well-known manufacturer of watch straps for Rolex & Tudor watches.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

After a rocky start launching their first model, the Oceanking at a price point of over $3,000, Monta quickly listened to customer feedback and adapted their business model and pricing to better fit the market. As part of this brand development, Monta has released the Skyquest, a GMT watch based on the Oceanking design. I got the opportunity to spend a couple weeks with the Skyquest on wrist, and found it to be fantastic. It’s one of those watches that I would look down at just to catch glances of it throughout the day, not even caring about the time. The GMT functionality came in handy during my day job – scheduling conference calls with my UK-based clients – and regardless of the activity or location I found myself in, the Skyquest would always fit in. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Case

Measuring in at a comfy diameter of 40.7mm excluding the crown and 43.6mm including the crown, the Skyquest rides low and comfortably on the wrist being only 11.9mm thick. Combined with its lug to lug distance of 49mm, I found the Skyquest to be a great size for my 6.5” wrist. Something about strapping this watch on just looked right – the short lugs combined with a modest overall diameter felt like the perfect size and shape for me.

The case design is nothing too out of the ordinary for a diver or tool watch, however Monta’s case finishing is definitely a step above its fellow microbrands. Around the case are polished facets and smooth edges, hints that display Monta’s desire to position themselves as a higher-grade brand. While this level of finishing isn’t anything new to watch enthusiasts, it’s rare to find in the microbrand world.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The case design here is the same as what Monta uses on its Gen 2 Oceanking model, featuring a crown at the 3 o’clock position, flanked by two small crown guards. If you handled Monta’s first generation Oceanking, then you’ll notice that the crown here is much smaller this time around. Personally, I liked the giant crown that Monta used on its the Gen 1 Oceanking design, but I understand that it’s not a feature everyone would have the same affinity for. While I prefer the easy-to-grip aspects of the giant crown, the smaller crown is comfortable and didn’t dig into my wrist in any way, while still being perfectly easy to manipulate. And of course, being based on a dive watch case, the Skyquest features 304m of water resistance (an oddly specific depth rating, I know).

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

As we move around the case, the Sellita movement is visible through the sapphire display caseback, but is otherwise clean with no engraving or text to be found. While the movement isn’t anything crazy to look at with its level of finishing, I always enjoy being able to glimpse at the beating heart of a watch. All in all, I’m pleased with the case construction and design of the Skyquest. It wears well, is solidly constructed, the smooth edges and polished accents add an extra “oomph,” and it lines up with the overall quality that Monta has set a standard for in their previous watches.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Dial

I really enjoy a well-designed GMT watch, and the Skyquest does not disappoint in my book. The Skyquest is available in three colorways: a lacquer black (which is what I got the chance to review), a gilt black (with matte dial), and a blue dial. While I’m always a huge sucker for blue dials, the lacquer black is a real stunner in person. The polished indices and stark white/red text and accents really pop against that shiny black dial and make the watch a real pleasure to look at as it plays with the light.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Skyquest features some very tall applied indices at 12, 3, 6, and 9, with smaller sibling indices filling out the other hour markers. Each one is filled with a healthy amount of BWG9 lume, and surrounded with polished rhodium, which adds a high-end feel to the Skyquest. These indices are so tall, in fact, that Monta had to bend the GMT hand into a dog-leg shape to allow it to clear them, a detail that I find very cool. Continuing around the dial, you’ll find the Monta logo simply printed in white at the top of the dial, and the text “Skyquest” in red, along with the depth rating of “1000 ft – 304m” in white, just above the date window at the 6 o’clock position. Like the rest of the indices, the date window is surrounded by rhodium.

Monta Skyquest Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Along the chapter ring, you’ll find the 24-hour GMT scale, but only the odd numbers flanked by red accents. The even numbers are found on the bezel, allowing you to actually keep track of 3 time zones with ease, without a lot of math and conversion involved. The hour, minute, and seconds hands are all surrounded with rhodium, like the indices, and are also filled with BWG9 lume. It might be a small detail, but I love the cool-blue color of BWG9. It might not get as bright as C3, but damn does it look cool.

