July 15, 2022
It’s hard not to see the numerous practical benefits of wearing a smartwatch, but for many collectors and enthusiasts, most of the options available on the market simply don’t check the same boxes as a “real” watch. Things like a connection to heritage or finely finished cases simply don’t exist within the landscape of most modern smartwatches, and while many collectors do own them, most are regarded more as electronic devices and pieces of workout equipment, rather than as proper watches. Montblanc is one of the brands that recognize this and, since 2017, the company has offered the Summit series of smartwatches that combine premium external cases with advanced digital connected features. The latest release from the brand represents the third series of its luxury smartwatch — the new Montblanc Summit 3 runs on Wear OS 3.0 by Google and places an emphasis on personalization with a connection to Montblanc’s watchmaking heritage.
The case of the Montblanc Summit 3 smartwatch measures the same 42mm in diameter as the previous generation, but it is now crafted from titanium (instead of stainless steel) and also given an overall aesthetic that is more in line with the brand’s current lineup of mechanical chronograph wristwatches. The crown located at 3 o’clock still features a fluted design like the previous series, but it has now been made longer for an improved grip. Additionally, the two pushers flanking the crown now feature more traditional pump-style tips, rather than simple round buttons like the style found on its predecessor. The Summit 3 lineup includes three different case finishing options: Titanium Grey, Titanium Black, and a Titanium Bicolor option that includes a plain titanium case fitted with a black bezel, caseback, and pushers. On all three variations, a sapphire crystal sits above the digital display, while a screw-on caseback fitted with the obligatory smartwatch sensor and charger connection points helps provide the Montblanc Summit 3 with 50 meters of water resistance.
Given that the Summit 3 is a smartwatch, there is no actual “dial” in the traditional sense of the word, but rather a large 1.3″ full-circle AMOLED digital screen that occupies the entirety of the face of the watch. The display is user-configurable, and it can easily be switched out for other designs and layouts to offer a personalized appearance or to better suit your specific activities throughout the day. In addition to contemporary face options that offer a more digitally oriented aesthetic with useful insights like notifications and health-tracking metrics, Montblanc also offers options that are inspired by the brand’s watchmaking heritage and offer the same appearance as the dials found on some of the models from its Geosphere, Bohème, and 1858 collections. Given that the external case largely follows the overall design of a traditional chronograph watch, the various faces that are based on the brand’s classic mechanical models work exceptionally well, and they offer a far more organic appearance than what is typically associated with smartwatches emulating the displays of their analog counterparts.
The idea of personalization and adaptability extends to the included straps, and all of the new Montblanc Summit 3 smartwatches are sold with both a calf-leather strap for more formal occasions and a rubber strap for sports and active use. The Titanium Grey model includes black calf and blue rubber straps, the Titanium Black version is paired with matching black leather and rubber straps, and the Titanium Bicolor edition receives a Montblanc Extreme 3.0 British green calf-leather strap and an additional option in black rubber. Additionally, since the Summit 3 uses standard-style lugs, other straps that are compatible with the existing Montblanc Summit series and traditional watch collections will also be compatible with the new range of Summit 3 smartwatches.
Again, since we are talking about a smartwatch, the Montblanc Summit 3 does not have a traditional movement, but rather it is powered by a complex electronic device that can do everything from receiving emails to tracking your sleep and health metrics. Featuring the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset and running Wear OS 3.0 by Google, the Montblanc Summit 3 offers all of the key smartwatch features such as GPS, a heart rate monitor, contactless payment via Google Pay, a step counter, full smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity, 8GB of onboard storage, and an entire suite of health and fitness tracking capabilities. Additionally, the new Summit 3 offers improved battery life compared to the previous generation, and in addition to updates available for the operating system itself, Montblanc also offers battery replacements as a part of service in order to maximize the overall lifecycle of the watch.
Luxury smartwatches frequently only get compared to other smartwatches, and it’s easy to write them off as overpriced versions of what is available from other manufacturers for significantly less money. However, the same exact thing could be said about luxury watches as a whole, and if you really want to subscribe to that logic, everyone should simply wear $20 plastic watches (or simply look at their phones to read the time). Luxury timepieces are about enjoying the experience of owning and wearing a premium product, and it’s important to view luxury smartwatches within the context of the rest of the offerings from their respective brands. With an official retail price of $1,290 USD, the Montblanc Summit 3 smartwatch is significantly less expensive than even the most affordable of its mechanical siblings, yet it offers a degree of functionality that rivals that of a smartphone. Additionally, Montblanc is more than just a watch manufacturer, and the luxury lifestyle brand also produces everything from pens and leather goods to fragrances and headphones. Many people who are fans of Montblanc aren’t necessarily mechanical watch purists or traditional collectors, and a smartwatch like the Summit 3 gives them the opportunity to own a watch from their favorite luxury brand, without sacrificing any of the features that they need in their modern lives. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.