back to top

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Montblanc is following up last year’s launch of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere with a green and bronze model this year in a limited edition of 1,858 pieces. Debuted at SIHH 2019, the reference 119909 1815 Geosphere is the same as the existing model, but with a new green color palette to match the current bronze case and last year’s black color palette for the Geosphere pieces.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The green and bronze theme extends across three new Montblanc 1858 limited edition models for 2019 that also includes the reference 118222 1858 Automatic and the reference 119908 1858 Automatic Chronograph. As stated above, each of these three watches will be in limited editions of 1,858 pieces. For me, the Geosphere is the most compelling of the watches, given its casual, sporty demeanor and original design dial.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

For those not familiar with the 1858 Geosphere, the dial complications are interesting. Essentially, this is a world time traveler’s watch with a little twist. Meant to be as visually intriguing as it is useful, the 1858 Geosphere includes two rotating globes on the dial that move with the dial. These globes display the Northern as well as Southern Hemispheres, allowing you to see what the time is in other parts of the world, as well as whether it is day or night there.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At 9 0’clock is the true second time zone reference, displayed in 12-hour format. Using the respective globes, you can look to see if it is AM or PM in the part of the world where your second time zone is located. Assuming you know the general area of the reference city, then using the Geosphere system is effective. The watch isn’t designed to be a precise world time watch, but rather a useful traveler’s watch when style is as important as utility. I consider the watch to be an at-a-glance reference, but if I need to know a more specific time, then I can consult an electronic device.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement is known as the Montblanc caliber MB 29.25, and it is a base ETA movement (I believe) with a module for the world time mechanism. The full complications include the time, date, second time zone in 12-hour format, and the dual 24-hour discs for the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. The movement operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with a power reserve of about 42 hours.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Bronze as a case material is here to stay, but its personality is changing slightly. When bronze first came on the scene, its novelty was related to how it oxidized (or “patinaed”) over time, changing its coloration. Collectors liked the idea of a watch that would turn “unique” for them. Other collectors found the idea of an oxidizing metal on their wrist to be silly. Indeed, while bronze is a cool material, it is inferior to steel in many regards — especially tensile strength (here, scratch-resistance). Bronze has been accepted as a new metal offering because of its color. It doesn’t quite look like gold, but it is on its way there — and it certainly doesn’t cost gold prices.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’m not saying that bronze is popular only because it looks like a bit like gold, but rather that it doesn’t look like steel. In the watch space, variety is extremely valuable, and color choices win points in that department. The bronze used by more established watch makers like Montblanc is not the same as the corroding bronze alloys used in some early bronze watch products. I like to use the term “stable bronze” to describe those alloys used by companies such as Montblanc in watches like the 1858 Geosphere limited edition. These bronzes will age a bit, but not turn green and oxidize quite like some people expect them too. This is a good thing, and a big step toward bronze as a watch case material being a bit more mainstream.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The bronze case for this 1858 Geosphere watch is 42mm-wide and 12.8mm-thick. It has a rotating navigational bezel with a green ceramic insert, and over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal. The caseback has an attractive engraving on it and the watch is water resistant to 100 meters. The caseback is actually titanium but is said to be bronze-coated so that it can match the look and feel of the rest of the case.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

To compliment the bronze case material of the 2019 limited edition 1858 Geosphere watches, Montblanc decided to pair them with an outdoorsy khaki green color, which, in their words, was inspired by “mountain exploration.” The collection is very woodsy in a lumberjack sort of way (thankfully, no plaid). I was really happy to see green watches in a sea of blue at SIHH 2019. Montblanc is going all out “camping” with this collection, and the matching green khaki NATO-style strap (that isn’t too long) goes with the vintage exploring theme very nicely. This, of course, is further enhanced by the vintage aviator-style hands, which you’ll see on the dial.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Green & Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Some people can probably pull off a green and bronze color palette on a daily basis; I cannot, though I do find the refined design and attractive color palette here both masculine and to my liking. It is also likely that most collectors don’t already have green and bronze watches in their collection — which makes the 2019 limited edition Montblanc 1858 Geosphere watches further compelling. Enough that I can forgive the fact that I’m not a huge fan of this antique-style Montblanc logo. Price for the reference 119909 Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition of 1,858 pieces watch is $6,300 USD. Visit montblanc.com to learn more.