About the Author

Russell is a watch writer and enthusiast based out of Nashville. He came to the watch world by way of the EDC and custom knife community, where he gained an appreciation for high quality, totally unnecessary items. When not spending his time on watches, Russell can be found watching Marvel movies, walking his dog, or eating large servings of Indian food.

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Comments

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  • ILOW

    Doesn’t work for me, I find the numeral font jarring. Hard to see past.

    “…comparable only to a Damasko bezel.” In the sea of bezels out there these two stand alone? What is unique to these two brands bezels?

  • denisd

    This watch probably looks better in the metal. I sense there may be something there but I just can’t see it on the screen.
    As a point of functional principle, however, I really don’t see the how a display caseback serves a diver, particularly showing off a what looks like a rather ordinary (if competent) Sellita.

    • Dimman

      Well for starters it’s not a diver.

      But it looks incomplete. No engraving on the rotor or caseback.

      Still looks 5x the price of the similarly priced Orion Calamity.

      • Boris N. Natasha

        Orion Calamity is not a GMT, and, it’s not 300m. this is a GMT diver. if you travel frequently across time zones and want a watch comfortable in a suit and in the surf. you are looking for a watch with this pedigree. you kinda want something in this price range in case you leave it in your hotel room, otherwise we could all just wear Rolex GMTs.

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Marius.

    Nothing about this watch appeals to me.

  • Hammer

    I’m in the early phase of hunting for a nice GMT tool-style watch. I really like how the face of the watch isn’t crowded out by a very wide bezel. I too have a 6.5” wrist so the dimensions are good.

    The major issue that stops me with this watch is similar to ILow: the face is extremely busy to my eyes. Everything contributes to it: huge primary indices, the added width of all the indices thanks to the thick metal edging, the minute lines around the edge…the multiple rings of numbers (although it is much quicker to grasp the three different times); so maybe it is the font as well.

    Just my thoughts. Maybe it’d grow on me. Sitting on the wrist would be necessary to make that final determination.

    And a newbie learning question: is 72 clicks all you need for a GMT or is there a functional/design reason to not have 120?

    Best of luck with the new watch.

  • Nice watch…

  • Hammer

    The face is too busy: two rows of numbers make it easy to grasp the multiple times, but they crowd into the huge indices, the minute lines, the font/size…the ocean king is much cleaner.

    Nice size, but as mentioned, very generic. Okay for me since I only have 1 black/black/steel bracelet diver :-).

    Looking at their website, the steel bezel with the blue dial is definitely much nicer and the black on silver fonts easier to read.

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Marius.

    I thought that was only me.

    • Lincolnshire Poacher

      Started today with me. I’ve posted twice, and it’s happened both times. Completely innocent, if not hum-drum daily-style-boring posts too. In fact like all my ABTW posts. I don’t go in for controversy, hidden behind a keyboard.

      As you’re Team Marius, do you mind if I ask where he is? He seems to have gone to ground. I value his contributions and pictures, even if I don’t always agree?

  • Nello Alexandri

    The 24hr chapter ring is horrible. This should have been left out. It makes the dial appear very busy.
    The hands and indices look very cheap from the photos.
    I do like the chamfers on the case and its overall shape.
    The bracelet looks like a stretched out, overpolished mess. The clasp looks cool though.
    Maybe it looks better in the flesh.

    • Boris N. Natasha

      this is a GMT diver. not having the 24 hours on the bezel reduces the number of timezones from 3 to 2. have a look at a Rolex GMT and see if you still feel the same way. otherwise, you’re right, and, the folks at Rolex should start making 2 timezone GMTs. on my GMT the hour/minute hands stay local time, my watch always tells me what time it is at home. the GMT hand tells me what time it is at my corporate office which is 3 hours behind. when i’m about to leave my house to travel, i rotate the bezel to reflect the hour of my destination. whenever i look at my watch whether i’m in my home time zone, my corporate time zone, or whatever time zone i’ve travelled to it ALWAYS tells me the time the same way, every time. if you are seriously anti-24 hour bezel, then, i would suggest a Worldtimer.

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Marius.

