For SIHH 2016, in celebration of their 110th anniversary, Montblanc is announcing new versions of their 4810 line which was released in 2006 in celebration of the brand’s centennial. Launching the brand’s new 4810 collection is the Montblanc ExoTourbillon Slim with a Calibre MB 29.21 ExoTourbillon Stop-Second movement. This is joined by the special edition versions specially commemorating the 110th anniversary of the brand: the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Edition North America; the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Edition Europe; and the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Edition Asia.
The phrase “thin is in” certainly applies to tourbillons in the past few years, but we’re glad Montblanc restrained its competitive side in designing these pieces. Starting off with the Montblanc ExoTourbillon Slim, I’ll briefly explain what the “ExoTourbillon” is for anyone who is unsure (Montblanc aficionados are free to move onto the next paragraph), as opposed to a traditional tourbillon, an ExoTourbillon places the balance wheel outside of the rotating cage of the tourbillon. The practical benefits of it are twofold in that this allows the cage to be smaller and lighter (allegedly saving 30% energy), and the balance wheel somehow isn’t affected by the cage’s inertia, which improves the timekeeping performance.
On the tourbillon cage, you’ll notice a red arrow which is a seconds indicator. This alludes to the stop-seconds mechanism I mentioned earlier. What the stop-seconds mechanism does is it stops the tourbillon when you pull out the crown, allowing accuracy down to the second when setting time. Unique to the ExoTourbillon is that it stops just the balance wheel from oscillating rather than bringing the entire tourbillon cage to a halt. When the crown is pushed back in and the movement starts up again, the balance wheel picks up the pace faster than the tourbillon cage would. So, you get added precision without having the tourbillon cage starting up again. Montblanc uses a “whip” that halts the balance screw when the stop-second mechanism is activated by pulling the crown out to its second position, which is for setting the time and using the stop-second mechanism. The first position is for winding the movement, by the way. Notice the gauge on the dial that lets you know which setting the crown is on.
While on the topic of the 4.5mm-thick automatic movement, the new micro-rotor features Geneva stripes and the movement is made up of 202 components, with 50 hours of power reserve. The Calibre MB 29.21 operates at a frequency of 21,600 A/h (3 Hz).
The Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim has a 42mm-wide case and sits a slim 10.14mm on the wrist. It’s made of an 18K 5N red gold case, and the crown is also in red gold. Not exactly a watch you take on a diving trip, but it is water resistant to 50 meters. Moving in from the case, you see the lovely silver-white dial with the Montblanc star with guilloche design on the upper dial area. On the bottom half, you’ll again notice those Geneva stripes drawing attention to the ExoTourbillon at 6 o’clock. The Roman numerals are in red gold, and so are the regate-shaped hands (though these also have SuperLumiNova for telling time in the dark). Tying the watch together in a cohesive and elegant look is a black alligator strap with a red gold pin buckle.
Playing on Montblanc’s themes of adventure and travel (like the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco Da Gama), there are three special 110 year editions of the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim. It can be a little confusing since the “4810” monicker comes from the fact that Mont Blanc (as in the mountain) is 4,810 meters tall. The 110 year editions come in North America, Europe, and Asia versions. They are mostly the same as the standard watch, save for a few modifications.
Obviously, on the faces you’ll see hand-drawn paintings of maps of North America, Europe, and Asia, respectively. Notably, these editions come in a white gold case, and Montblanc has removed the crown setting gauge. There are 36 pieces made for the North America and Europe versions, with 38 pieces of the Asia model. Price for the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim Watches & Special Editions For North America, Europe, and Asia is 43,500€ each. montblanc.com