February 24, 2015
by James Stacey
With watches like the new Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geospheres Vasco da Gama and the Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph, Montblanc has gone all out for SIHH this year. While those are the sorts of dream-like pieces that make SIHH great, they only represent one part of the complex market in which Montblanc fights for new ground. On the more accessible side of their offerings, we find the new Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time, a handsome piece that uses an in-house complication to help ease the pain of jumping from one timezone to another.
This jet setter Montblanc is 41mm wide and a little under 10mm thick, with a steel case that features both brushed and polished surfaces. With a crisp silver-white dial and deep blue accents, the Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time looks great. In addition to the bracelet seen here, Montblanc is also offering the Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time on a leather strap or as a two tone version with a gold bezel and matching dial accents.
Montblanc created their own complication that builds upon a base automatic movement with date (a Selitta SW200) to add a second hour hand, jumping ability for the local hour hand and a 24-hour (am/pm) indication. The movement, dubbed the MB 29.19, uses 34 jewels, runs at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The date is tied to the local hour hand, and the minutes and seconds measure are not affected when the local hour is changed. Additionally, the home hour hand can be hidden below the local hand when not in use.
Some of you will have already spotted the elephant in the room, the design of the Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time is not exactly fresh. With obvious styling borrowed from the JLC Master Hometime and the A.Lange & Sohne Saxonia Dual Time, the Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time feels somewhat derivative.
Those of you in the know will see a direct through-line for these three companies by way of current Montblanc CEO Jerome Lambert. Before taking over at Montblanc, Lambert was CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre and supervised A. Lange & Sohne. If you’re a JLC or ALS purist, then I could see the family resemblance bothering your sensibilities. But if you’re simply a watch enthusiast and consumer, you now have an additional option when looking for a classy dual time watch.
Additionally, Montblanc doesn’t operate in an identical market position to JLC and ALS, which translates to a more accessible price point. The JLC Master Hometime is nearly double the cost, but you get a beautiful in-house movement. Similarly, the Saxonia is a full step above the JLC.
By opting to customize an available movement to suit their needs, Montblanc has given the $4,600 USD Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time a potent mix of value and thoughtful functionality. The steel bracelet will set you back a further $300 and the two tone model will retail for $6,400. For a model closer to their entry point, I think the Montblanc Chronométrie Dual Time looks great, offers a practical feature set, and should benefit the continued growth of the Montblanc brand. montblanc.com