Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar

So what exactly did we experience? Our James Lamdin who was part of team ABTW at SIHH  put it better than me:

Enthusiasm alone isn’t enough to make every wristwatch fanatic go out and buy a highly complicated timepiece.  Barriers to entry in owning them are significant: limited production capacities and high costs often keep all but the wealthiest horologists out of the club, which is quite frankly a shame.  As enthusiast watch journalists, we have often presented you with affordable alternatives for getting started in complicated timepieces, with options such as THIS and THIS.  But the realm of the holiest of holies – the Perpetual Calendar – and particularly one from a known and reputable Swiss Manufacture, has still been unattainable to most.

Imagine our shock, then, when we were presented this week at SIHH 2014 with a Perpetual Calendar that wouldn’t require a second mortgage, looks absolutely incredible, and comes from one of the most reputable brands in the business.  Yeah, it was intense.

Sitting down with the good folks at Montblanc on Monday afternoon, we were treated to an up close and personal look at their new pieces for 2014, amongst them the very handsome and austere Meisterstück (translation: Masterpiece) Collection.  Comprised of five separate models ranging from a two-hand automatic to a Monopusher-Chronograph pulsometer and the aforementioned Perpetual Calendar and offered in a variety of dial and strap variants, this new collection as a whole is a stunning and welcome departure from Montblanc’s previous offerings.  We will certainly be delving into other models in the collection in the near future (and all are impressively priced, by the way), but for now we’ll focus on the jewel of the lineup, the Perpetual Calendar, and explain why as mechanical timepiece enthusiasts you should really be paying attention.

Perpetual Calendars are amongst the most impressive mechanical complications a wristwatch can have for the simple reason that they keep track of the passage of time perpetually, taking into consideration the different number of days in a year (leap-years).  Annual calendars are limited in this regard, and require adjustment year to year.  This particular piece counts hours and minutes, as well as keeping track of the day, date, month, leap year, and moon-phase.

Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar

Attractive in style and complication, the Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar straddles both the realm of mainstream luxury and access to an upper echelon of complication that only the most well-funded of watch lovers can typically afford. The way it is done is by including a perpetual calendar module over a base ETA automatic movement (such as a 2892). Montblanc calls it their calibre MB 29.15 automatic, and it places a well-made Dubuis Depraz calendar module on the base Swiss ETA. The full perpetual calendar with moon phase is attractive but simple. Pushers on the sides of the case adjust everything and you can only adjust the date in one direction (forward). Nevertheless, the amount you’d need to spend for most sophisticated perpetual calendar mechanisms is another ballpark of budget.

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But you know what, don’t just get the watch because it is a less expensive way of getting the complication. Get it because it is a legitimately attractive dress watch that happens to not be boring. If this is what Jerome Lambert can do with just a few months notice I am really excited to see what he has in mind for the next few years. He is a clever chap and I have a feeling he won’t let us down. In fact, just last year Jaeger-LeCoultre also released a “low-priced” Perpetual Calendar with the Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual for about $20,000. This Montblanc is of course less. Price for the Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar in steel is €10,000 and in 18k rose gold it is €16,

Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar

Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar tech specs:
Ident. no. 110714, Swiss Made by Montblanc
Type of movement: Mechanical Calibre MB 29.15, with automatic winding, perpetual calendar and moon-phase display
Number of rubies: 25
Power reserve:  Ca. 42 Std.
Balance: Flat hoop
Hairspring: Flat
Frequency: 28,800 A/h (4 Hz)
Displays: Hours, minutes, two hands to indicate the month and the leap-year cycle at “12 o’clock”, one hand to show the day of the week at “9 o’clock”, one hand to display the date at “3 o’clock”,
the moon’s phases appear in a window at “6 o’clock”
Case” 18 karat rose gold (5N); polished bezel, horizontally satin finished middle piece
Dimensions: Diameter = 39 mm, height = 10.24 mm
Watertightness: To 3 bar
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, cambered and antireflective sapphire crystal
Back: 18 karat rose gold (5N) with inset pane of sapphire crystal
Crown: 18 karat rose gold (5N), with Montblanc’s emblem in raised relief
– Dial: Silvery white and slightly cambered dial with sunburst pattern, faceted hour indices and Roman numeral “XII” as gold-plated appliqués, gold-plated hour-hand and minute-hand in dauphine shape, perpetual calendar with small blued steel hands, moon’s phases appear in a window bordered by a scale for the moon’s age at “6 o’clock”
Wristband: Black alligator-skin strap with large reptilian scales, pronged buckle made of 18 karat rose gold (5N)
– Also available in stainless steel with a black alligator-skin strap.

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