    They only post what “they” think is appropriate. A lot of mine disappear. Probably like this one you will never see. Hello moderator or “Post Bot”

  • PR

    Dial and finish looks good but that may well be the worst looking caseback and movement I have ever seen, looks like it was rubbed on concrete. A simple slim closed caseback with just a logo would’ve been a much better choice

  • Larry Holmack

    It’s okay looking…but too small for me. I haven’t had a 6.5 inch wrist for close to 50 years!
    I wish these guys a lot of luck with their venture.

  • Andre Braz

    Overpriced… copy… worst back I ever seen….

  • LetoAtreides69

    Case finishing on these monta watches is much nicer than expected. Everything about them is much nicer than anything floating in the same price bracket. I can tell you with certainty the case finishing is much nicer than oris, low end breitling, b&m clifton clubs… The beloved oris 65 is nowhere near it in tangible feelings of quality, and is more than this watch. I picked up a triumph and it blew away my expectations. The only downside is the lower grade movement, but you’re paying more for the case finishing and bracelet finishing. Check out instagram for pics/videos of these watches on wrists, definitely nicer than expected.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Class 🙂

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I to am a big fan of micro brands,. Its a chance to experiment , reinvent and take chances and hope that other share in their vision. Does someone really need to rely on feedback when what you have produced is a watch which is as generic as you can get. Taking a grand off the asking price hasn’t made it anymore appealing. I really hope this feels better hands on because visually it’s doing nothing for me. Right now all I’m thinking of is Tudor.

  • Dufresne

    Not bad looking. Price is decent. Finishing seems ok, but OMG–PLEASE PUT A SOLID BACK ON IT.

    • Timothy Sou

      I think this is a preproduction model so the final version should have a more decorated movement.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    That’s a fine looking watch.

  • Dimman

    I really liked the steel bezel/blue dial combo available, but didn’t realize how incomplete the caseback is.

    Is this a preproduction model?

    • matoroa

      I think so. The decoration should be similar to the one in the Triumph. Cheers

  • Boris N. Natasha

    i like GMT divers for travel too. what would you buy instead that’s 300m rated that can be used in a suit or in the surf. i’m in the market.

  • Boris N. Natasha

    same here, but not a Tudor fan. it comes honestly, last week i was in the TSA line coming back from Oahu, and the guy in front of me had on a Tudor Black Bay bronze on a NATO with bronze hardware. looked like he had a chunk of bronzed pocketwatch, on a NATO, strapped to his wrist. felt bad for him. would have given him my Monza Skyquest out of pity if i had one.

  • Timothy Sou

    I ordered the steel bezel/blue dial and cannot wait! I have the Triumph model and was blown away by the quality, a very impressive watch!

  • Boris N. Natasha

    Alpina Alpiner 4 is not a GMT diver. it’s a whole different category of watch. IMHO more for the outdoorsy crowd. it’s 44mm like a Suunto. it doesn’t have a 24 hour bezel for a third time zone. again, a 360 degree bezel which helps if you are on a trail looking at the sun, but, not in a plane at midnight trying to understand what time it is at home, at corporate, and at your destination.

  • Boris N. Natasha

    Agree! Maybe I should have said GMT 300m. I don’t dive. I surf. So the 300m rating is important to me.

  • ILOW

    Thanks for explaining. Sounds like the Bathyscaphe bezel which is solid as a rock, but also very audible. Sinn bezels get a lot of stick for being sloppy, but having owned one I also appreciate the fact it won’t slip, as the play might suggest. The SKX bezels however are always in a new position every five minutes. Each to their own.

  • Boris N. Natasha

    My bad. You said chapter ring, I read bezel. Comment deleted.

  • Boris N. Natasha

    Contacted Monta. Just can’t buy a watch where the numeral on the date wheel isn’t the same color as the numerals on the bezel and chapter ring on the Skyquest — too jarring and unexpected — throws off the balance. They got it right IMHO with the black dial/black date wheel on the Triumph. Love the idea of a 300m GMT. Was going to do the bracelet and the rubber. They said they don’t customize. So, I”m going to pass.

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