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 7187338691

  • SuperStrapper

    I believe the movement is an SW300 with a home-grown module for the world timer.
    I tried the non limited version on over the holiday at an MB boutique, it’s quite nice on the wrist and actually wears a bit smaller than the dimensions suggest.
    The green and bronze is a far more attractive look for this watch and gives it the personality that I think was in scope for the watch from the beginning. It’s taken a while for green ceramic to be a thing but it works really well on bronze.
    I still don’t like those silly wee mountain peak dots on all the wordltime continents. Those little red dots denote the highest peaks on that particular continent, it’s an accent that the watch can do without. This watch having centre seconds would make it more special. At a glance many will assume a chronograph of some kind but the lack of any running seconds sucks. I also think the date window could have used more consideration, even a nice bevel there would be better than this, seemingly just punched out of the dial. It also would have been nice to see a more original handset than this parts bin-esque cathedral set.

    • Agree – outside of increasing the overall thickness of the watch, a central seconds hand should have been a no-brainer.

  • The depth of the date indication (down in a well so to speak) is not doubt a byproduct of this watch having a module on top of the base (SW 300?) movement. Yeah, that aspect sucks and reminds us that this was not a movement built with an integrated world time function. But at this price point, I guess that is to be expected.

    Thickness of 12.8 mm is quite reasonable given the modular construction and water resistance. Bronze over the titanium case back is an odd choice unless they have a magic hypo-allergenic bronze alloy for the coating.

    I think a blue dial/bezel version would also be cool (blue oceans on the dial).

    • SuperStrapper

      I’m not sure what this article is getting at in talking about the bronze used here. I dont know what “stable bronze” is or means. Is it an alloy? Or a coating? CuSn8 is the preferred marine bronze alloy that better brands use, and it patinas readily. Cheaper bronze watches use some form of an aluminum alloy. Also patinas.
      I assume based on this article there is a different alloy at play, but if that is the case it should be researchable to some degree and I see nothing.

      • I’m hoping “stable bronze” means that it won’t patina and is closer to being hypoallergenic.

        • SuperStrapper

          Bronze with no patina whatsoever to me looks cheap. I’m not a fan of the ludicrously patina’d watches that some force as some kind of bizarre competition, but when the case is well made (has nice shapes, lines, and finishes) and a light patina sets in, it drives a very nice aesthetic. To my eye anyway. It’s like an air of authenticity.

    • Here is a mock-up in blue (sorry about the bad color balance on some elements). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbe7dca5c9cf65e80808d8095f611912b7f6adc01ca32c5dc43aaf84c0387e4d.jpg

      • Richard Baptist

        I like it Mark

  • Travis Cannata

    I think this was my favorite release of SIHH. Such a striking watch.

  • Stewart James

    I had fallen in love with this piece and now I can’t stop seeing the wretched date window. Still if ABTW somehow gets one for a giveaway I’ll gladly take it.

    • George Yang

      What kind of measurement is that of the desirability of a watch? Who would say no to a free watch?

      • Stewart James

        Dunno what kind of measurement it is as it’s a bit subjective. My dad would say no.

  • Independent_George

    The bronze/green is a cool pallette, but Ariel’s spot on, it isn’t the easiest color combo to pull off, and it isn’t the easiest to pair.

    I quite like this, and I even like they useless mountain peak dots. It would give me something to stare at and bore other people with on the long train commutes home. “This is Denali … used to be called Mt. McKinley. Fun fact about Denali. Did you you that . . . ” as the person next to me starts looking for other open seats.

  • George Hollingsworth

    ..

  • SuperStrapper

    The “bronze coated titanium caseback” is carried on in several postings about this watch, but not in any official brand communications: where is that coming from Ariel? The caseback says “titanium/bronze”, are we sure the watch is not an alloy of the 2? Ti75Cu25 is an existing titanium and bronze alloy, but only appears available as a low micron powder.
    Really interested in understanding this better.

  • egznyc

    It would require a different movement, but how would a subdial at 3:00 with a date hand look instead of the date window? That might bring better balance to the dial.

    • I believe Ian says to totally the date.

      • egznyc

        I think you’re right, but how can one have a world timer without any date? Yes it can be done but it’s not ideal. I suppose my suggestion would balance the dial, but then where would the branding fit? (Then again, they managed to squeeze in “North Hemisphere” and “South …,” which seem unnecessary.)

  • BNABOD

    I think it is cool lookin yet would never ever wear it. the 12 hour time zone sub dial could use some work it is just so plain boring (the hour gmt hand is just lazy), the date window is hideous, the cathedral hands need work and the strap is well let’s not go there. lots to like but a lot of room to grow as well.

  • Simon Taylor

    This really needs a matching date wheel, but otherwise it’s a great distinctive design.

  • Timestandsstill

    Not a fan of cathedral hands or NATO type straps, and as mentioned the date could have been done better or eliminated, BUT for some reason I really like the overall look of this watch and the color combination. It’s got a lot of personality and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it.
    I agree with Travis and feel it’s one of the best offerings of SIHH as well.

  • gw01

    MONT BLANCK BAY BRONZE ’58 (1858, that is…)