April 23, 2020
by Ariel Adams
For Watches & Wonders Digital 2020, one of the novel Montblanc watches is a member of the attractive but probably under-appreciated Montblanc 1858 Geosphere collection. In “icy blue” and produced with a titanium case (for the first time in the collection), the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Blue reference 125565 is the latest in the retro-styled traveler’s sport watch family. The last time I checked out a Montblanc 1858 Geosphere, it was in green and bronze.
The 2020 Montblanc Geosphere is part of the brand’s icy blue color theme, which extends across a few models. For Montblanc it is the fashion flavor of the year, and it tends to be spot on with reading these trends. The cool gray of the grade 5 titanium case melds well with the blue ceramic rotating bezel insert (steel, for added durability) and even deeper blue dial. It comes on a high-grade blue-colored Sfumato calfskin Italian leather strap. In addition to the blue strap, the watch debuts a new titanium and steel metal “rice bead” bracelet that is sure to be a welcome addition to the Geosphere family. This is all thanks to the careful product curation efforts of Montblanc’s Davide Cerrato, whose work making Montblanc watches more collector-friendly and fashion-forward are notable.
The Geosphere case is contrast-polished for maximum visual effect and 42mm-wide and 12.8mm-thick with 100 meters of water resistance. Inside the timepiece is caliber MB 29.25 automatic with an in-house-made (at Montblanc’s Le Locle, Switzerland facility) module. The 4Hz, 42-hour power reserve movement offers its own take on the world time complication. The dial has a total of three hands and two rotating discs. There is also a display for the date. The best way to explain the Geosphere dial is as both a second time zone watch and a world timer. The subdial at 9 o’clock is for a second time zone, while the main dial is for the local time.
The spheres operate on the same principle as most world timer watches with a ring or disc that makes one full rotation each 24 hours. Most such watches have reference city names along the periphery of the moving disc that has the 24-hour indicators on it. In this instance, Montblanc removed the reference cities and decided to treat each disc as one side of our globe. Instead of reference city names, the globe allows you to follow the quasi-longitudinal lines to determine what time it is on that part of the earth. Having a view of both the “top” and “bottom” of the earth is a friendly nod to cities in the Southern Hemisphere that have traditionally not received as much attention on world time watches.
Model: 1858 Geosphere Blue reference 125565
Dimensions: 44mm-wide, 12.8mm-thick
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Case Material: grade 5 titanium
Movement: MB 29.25 automatic
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: blue calfskin or metal bracelet
Price & Availability: $5,800 on strap, $6,200 on bracelet
Montblanc has had a winner in the Geosphere watch for a while, but the collection hasn’t hit its stride with collectors yet. I think it is just a matter of time. In steel, bronze, and now titanium, each of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere watches has a unique personality and some great strap options. Another reason for consumers to care about this collection is that it is a relative bargain, or at least not overpriced. Consumers get a genuinely useful complication and an exclusive in-house movement, along with a wearing experience that can also serve as a daily timepiece.
Many consumers don’t know that Montblanc originally introduced the dual world time discs complication on a much fancier tourbillon-based watch about five years ago now. Thankfully, the mechanism made its way into a more practical, industrial Swiss Made movement so that it could be the basis of a roughly $6,000 watch.
I’m still not a fan of the Montblanc 1858 style logo (I prefer the brand’s standard institutional logo), but I can let that slide for this otherwise really commendable addition to the Geosphere family. While the blue strap looks great, it will be hard for many to resist the retro-looking but brand new titanium and steel metal bracelet. I look forward to checking out the new Montblanc Geosphere watch in titanium soon. Avaiable for $5,800 on strap, $6,200 on bracelet at the Montblanc website.